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Car Bluetooth Adapter Recommendations?Tips

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  1. tweak4

    tweak4 Well-Known Member

    It looks like someone may have stolen my bluetooth audio adapter out of my car (which is weird, since they left my GPS and sunglasses which were right there), so I'm in the market for a new one. Anyone have any suggestions?
    Previously, I had a GoGroove Smart Mini BT which worked really well, except that once I took the 4.4 update, I mysteriously lost the ability to reconnect to the adapter automatically when I started the car!
    In any case, my primary concern is outputting audio to the car stereo via a mini-jack and the stereo's aux input. FM transmission would be nice, so I can use it in someone else's car, but definitely isn't a requirement. I won't be using it for phone calls, so call quality and things of that nature are completely irrelevant.

    Basically, I wanted to turn to you guys to see if anyone can confirm a particular adapter that can automatically reconnect with a Maxx/4.4. So, any suggestions?

  2. Outatime

    Outatime Well-Known Member Contributor

    I flew into this thread to say, "GoGroove BT Mini!"

    Then I read your thread.

    <quietly sits back down>
  3. tweak4

    tweak4 Well-Known Member

    No worries- I've heard that the GoGrooves can fail randomly, and after taking the 4.4 update on my Max, I've been able to get it to automatically connect to every other BT device I own except for my old adapter, so it is entirely possible that something in my particular unit just happened to fail around the same time. So, the Mini is definitely still in the running- I just didn't know if anyone knew of anything better.

    At this point, unless someone brings up a new contender, I'm basically down to one of the following:
    GoGroove SMARTmini BT - Amazon.com : GOgroove SMARTmini BT ADVANCED Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter with Charging, Music Control and Hands-Free Calling for ANDROID, Blackberry & Windows Smartphones : Digital Camera Battery Chargers : Electronics
    Kinivo BTC450 - Amazon.com: Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars with Aux Input Jack (3.5 mm) - supports aptX: Electronics

    The GoGroove is slightly more expensive, but includes an FM transmitter. But on the other hand, it is also the one that I had connection problems with after 4.4, so there is no guarantee a new one would fix that.

    The Kinivo is a few bucks cheaper, but lacks the FM transmitter. Reviewers say that it reconnects automatically, but few say which phones they're using (in case that actually matters- it shouldn't, but you never know)

    In any case, I'll definitely mark you in the GoGroove column!
  4. Outatime

    Outatime Well-Known Member Contributor

    I think you might have just had a bad unit? Mine works fine and automatically reconnects when I start the car. My problem with all Bluetooth devices after 4.4 is the random "skip" sound every once in awhile. Especially when the phone powers off, I can replicate that every time.

    I do use the FM transmitter on my GoGroove, I have an 04 Jeep with just a normal factory CD player and no device interfaces on it at all. What really impressed me about this device in particular is the FM quality. I've owned quite a few FM transmitting devices and none of them sound good. This one has a very clean and solid sound. I just wish the volume went a little higher on either it or my Maxx... I really have to crank up the volume on my Jeep's radio.

    Just my 2 cents.
    tweak4 likes this.
  5. tweak4

    tweak4 Well-Known Member

    I've only used the FM transmitter once- when we had a rental car that didn't have an aux input- but I do remember that it worked pretty well. And I love that it has the option to auto-select the best frequency! Both my car and my wife's have AUX inputs, so we use the line-out most of the time instead, which also works beautifully- I never even really had the skipping problem that you mentioned. Though when I'm using my phone for audio, I'm typically using DoggCatcher for listening to podcasts- maybe the app is somehow immune to the problem?
    The only complaint I ever had with it was that the "stem" was far longer than necessary, and if I used the power outlet in my dash, I'd actually hit it with my shifter whenever I put my car in 1st, 3rd or 5th gear. Fortunately, since I didn't use it for calls, I never needed to hit any buttons and I could just put the whole thing in my center armrest, which is where the stereo's AUX was anyway, so the whole thing ended up looking really clean!

