July 16 Update: With the iOS 4 update to 4.1 on July 15, '10, you are now able to skip forward, skip back and increase/decrease volume over bluetooth. I've updated the review below with new information to support this iOS update.
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.