Tag: bluetooth

Bluetooth Speaker Buying Guide

Bluetooth Speakers

How much time do you spend listening to music, podcasts or the radio a day through your phone, tablet or computer? Regardless of where you spend most of your time, at home, at the office or anywhere else, chances are your answer is a lot. More often than not you’re probably using a pair of headphones to listen; but when you’re looking for a more social experience, whether you’re at a party, the beach or just relaxing at home, a Bluetooth speaker can be the perfect addition.

Because these speakers use Bluetooth streaming to play music you can carry your device around with you while streaming. They’re also compatible with common Bluetooth enabled devices, from Android smartphone to Apple iPads and everything in between. You should also be aware of what kind of Bluetooth the speaker you want has; if you’re looking for the best sounding speaker possible you’re going to want to pick up a Bluetooth speaker that supports aptX Hi-Fi streaming which gives you more detailed, less compressed audio quality.

What Are You Going to Use it For?

JBL Pulse Bluetooth Speaker

The JBL Pulse Brings the Party with You

Your first step in buying a new Bluetooth speaker, as with most purchases you make, is knowing what you want to use it for. Finding the right speaker to meet your needs is important, you won’t be satisfied with your purchase if you buy a speaker meant for use at the beach if you’re looking for something to fill your living room or office with high quality sound. At the same time, you don’t want to buy a home speaker if you’re intending to take it to the beach because chances are you’d end up ruining your speaker.

What Kind of Bluetooth Speakers Are There?

When you think of a Bluetooth speaker, a basic speaker that sits on a table in your house and plays music might be the only thing that comes to mind. It is important to understand that, whatever you plan on using a Bluetooth speaker for, there is a speaker tailored for your specific need.

Portable Bluetooth Speakers

JBL Micro Wireless Bluetooth Speakers

JBL Micro Wireless Bluetooth Speakers Go Anywhere with You!

The most versatile Bluetooth speaker is the portable Bluetooth speaker. Portable Bluetooth speakers can stream your music anywhere, from your home to the court to bring your favorite music with you. Portable Bluetooth speakers can range in size from small clip on speakers that you can attach to your bag or belt clip to larger speakers that are more meant for use in a single location. Because of their size, many portable Bluetooth speakers are ideal for travelers; they can be small enough to easily fit in your bags and powerful enough to really enjoy your music or movies in your hotel room. Portable Bluetooth speakers are commonly found as both stereo and mono speaker configurations to meet all of your audio requirements.

Limitless Creations Radiant Bluetooth Speakers

The Limitless Creation Radiant Bluetooth Home Speakers

Home Bluetooth Speakers

If you’re looking for wireless streaming but don’t need it to be portable, a home Bluetooth speaker is perfect for you. Home speakers and home speakers don’t run on batteries, they require a power connection. These speakers are great for anyone looking to add some high quality sound to their home audio experience. Bluetooth home speakers can be anything from a speaker that sits on a table or bookshelf to a full size floor standing speaker that provides full, room filling sound that is perfect for background music for entertaining or rocking out by yourself. Bluetooth home speakers are typically larger than their portable counterparts. They are also usually full-on stereo speakers and, in some cases, have built-in subwoofers to provide some extra kick to your music.
Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers

Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers

Bring Your Music Everywhere

One of the most popular, and desirable, applications for a Bluetooth speaker is using it outside. Outdoor Bluetooth speakers, which are usually portable speakers, are typically built with more rugged use in mind than your typical speaker. They almost exclusively feature, at the very least, some type of water resistance if not a full on waterproof rating. Outdoor speakers are perfect for using at the pool, taking to the beach, camping or any other outdoor activity that you want to inject some music into.

What Else Can a Bluetooth Speaker Do?

Once you’ve picked out what type of speaker best meets your needs you can start to pick out what kind of features you want. A Bluetooth speaker can be a versatile addition to your audio choices; they can be anything from a basic speaker just for playing music to a full-on complementary piece to your home sound system.

Mono vs. Stereo Speakers

To start, there are different speaker configurations available in Bluetooth speakers. If you’re just looking for something simple and aren’t too worried about sound quality, a mono speaker is probably the way to go. Mono speakers are typically portable and produce sound through a single speaker. A stereo speaker features two built-in speakers and is capable of much greater sound performance than a basic mono speaker. For optimum sound quality from your Bluetooth speaker, you’re going to want to pick up a 2.1 speaker. These speakers feature dual speakers with a built-in subwoofer to give the speaker significantly improved performance in the low end.

