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on November 24, 2014
I have to admit, I LOVE the BTC455.

I previously reviewed the BTC450, and my main criticism of the BTC450 was it did not allow for the simultaneous connection of two Bluetooth devices.

The addition of this feature completes an already excellent product. Before, if you had two people sharing a car who had two different Bluetooth phones or if you just wanted to listen to music from your iPod while also having your phone connected you would need to repair the BTC450 every time with each device. Now, both devices automatically connect, and can be used while the other is not being used.

I am going to briefly go over how multi point functions, as my previous review of the BTC450 still covers all of the BTC455's great features.

1. After you pair both devices, the Kinivo automatically will reconnect to both devices each time you re enter the car.

2. Only one device can be used at a time. For instance, I can not talk on the phone through the BTC455 at the same time someone else is talking on the phone through the BTC455.

3. If you are using a device and listening to music with the BTC455, and a call comes in on another phone, the BTC455 will pull through the phone call if you answer it.

4. The last important point; the buttons on the BTC455 only work with the last active device UNLESS a phone call comes through on another device, in which case you can answer the call with the button on the BTC455.

In concluding my review, the BTC455 is the perfect solution for someone needing to use two devices. Kinivo made the BEST bluetooth receiver.

Having to wait only a year for a truly remarkable product is well worth the wait. In my opinion, Kinivo truly cares about their customers opinion as well as having excellent customer service. Thank You!
11 comment44 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 18, 2014
Works amazing well with my car, but it didn't meet 100% of my needs. My car already has hands-free calling, so I wanted this strictly to stream music from my phone through my car speakers, but there is no option to use just the music streaming. Can't knock the product for that though as it isn't advertised to do just that.

There still is a way to do this! When your device is connected to the Kinivio, go into your phones Bluetooth settings and click your cars Hands-free bluetooth option. Once you do this, music will stream from your phone and if you get a call, it will switch over to your cars Hands-free bluetooth. This is a manual process every time, but works for my needs. For reference, I have a Samsung Galaxy S4.

The reason that this is 4 stars is that nearly every review that I have read has stated that you need to buy a ground loop isolator to get this to work without the "humming" noise coming from your speaker. Sure enough, mine made the "humming" noise as well, but once I bought the ground loop isolator, it worked like a champ. I bought this one:

"PAC SNI-1/3.5 3.5-mm Ground Loop Noise Isolator Works with iPod/Zune/iRiver and Others"

If you need another product for your item to work properly, then it should be included. Just my 2 cents.

If you found this review helpful, please click "Yes" below to let Amazon know. It is much appreciated.
55 comments98 of 105 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Technology is quickly evolving, but many vehicles aren't equipped with this technology. To make your vehicle Bluetooth compatible, it is important to purchase devices like the Kinivo BTC455 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit.

▶ Package Contents
* Kinivo BTC455 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit
* 3.5mm female to male audio extension cable
* Two adhesive mounting discs
* User manual

▶ Accessories
The accessories for this device are two adhesive mounting discs and one 26" inch 3.5mm female to male audio extension cable. The mounting discs are each very thin, with adhesive on both sides. I honestly dislike this method of mounting the disk to any dashboard, as the adhesive on either side won't fare well in weathered conditions, but this issue is easily fixed. For my product, I used super glue and Velcro for my product. The male to female extension cable has a hard plastic casing around both ends, with the female port using the straight design, and male port using the conventional L shaped design. I like the addition of this accessory, but think it isn't very necessary, since most users will have enough slack from the existing audio cable.

▶ Specifications
* Bluetooth Specification: Bluetooth 4.0 with multipoint
* Bluetooth profiles: HSP, HFP, A2DP and AVRCP
* Operating distance: 30 ft (10m) class II
* Power input: DC 12V-24V
* Charging output: DC 5V-1A
* Dimensions: Main unit: 42 x 15 x 42 mm; Car adapter: 24 x 54 x 24 mm

▶ Hardware
The main product is one piece, with the main unit being 1.6" x 1.6" x 0.6 inches, leading through a thick 36" cord to a Y-connector, which splits into two 11.5" cords, leading to the built-in car charger and 3.5mm audio cable. On the main unit's center is a single multifunctional button for pairing the device or pausing music, a small LED to the left for indicating the device is paired or pairing, and two small buttons at the top, for changing volume or track. Although the small LED and two buttons are functional, Kinivo could have made the LED light and buttons pronounced, as they seem too small, and almost awkward to use.

One big difference from this device from other devices is the fact that it uses the technology of "Multipoint Bluetooth". This means multiple devices can connect to the device simultaneously. For instance, your daughter or son is hearing a movie and your phone gets a call. This technology allows the phone call to go through the Bluetooth receiver, instead of the tablet, which provides an absolutely hands-free experience.

