- Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 16 x 5.6 cm ; 227 g
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Item model number: 33428EU
- ASIN: B0011UIX2K
- Date first available at Amazon.ca: Sept. 25 2008
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
Kensington LiquidAUX Bluetooth Car Kit with Remote for Music Phones
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- Compatible with Bluetooth 2.0-enabled music phones (for wireless audio streaming and hands-free calling); A2DP protocol required for wireless music streaming
- Built-in microphone with advanced noise- and echo-canceling filter for clear conversations
- Superior sound quality from the direct auxiliary port connection through your car stereo system
- Plugs directly into your vehicle's auxillary port and is operated with a 2.4GHz wireless remote control
- On/off power switch with LED indicator on adapter; USB port charger
Superior sound quality from the direct auxiliary port in your car is possible, thanks to the LiquidAUX Bluetooth Car Kit from Kensington. Compatible with any Bluetooth 2.0-enabled music phone, it brings new meaning to the term "plug and play."
The 2.4GHz wireless remote allows you to operate the music player and your phone with your thumb.
Packing a lot of function into a little space, the LiquidAUX starts to work as soon as you plug it into any direct auxiliary port.
The steering wheel-mounted remote control works with the adapter to provide wireless audio streaming (A2DP protocol required) and hands-free calling.
Simply plug your phone into the car kit using a 3.5-mm audio cable, then insert the kit into your auxiliary port. Within seconds, digital-quality sound will be pumping through your car's audio system. Charging the unit is done with any USB cable (not included).
The steering wheel-mounted remote control is designed so that you can operate the car kit with just your thumb, allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel. Using the 2.4GHz wireless remote, you can begin and end calls as well as play, pause, and skip music files.
Backed by Kensington's two-year warranty, the car kit also comes with free technical support.
What's in the Box
LiquidAUX Bluetooth car kit, remote control, and 4-foot audio extension cable.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
That being said, if you are planning to use this device in your car for handsfree calls, forget it. The microphone is built into the unit, so it is always positioned in your lighter outlet. For me, this is located in my center console by my shifter about 2-3 feet from my mouth. This translates to poor call quality for the person on the other end. I have never completed an entire phone conversation using this device. Not only does the person on the other end sound quiet, but to them I sound like a mess of static, especially when the car is running. I can't imagine what this would be like if my lighter outlet was in my armrest box like I know a lot of cars have.
Overal, I am happy with this product because I did not really plan to use it for handsfree calling. If this is not your situation, I strongly recommend that you pursue another solution. That being said, $25 is tough to beat considering higher end (actually functioning) solutions can cost in the hundreds of dollars range.
Note: If you are planning to use this product with an iPhone be warned that the Previous and Next buttons do not work on the included remote. I think this is Apple not supporting the full A2DP protocol, but I am not sure. I have learned to deal with this, it doesn't really bother me too much.
You'll need to update your iPhone to version 4.1 (July 15 release) so your iPhone can fully support Kensington LiquidAUX Bluetooth Car Kit otherwise you will only be able to "pause, play, and stop" your music over bluetooth. When you update iPhone to the latest free version, you then be able to skip tracks and change the volume.
This device will allow you to do the following:
- skip tracks, change volume, play, pause, stop music with the remote
- answer phone calls with the remote
- hang up calls with the remote
- switch to using your hands with the remote
- listen to phone calls through your car speakers
- listen to music through your car speakers
- speak into the noise canceling mic found in the charging device
what it doesn't do
- your custom ring tones will not play in your speakers instead there's a new ringtone custom to the kensington device that will play instead
The remote control is easy to attach to your steering wheel and I like the extra chrome around the edge of the unit. The audio quality of music through the speakers streams great to the device. I'm very impressed with it and I'm sure you will as well.
The additional USB input is a nice feature so you can charge your phone while it's connected. The attachment does NOT come with a cable, so you need your own to charge your iPhone.
The bluetooth connection to the iPhone 4 is quick and painless to connect and disconnect. If your car supplies power to the charger even when the car is turned off, like my car, it's important if you walk away from the car with your phone still connected via bluetooth and you're still close enough to it, the phone will not ring in your pocket and will try to ring in the car. It's important to click the "power" button on the charging device to shut the bluetooth off if you have a car like mine otherwise the charger is designed to turn itself off when the phone becomes disconnected or power is removed from the charger.
The charging side comes built in with an advanced noise/echo canceling filter for clear conversations and I'm told it sounds really good when I talk. It's clear and loud enough for the listener to hear me considering how far away the device is away from my voice. I'm going to play with this a bit to see what the experience is over time, but so far I'm impressed with this feature the most!
