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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    drPheta's Avatar

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    Default REVIEW: Kensington LiquidAUX Bluetooth Car Kit

    I have the Kensington LiquidAUX Bluetooth Car Kit.
    2007 Honda Element, Aux/12V plug on the passenger side dashboard (roughly 4 feet away).

    See: Amazon.com: Kensington LiquidAUX Bluetooth Car Kit with Remote for Music Phones: Cell Phones & Service

    MP3 and music audio sounds pretty clear, though audiophiles will be disappointed. I'm used to listening to internet radio and satellite radio, so audio quality only needs to not hiss and pop for me to be happy. Besides, my car has a boat load of road noise, so no biggie.

    Call quality sounds crisp for the incoming portion, as in I can hear the other party loud and clear. Unfortunately, the other party has a hard time hearing me. If you know what the speaker phone gives the other party in terms of call quality, imagine it being SLIGHTLY softer sounding to them. So, I can hear them perfectly fine, but they have a slightly harder time hearing me (compared to me being on speakerphone, and they on regular headset). Being closer to the microphone doesn't improve anything, and I could be 1 foot from the microphone or 5 feet from the microphone. It sounds the same to them regardless. They describe me as sounding muffled. Speakerphone already sounds muffled, and bluetooth with the Kensington sounds softer and still muffled.

    The remote is a nifty feature, too. It controls the native audio player for play/pause/fwd/rwd. It also controls Slacker for play/pause/skip. AWESOME! Voice dialing doesn't work (though I hope FroYo fixes this).

    Overall, I'm happy with the product and will use it while driving and simply speak a bit louder and slower while on the phone. Maybe FroYo will improve call quality enough to make this a better headset, but at least it's great for bluetooth audio playback.

    Sorry, no pictures as of yet, because it's dark. I'll try to remember to take some tomorrow.
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    anicotra's Avatar

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    I've had one of these for some time now. I'm very happy with the audio quality. it may have something to do with the bose system in my Z. I also have a boostaroo inline which provides some amplification and separation to the audio.

    I had the same issue with the microphone. So I modified the unit so I could remote mount the microphone. it wasn't too hard to do and has made a big difference.

    I initially got the liquidaux for around $30. The last time I looked it cost quite a bit more.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  
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    how did you go about modifying the microphone? I thought about disassembling it and running a wire to extend the microphone somewhere else, but I'm not sure it's possible with this unit.
  5. #5  
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    Good review - but the problem is it seems to be unavailable, I haven't found it anywhere!
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  
    drPheta's Avatar

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    check ebay.
  7. #7  
    anicotra's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by drPheta View Post
    how did you go about modifying the microphone? I thought about disassembling it and running a wire to extend the microphone somewhere else, but I'm not sure it's possible with this unit.
    Its possible. I was leary at first, so I bought a second one, in case I screwed up doing the mod.

    I don't have the unit in front of me, but it does split apart. Carefully pry off the flat top plate that has the 3 indicators on it. Once that is off, you'll see two little screws. Remove them. You should now be able to pry the two halfs apart (but be carefull). All the electronics will stay on one half. You'll see two wires on the top circuit card (red&black, I think) that go off to the side. That's were the microphone is located. The mic is not physically attached to anything. It is stuffed in the corner. The mic is surrounded in a rubber square. I was able to pull it out (rubber square with mic in it) of where its located with a pair of needle nose pliers (a tweaser would work too). I replaced the two short wires with longer ones. Notched a little opening in the plastic cover right beside where the audio cable exits the housing and routed the new wire through it. Reassembled the unit in the reverse order.

    I attached microphone to the bottom of my car mount with a small amount of silicone adheasive.

    Do this mod at your own risk. I found it pretty easy once I started. However, I had a backup unit in case something went wrong. Also, I did the mod several weeks ago, and I wrote this from memory, so I could have missed something in the instructions. Just don't force anything when dissasmbling. Everything came apart fairly easy once you find the two little screws under the top faceplate.
    Thanked by 2:
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  
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    Awesome. Thanks, so much. how much improvement in sound quality did you get by doing this. As it stands, I'm even considering converting the microphone into a mic-input so I can plug in my own microphone there.
  9. #9  
    anicotra's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by drPheta View Post
    Awesome. Thanks, so much. how much improvement in sound quality did you get by doing this. As it stands, I'm even considering converting the microphone into a mic-input so I can plug in my own microphone there.
    Its a subjective improvement. However, because of where the LiquidAUX was mounted (way under the dash) in my car, I had to yell, or speak very loud in order to be heard. Since the MOD, I've been able to speak at normal levels at still be heard at the other end. So, it is improved from that standpoint. I'm not sure the quality is any better.

    Not sure about using another mic. I didn't know if they designed specifically for their mic. Let me know how that goes if you try it.
  10. Thread Author  Thread Author    #10  
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    Cut the internal microphone, wired up a radioshack mini-stereo female plug cable (cut to expose the internal wires: black to black, red to red), and plugged in a stereo microphone (only the left side mic picked up the audio). Needless to say it works and sound slightly better than how it is out of the box... still worse than the Incredible's speakerphone. However, not good enough to be consistent. I wish I could use the BT speakers, but the handset mic instead. As it stands now, the phone is all or nothing with phone audio/mic combination on this one. If I have BT headphones with no mic it uses the handset mic.
  11. #11  
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    So I take it you had no trouble getting inside the unit. I'm surprised the quality isn't good enough. I haven't had any complaints. I wonder if your Mic has the same impedance as the onboard one.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  
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    Yeah, the unit is easy to take apart itself. People hear me as being muffled using the mic on the unit, and they can hear me clearly when I'm on speakerphone.
  13. #13  

    Question Automatic reconnection?

    Hello,
    does this bluetooth-receiver automatically reconnects to an android-phone when its reachable?
    My old Belkin-Receiver always need a new pairing-process with my HTC Desire or the Nexus One of my girlfriend.
    The only thing i want to do is enabling my bluetooth to connect after the first pairing...

    Greets
    Normen

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