231 of 241 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2013
First of all I know this is a "product" review but I've got to mention the shipping aspect. I chose the free shipping and actually received the item 4 days ahead of schedule. Felt that was well worth mentioning. As far as the actual product, it's amazing. I had the Flexsmart X2 and had the same problem as the first reviewer....it wouldn't play through all my car speakers. But I've had no issues with the X3. The sound is friggin' amazing. I've tried several FM transmitters and this one is by far the best. Music through the Bluetooth connection sounds just like cd quality....crisp and clear with good bass. Just sounds really full. Anyway, I do agree that the thing is ugly, but I drive an '06 Camry so I'm certainly not going to impress the ladies with my FM transmitter. Anyway, the cosmetics aren't enough to throw it out, the performance is too good to do that (hey that line works in a lot of situations). Crap, sorry, back to the review....it's simple to pair with your phone. I have an iPhone 5 and it literally paired in seconds. You don't have to press anything on the unit to make it "ready" to pair. It automatically shows up on your list of Bluetooth devices. It pairs back up to your phone again automatically ever time you turn the transmitter back on. I've used the handsfree calling a couple times...works great. I will say the light color behind the buttons is pretty cool. It's that cool blue futuristic look...like something out of Tron Legacy. Of course as the description reads, it has a USB port to plug your phone in so you can charge it. That right there is a pretty stellar feature (you can pretty much throw your car charger in the glove box). All in all...this thing is well worth the price. Amazing (and I mean absolutely AMAZING) sound quality. You won't be dissapointed....from Lil Wayne to Taylor Swift and from Eminem to someone singing you happy birthday on a handsfree phone call*...all your music will sound awesome.
*Note: the level of awesomeness on the birthday song really depends on who is singing it...don't blame the device if the person singing sounds like Pee-Wee Herman is choking himself.
105 of 116 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2013
I recently purchased the this company's FlexSMART X2 and it turned out not to play stereo unless it was at full volume on the device. That was an issue because the sound was very distorted at times. I decided to give the X3 a chance in the hopes that the company made some updates to the design. It was a good decision as this device plays perfectly through my wife's stereo and the voice quality is good too. If there was one nitpick it is the color. I would prefer a black version but I knew that when I bought the device. I would recommend this to anyone with a stereo that doesn't have AUX in. Happy wife, happy life!
85 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2013
I bought this product in March and in September I had to Return it because:
1. The device stopped charging my iphone
2. When I tried to charge my iphone, then the radio tuner would shut off.
I just returned the item. I will update after the company sends me a new one and I will let you all know how the Return process went.
I do like the device, though it's such a pain to return items online and I have to pay for shipping. So I took my 5 star rating down to a 3 star. If the return process is a pain, then I will deduct more stars. I would still buy this product if I did not have an auxiliary port in my car because there are not really any better options for the price point and features..from my research that I have done.
The return process went smoothly, they gave me a new one. Though now I have a car with a navigation/bluetooth system in it and I obviously like that way better..but it's way more money for a new one than this product. So I still say this is a decent alternative if you don't have an auxiliary attachment and want the bluetooth feature.
The GOgroove FlexSMART X3 is one great FM/Bluetooth transmitter. I have been using an iPhone 5 from AT&T with this product for about a month now.
This is one great product. The Bluetooth integration makes this super convenient. Just start your car up, have your phone in your pocket and the GOgroove starts playing your music and is ready to take incoming calls via the Bluetooth system.
The sound quality is very good. The main reason I bought this was because I had a cassette with a cord to play the music on my iphone. But quite often it made this really annoying interference sound that electronics sometimes have on speakers. With this product there is no crazy beeping or bad noises.
Connecting to a clear radio station is very easy. You just need to hold the middle button for a few seconds and it pics a new station. I live in the bay area so I need to change the station when I travel about every 30 miles. You do need to take some time and "try out" various F.M. stations. One station might be clear, but if you drive 10 minutes, it gets really fuzzy. I found a station that sounds great from my house to my school, about a 8 mile distance. I don't need to keep changing the station to get a clear signal. Though when driving long distances, be prepared to change the station every once in a while to get a clear signal.
You do need to turn up your volume on your car really high when listening to audiobooks or recordings. This in turn sometimes produces a little fuzzy sound in the background, but it doesn't bother me much. If you get a really good station, no fuzzy sound is noticeable. One bummer is this device does not "remember" your volume setting. So when I listen to my audiobooks or recordings, every time I have to manually turn the devices volume up to max to get the best quality of sound. If someone from the company is reading this, please ADD this feature to your next device.
