Bluetooth has had a much bigger impact on our lives than we sometimes think. Devices such as smart watches, or even wireless headphones themselves, are based on this technology. But we also make good use of Bluetooth in our vehicles. And it is that Even if your car does not have Bluetooth, you can easily add it for very little money and in various ways that we are going to explain to you..
Bluetooth technology in cars allows us to connect our mobile to the vehicle to, for example, listen to music without cables. And if your car doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can easily add it
What is Bluetooth?
The Bluetooth is a protocol wireless communication that allows two or more devices to connect to each other and transmit information and data. It is based on communication through radio waves, just like WiFi and radio stations, although in a different protocol.
The only thing essential to use this technology is that the devices have an integrated Bluetooth module and that they are relatively close, at a distance not much greater than 10 meters.
Its first popular function was to allow photos or sounds to be sent from one mobile to another without the need for cables, and faster than by means of infrared.
However, over time the Bluetooth protocol itself has been improved and we have seen new versions of it. Specifically, the latest versions have stood out for offering the possibility of maintain permanent connections between devices and with low power consumption. And all this being able to transfer an increasing amount of data at a higher speed.
That is why Bluetooth is widely used by wireless speakers or headphones.
And what does Bluetooth have to do with cars?
The Bluetooth has different uses in the vehicle environment, but the main ones have to do with the on-board computer or with the sound system. And it is that just as we connect our mobile to a Bluetooth speaker to listen to music, we can connect it to the car computer. Thanks to this (and to the advances made years ago with Bluetooth), we can listen to music in our car, from the Spotify application on our mobile, and without the need for cables.
And just as we use Spotifywe can take advantage of this technology to listen to a podcast, to be able to make an audiobook, or even to put on an Internet radio station that we cannot tune in to FM.
Wireless hands-free thanks to Bluetooth
However, perhaps the main virtue of Bluetooth in a vehicle has to do with the possibility of make and receive calls without taking your hands off the wheel and without the need to manipulate the mobile. Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity we can use the microphone that the car has, or the one that we can install ourselves, and the car’s own speakers, to have a conversation without having to connect the mobile by cable.
In addition, since once we configure the Bluetooth connection, it is saved in the car and on the mobile, in most cases we will not have to do anything to connect once we get into the vehicle, just make sure that we have connectivity activated. Bluetooth on the smartphone.
My car does not have Bluetooth, is there a solution?
Most of today’s cars leaving the dealership have an audio system with Bluetooth connectivity. However, the truth is that this was not the case a few years ago, where it was more of an optional extra. If our car is from even before, we may think that we have nothing to do. However, it is possible add Bluetooth to your car in various ways.
The simplest and cheapest you have if your car’s sound system has an audio jack socket. And there is Bluetooth receivers that connect to this jack socket, and that provide this connectivity to the car’s sound system. They are powered by a USB connection that you will have to connect to a cigarette lighter socket, or to a USB outlet that your car radio may have. Some of these receivers even have a built-in microphone that facilitates hands-free calling. And these products can even be obtained for less than 20 euros.
Now, if your car radio doesn’t have a jack socket, then things get a bit more complicated. Although you still have three additional options.
The first is simple and cheap, although it is the one that gives you the worst quality. It’s about a Bluetooth receiver that is also an FM transmitter. What it does is receive the signal sent by your mobile and send it through a radio station that it creates by itself. You look for this station on your car radio, and you will already be listening to the mobile in the vehicle. Of course, the quality is limited because you are making many device jumps, and also the FM station is not the best way to transmit if you want high audio fidelity. Its price is also below 30 euros.
Another option could be change the car radio in your car. If your vehicle is old and you don’t care about the model, you can opt for a low-cost option that you have for less than 30 euros, and that has Bluetooth connectivity. Obviously, we are not talking about studio sound quality either, but it could be very similar to that of the standard radio, and without the need for cables to connect your mobile. Of course, you can always go to a high-end Sony, Pioneer or JVC car radio, and here you will have more possibilities to connect audio on different channels, or even to have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. They are much more expensive options, although they might make sense if your car has a special sound system. The good thing is that car radios do have their own built-in microphone. And even for many, if you’re a tinkerer, you can plug in an additional external microphone and wire it to an area near the steering wheel or overhead sun visor to better pick up your voice.
And if the only thing that caught your attention about Bluetooth connectivity was hands-free function for calls, but you don’t want to change the car radio, then you can opt for some small devices that have their own speaker and microphone and that are fixed on the sun visor or the dashboard. They usually have a battery, although it lasts a long time, and you can recharge it in the car when it runs out. They sound quite loud and the quality for a call is quite good. In no case would we recommend it if your goal is to listen to music via Bluetooth, but its hands-free function is good, and its price is very cheap, and you can also buy them for less than 30 euros.
Either way, you have plenty of reasons to take advantage of your car’s Bluetooth connectivity if it already has it, or to add Bluetooth to the vehicle if it is not the case. One of those technologies that make our lives easier.