The CD player that came with the car stopped working after a period of intermittent trouble. So I got pissed off and replaced it with this. It's the "Sony® MEX-BT2500 Bluetooth® Enabled CD Receiver". I previously had some reservations about Sony gear - they are after all the originators of both the walkman and the world's first mass-market rootkit - however I spotted this item at SuperCheap Auto and kinda got hooked on the idea.
What's cool about it? Well, first of all, it does everything the old Pioneer one did just a little bit better. The audio fidelity is superior, and it seems to drive the speakers more smoothly (so less flappy noises at higher volume). It has an analog volume control, which I prefer, and it's face-off so no westie scumbag scally twats can steal it. In addition, it has a front input for wired devices, such as iPod (or, heaven forfend, Zune), and one killer app. Bluetooth.
This is the feature I really like. I can leap into the car, dump my phone on the console and with a few deft flicks of the stylus, I can be listening to Tom Waits streamed straight from the phone's media library. There's a couple of gigabytes of music on there, so I can shuffle tracks from here to Perth without needing to change a single setting. And as if that weren't enough, if someone calls me, it interrupts the music stream and switches into hands-free talk with the caller's voice ringing out in glorious quad through the car speakers, and me speaking back through an omnidirectional microphone concealed in the front panel. My life being just a little sad and billy-no-matesy it took a couple of days for anyone to call me on it, but when they did I came to realise what an absolute knockout killer app the speakerphone can be.
I've had something approximating this feature before by plugging my smartphone into the stereo via a cable, but that entails fumbling around for the phone when it rings, then looking up to realise you're heading for a tree and screaming loudly at the caller. My new toy doesn't care where the phone is (as long as it's in the car somewhere), because you can answer calls with a single click on the stereo panel, and hang up much the same way. The music then resumes and off you go.
So how much was this techno-marvel? Cheap as at under $400, with fitting by me costing nothing at all and accomplished in a matter of 20 minutes or so. Fits perfectly into my allocated car budget, requiring only that I skip a car wash or three and go easy on the upgrades for a while. All great as long as nothing breaks in the next month (please, fate, be nice to me)*.
And the original stereo? Turns out there was a ten cent piece in the CD slot, for some unfathomable reason. So the original unit actually works, and will be slotted into Esther's Daewoo, just as soon as it comes back from loan to Hannah.
* After drafting this, I managed to... wait, I have to take a run up for this.... I can't say it..... crash into a ceiling. So there's now a ding in the roof which will have to wait a little while for a proper repair. Don't ask, but suffice to say top floor, broadway shopping centre, does not have 2.2m clearance. Waaaaaah!
posted @ Tuesday, September 04, 2007 10:23 AM