Hands-Free Phone Calls

Harman Kardon Esquire Bluetooth Speaker

Use Your Harman Kardon Esquire for Important Conference Calls

Many Bluetooth speakers are designed for more than just music streaming; they also can have built-in microphones for hands-free phone calls through the speaker itself. Bluetooth speakers with built-in mics are great for a variety of reasons. For starters, it’s just more convenient. If your phone rings while you’re listening you can take the call directly from the speaker (some even have built-in controls so you can answer the call by pressing a button on the speaker) rather than having to physically answer your phone.

NFC Pairing

Near Field Communication (NFC) is becoming increasingly more common and is an incredibly intuitive way to pair your devices. NFC enabled Bluetooth speakers eliminates the need to enter codes to connect your device and lets you pair your device (provided it’s also NFC enabled) by simply touching them together.

Companion Apps

Some manufacturers also offer a companion app with their Bluetooth speakers. You can download these apps onto your smartphone or tablet to get the most out of your music. These apps are usually available on both the Google Play store and iTunes. They usually include an equalizer as well as bass and treble controls to give you the ultimate control over your music you usually lack with your smartphone.

Bluetooth Speakers with Additional Inputs

Keep Your Device Charged While Streaming

Other Connections

Bluetooth speakers can also usually be used as wired speakers if you want to play music from a non-Bluetooth device. They often have a 3.5mm auxiliary input as well as a USB input that can, on select speakers, be used to charge your device. Select Bluetooth speakers also include 30-pin or Lightning connection docking stations that let you play music directly through the speaker with your compatible Apple device.

Bluetooth Speakers

Check Out Our Selection of Bluetooth Speakers


What is a Bluetooth Amplifier


One of the best perks of constantly evolving technology is the new products that hit the market every year. While Bluetooth amplifiers aren’t technically new, RE Audio released the BT900.4 Bluetooth amp about a year ago, they are becoming increasingly more common with Cerwin Vega, Infinity, JBL and Kicker releasing their own Bluetooth amps with more sure to hit the market soon.

If you drive an older car, chances are you probably don’t have Bluetooth. A Bluetooth amp is perfect for you if you aren’t interested in taking out your factory stereo to add an aftermarket stereo with Bluetooth. Not only will you add Bluetooth to your vehicle, you’ll be able to amplify your speakers and improve the overall performance of your system.

Why You Want One

  • Stream Music Through Your System Directly from Your Amplifier
  • Eliminate the Need of an Expensive Head Unit
  • Amplify Your System

How Bluetooth Amplifiers Works

Bluetooth Amplifier Diagram

A Bluetooth amplifier is actually a pretty basic piece of equipment. It functions and installs just like any other amplifier would (they can be connected to a source unit, but it isn’t required), it just has an integrated Bluetooth module installed in it allowing you to connect virtually any Bluetooth enabled device (smartphones, tablets, etc.) to it wirelessly. Bluetooth amps eliminate the need of a traditional head unit because they allow the amp to double as the receiver.

Kicker PXiBT50.2

Common Applications

One of the things that makes a Bluetooth amplifier great is the flexibility it provides you with. While a Bluetooth amplifier will make an excellent addition your car’s sound system, they are also a perfect fit for marine and power sports use, as well as just about any other application that requires an amplifier.

In the Car

A Bluetooth amplifier adds another, and perhaps the most efficient way to add Bluetooth to your car. Many older stereos don’t have built-in Bluetooth simply because it wasn’t a common feature. Until the release of Bluetooth amplifiers the only way to add Bluetooth to your vehicle was through a new, potentially costly, Bluetooth headunit or a Bluetooth adapter that was compatible with your stereo. With a Bluetooth amp you can knock out two birds with one stone. You’ll add the convenience of wireless Bluetooth streaming to your car while also amplifying your existing system. Some Bluetooth amps also include a wired microphone, enabling hands-free phone calls.

On the Boat

Bluetooth amplifiers aren’t just for use in your car, they’re also a great for streaming music out on the lake. Many boats don’t even have a sound system installed, so if you want to add a system you’re probably going to need to build it from the ground up. A marine rated Bluetooth amplifier allows you to skip over a head unit all together, saving you money while improving the performance of the rest of the system. And much like in your car if your boat does have a sound system and the head unit isn’t Bluetooth enabled, a Bluetooth amplifier can save you from having to change out the stereo.

On the ATV

For anyone interested in outdoor power sports, you know that free space is incredibly limited. Installing a sound system in an ATV, UTV, SSV or motorcycle can be a tricky proposition because of this and anything you can do to save space can be invaluable. A Bluetooth amp can consolidate your source unit and amplifier into one piece of equipment without sacrificing the ability to actually play music through your system.