The device looks nice in the car, I got a compliment from my girlfriend. :) She actually was interested in getting one because it "looks good" even-though she has an auxiliary port in her car! The blue accent lighting is quite nice, it adds a special "touch" at night.
The call quality is good. I can hear the other person through my speakers easily. Also the people I am talking with say they can hear me clearly..no echoing has been found.
Hidden surprises I found using the product:
1. If you are listening to your ipod or even PANDORA, then the next time you start your car up, the device starts playing automatically. This is really nice because it saves time going through your device and starting up your music or audiobooks. It also pauses what you are listening to when you turn off the device or turn off your car.
2. You don't need to plug the cable from the phone to the GOgroove, it works via Bluetooth! Maybe it says this in the description, but it was a pleasant surprise to me. I thought the Bluetooth was only for the calling aspect.
3. The Pause/Play button and skip forward or backward buttons on the GOgroove device work with my ipod (through my iphone) and on PANDORA via Bluetooth. This is great because now I just keep my phone in my pocket when I get in and out of my car. No more spending time fumbling around to connect my device (especially nice in the cold mornings) or forgetting my phone in the car.
4. I won't lose this thing! I keep it in my car, and vuala! I say this because I have owned Bluetooth headsets and I have either lost them or broke them because they are so small and delicate. Also when I did have my headset, I would wear it into the house from my car and forget it next time I drove my car and NEEDED to use it. Now I just turn on my car and I am "Bluetooth ready" to take calls.
Overall this is a great alternative if you don't have an auxiliary port or are looking for an alternative Bluetooth device to take calls in your car. You can message me with any questions you may have.
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2013
This is the one that I chose, even though there were some less than favorable reviews. While this is the first day I have had this item, it works just as advertised. What was not obvious was the barrel construction on the cigarette lighter plug. It is very well built, has dual spring loaded clips and fits tightly into the outlet. That is a plus since I installed it in my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee and sometimes take it off road.
Functionally, it quickly sync'd up with my iPhone 4S and further each time I restarted the vehicle it quickly sync'd and gave the obligatory "beep" to let me know my phone was connected. As noted by several others, it also restarted the playback of my music at the same spot as it left off when I turned it off.
Finding the right channel is a bit of a chore since I live on the fringe of several stations and they cause just a little interference when I get close to them if the device has chosen that channel. This is an understood problem so I will have to review all the channels here to see if I can find better vacant spectrum. This is not a problem with the FlexSMART and will be solved when I find the right frequency to use.
Made several phone calls. both out and in and it worked a bit better then I anticipated which is a plus. Callers stated that I could be heard loud and clear, and one of them was in a noisy environment and had no problem hearing me. I also plugged the USB interface from my iPhone into the FlexSMART for charging and did not notice any degradation as others have mentioned. My fall back position would have been to use the Aux Power outlet on the dash, but do not need to.
Played Pandora radio through it nicely. Received a call while listening and everything worked fine.
I am not sure about the other reviewers who had a marginal experience but based the price of this unit and my one day experience I would recommend this to anyone.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2013
This device is not perfect, but it's darned good and I have bought three units for multiple vehicles.
Having said that, here's my opinion as to the audio quality. Note that I am a notable player in the professional audio community worldwide, so hopefully my opinion helps others.
When I paired the first of my bluetooth devices to the X3, I was amazed at the quality of the audio I heard coming through my Lexus LX470's Mark Levinson system. I couldn't believe that transmitting audio via bluetooth, then to the car's radio via RF could sound this good. After all, we know that FM is frequency limited to 50-15K and that radio typically sounds, well, you know. But the X3 sounds amazingly good. I have tried it both wired and wireless (bluetooth) and both sound very, very good. (I don't like people who use the word "very" too often, so for me to use it twice really is saying something). I do notice some smearing on sibilants like S sounds and cymbals (particularly hi-hats, for those keeping score at home), but only at times and on certain program material. Still, having listened to dozens of hours of audio through the X3 in the past couple weeks, I give this unit amazingly high marks for audio quality. Throw out your preconceptions about what FM-modulated audio will sound like. If you're thinking that this unit will sound like the trunk-mount CD changer you installed in your car a decade ago and which came through your radio on a certain frequency, no way. This thing sounds damn good. It really does. There are times that this trained listener couldn't tell you whether the signal was direct off a CD or not. No way do most things I play sound like MP3s or WMA files. (OK, I do my MP3s at the highest bitrate, but I still stand by my statement that through the X3, they don't sound like MP3s.)
