Anker SoundSync Drive Bluetooth 4.0 Car Receiver, Wireless Phone Call & Music Streaming Car Kit with Built-in Mic, Music Streaming, Echo and Noise Reduction, Multi-Point Access, 3.5mm Aux Cable
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- Car Handsfree Made Easy: Route your phone through your car speakers. Make calls and listen to music via a Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connection.
- Superb Sound: Lossless audio transmission for crystal clear phone calls and music. Noise suppression technology means no road noise or echoes.
- Easy to use: Control almost all receiver and phone functions with a single button, including Siri and other voice operated features. SoundSync Drive remembers your device for easy pairing every time you enter your car. Supports AVRCP technology.
- Broad compatibility: Works with almost all Bluetooth devices and all cars with an AUX input. Powered by any USB charger, including Anker's PowerDrive car chargers (not included).
- What you get: SoundSync Drive (Bluetooth receiver), welcome guide, worry-free 18 month warranty and friendly customer service.
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The Handsfree Car Bluetooth Receiver
From ANKER, the Choice of 20 Million+ Happy Users
Travel and Talk
Use the SoundSync Drive to make your car Bluetooth compatible, a complete handsfree solution. Play music from your phone, make and receive calls and more!
Superb Sound and Voice
Bluetooth 4.0 technology allows for a high-quality wireless connection. Able to transmit sound and data quickly and reliably with no compromise on sound quality.
Three buttons take care of all possible functions. Play and pause music, answer and hang-up the phone, skip forwards or backwards, even activate Siri and other voice control functions.
Unclear and noisy handsfree calls are a thing of the past. SoundSync Drive’s smart technology makes sure it’s just your voice that can be heard and not the sound of the road or vocal echoes.
Small and Sleek
SoundSync’s unobtrusive size allows for convenient placement anywhere on your dashboard using its adhesive backing. The contemporary and minimalist design perfectly complements your car’s interior.
- Need plug USB cable to turn on for some cars older than 2012.
- After engine ignition, older stereos may require the USB cable to be unplugged and reinserted.
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|Sold By||—||2nd Street Electronics||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||SugiStar|
|Item Dimensions||1.77 x 1.77 x 0.39 in||5.2 x 2.1 x 11.5 in||7.24 x 1.69 x 3.5 in||1.9 x 4.56 x 6.97 in||7.24 x 3.5 x 1.69 in||0.55 x 2.76 x 3.54 in|
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So I was advised by Anker to buy a noise isolation (ground loop) jack that connects to the audio jack. Immediately the static was gone! It's only $9 on Amazon, and I strongly suggest you buy them together!!!
I bought this on the recommendation of the review site Wirecutter. I used to highly value their opinion and use their site quite often. Although I am an expert on electronics, I do not have time to use and review all of the products that I need to use for fun and/or convenience. They usually do a good job, but in the case of Bluetooth car kits, they got it wrong. This is odd, because their old first choice is much better. This makes me wonder about their objectivity.
Prior to using this device, I had the iClever Himbox that I, sadly, spilled coffee on when I had to slam on my brakes one day. I had bought the Himbox on the recommendation of Wirecutter as well. So, before purchasing a new one, I went to the site to see if they had updated their review of car Bluetooth interfaces and they had. They recommended the Anker SoundSync and since both are only about $20, I got both. Although, this is their top pick, I found it vastly inferior. Now, on to the actual review.
I used this device for about 3 months to make sure that I had the full experience. The first hiccup with this device is that you MUST USE A GROUND LOOP ISOLATOR (this is the one I chose and it works well: AUKEY Ground Loop Noise Isolator for Car Stereo Systems and Home Audio Systems, 3.5mm Audio Cable Included). If the SoundSync is used without the isolator, there will be alternator whine.
The device does work. The microphone works very well and gives clear sound to the caller on the other end. Siri works well and understands voice commands about as well as without any external microphone. The phone calls go through very well.
The second place where this device falls on its ear is music streaming. I use my phone via Bluetooth in the car to both make phone calls and listen to music with iHeart Radio or Apple music. The Anker SoundSync severely clips the low end of the musical signal. I have a nice stereo system in my car with subwoofers. When using the SoundSync, the bass is very muddled, muddy and is very quiet. I find this strange as Bluetooth is a digital protocol and should transmit low range sounds just as easily as high.
