What Is The History Behind Bluetooth and What Are Some Bluetooth Integration Products For Your Vehicle?
Whether or not your vehicle has been built with Bluetooth, we talk about hardwired and wireless Bluetooth kits that play audio from a smartphone or other device on the stereo of your vehicle.
“Bluetooth” technology, which was invented by the Swedish company Ericson in 1994, uses radio waves to send information wirelessly between one or more devices located in close physical proximity. While AM / FM radio signals, satellite transmissions, television and cell phones also use radio waves, Bluetooth uses a range of 2.4 to 2.485 Gigahertz bands unlicensed but regulated.
Bluetooth is named after the Danish king Harold Bluetooth from the 10th century, who worked to connect and unite warring factions in parts of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. As digital radio wave transmission technology advanced in the declining years of the 20th century, components became smaller and were able to handle much more information at rapid speeds, such as voice, videos, photos, music and more. Bluetooth made sense in automotive applications with the invention of iPods and smartphones.
A number automobiles built in recent years are equipped with a Bluetooth module designed to recognize the presence of another Bluetooth-equipped device and pair with it. Not so long ago, older vehicles built without Bluetooth required a hard wire connection into the back of the radio in order to play music from an iPod. There is a wealth of Bluetooth kits available today that allow you to play the music without wire connections on the stereo of your vehicle.
If you’ve got an older or classic vehicle not equipped with Bluetooth, kits are available with a self-contained Bluetooth module that will get the job done. Depending on your preference, some are free-standing and others are designed to be wired to your vehicle, with Bluetooth handling the wireless connection from your device to the car. We will break down the types of Bluetooth kits we offer in this article and discuss how they work to help you decide what is right for your vehicle and its use.
Portable Bluetooth Kits That Don’t Need Permanent Installation
For those who appreciate simplicity and want to avoid any hard wire connections, Sondpex’s Sun Visor Bluetooth Speaker and Hands Free Kit, Parrot’s Minikit + Portable Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit, and Veho’s Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit all clip on your sunscreen, make a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, and then allow you to conduct a hands-free conversation via built-in speakers. These units are fully self – contained, so there is no wiring in the back of the radio or dash of your vehicle.
The Sondpex Tunes2GoTM Bluetooth Hands Free Car Kit with FM Transmitter connects to your smart phone via a Bluetooth connection and then transmits music to the FM radio of your vehicle via an integrated FM transmitter over the airwaves. When you want a hand – free phone call, a built – in microphone picks up your voice, and you’ll hear the other person on the line through the speakers of your vehicle thanks to an FM broadcaster sending them to the radio.
TomTom’s Hands Free Car Kit for smart phones is a cradle with its own built-in speaker that makes a Bluetooth connection to your iPhone or smart phone. Once you’ve mounted it on your dash or windshield, the cradle can be rotated or swiveled for easy use. A separate microphone mounts anywhere in the vehicle, and the phone can even be kept in your pocket during conversations.
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If Your Vehicle Already Has an Auxiliary Input Jack
Sondpex’s Stereo Bluetooth USB Dongle connects to any USB port device, and then provides Bluetooth connectivity to stream audio from MP3 players, FM transmitters and more. A built-in hands-free microphone is also included.
Permanently Installed Bluetooth Systems and What They Offer
The PAC iSimple Bluetooth Enabled FM Remote for Android Smartphone is a low-cost, permanently installed kit designed for those who simply want to stream music from an Android smart phone through the car stereo. It includes a module with wiring and RCA jack that will fit most traditional car stereos, and allows you to access any FM station through your Android. And if you want to integrate Bluetooth with a new aftermarket radio in a General Motors late – model vehicle, the PAC Bluetooth integration kit uses Bluetooth technology to maintain or improve factory functionality with an aftermarket sound system.
If you or someone you know would like to give a Bluetooth system voice commands, Parrot offers several kits that have been installed to work with any vehicle. The Advanced Bluetooth Hands Free Car Kit includes a wireless control pad that mounts on your steering wheel, a separate microphone, LCD screen, dashboard mounting kit and cables that connect directly to iPods, MP3 thumb drives or smart phones for easy access to fingertip controls. It recognizes voice commands to automatically play music or dial phone numbers over the speakers of your vehicle for hands-free phone conversations.
For slightly less money, Parrot’s installed Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit with In-Dash Keyboard & External Microphone offers these same features without the wireless steering wheel controls or LCD screen. The Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit with LCD adds the LCD screen, but not the steering wheel control pad. All three of these kits allow pairing with up to three separate phones.
And if you’ve already got a Bluetooth module in your vehicle and want to replace the factory stereo with an aftermarket one, the Axxess Bluetooth Integration Harness lets you do that at a low cost. It’s designed to work with a variety of hands-free kits that use standard ISO connectors on their wiring harnesses.