Amazon.com: Customer reviews: TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver/Car Kit, Portable Wireless Audio Adapter 3.5mm Aux Stereo Output (Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, Built-in Microphone) for Home Audio Music Streaming Sound System
It is rare that I am compelled to write reviews for purchases, and very rare that I write a review 15 minutes after opening the box. I just got this item and tried it in my car and was blown away by how well it worked. In combination with how many confusing reviews there were for these types of products, which would complain about the most minor issues as if they were deal breakers, I decided to add a slightly more thorough (and less whiny) review.
DISCLAIMER: I DID NOT TEST THIS PRODUCT WITH HEADPHONES AS THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM USING IT FOR. This review was also written after only using it for a short while. If this sentence is still in the review when you're reading it, it means that I am still happy with the product, have had no issues with the unit since writing this review, and have had no reason to update this review with further information.
First off, let me describe my use case as this is important for your decision. I have an old JVC head unit in my car with no USB port or bluetooth functionality, only a headphone jack. I listen to YouTube and bandcamp music a lot through my phone (Xperia Z5 Compact) with an aux cable, and the headphone jack on my phone has something wrong with it causing audio to cut out at the slightest bump. I still love the phone, though, and don't want to replace it (out of warranty). So, I turned to this very inexpensive idea to try and fix my issue. (I've been wanting bluetooth in the car for a long time, anyway.) I also use navigation on my phone pretty frequently.
So, the unit is very small and lightweight (a good thing) and the 3 buttons are laid out just fine. The packaging is good and you get everything you need except a 12v cigarette lighter adapter to charge the unit in the car if yo have no free USB ports (but those are very cheap as well.) I did not read the manual (don't need to.)
Onto actually using it. All I did was take it out of the box, power it on, pair it with my phone via Bluetooth, and then plug it in in the car. The headphone jack on it is very tight, which I think is a good thing because it means your jack will likely not loosen over time with lots of use as the one on my phone did. The unit pairs quickly and easily. Also, I noticed a lot of reviews on these that complained about the fact that you have to hold the power button for ~1.5sec when you first get in the car. This is ONLY an issue if you want the unit to be hidden and out of sight. I don't care at all about this and it doesn't affect me at all. Also, is it really that big of a deal to reach into your glove box and push the power button for 1.5 sec to turn it on? Just don't put it in a stupid spot to get to and route your aux cable well.
The only issue I had with the unit in testing is that I powered it off while audio on a YouTube video was going, and then powered it back on, and the audio would not play through the car speakers again---only the phone speakers. This was a simple fix for me just by disabling and re-enabling Bluetooth. So, I don't think this is an issue as I won't be doing that in the car normally.
The buttons on the unit will actually control the functionality on your phone. So, if you hit the pause button, it will actually pause the media (youtube video, song, etc.) you are listening to on your phone. The volume buttons actually change your phone's media volume. I did not expect this (not sure why) but I absolutely love it. There is a slight lag time from pressing the button to it actually pausing, but I don't care.
The sound quality was exactly the same as my aux cable (when it worked). This was determined by listening to the same YouTube video (a song) I had listened to a short while before. The sound quality is actually excellent. I DID NOT NOTICE any audio popping when I paused the music or powered the unit on/off, as some reviewers have mentioned. So, I give the sound quality full points on my particular unit. Your mileage, however, may vary. This is a cheap item made in China, so I bet there is a lot of variability between units and I lucked out (so far.)
And that pretty much sums the unit up for me. It works very simply, and it works well. Now, there is only time left to tell whether or not the unit will last. I plan on leaving it in my car all the time plugged in via cigarette lighter, we will see if this seems safe once summer comes back around and the unit gets hot.
Again, if this review still has these sentences in it, it means I am still happy as can be with the unit for my use case and have had no issues. I will update if I have any issues.
This thing works great right out of the box. All I did was plugged it into my AUX port, press the main button to pair with my phone, and that's all. I'm able to listen to my podcast over my car speakers, as well as make and receive calls. On a single charge I have gone about three or four days which is a lot because I do a lot of driving for work. When the battery is going low it will sound an alert over the speakers letting you know. It will also send a notification to your phone with the batteries percentage. You're able to pair two devices to it pretty easily. The song quality is just as good as it was with my aux cord without all the wire all over the car. As far as the construction I think it's made of plastic but that really doesn't matter because I'm not going into combat with it. I just plug it in and leave it alone and I'm not worried what it's made of. One good thing I can mention is that even when the battery is going low you can plug it in with the micro USB, and charge and play at the same time with no feedback noise. Tested it out on a couple different things and notice we can make the kids gaming headsets Bluetooth as well as stream to any home stereo with aux if that is something you could use. All in all very good deal for the money. I'm hoping that future models are made smaller though. It's actually pretty small but the smaller the better.