I have had no difficulty pairing the X3 to my BlackBerry Bold 9900 and playing many hours of BlackBerry audio files through the X3. But I've had trouble keeping Android devices paired to the X3. I'm not sure if this is the fault of the Android devices or the X3. I've been in touch with the X3's manufacturer, but have not heard back yet about this issue.
Having worked in consumer audio, including performing a ton of car stereo installations, back in the Dark Ages, I am sensitive to alternator whine in car audio systems. Unfortunately, regardless whether I hook my player to the X3 via a cable or via bluetooth, I many times (but not always, weirdly) hear a ton of alternator whine through the audio system in my LX470. It's strange that this does not occur all the time. It's most noticeable, of course, between songs or during quiet passages. I will admit that it had me cussing more than once, but then the X3 seems to spontaneously quiet down --- even for hours --- and I quit my cussin'.
I r-e-a-l-l-y do wish, as other reviewers have said, that GOgroove would do an update for those of us in the USA who have no need for radio frequencies that end with even numbers. This should be super easy for the company to implement and I SURE hope they do, as it's a waste of my time to scroll through the evens to get to the odds. This decreases our safety on the road, so I hope the company takes this suggestion seriously.
I have found that the units have been extremely difficult to insert into the DC power jacks (cigarette lighters). I understand that the units need to fit snugly, but the X3 seems to be far tighter a fit than it needs to be. I'm afraid I'm going to break my jacks, the X3s are so tight.
I do love the pause, back and next features. Very handy!
Like others, I've found that if the audio gets weird, it likely means that you're on top of a local broadcast station. Switching to another frequency fixes most issues. I've not found (as another reviewer suggested) that turning the X3 off and back on fixes any audio issues. YMMV, obviously.
As I said, I am known for my audio chops, so I'm a trained listener. I'd say that in many regards, the X3 sounds better than it has a right to. It ain't perfect, but it's a very useful device and I'm glad I bought three X3s. I recommend the X3.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2013
I don't do 2 sentence reviews, so grab a beer....
My FM transmitters usually last about a year or two. The normal failure point is typically a wire pulling out someplace...I'll be the first to admit it's my fault for not taking better care when removing the plugs, but when you plug in and out 7 or 8 times a day you get lazy. :) I've also had a wire pop because it was wrapped around my parking brake when I put the brake on.
But all that is over now! The only time I plug in now is if I know the battery won't make the trip. For short hauls the phone stays in my pocket...fantastic! I can't tell you how many times my daughter has asked me to put music on only for me to say "No honey, we're only 10 minutes from home and it's too much work to get my phone out of my pocket while I'm driving and hook it up." I don't listen to regular radio...most 10 minute trips are 9 1/2 minutes of commercials followed by a good song starting just as I pull into the driveway. Or even worse, the one song you DO get is some crap you don't want to hear (or want your 6 year old daughter to hear). Thank you iPhone playlists! Plus I can pause the song for in-and-outs and not miss anything.
I also have to say in terms of audio quality this is by FAR superior to most other products (every one I've owned anyway). It's still an FM transmission so don't expect crystal clear anal audiophile approved listening, but it's the best of the ones I've used and I've used many! The one thing that stands out on this one is I don't even need a perfectly clear channel--most transmitters require you to find a dead zone on your radio so that the radio station doesn't step on your transmission. But I've already been driving with this transmitter with great audio quality only to turn it off (to get out of the car) and hear there was a radio station on the same channel (or near it).
As others have said it's easy to connect and setup so I won't go into that, but another nice feature is the blue tooth button doubles as the main button on the iPhone. I have an iPhone 4 so I don't have Siri, but even the iPhone 4 has SOME voice recognition so I can press the blue tooth button, wait for the beep and request a playlist. I can only imagine if I had Siri too.
I only have a couple of complaints, not enough to ding it a star because the pros outweigh the cons but here are my "critical" complaints:
1. The color. White? Really? Nothing says "Steal Me" more than a bright white electronic erection sticking out of a black and grey dashboard. And the mount is tight, so it's not easy to remove quickly without feeling like you might damage something so taking it out every time you leave the car is not an option (or convenient).
