Connecting devices wirelessly is the basis of Bluetooth technology. When devices like your phone and car share various common uses called ‘profiles’, they can connect through a process called ‘pairing’ and interact without wires up to 33 feet (10 meters) apart. This makes Bluetooth technology perfect for the car. It’s convenient and it’s widely available.
Many people already know the terminology Bluetooth by the ability to use your smartphone hands-free. You may have seen someone walking around with a flashing blue light on an earpiece that is wirelessly connected over Bluetooth to that person’s phone. Using Bluetooth technology in the car is so much more robust and feature-rich than that earpiece scenario that once you experience true car connectivity, your Bluetooth-enabled phone and car will be inseparable. And, it’s all very convenient to use.
We have Bluetooth solutions for aftermarket head units, stand-alone systems that you can add to any car and even factory-like options that operate similar to the car’s factory option (if the car would have come with Bluetooth features).
Here are some of the many functional examples that Bluetooth devices in the car help with safety and convenience:
The primary use of Bluetooth connectivity is conducting hands-free calls. If your device supports multiple profiles, additional features of connectivity enhance that functionality. Profiles are how the Bluetooth devices establish the specific support functions when connected to your car.
- Headset Profile (HSP) – if your mobile device only supports HSP, you will be able to answer or end a call and adjust volume of the call without touching the phone. There is no access or method to display contacts. If your phone has voice dialing, it may be able to voice dial an outbound call with that feature (which can be carrier-specific). This profile is intended for the Bluetooth headset or earpiece many people wear to make/receive calls. Many low-cost car products also have limited HSP functionality for only the basic functions.
- Hands-Free Profile (HFP) – if your device already supports HSP, it may also support HFP, which is a more robust and feature-rich hands-free calling profile intended for the car rather than just an earpiece. This adds additional support of displaying the contacts list, which is necessary to do searches, display Caller ID and other information to enrich the call experience. Most modern smartphones now have HFP profiles. We can show you many options of how to best integrate a safe calling experience with our HFP-compliant Bluetooth hands-free products. These are far more robust and feature-rich, which makes them more integrated and easier to use. Ultimately the best hands-free calling solution is one that’s both safe and easy to use.
Bluetooth Audio Streaming
A secondary, but popular use of Bluetooth connectivity is to stream audio content from the mobile device into the car’s audio system. This allows many options for content that the car’s own radio may not otherwise provide. Connected sources like Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Slacker and other internet radio sites as well as stored music content on your device can all be streamed wirelessly to the car to vastly expand your choices for listening.
- Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) – If your device supports A2DP, it can stream audio content. The device profile transmits 20Hz-20KHz full range, 2-channel audio. Many of our installed Bluetooth car products support the A2DP profile and sound excellent when wirelessly connected to your device because of the full range capabilities. In fact, it may be impossible to distinguish between the sound quality of a wired and wireless connection. And, after initial pairing it’s automatic because you simply select that source whenever you are in the car and the device is paired to the car.
Bluetooth Device Control / Communication
An additional benefit of some Bluetooth profile support is behind the scenes connectivity that allows the car to control other functions of the device like play/pause or skipping to the next song. In addition album art, song/album/artist information is also available in some devices.
- Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) – if your device supports AVRCP, chances are the ability to control more than volume is right at your fingertips in the car. Use steering wheel controls or the car’s radio to control skipping songs, pause/play or other features when pairing compatible devices with this profile. Think of AVRCP support as the handshake between the car and mobile device when listening to music so that the car is an ‘extension’ of functionality of the mobile device, without wires.
Bluetooth technology in our showroom
Whether it’s a phone or other Bluetooth device you’re planning to use in the car, and for whatever profile it may support, we encourage you to try it for yourself right in our showroom with the product(s) you’ll use. This allows you a real-time experience on the process of pairing the phone, as well as the subtle nuance of how your specific device menus alter when connected over Bluetooth to the car. Phone calls sound great. Audio streaming opens amazing new possibilities. All of this is very much user friendly and easy to control.
Visit or contact us today to learn about the many Bluetooth options available for your specific device and vehicle. We have working systems in vehicles and on display, so you’ll be able to understand very easily what systems work best for the way you use your device(s) in the car.