Top positive review
674 people found this helpful
First impression - this thing is awesome.
on November 12, 2011
1-25-16 Update: I just wanted to note that I'm STILL using this Belkin in my car, and it still works perfectly, though my 4S was replaced with a 6+, and I now use Google or Waze for GPS. Several years ago, I bought a second unit for a second car; it too worked exactly as described here (though that car didn't have an aux input so I had to use one of those cassette adapters to get the Belkin to feed into the car's sound system). I'm just amazed that this has been such an exceptional piece of engineering for me, and wanted to share my continued satisfaction after 4+ years with this product. Following is the original review I posted shortly after buying the unit:
This review is based upon my first day's experience using the Belkin with an iPhone 4S and Siri. I wanted to be able to have my iPhone connect to my car stereo for hands-free phone calls and iTunes. I tried the Motorola Freeway, which looked great in the advertisements (one feature is that it automatically connects with your phone when you get in the car), but in real life it was a big disappointment...mainly because it played via FM signal through a separate portable speaker unit that clips to the visor, rather than playing through my car stereo. Since returning the Freeway, I've been hoping something like this Belkin would come along. With the overwhelmingly positive reviews, I couldn't wait to get one of these. I installed it in the car this afternoon. As others have noted, it couldn't be easier; it only took minutes, and in seconds it paired with my phone.
Once you've decided where to mount the microphone/activation button, plugged in the power (to your cigarette lighter) and plugged into the AUX jack, you're good to go. I installed the microphone/selector button on the vertical plane of the dashboard just behind and to the right of the steering wheel (my Scion xB dashboard is PERFECT!) The length of wiring between the cigarette plug and the AUX plug is fairly short, but they do provide you with an extension cable if you need it (I did). Hiding the wires was easy...in my car, I just tucked them up inside under the console. A nice feature: the piece that slides into the cigarette lighter socket is about half as long as most car chargers, so it's almost flush with the panel, rather than sticking way out like most car charger plugs. Also nice: you can plug your phone's USB charger cable directly into the front of the charger plug if you wish to charge your phone as you drive.
The microphone/activation button is easy to reach on the dash, the ring's blue glow is not overwhelming, even at night, and I didn't consider mounting it anywhere else (e.g., on the side of the console as some others noted). The music sound is impeccable. The Belkin gets along beautifully with Siri (she helped make and receive phone calls, play music by playlist, artist, and song title, and even turned on shuffle for my playlist, and it all worked seamlessly). You can click the button twice (about a second apart) to advance to the next song.
So now, each time I start the car, the activate button ring is orange. Touch it once and it turns blue, connects with my phone, and starts playing music. Hold the button down for a few seconds and the music fades down and Siri activates. Tell her to do the things she likes to do: make a phone call; she will. Ask for a song or playlist, and she confirms; the music fades back in. When a call comes in, the music fades out; touch the button to answer the call. when the call ends...music fades back in. Beautiful sound (and why not? It's your car stereo!) I do notice a very low hum between songs; this may be the interference others have mentioned, and apparently there is a filter you can install to reduce this. I'll look into that, but it really isn't a problem for me. Incoming phone calls: clear, lots of volume, and great quality. At the other end? I'm told there is a bit of a hum but all in all, clear, loud and distortion-free.
Things to note:
1. You definitely need an AUX input, which looks just like the little jack you might plug a set of headphones into, but your AUX jack will take the signal coming out of the Belkin and feed it into your car stereo, where it gets amplified and played through the car's speakers. (AUX is short for 'auxiliary input'...you're feeding a signal into your car stereo from an outside source.) If your car stereo has an AUX jack, it will be clearly labeled as such. On my Scion, the AUX jack is in the console right next to the optional iPod jack; your AUX may be in your glovebox, on the side of your console, or even on the front panel of your car stereo. If you don't find one, this Belkin isn't for you (at least not right out of the box).
2. When I turn off the car, the Belkin shuts off, and my iPhone stops playing music. When I get back in the car and reconnect with the Belkin, the music picks up where it left off. I'm glad it works this way; I was worried that the iPhone might continue to play music even when I got out of the car, which would just run the phone battery down.
3. To listen to the radio in your car, go ahead and click the Microphone/Activate button as usual, but instead of selecting 'AUX' on your car sound system, select FM or AM. Your phone won't ring through the car stereo, but when you hear (or feel) your phone ring, just hit the AUX button on your car stereo, wait a second for it to switch over, then hit the Microphone/Activate button. When you're finished with the phone call, just reselect the AM or FM button.
4. (Added 11/19): I just downloaded the Navigon 2.0 GPS app for iPhone ($19.99 for US west coast version), and it works through the Belkin bluetooth too! So you can listen to the music on your iPhone AND receive phone calls, AND use the GPS system. As with phone calls, the music fades, the GPS lady tells you where to turn, the music fades back in.
I'll continue to update this review later if future experience warrants it...but as of right now, I couldn't be more thrilled with this product. I NEVER expected it to meet such high expectations...and so far, it exceeds them.