It’s a bit of a Catch-22: You’re not allowed to talk on a hand-held cellphone in at least nine states—and likely more by the time you part with your current vehicle—yet Bluetooth hands-free systems still don’t come standard on most vehicles.
To compound the matter, when Bluetooth systems are offered as options, they’re sometimes only offered on much higher-priced models, or sometimes as part of expensive packages, as part of a “sell-up” that pushes shoppers into vehicles they didn’t intend to buy.
Most aftermarket Bluetooth systems have been far from stellar, too, often including an underpowered, distorted speaker, as well as mediocre microphone technology (or bad placement) that fails to pick up voices over other noises in the car. In fact in some vehicles, Bluetooth has become yet another up-sell that pushes shoppers into much higher-priced models.
Now there’s a promising, simple (and affordable) solution for that. Most new-car audio systems now offer an auxiliary input jack, and the new Scosche MotorMouth II takes advantage of that by allowing your cellphone to interface with car audio.
Like an original-equipment Bluetooth system, the system only needs to be paired once with each handset with a four-digit PIN. And, like those OEM systems, it includes digital signal processing to help filter out vehicle noise and echo.
The device will also pair up to play A2DP streaming audio on some devices, and includes a splitter that allows you to switch easily back and forth between a media player and phone calls, to still make use of the input to play your MP3s.
Scosche MotorMouth II Bluetooth adapter
The product will cost $79.95 and begins shipping mid summer, according to Scosche’s retail site.