Unfortunately, there is one draw back using music from your iPhone to your car stereo. You will unfortunately, depending on where you live, when your phone switches out of the 3G network to the GSM (Edge) network, your car speakers will go "crazy" with what is dubbed as GSM buzz. I would describe the sound as popping/buzz sound that vibrate from your car stereo. It's not the fault of the Kensington LiquidAUX Bluetooth Car Kit. It's NOT heard when your phone is in range of ATT's 3G network (WCDMA). I found online why this occurs and it's described due to the way GSM, which uses TDMA, splits the frequency up into time slots. IIRC TDMA uses 1/8th sec slots - so a broadcast network of 1800 or such is going to have a pulse rate of around 217Hz which is in the audible range and is picked up up by poorly shielded speakers. It's essentially your phone saying to the tower - 'Give me slot Give me slot Give me slot Give me slot and now We're connected' or "ready to receive ready to receive ready to receive ready to receive and now We're connected'.
Overall, this is the best tool to listen to your music, movies and make phone calls within your car now that Apple supports full AVRCP.
The output through my system is a little soft, so I have to turn up the volume at higher level than normal (versus listening to the radio or a CD). This may be due to the phone or the input adapter on the car stereo. It is still quite acceptable. The remote attaches to the steering wheel via a Velcro strap. The remote doesn't appear particularly durable, but once attached it really does stay in place solidly (in my case anyways). I like the fact you can transport everything to another vehicle in just seconds, nothing is permanent. The remote controls play/pause, forward, backward, and answer/dial. As for the hands free portion of the device, this was not a priority for me. I have used it a few times and it works well enough. No problems with echo, but at least one person said I sounded audible but a little muffled. I think the location has a lot to with that. In my case, I have the LiquidAUX located in the center console. Better put, it is well below the driver and off to the side. I have nowhere else to plug it in. I am sure somewhere on the dash in front of the driver would allow the microphone to pick up the speech more clearly. It would also make it easier for me to attempt voice dialing someone off my contact list. I have to speak more loudly and clearly than I would if I were using the phone's microphone to make it work. Like stated above, I bought this mainly for the streaming of high quality music. I don't notice any loss of audio quality nor have I experienced problems with drop outs.
If you have a particular use for this type of device, it works as advertised. I have bought lots of devices that have lots of promise but fail miserably in usage. I am happy to say this simple device does everything it should.
One thing I was worried about was the audio quality of streaming over Bluetooth. After doing a bit of research I found out that the streaming audio protocol, A2DP, seems to be capable of streaming at bitrates equal to or greater than the vast majority of my mp3 collection. Still, I notice that the sound is bit thin when playing through this device. The difference is quite noticeable when you do a back to back comparison with a standard auxilliary in cable. I think the quality reduction is not so much in the bluetooth streaming, but rather the conversion from digital back to analog to pump the music into the AUX jack on the stereo. The added convenience, however, is well worth the small loss in quality, IMO.
The other problem I had with this device was that the remote control would not pair with the cigarette adapter. It turns out the battery compartment positive terminal contact was making poor contact with the edge of the battery. I simply bent the contact down a little and the problem was solved. Now the remote works fine and I have to wait for Apple to implement the AVRCP profile in software to get access to the Previous and Next button functionality.
I have used this device with two phones, a HTC Touch Pro (Windows mobile) and a Nexus one (Android) with very different results.
# The Nexus One works extremely well with this device. Both music and navigation both play over the speakers with very high quality, you can even stream Pandora with it. I would assume calls will play over it and the remote works because they are both in the device specs, but I have not used those features.
# The Touch Pro was a completely different story. The dynamic range of the audio from the Touch Pro was absolutely horrible, if I had to compare it to something I would say try listening to a 28kb/s mp3. After hearing the quality I gave up with this device, other users with the same or similar phone might have varied results.
I would say this device is made extremely well, it can receive high quality audio and it has a convent USB port for charging your phone. It has a very short (about 3 or 4 inches if memory serves me correctly) audio cable with a nice woven exterior and a matching extender, in case you need a longer cord. If your cigarette lighter port turns off with the car when you turn the car back on it will automatically turn back on and sync with the phone in 2 or 3 seconds. And it is very easy to set up and use.
But, you should be warned that depending on what phone or device you have the audio quality could be anywhere between amazing and horrendous. For every review you read about the device having poor audio quality I would note what device they were using, most likely that device has problems with audio quality over bluetooth. I have personally seen how two different devices (both good quality devices) can have extremely different audio quality while streaming to the LiquidAux, and I would imagine that the problem would apply to any bluetooth receiver.
All in all, if you need an external bluetooth audio adapter for your car, look no further. I highly recommend this device.