2. The auto-channel scanner picks even numbered stations a LOT. Ok..I get it..in Europe they still use even number ending stations like 105.8 in London, but in the US the FCC does not allow an XXX."even number" station so of course they're clear but I can't dial it on my US made digital radio! There should be a switch on the device someplace to tell the device not to scan for even channels on US sold devices or at least make it an option in-case you have an old manual dial and can still more or less do even numbers. It's a pain in the ass to have to always hit the auto-scan multiple times until it picks an odd station. Thankfully I rarely need to change channels.
3. The microphone is mostly crap. Forget holding down a conversation. It works well enough for phone commands, but don't expect to be making quality calls with this. But that's not what I bought it for so calling out playlists to me is a bonus, I don't miss the hand-free calling thing.
Like I said, the Pros outweigh the Cons:
Wireless connection to the phone.
High quality FM transmission.
Buttons on the device for changing channels.
Supports my USB cable to charge my phone..and I can replace just the cable if I do something stupid like wrap it around my parking brake!
..that right there is all the important stuff that justifies the price. I'll try to check back in year to see if this outlast my other transmitters if I'm still using one. :)
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2013
Here's the short take:
This is a good quality product and well designed. It makes my life more convenient. I can now get in my aging vehicle, start my music, and drive away without worrying about cables, device pairing, or being unable to take a call. The bluetooth and FM signals are strong, sound quality is good, and it doesn't drain my car battery.
Here's the long take:
My car has neither an auxiliary audio input nor built-in bluetooth. For several reasons it does not make sense for me to replace the car's built-in tuner/head unit. I have been searching far and wide for a device that can bring my 2003 vehicle into the present. The flexsmart x3 ticks all the boxes.
I was happily surprised to see how small this box is. Using the flex arm I can tuck it away so that the buttons are easily accessible and yet air vents and the car's own buttons and knobs are unobstructed.
Bluetooth pairing has been easy with my iPhone 5s. During first use the flexsmart powered on in pairing mode (buttons flash repeatedly). I found and selected flexsmart in the phone's bluetooth menu. Then a series of beeps played over the car radio and the flexsmart's call buttons (red and blue) lit up, indicating it was ready to place & receive calls via bluetooth. Now every time I turn on the flexsmart it finds my phone automatically. I have not yet tried pairing a second phone and so can't comment on the experience of switching between two devices.
Call quality is adequate. I'm fairly certain it's using the flexsmart's buil-in microphone and not the iPhone's microphone. This is nice as I can keep the phone in my pocket and still make & take calls. My partner hears me well even when I'm not talking loudly. She describes the experience as being similar to an average inexpensive speaker phone. Intelligible if not beautiful.
For users with an iPhone (I have not tried other models of phone), hitting the blue call/answer button engages Siri for voice dialing and other tasks. The experience takes a little getting used to because there is a second beep & delay in addition to Siri's normal behavior. The first beep indicates that the bluetooth microphone has turned on. A second beep indicates that Siri is listening and you should begin talking. It's simple enough once you learn to wait a couple seconds before speaking. Hitting the flexsmart's play button starts or pauses audio from whatever app has most recently been playing (Pandora, Spotify, etc). Forward and back seem to work for changing tracks, but not for fast forward & rewind. Volume up & down do not change the volume setting on your phone. It's a separate volume adjustment for the Flexsmart. If a call comes in or if you engage Siri while music is playing the music will pause and start back up again after the interruption.
The FM transmitter works well for me in the relatively crowded NYC/CT metro area. The signal comes in at least as clearly as my previous transmitter and it's much better than most of the 4-5 other transmitters I've had over the years. You can scan for a clear channel by holding down the play button. This works well. When playing music over bluetooth the audio quality is about as good as any radio station and only slightly less loud. Playing music via the flexsmart's 1/8" stereo input jack sounds about the same.
The flexsmart has a physical power button that "remembers" its setting. That is to say, if your car's power socket turns off when you disengage the key then you can leave the flexsmart's power button pushed in and never think about it again. If your car's power socket stays energized regardless of whether there's a key in the ignition then you can use the flexsmart's power button instead of unplugging the product every time you leave the vehicle.
