I was recently fixing my car audio setup, as my previous aux lead was now only working in one channel. This cable is a bit of a pain to replace as it is wired in to the back of the head unit (it is a Renault), so I was looking for an alternative to a single wire that would no doubt break again.
I had ruled out replacing the head unit last time around due to the complexities involved in keeping my steering wheel controls working. Last time I had to do this I had looked at all manner of connection solutions, including ones that utilised the dock connector of my iPhone in order to provide track skipping functions that would work through steering controls. Most of these were relatively expensive and reviews were scarce. None of these products appear to have been updated for the Lightning connector in the newer iOS devices, and used cables with proprietary connectors.
Eventually I came across a category of product I had never thought to look for: battery powered A2DP receivers. There are quite a wide range of products available at varying price points, mostly from companies I have never heard of before. I finally chose this no name version: JUSTOP BTR006 Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Audio Receiver. The reviews for this product were actually much better than the more expensive HTC and Belkin equivalents. For £15 delivered it was worth a gamble. Below is an image of the device next to a plug, just to give an idea of how tiny this thing is.
One thing that neither the product description or Amazon reviews cover is the battery life. From my experience so far the battery in it lasts about a week of normal use for me, which is probably about 10 hours. Charging wise, it takes under 2 hours (I wasn’t timing) to fully charge, plugging in the included USB cable into an iPhone plug. When the battery is running low it adds in a low pitched “bong” noise around every minute or so until it does a shutdown noise about 10 minutes later.
Pairing is a simple process, although no instructions were included (unless they were on the box), but it was easy to figure out. There is a power button that if you keep holding after the device switches on, the status LED will start to alternate between red and blue, at this point the device can be paired with no passcode required. After this initial pairing switching the device on is enough to make the iPhone connect to it. I have not tested this with any other devices.
The output from the receiver is a standard male 3.5mm jack, but it comes with phono to female 3.5mm and well as a female to female 3.5mm converter. This converter seems a bit tight for my headphones, but it does fit with a bit of force. I now have the CD Changer port wired to a female phono port, then the phono to female 3.5mm jack appearing underneath the centre of my dashboard where it is easy to plug in this device.
I have been very pleased with this for the two weeks I have had this so far, time will tell how well built this little piece of kit is!