    In any case, it's good to know your Mini does still reconnect properly after the update- it implies that mine was just faulty and that another one might work.
  6. tweak4

    tweak4 Well-Known Member

    Just as an update, I decided to go ahead and go with another GoGroove Smart Mini BT. Unfortunately, this one doesn't connect to my phone automatically either, so it's clearly something goofy with my phone!
    I set up a shortcut for Bluetooth Auto Connect though so that all I have to do is hit an icon on my home screen and it tries to connect, so it isn't too horrible. I'm a little disappointed that I still have an extra step to deal with, but at least it isn't as tedious as actually going into BT settings and forcing a connection from there.
  7. Outatime

    Outatime Well-Known Member Contributor

    Boy I'm sorry to hear that, Tweak. Especially since I was the one selling you on the GoGroove. I can't imagine why you'd have a problem auto connecting once a learned device is turned on. I was just looking through my Bluetooth settings and there's nothing that stands out to me that could potentially be your problem. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will stop by and help you out.
  8. tweak4

    tweak4 Well-Known Member

    No worries! Like I said, I had one of these before, and the new one works exactly the same way the old one did. Yes, I have to trigger my phone to connect rather than having it magically happen, but that's not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. If it gets really bothersome, I can always stick an NFC tag somewhere in my car and use that as the trigger.
    I am curious about whether or not the Kinivo would have automatically reconnected, but it's not worth an additional $40 to find out. I'm just happy that I can easily listen to podcasts during my commute again!
  9. NewArtDroid

    NewArtDroid Well-Known Member

    I use GROM for non-Bluetooth (4 years) nd just bought the Bluetooth one which arrived today.
  10. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    How about the new Motorola Stream?

    Moto Stream by Motorola - A Google Company

    I have one, though I haven't used it in the car yet. It has a mini-jack output that you can plug into the aux input jack. It needs USB power, but you should be able to get that from a dual-port car lighter adapter if the phone need power too.
  11. tweak4

    tweak4 Well-Known Member

    The second GoGroove had the same problem as the first. Everything was great, except that it would not automatically connect to my phone. Every time I got into the car, I had to either go into the Bluetooth options and force it to pair, or at the very least, click an icon in my launcher to trigger an Bluetooth Auto Connect/Tasker action.
    So, on a whim, I sent it back and got the Kinovo instead- and it has been brilliant! It connects to my phone automatically every time I get in the car, and since the unit itself is far less obtrusive than the GoGroove, I actually use it as a speaker phone, and not just for media like I was before.
    The disadvantages are that it is more or less permanently installed in my car, since it uses adhesive to stick the unit to the dash, and it is a little less flexible than the GoGroove, since it lacks the FM transmitter. But, on the other hand, it does exactly what I need and hasn't flaked out on me yet!
  12. webzard

    webzard Member

    I was looking for a fm transmitter to use my droid phone on my old honda crv which has no bluetooth, usb, or aux jack.. and I found this one on youtube.. and its easier to use than the GoGroove I had. Android to Car FM Radio Transmitter - YouTube
  13. 95sportster

    95sportster New Member

    So, popped into this thread since it was talking about the go groove smart aux BT. I just received mine in the mail today. Got it connected to my phone (Galaxy S3), plugged the smart mini into the aux jack, and gave it a try. I can play music from the phone through my car radio, and can almost make a phone call. Problem is that when I make or receive a call, the mic doesn't seem to be working. I can hear them loud and clear through the car speakers, but they can't hear me. My wife even had a problem of hearing her own voice echo back in her phone. WTH? This thing had awesome reviews all over the place. Could it be a glitch with my S3? I'm stumped!
  14. Outatime

    Outatime Well-Known Member Contributor

    If you go into your Bluetooth settings, select the GG-Smartmini, are both check boxes checked? One for Phone audio and one for Media audio? That's the only thing I can think might be the problem.
  15. webzard

    webzard Member

    Radio Transmitter is tricky because where you live could vary the result you get. For example, if you live near a tv station or cellphone tower, you will get crapping and staticky sound. Which is the reason why fm transmitter is never build into the smart phone, even though it will make most sense for manufactures to do so.

    I have purchased many transmitters before ( GOgroove, Belkin, Monster and iTrip ), they all sucked..... but this iPhone fm transmitter is by far the best one I have ever owned. The sound is crystal clear and being able to talk and drive hands free is awesome. I'm a heavy equipment operator and I can listen to my music and talk on phone and still keep working.
  16. NewArtDroid

    NewArtDroid Well-Known Member

    I just got a GROM
  17. webzard

    webzard Member

    what is a GROM? I looked it up, but it turn out to be a Honda Mini bike? Am I missing something?
  18. NewArtDroid

    NewArtDroid Well-Known Member

    Look up GROM Audio. You install it in your car and it allows you to both listen to your music on your phone through your car stereo and use the stereo controls to advance Tracks on your phone. I bought one in 2009 that I used with my Mazda 3 and iPod. Could move tracks using the steering wheel stereo controls. Just a few weeks ago bought the Bluetooth + USB Android one. The USB isn't working, but Bluetooth is working great. Also moves telephone calls to the car stereo and came with a microphone too.

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