This product has a few idiosyncrasies worth noting. The FM transmitter can be tuned to any frequency, including even numbers. This is nice because radio stations in the USA broadcast on odd frequencies only. If your car can tune even frequencies then you'll have extra channels to choose from. If not, then the channel auto-select feature will land on a lot of unusable numbers. Also, after my phone pairs I have to hit the play button twice before I hear music. This may be an iPhone thing rather than a flexsmart thing. And finally the socket plug is very, very firm. Firm to the point where I had difficulty removing the flexsmart from my car's power socket.
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
I've previously owned several Bluetooth FM transmitters in the Satechi family (replacements were (a) to switch from a non-Bluetooth to Bluetooth version, and to replace one that broke because I am a spaz and knocked it out of the cigarette lighter and broke it). Recently it seemed to be having flaky electrical issues so I decided to try another brand.
Enter the GOgroove FlexSMART X3. It sounded decent from the other reviews. Here are the pros and cons of my experience with the X3, as compared to my previous Satechi device:
- flexible neck allows greater range of positioning
- the head detaches, in case you feel this makes it slightly less likely someone will break into your car for it
- on/off switch
- the buttons on the unit seem easier to operate (never liked the Satechi remote, the buttons seem unreliable)
- my Satechi didn't have a built-in microphone (but this may actually be a con, see below)
- static. lots and lots of static. did I mention the static? and this is using the same frequencies -- heck, the Satechi even overpowered actual stations if I was lazy about changing the frequency.
- I use this mainly for podcasts. My podcast audio volume comes out rather low. Strangely, navigation directions from my phone are much louder. There was always a discrepancy between even on the Satechi, but it is much more pronounced with the FlexSMART X3. This is without my changing any settings on my phone, the only difference is which device it's paired with.
- Speaking of which, every time I turn the car on, I have to press the "volume up" button until it hits the max setting. It would be nice if instead it remembered the setting between uses.
- The built-in speakerphone is crap. Callers report they can hardly hear me. I tested calling my own voicemail and could barely hear myself unless I was practically yelling.
UPDATE: even before I posted this review, Accessory Genie had sent me an automated email asking if I was satisfied with my purchase. I gave some details and also pointed them at this review. They were willing to let me return it, but I suggested I send it back for a replacement unit, which I have now had for about a week. The new unit *is* a noticeable improvement over the old one. There is far less static, and the volume issues aren't as severe.
So I am upgrading my assessment from "not very satisfied" to "adequate" :-/ and adding a star. It works decently enough that I'll keep the replacement unit, but if down the road it fails or I break it, I'm definitely going back to Satechi.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2014
I have been using FM transmitters since the first iPhone was released, and this is by far the best of its kind.
Static/background noise is kept to a minimum, and the sound output quality is near CD quality levels when using
Bluetooth audio. My only complaint would be its price: at the time of my purchase, it was sold for around $70.
A bit too high considering a quality car stereo can be found on sale for $100.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2014
Generally I am pleased with items I purchased after having read many positive reviews, but not this one. I had the GOgroove FlexSmart x2 which I loved, but one day, it just stopped working. I felt pretty positive, however, with its lifespan, so even though I didn't initially like the white color and redesign of the FlexSmart x3 I thought, well, it sounds as though they made some improvements on it, so I went with it. The auto-tuning, like other reviewers have mentioned, frequently tunes to even numbered radio stations which most auto radios don't tune to. It seems to have somewhat of a mind of its own. It didn't really let me manually try to find a station, so the process was tedious and time consuming. Finally settled on one station. And although the transmission of my mp3 music was fairly clear and decent when I switched to answer a call, the station had incredible static. I have tried numerous times, even on other stations, with no improvements. The calls have been terrible. The Flex2 at a minimum would sound tunnel-like, or so I heard from the parties on the other end of the calls. The calls on the Flex 3 had to be cut short because there was just too much static. So, unfortunately, this feature does not effectively work, which was one of my primary reasons why I purchased this device, was for a hands-free calling device. Another feature which sounded good, did not really functionally work well. It was supposed to remember where in a song you left off from the last time you used it. Well, I found that it actually kept playing a mix from a playlist, and I could not figure out how to get it to stop. Of course, I could hit pause, or exit out of iTunes, but I needed to do that every time I got in the car if the radio was set to the same station as the flex3. Disappointment and battery drain on my phone. So, needless to say, I am in the process of returning this thing, and purchasing a Flex 2.