Review: Scosche Bluelife iPod/Universal Bluetooth Car Kit with Hands-Free Microphone
[Editors' Note: On November 1, 2006, iLounge published The 2007 iPod Buyers' Guide, with more than 30 brand new, capsule-sized product reviews - only for products we considered to be amongst the very best we've seen throughout the year. The short review below is excerpted from the Guide, which you can download here.]
The single most impressive thing that Scosche has done with BlueLife - a series of $200-250 Bluetooth 1.2 audio kits - is to deliver a complete vision for a wireless iPod future: the $200 Headphone Kit competes with FreePulse and the naviPlay Stereo Headset Kit, while separate $250 In-Home and In-Car Kits turn home stereos and many car stereos into wireless Bluetooth receivers. Hook up everything and your iPod can go wirelessly from portable to in-home to in-car use. But pricing, comfort of the headphones, size of the iPod pack, and BT1.2 are issues - a BlueLife 2.0 could be huge.
(From our earlier First Look: This elaborate Bluetooth 1.2 kit for Dock Connector-equipped iPods (dubbed IUBCKH for short) enables you to fully integrate your iPod and cellular phone into any “namebrand, after-market car stereos with auxilliary-in RCA connectors.” You get a central Bluetooth box that is hidden away in your vehicle, a power charger for the kit and your iPod, a battery-powered iPod Bluetooth backpack with cradles for full-sized iPods and minis, and a vent mount for your phone - plus numerous other components that join these parts and your car together. (The nano gets an adhesive clip.) Once installed, the kit enables you to bring your iPod seamlessly from your home to your car without connecting any wires, unless you want to charge the iPod, and transition between iPod music and cell phone calls at will. Assuming the box has been properly connected to your aftermarket stereo, all of the iPod and phone audio will go through your car’s speakers, and the included microphone will pick up your voice during calls. There’s also a soft case to let you use the Bluetooth pack and its built-in belt clip with non-iPod devices.)