During the warm months in Texas, which is basically all the time, I mow our property while wearing a pair of 3M worktunes hearing protectors. Listening to the radio is a big improvement over nothing, but over the years radio programming has gotten worse and I've wanted to listen to Spotify or audiobooks. There's nothing wrong with my headset, and a new bluetooth-enabled one was like $70. SO (!), using the 3.5mm headphone jack, which thankfully it does have, I was able to mount this little device and ta-da! Now I have bluetooth headphones for $14 instead of $70.
It was easy to set up and the sound quality seems great. My only concern, to-be-determined, is durability. It looks like a very high quality unit but this one is going to be subjected to lots of direct sunlight, dust, vibration and bumps. So we shall see. But so far, it's a very cost-effective way to upgrade older audio equipment.
Usually I have an iPod (old school, I know) plugged into my car stereo, but recently I've started using my phone for music. My car stereo deck is not bluetooth capable so I had to look for other options. Since my phone has no 3.5mm jack, bluetooth was my only option. I found this product on Amazon and I am more than happy with my purchase. I am not an audiophile but I am quite picky when it comes to the sound quality of my music. I run about 1500W to my door speakers and sub so it is important that the quality of the music is good. This product does a wonderful job of allowing my old stereo deck to continue to be useful while moving to the modern world of streaming music.
My only compliant - a relatively minor one - is that a beep is heard when switching tracks over the speakers. This can be fixed if my phone is not on max volume. If I turn my phone down one notch below max, then everything is fine. Not game breaking, just a minor inconvenience.
I purchased this 3 years ago and it's time for a review on it's longevity. I have absolutely adored this device in my older car, it changed my life in replacement of a regular aux cable. It absolutely has kept me from having to grab my phone while driving. I use this mainly for my music. The price is pretty much the same since I purchased 3 years ago, about 15$. I think it's a fair price, however there is a few drawbacks to this device I have found, they don't affect my usage but it may affect yours. The biggest issue is talking on the phone while driving. The volume is very low on my end so I have to turn it all the way up, so when the call ends the music will blast so loud it makes me jump. But on the other end of the phone I have found they can barely hear you. To the point you have to yell... And even then they usually just tell me to call back. My mom also told me that sometimes she gets this horrible sounding feedback when I'm on it. I've heard it myself when a friend was using my car. We were on the phone and it sounded like a demonic growling horrible noise. It made my stomach turn even though I knew it wasn't demonic. It was upsetting like nothing I have ever heard in any horror movie. I know for a fact It's coming from the device. It's just a horrible sound, but I stopped answering the phone while I drive because of that. Especially if it's work related. So if you plan on using this for phone calls I highly recommend you don't. Find another option. One other thing that's a small issue, while the battery life is long, you don't get much of a warning before it dies. It will play the low battery sound 30 seconds before it shuts off, but that's just a little nitpicky. The battery has lasted up to three weeks for me (keep in mind I drive less than an hour a day). And since I've been using it for 3 years the battery life hasn't seemed to get shorter. I absolutely LOVE that I can charge this while listening to music. I never have to take it out of my car because it charges fast while I'm using it, as opposed to other devices that won't continue to fill as you use it. Other devices seem to plateau when in use. This doesn't do that, and I'd say that it takes about 30 minutes to get back to a full charge while in use. The buttons all work on it. That's what keeps me from grabbing my phone, I can switch to the next song or pause with the buttons, which I can do without taking my eyes off the road. It has a light system behind the play/pause/power button. I wish it was brighter because I can't see it at all during the daytime. It's helpful because it will tell you whether it connected to your phone or not, it will tell you when its on, charging, and when its successfully turned off. You have to hold the button down for a bit to turn it on and off so the light is helpful to tell you when it has. My phone remembers this device so pairing is seamless when I get into the car. I use other BT devices with my phone that take longer to connect, but this one connects about a second after it's turned on. However, if you connect to multiple phones, it will only automatically connect to the last phone you used. So if someone else uses it, the next time you get into the car you will have to pull up the BT settings on your phone and manually activate Taotronics. I think I've removed this from the audio Jack twice since I've owned it, and just recently I've noticed that the contacts through the aux are getting erratic. It's starting to skip out on songs and only play through one speaker, etc. I would think this is a aux problem but moving it around or pushing doesn't make it go away. Along with the fact I haven't been moving this device it's leading me to believe that this is just getting old and probably the device itself is malfunctioning. I've also tried a cable which didn't make a difference. To be honest for 15$ it just occurred to me that this has lasted a very long time, with the heat in the car and cold temps day after day. It just occurred to me that it's done an amazing job and I've been very happy with it. I will be getting a new one and I will most likely buy Taotronics again. (Of course I'm gonna do a little snooping first) One thing I will say is that I got one of those cheapy BT receivers from Wish and it doesn't even compare to this. It's complete garbage.