▶ Similar Products
I have reviewed one other similar product, which is the iClever Himbox HB01. This is also a Bluetooth vehicle transmitter with a similar design. The main unit has the same round button at the center, except it is illuminated, instead of Kinivo's design choice, by placing it on the left. On top of the center button are the multimedia buttons for changing tracks or volume, which are much larger buttons and not at the absolute top. Also, the disc is magnetized to an adhesive disc, which also doesn't fare well in weather. At the bottom the USB isn't built into the charger, but should.

Overall, I see the Himbox HB01 as the more aesthetically pleasing device, but this product didn't test better than the Kinivo product, which will be detailed in my testing section. I also I assume the HB01 is going to be the more expensive product ($36.99) than Kinivo's, but we won't know until this product is officially released.

▶ Set up
1. Clean the back of the receiver unit and the position in your car where you want to install the receiver.
2. Peel one side of the adhesive disc and place on back of the receiver unit. Peel other side of adhesive disc and place the receiver in ideal position in the car.
3. Plug the car kit's 3.5mm cable into the AUX input audio jack of the car stereo. Adjust your car stereo's settings to AUX input.
4. Plug the car power adapter into the car.
5. The car kit will automatically enter pairing mode when powered for the first time. If it does not enter pairing mode automatically, press and hold the multifunction button for 8 seconds. The LED will begin to alternatively flash red and blue.

▶ Testing
I've tested this product for approximately 3-4 days now. I tested this product with my LG Optimus F6 and Nexus 7 (2013), and can report that the set up process was very easy the first and any additional attempts. Comparing the experience with the HB01's, the button press was much more responsive and less awkward with the HB01, but the BTC455 had the overall better audio. The HB01 had a subtle high pitched sound, where the BTC455 did not. If you are an audiophile and hear external static, even if its subtle, it will ruin your experience, which is why the BTC455 is clearly the better device. The audio was overall very clear, with no disconnections, as if the Bluetooth were built into my vehicle.

▶ Final Thoughts
I like the concept of external vehicle Bluetooth receivers, and this device isn't an exception. This device isn't as appealing as its competitor, but it performed better. Yes, I would definitely recommend this product and give it a 5 star rating. This should be a no brainer for audiophiles to upgrade their audio experience, because who needs CD players?

Pros:
+ Device is composed of one cable, without the need of any additional accessories.
+ Audio was very clear and tested better than a rival, the iClever Himbox HB01.
+ Added female to male audio cable is a nice addition, although not necessary.

Cons:
- Design of adhesive discs is poor. These won't fare well in weathered conditions.
- LED light and buttons could be more pronounced. Buttons are too small, almost awkward to use.

I was provided a sample in exchange for a thorough and honest review.
77 comments32 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 18, 2014
I was having a lot of problems with the headphone jack into aux approach. Lots of whine and hiss. My car has BT connection for phone, but not for audio (which came the next year). Upgrade module is crazy expensive.

This saved the day.

I connect to both this and the car. In Bluetooth settings for each connection I specify that audio goes to Kinivo, and calls go to the car. It's seamless. Phone rings, audio pauses, and I get the much better audio/mic from the car for phone.

Pairing is immediate when the car starts, no need to push buttons, or flip through phone settings.

The phone audio quality of the Kinivo is passable, but if your car supports phone it's probably much better.

It comes with two double-stick foam mounting adhesive circles. They are not pre-attached, which is great so you can use or not without the backing paper slowly peeling away if you don't mount it to something. I just let it hang loose on center console since all my connections are under the armrest.

The audio quality of this is very good. much better than headphone jack. It could be because of the aptX support in the phone and BT 4.0, but there is no hiss, no whine, and I can't discern artifacts or compression. Songs with wide dynamic range sound excellent.

Voice commands work well, but it only works with phone dialing. Once disabling the call setting in Bluetooth settings, the ability to use voice commands was gone, but I kind of expected that and don't use them anyway. It did work well though.

90 degree angled plug is a plus, so it doesn't bend and slowly break the internal wires, which I had happen before.

Cable length is sufficient to reach most anywhere, and an extension is provided for longer reach.

BT pairing was painless. Turn on BT on phone, find, Kinivo, connect, done.

The puck feels slightly rubberized. It's quite small and matte black. One small LED light which indicates mode, so it blends in well, especially if your car interior is dark.

Car is BMW, Phone is Galaxy S4. tested with both 4.4.2 and 4.4.4
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on February 16, 2015
I believe this is my first review, this is such a great product that I felt like I had to review it. The quality is top notch, it feels solid in your hand and the buttons are satisfying to press. The length of of the cords were just right for my application. Installation was a breeze, I was up and running in under 5 minutes. The sound quality is awesome, I can't tell the difference between this or using the audio line-in jack and it connects almost instantly. What else can u ask for?
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on August 15, 2014
WORKS LIKE A CHARM! Set up was easy--just plug it in, search for the bluetooth device in your phone, and then poof you're playing music through the stereo system from your phone! My car (2009 VW Passat) has the aux-in receptor in the center console, so I don't plan to mount the device in my car; rather, as I drive, I just set it on the console on this sticky-pad thing that I already had and it stays put, allows me to go back and forth using the toggle buttons on top.

