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GOgroove BlueGATE CTR Hands-Free Bluetooth Car Kit with NFC Compatibility, Music Control, Voice Command and Volume Amplifier
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- 2.1A USB charging port works great for charging your Apple , Samsung , LG , Sony , ASUS , Microsoft , HTC , Motorola and more smartphones and tablets
- After a one time introduction, simply touch your NFC capable smartphone or tablet to the tag on the CTR and you are good to GO, and groove!
- Includes controls for volume, pause/play, track changes, answer/end calls, voice command and redial
- Mount your CTR anywhere in your car or home with included sticky pad or Velcro pad
- GOgroove 3 Year Manufacturer's Warranty
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GOgroove BlueGATE CTR Hands-Free Bluetooth Car Kit
Plug into your DC and AUX ports to open the world of wireless Bluetooth convenience in your car!
Cutting Edge Bluetooth
The BlueGATE CTR boasts NFC technology, allowing you to pair in just seconds by tapping your NFC-enabled device to the tag. Once you setup, Bluetooth 4.0 uses auto-sync to remember the last paired device for even faster connection. Enjoy unbelievable CD-quality audio as you drive, provided by the aptX audio codec - it even works with your home audio system (micro to USB adapter included).
A variety of features offer the best in-car experience! Easily adjust the level or navigate through your music playlists with onboard volume and track controls. A multifunction button enables answer/end call, last number redial, pause/play, and initiates voice command - all from one place! The built-in amp lets you pump up audio to new highs!
Convenient and Compact
This small but powerful device fits anywhere in your car or home. Included sticky pad and Velcro pad let you place the CTR wherever you desire! Its 2.1A USB power port charges virtually any portable device on the go!
Smartphones: Apple iPhone 6 , 6 Plus , 5S , 5C , 5 / Samsung Galaxy Note 4 , Edge , S6 , S6 Edge , S5 , Alpha , Avant , Star 2 , S5 Sport / HTC One M9 , One M8 , One E8 , One Mini 2 / LG G3 , G3 Stylus , L35 , L65 , F70 / Motorola Droid Turbo , Moto X , G , E / Microsoft (Nokia) Lumia 640 , 640 XL , 830 , 730 , 735 , 530 , 1320 , 1520 / Sony Xperia Z3 , E3 , C3 , T3
Tablets: Apple iPad Air 2 , Mini 2 , 4 , 3 / ASUS MeMO Pad , VivoTab , Fonepad , Transformer Pad , Google Nexus / Microsoft Surface Pro 3 , Pro 2 , 2 / Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 , Tab S , Tab 3 , Tab 3 Lite / NVIDIA Shield
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The Gogroove hands-free kit is an interesting choice for this. It differs from some competing solutions in two ways: the first is that it does not contain a battery, so it will always need to be plugged in, and the second is that it is an all-in-one solution with the power and audio cables permanently attached to the device and a charger that plugs into your car's 12-volt outlet. The included charger includes a microUSB port for the Gogroove and a separate USB port for any other device you choose to charge. At 2.1A, the USB port has enough juice to handle a phone or a tablet.
The fact that it's an all-in-one solution is both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand, it's nice to know that it's all there and I don't need to purchase any additional cables or chargers. On the other hand, the fact that the it's a proprietary cable that is permanently attached to the device means that I can't swap or replace the cables and that I may be paying for some things I don't need. In my case, for example, I have several audio cables, a couple dozen USB to micro-USB charging cables, and three car chargers, so the fact that the Gogroove kit includes these isn't really an incentive for someone like me. For someone else, an all-in-one solution could be very attractive.
The Gogroove attaches to the dashboard in one of two ways, both of which are included. The first is a disc that is sticky on both sides, allowing you to essentially glue the device to your dashboard. The second is a pair of Velcro disks, one of which would go on your dashboard, the other of which would go on the Gogroove. The Velcro would keep the Gogroove secure but would allow you to remove it at will.
The Gogroove receiver is very easy to use, although the controls are a bit overloaded (as is almost always the case in devices like this). You use the center button to turn the device on or off, to take or hang up a call, to pause or play music. And you use the left and right buttons to either turn the volume up or down or go to the next or previous track, depending on how long you hold.
The sound quality was acceptable except for one thing: interference. Because this device is plugged into your car's electrical system, it's all too easy for noise in that system to affect the audio output. In my case, there was a definite whine on the line (audible in the attached video). If that affects you, there is a relatively inexpensive solution you can purchase known as a "ground loop isolator" (available here on Amazon). And because this device has no battery, as some of its competitors do, you can't unplug the device to remove the interference. Note that this will not affect everyone. Every car's system is different and it's impossible to know beforehand whether you will experience this or not unless you've already tested the device or something like it.
One thing that might work for testing is to plug your phone into the car's auxiliary port and into a power supply plugged into the accessory port at the same time. If you have a noisy system, that should trigger it. If you don't get a whine or static, then you likely won't experience the issue with this device. If you do, you likely will. Pairing through Bluetooth was simple and painless, so I didn't miss the NFC functionality.
There are some additional features that the device boasts that I didn't really test. For example, it can sync to an NFC-enabled device with a single tap rather than through Bluetooth. In my case, my phone supports this but it just doesn't work well through a thick protective case and through a third-party wireless charging receiver I installed, so it's currently turned off.
The device also boasts CD-quality audio and a built-in amplifier. Beyond the whine, the sound was good but I didn't detect anything extraordinary, either in volume or in clarity. I suspect that a better indicator of what you'll get is the quality of your car's sound system.
I liked the simplicity of the device and the fact that it really did include everything you needed (with the exception of a noise-isolating circuit), even if some of that I, personally, didn't need. It was easy to install and the microphone was acceptable, according to the friends I phoned, not great but definitely understandable. For my personal use, I'm not a fan of paying for components I didn't need. And, of course, I didn't like the interference in the line, requiring an additional purchase to get rid of that. At $44.99 at the time I'm writing this, this is on the high end of the range for this type of device. If you like the additional functionality (i.e., the ease of using NFC) and the fact that it has everything you need in the box, and if your car is better shielded than mine, this may be a good buy. Otherwise, you might want to look elsewhere.
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided a sample for an honest review. I have no personal or financial interest in the company or in anyone employed there.