This one is a great device with good sound quality. If I buy another one I might just keep it in my purse to make it last longer, which I'm sure it would. This device really isn't meant to sit in extremely hot temperatures. So this is no fault of the device itself. I would recommend to anyone needing streaming music in their car, NOT a hands free calling system.
I don't use the microphone. I bought this because it's small and I intend to velcro it onto my motorcycle helmet. Also because it only has one button on the front - play/pause, which makes it easy reach back and pause playback with gloves on. It's very light, which will help it stay on my helmet. I'm a little concerned that the velcro wont' stick to the luxe finish very well, but so far it seems ok. Maybe super glue will solve it if it becomes a problem. I'm pleasantly surprised by a seemingly unintended feature... you can press almost anywhere on the front face and it will play/pause - you don't have to push the actual button. This will make it even better for gloved use. Sound is good, but I'm no audiophile and such things don't make much difference in a helmet.
I bought this unit to replace an equivalent older Bluetooth receiver that had become VERY cranky about pairing. First out of the box, plugged my mini USB wall wart/cable combo in and was paired to my Sandisk player in less than 15 seconds. Listened for a while and realized that the audio quality was better than I remember it being with the 'cranky' receiver, but also know that, in the words of Peter Aczel, "retrospect is a notoriously poor witness". So in the interest of fairness to Mr. Cranky, I'll just say that the audio quality with the new unit was excellent. It comes with the cables you need, whether or not you already have them, and there's no reason not to get one of these if you need a Bluetooth receiver. It meets newer standards, is light and compact and blah, blah, blah. Just get one, OK?
I use this with my powered pa speakers. It works great when I dj. I have 2 EV ZLX-15P speakers and the TaoTronics Bluetooth receiver works perfect when I dj. I've had no problems with this Bluetooth receiver cutting out. Just make sure it's fully charged before you start using them or you will hear a loud beep every 30 seconds or so. Just remember its wireless, so your audio signal is not going to be as good as a direct cable would be. That being said, the audio quality still sounds very good.
If your using a pa speaker and you don't have a aux input, simply use an adapter. For xlr inputs, you can use a stereo 3.5mm Mini female to male XLR audio adapter; for 1/4 inch inputs, you simply need a 1/4 male to 3.5 mm female adapter.
Note: if you have a aux input, you don't need any adapters. Just connect your Bluetooth receiver to your music device and plug it in to the aux input.
Works great!! Cheap, easy to set up, reliable connection, it's really a good buy. Here's my review:
Battery: I have never unplugged the device from the charger, so I don't know how long it lasts on a single charge unfortunately. Good thing is, it works while being charged. Other bluetooth devices do not allow playback while charging. Also, my car does not turn off the battery current when the car is off, so it charges it 24/7. Good news is, it doesn't drain the battery as it does not require much energy to keep it juiced.
Connection Quality: Great sound quality. Very little distortion as far as bluetooth connections go. I can blast my speakers and hear little to no static. Comparible quality to an aux in my opinion. Also, before bashing on my statement, I am an producer and audio engineer, obviously nothing compares to an aux connection, that's just the nature of bluetooth. But the difference is simply insignificant.
Range: I live on the 3rd floor in apartments, and I have parked decently far and I'll be in my room and my phone will still be connected to the bluetooth. Keep in mind, that's about 30 ft high, 40 ft away plus barriers (closed car + walls) makes for strong connection at a 50 ft radius. Granted, I have never actually tested the sound while that far away (since my car is off) but the connections is very strong and reliable. Not once has my phone (samsung S6) disconnected from it. Ever.
Sound Enhancers/Equilizer: It does not come with any preset audio settings (Pop, Rock, Bass, etc.) nor can you use any equilizer settings. The default EQ settings provide a stronger more solid bass, but spikes the mid-high range. Makes for great vocals, however the snares and claps can be quite overpowering if your car/device already provides a mid-high enhancement making it overkill. With a few EQ adjustments on your streaming device can optimize the sound no problem.
Disclosers: Should you use the bluetooth device while charging, the electric current will create an ambient static noise that will not go away. This ONLY HAPPENS when the device is OFF and CONNECTED to the charger. No such static occurs when you turn it on. You can always just uplug the charger too, that's always an option. The device times out and turns off when disconnected.
Exactly what I was looking for. I do a lot of DIY work around the house and on our vehicles, and enjoy listening to podcasts while working. I was always nervous about keeping an expensive phone in my pocket while working, afraid of it falling out or getting broken. This allows me to place my phone out of the way in a safe place and listen uninterrupted throughout the garage; the lighter weight in my pocket is also big plus. I can use whatever headphones I like and don't have to worry about ruining expensive BT headphones while working. The signal only cuts out if I go out of the garage and around the corner of the house. Without something large in the way (car or house wall), it easily reaches 25 feet from my iPhone 6.
Only one very minor drawback, but nothing worth dropping a star for - a light behind the button tells you the status when powering on and off an pairing, but my thumb covers the button, so I have to shift around so I can see the light.