I probably won't use it too much for the speakerphone option, but the one call I did try to receive was very hard to hear and it was difficult to answer while driving. However, it was the first time and I wasn't prepared so that could be part of the problem.

I would agree with other users that the forward/rewind buttons are hard to see and could be more pronounced/different colors/etc., but a minor flaw in an otherwise great product.

For $45 vs. $500 (at the dealer to have bluetooth added to the stereo system), I HIGHLY recommend this item!
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on October 3, 2014
. I own a Kinivo BTC455 and I drive a 2014 VW Jetta. Whenever I start up the car with the Kinivo plugged in it does not turn on. Everytime I try to use it I need to unplug and replug it several times before it starts working. When it does turn on it is difficult to tell because the blue light is too dim to be seen even at night. Also, I paid extra for the Kinivo BTC455 over the Kinivo BTC450 but I still have great difficulty switching between two bluetooth devices - it requires turning off the bluetooth on the device I don't want to connect.
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on August 25, 2014
Ok. I thought this was finally the Bluetooth solution I was looking for.

The good: it pairs instantly on vehicle start up. And I can pair both my phone and my wife's phone. It is small and easy to locate conveniently. The player controls work.

The bad: for some reason, the hands free phone volume is extremely low. You must turn your stereo up quite high to hear the ringer or any voices on a call. You can imagine what happen when you switch to the radio or cd on you car stereo: hurt ears and crying children. If not for this goofy problem I would rate the device at 5 stars. I have two units and two vehicles and the issue is present in both cases.

If someone can send me a fix for this I will update my review. I don't think there is a firmware option so I expect it's a flaw that should have been addressed.

For some reason the Siri functionality doesn't work either. I could live without that.

Note: once you are in your vehicle the device and phone assume you have the radio on, so if you don't have it on and set to AUX, you will not hear incoming calls on an iPhone.
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on December 19, 2014
I received the "Kinivo BTC455 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit for..." and was able to put it to use within five minutes. It works and it does the job. I have a BMW 2006 Series 3 (without a navigation system) & iPhone 6 plus. The car has bluetooth connectivity for the use of the iPhone as a phone, but not bluetooth connectivity for music. It has an aux input port to pipe music via the stereo system. The Kinvio BTC455 sends music to the stereo via the bluetooth connection, and when I receive a phone call, the car bluetooth connection takes over and connects my iPhone. When I use the iPhone to navigate, it also sends audio directions via the car stereo while playing the music at a lower volume in the background. It is a product worthy of purchase. I highly recommend it. If the product fails to perform as expected, I will update my review later. For now, it is a good product and a reasonable solution that does the job of a much more expensive solution offered in newer cars with navigation systems, etc.
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on December 23, 2014
I would give the unit and the Seller 5 stars except for 1 major problem: It will not turn on (blue light flashing and seen by my iPhone 5S a foot or 2 away) if the temperature is about 45 degrees** or below. Read on for details...

I received the unit when AM temperatures were hovering around 40 degrees in the morning in the Denver area where I hail from. Sometimes the unit would would (power-up and connect), sometimes not. Sometimes if I waited 5 or 10 minutes during my AM commute while my cabin warmed up, unplugged and then plugged back in the Kinivo, it would work again and sweet music would flow from my iPhone 5S.

Over the next few weeks I took note of the morning temperature in my garage and if the Kinivo would turn on or not. If it was colder that AM and the Kinivo didn't turn on, I had to wait until my cabin hit 40-45 degrees, then I HAD to unplug and plug it back into the cigarette lighter for it to power up. It wouldn't magically just turn on when the ambient temperature got warm enough.

After realizing that it wouldn't turn on unless the ambient temperature was about 40-45 degrees, I emailed the seller. They had me go through the usual factory reset, etc. and told me that this unit is designed to work in a range of temperatures and humidity. After I confirmed that resetting the unit didn't have an effect, they mailed me a 2nd unit FOR FREE (and didn't ask me to mail the original one back, either - KUDOS).

Unfortunately the 2nd unit exhibited the exact same issue. I experimented by plugging both Kinivo's in to 2 separate power outlets in my car and they magically only seemed to work (or not) work at pretty much the exact same temperature ~ 40-45 degrees.

For some people this might not be an issue because your cigarette lighter plug might be easily accessible while you're driving, but I like my wires hidden (which is why I'm using bluetooth and not an AUX wire in the first place). My Kinivo is plugged in and wires neatly tucked away in my center console so waiting for the temp to hit 45 and then digging into my center consoles nether-regions during a commute is not fun.

I use a few other bluetooth devices regularly with my iPhone so although I tried "forgetting this device" on my iPhone, it had no effect on powering-up the remote Kinivo, as I didn't expect it to but hey, you gotta try.

If your's works in colder temps maybe we should compare serial numbers?

** 45 degrees per my car's built-in unscientific, non-laboratory thermometer so the minimum is probably somewhere around that temp, really.
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