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Thread: Bluetooth Hands Free: What Are You Using?

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    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    Bluetooth Hands Free: What Are You Using?

    If this is in the wrong section (as it is about software almost as much hardware) or there is a thread already I apologize in a advance. I have searched around and seen a bunch of discussions about bluetooth but no real collaboration what is out there and functioning.

    What I want to know to all you out there is: What are you using for bluetooth hands free in your car and how well does it work (or what did you try and didn't work so well)? Connectivity, reliability, sound quality, practicality, hardware, software, frontend, OS, ect....

    I ask this because I need a change in my system and I want to make sure I get something that just works, and works good.

    I am running RR with the .NET plugin. Using an Andrea mic, bluesoleil stack, the really stubby dongle that works with bluesoleil, Droid Incredible, WinXP. I had some high end audio stuff also so I was also running a Sound Blaster 24-bit external usb sound card. Basically the SB card took care of all my audio other than the hands free and the Andrea took care of that, but channeled it into the input of the SB card before going to the amps (I think that's how I got all the noise cancellation to work and keep my high end sound for the music, but its been a while so I don't exactly remember it all).

    It worked ok for the most part. Not blame really to the .NET plugin, but had some connectivity issues that it wasnt consistent with connecting all the time, or staying connected. Sound quality, noise cancellation and echo cancellation worked great after being a few seconds into the convo and it was able to process the environment.

    My biggest issue was just a horrible delay. It made it very very hard to hold a convo bc with the delay you were always cutting the other person off and you would start to talk then hear them and stop, but they would hear you and they would stop. Worked fine for listening to voicemails and such though...

    I need to find a solution that will solve the problems I had and keep the positives I had. I thought about going to a Parrot unit and then I could run the mute wire into a fusion brain to pause the music and/or mute the sound and such and still run the audio through the soundcard and all, but having the external controls and external display (would like to see who is calling w/o taking my phone out to look) kinda defeats the whole purpose of have a carpc. To me having a carpc is to have the ability to be more than any indash unit and for it to be the all-in-one solution running everything i need directly from my frontend seamlessly.

    So let me know what you have, how it works, or how it didn't work! Thanks.

  2. #2
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    I am using a standalone Parrot device that works perfect but would love an integrated solution for the PC. But I have yet to hear of a very reliable PC solution that also sounds good. I really think the answer is an interface the Parrot products into the PC but I have yet to see one.
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    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    I got tired of the echo problems using a beam-type microphone, so I decided to try something different. I bought a LifeChat ZX-6000, connected it to my carpc, and told CF to use that as my microphone and speakers for phone communications. To my complete surprise, it worked perfectly. No complaints from people on the other end, and things sound ok to me, too.

    Also, the latest version of BS seems to solve quite a few problems (lag, etc).
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

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    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post
    I got tired of the echo problems using a beam-type microphone, so I decided to try something different. I bought a LifeChat ZX-6000, connected it to my carpc, and told CF to use that as my microphone and speakers for phone communications. To my complete surprise, it worked perfectly. No complaints from people on the other end, and things sound ok to me, too.

    Also, the latest version of BS seems to solve quite a few problems (lag, etc).
    So you are pretty confident that the lag was caused by the BS software? I was never really able to pin point the source of the lag. I had so many stages in my system. Didn't think it was the bluetooth technology itself since other systems like parrot and just using an ear piece with the phone works fine. Also though maybe it was the Andrea software/hardware that was processing all the sound and filtering out the echo and noise... Or just a combination of them all.

    Does the lifechat do echo cancellation on its own?

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    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bratnetwork View Post
    Does the lifechat do echo cancellation on its own?
    Sorry, just looked up the lifechat and realized it is a headset... so it doesnt need echo cancellation.

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    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    Yes, BS was definitely the cause of the lag. A lot of people on the CF forum complained about lag with .338 (myself included), but moving to .376 completely fixed all of my BT phone issues. Don't confuse a hardware BT solution like Parrot with a PC software BT solution like BS. Hardware solutions are simply the best way to go, since a lot of money goes into R&D to get things working - just look at OEM car audio/handsfree integration. BS tries to make things work, but since their software has to work with every conceivable combination of hardware and software, it just can't do it.
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

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    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    I had installed BS 8 at one point along with the latest plugin in RR, but for some reason I had issues with it and it wasn't working for beans... again ir was like last year and I don't remember. I reverted back to BS 6 and get. 1.14 of the plug in and it would connect and function but with lag. It seemed like every time I actually needed to use it it would drop the connection.

    After I make a few other changes to my system I think I'm gonna upgrade to win7 and while I'm installing everything again try our all the latest software and get it to function and see if it makes a difference if a better solution isn't present by then.

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    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    I've never tried using RR and BS, and I stopped using XP a loooooong time ago, so I have no idea if the latest BS will help in your current configuration. Hopefully when you upgrade to 7, you'll have more success with BT.
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

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    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    On the BlueSoleil website they offer a range of dongles with their name on them at a wide range of prices.... to me they look just like anything else on the market... Does anyone know if there is any advantage or reason to buy one of their dongles versus just picking one up for a fraction of the cost on ebay like I did?

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    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    I bought a Cirago BT dongle, which was cheaper than their BT dongles and it works great with BS. The advantage of their dongles is that they are tested with BS, so BS should have absolutely no problems with them.
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

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