Another minor downside to this device is that the cord is not very long. This limits the ability to place the microphone in a place that is both convenient and effective.
I would highly recommend using the iClever Himbox if music sound quality is important. Also, the Himbox does not require a ground loop isolator and in my experience works just as well with or without.
I hope this helps and that my experience can benefit the reader.
Update: After I left this review, Anker contacted me and offered me a refund. I would like to note that I do use several Anker devices and that most of them perform well. I have reviewed the other items that I use (lightning cables, Bluetooth speaker and earbuds, HDD enclosure, etc). Anker typically makes a solid product, this one just needs work. I wish i could give half a star for the excellent customer service.
1. You have to manually turn it on every time you start the vehicle;
2. Horrible ground noise (and the "official" solution stinks - read below)
I initially chose the SoundSync because I was looking for a small Bluetooth receiver with 3.5mm out and USB power to use in a vehicle, and I saw that Anker made one, so I thought the SoundSync would solve my problem. The design is very nice, the materials are good, the buttons are easy to locate and use, and the cable length seems just right. So I was ready to pair my phone and go, everything seemed like it would work just right... until I turned the SoundSync on. Suddenly this really audible, really bad feedback hum was coming out of my SUV speakers - mind you I hadn't paired my audio source yet, so the humming noise was coming from the SoundSync itself.
I tried the SoundSync in 2 other vehicles for troubleshooting purposes but I still got the same feedback hum. I even tried the SOundSync on my home theater receiver using its 3.5mm AUX input and a USB pwer adaptor plugged into a wall outlet. Guess what? Same feedback hum. And it's not like a feint hum that you can barely hear - this is a loud one, and trying to play music doesn't cover up the annoying humming sound.
Having some decent knowledge of electronics, my assumption of what was causing the humming noise was right - it was a grounding issue. I went back online to read reviews of the SoundSync, and the "solution" stated by others was to buy a $9 ground loop isolator. One reviewer even said that Anker tech support told them to buy the ground loop isolator. Another reviewer suggested that you buy the separate ground isolator with the SoundSync. WHAT?
If I have to buy a ground loop isolator for an electronic product that should have had ground loop isolationbuilt-in in the first place, then the product itself is flawed. Unfortunately this is the case with the SoundSync - visually it looks great, functionality is easy, but actual performance takes a huge hit because it doesn't do one simple thing that all other "mobile electronic" accessories do - which is block out unwanted ground noise. A product like this is supposed to work out of the box, without requiring me to buy another product from a different manufacturer just so I can use said product as intended. After using Anker products for years now, I expected nothing less than "plug and play and go" but the SoundSync didn't do that, and it's too bad. If Anker decides to make a newer or updated version of the SoundSync, I hope they actually test it in environments that can introduce ground loop noise (practically any vehicle on the road really) because I'm sure people who are looking to buy this are mainly looking to buy it to use in a vehicle.
Also, contrary to what some people are saying in the comments regarding the ground loop feedback and suggesting that "your stereo isn't grounded properly" and what not, that's trying to deflect the fact that the SoundSync just doesn't have the necessary shielding and components to suppress ground loop feedback. I know this because after this experience with the Anker SoundSync, I ordered a SoundBot SB360 SoundBot SB360 Bluetooth 4.0 Car Kit Hands-Free Wireless Talking & Music Streaming Dongle w/ 10W Dual Port 2.1A USB Charger + Magnetic Mounts + Built-in 3.5mm Aux Cable which is supposed to do the same as the SoundSync, and you know what?
The SoundBot SB360 works perfectly, with ZERO GROUND NOISE.
The SoundBot SB360 connects automatically once paired, turns on when the vehicle is turned on (with the SoundSync you have to manually turn it on every time you start your vehicle), has a nearly identical button layout, comes with an extra 12v USB charger for the same total price as the SoundSync, and most importantly - does NOT have any ground noise at all. Audio was super clean and noise-free. I even tested the SB360 on every other vehicle and home audio device where I tested the SoundSync, and there was no ground noise anywhere.This is what the SoundSync should be doing!
So as much as I'm normally a fan of Anker products, unfortunately the SoundSync is one product where they didn't deliver for me.