Look Ma, No Wires!

I spend a lot of time in my car and I’m always listening to something on the radio or the iPhone.  Since I bought my Toyota I’ve been using the AUX-IN jack to connect my phone (for iTunes, Pandora, etc.) to the JBL Sound System.  I was starting to pickup static and noise on my 3rd audio cable so I thought I’d look for a wireless alternative.

After shopping around online and only finding “hand free” units that will accept music but also act as a bluetooth speakerphone I was getting a little discouraged.  I already have Bluetooth phone capabilities built into the car and I rarely ever use it.  It’s fine for around town but at highway speeds it does not work well due to road/wind noise.

Last night I finally found the solution.  The Aluratek model AIS01F iStream Universal Bluetooth Audio Receiver is exactly what I’ve been looking for and it only cost $30.

This tiny matchbook sized piece if plastic does one thing (stream Audio) and so far I’m really impressed with the performance.  After pairing with the iPhone and plugging the little 3-inch pigtail into the AUX-IN port I had the music from my phone wirelessly transferred to the car stereo.

  • Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
  • Transmits up to 33 feet away
  • Remembers up to six paired devices
  • Works with any phone or device capable of transmitting the Bluetooth stereo (A2DP) protocol
  • Up to 12 hours playback using internal Lithium-ion battery
  • Limited 1 Year Warranty

The Bluetooth connection sounds just as good as the wired connection and the phone automatically connects itself when I get into the car.  I do have some concerns about how well the pigtail will hold up if I were to unplug/plug it in a few times (which I don’t plan on doing).  There’s also the need for the unit to be charged every 10-12 hours of use.  It comes with a USB cable that plugs into a small, round, power input socket on the side of the unit.  When the unit is charging there is a detectable hiss from the charging circuit.  It’s the same hiss I get when I charge the iPhone in the car while hardwired into the stereo, so I’m used to that.

I’m going to hold off for a while before passing judgement on the daily usability part until I can get a few weeks of use behind me.  I’ll post an update here if any show stoppers come up but so far this looks like a good alternative to using an audio cable between the phone and stereo.