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Bluetooth Technology


Did you know that in many states it is illegal to drive while talking on a cell phone? Laws have already been passed in states such as California, New York, and Washington. The laws undoubtedly make the road safer for all, keeping the driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Bluetooth allows you to safely multi-task on the road, keeping you and others out of danger. To put it plainly, if you’re going to drive and talk, use your head: Bluetooth headsets are the smarter way to communicate.

So what is Bluetooth exactly? Bluetooth technology allows for wireless communication. Bluetooth headsets and hands-free kits use a special noise cancellation technology that allows you to have a conversation with the other party as if they were sitting right next to you. The Bluetooth products use voice activation technology for hands-free dialing, and with a headset and microphone put together in one convenient earpiece, you can chat away while using your hands for driving, typing or any other task at hand.

Check out the Bluetooth stereo section, which includes Bluetooth-ready car stereos and receivers as well as in-dash head units with built-in Bluetooth hands-free capability. The latest in-dash DVD players with built-in monitors feature touchscreen dialing and caller ID functions for most phones.

Another way to get Bluetooth in the car is by installing a sun-visor Bluetooth kit or a rearview mirror with built-in Bluetooth. Plug-and-play sun-visor kits mount on your sun-visor, and include a speaker and a microphone that you can mount on your dash. Sun-visor kits do not interface with the car stereo, making it easy to add or remove the unit from your vehicles. The rear-view mirror devices with built-in Bluetooth use voice activated dialing and audibly announce the name of the incoming caller. The caller ID is displayed on bottom corner of the rearview mirror to keep the driver’s eyes on the road. For further safety, when backing out in reverse, the parking sensors relay a beeping signal to alert the driver of an approaching object.

We also carry Bluetooth hands-free kits which can integrate with factory OEM stereos. With the use of Parrot and EGO by Funkwerk Bluetooth kits and Parrot or PAC factory integration harnesses, you can participate in wireless conversations through your vehicle’s stereo system and auto-mute the music or radio station while the conversation takes place. The caller’s voice is played over your car’s speakers allowing you to communicate as if on a speaker-phone. Using Bluetooth to take part in conversations over the car speakers gives you a factory integrated feel without having to replace or significantly modify the dash.

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How to Install Bluetooth in your Car

Bluetooth Can be Added to Any Vehicle in a Variety of Ways

In most states, talking on the phone while driving is against the law. It’s also dangerous. This is why many drivers are installing Bluetooth products, which use voice activation technology for hands-free communication. Read more to learn how to install Bluetooth technology into your car for a safer and more convenient drive.

The easiest way to install Bluetooth in your car is to install a portable, stand-alone device. One option is to install a rearview mirror with built-in Bluetooth. Rear-view mirror devices display the caller ID on bottom corner of the rearview mirror. This allows the driver to keep his eyes on the road when answering the phone. To install it, clamp the rearview mirror Bluetooth device onto your existing rearview mirror. Note that you can easily transfer it by unclamping the frame. Rear-view mirror Bluetooth devices are typically powered by the cigarette lighter, though some are battery operated.

To install a sun-visor Bluetooth kit, all you need to do is pick a spot on the console to mount the stand alone speaker. Ussually it will come with an adhesive or velcro for mounting purposes. After that, you need to clip the microphone to the sun-visor. The microphone will have a clip for this purpose. Using any of these devices provides you with hands-free Bluetooth technology that can be easily transferred among your various vehicles.

For a more integrated Bluetooth system, install a Bluetooth integration kit, which are designed for your specific Bluetooth-ready stereo. Bluetooth-ready car stereos will provide you with full stereo controls of your cell phone, but you need to purchase and install a hideaway box and adapter. First use adhesive to mount the microphone anywhere on the dash or console area. You may also clip it to the sunvisor. After that you need to plug a wire harness into your stereo for the hideaway box. You will need to remove your stereo from the dash opening. Remove all screws and nuts holding the head unit in the dash, and slide of the head unit. You may need to use a flat head to carefully pry it out. Now you will plug in the Bluetooth integrated harness to connect the vehicle harness to the other wiring harnesses. Put the head unit back into the dash opening and replace any screws you removed.

In comparison to portable Bluetooth devices, integration systems are more complicated to install but it is worth it because they are far superior in terms of the added features. Your  car stereo will mute the music automatically when a call comes in, and you’ll be able to hear the caller through you car stereos. Given that the caller’s voice is played over your car’s speakers and the microphone enables you to respond, you are essentially communicating through a high quality speaker-phone. These systems look more factory-integrated than portable systems, and you only have to remove the head unit and connect a wire harness to add them. We carry Parrot and EGO by Funkwerk Bluetooth kits and Parrot or PAC factory integration harnesses.

The best option is to install a car stereo with built-in hands-free capability. Unlike a Bluetooth ready car stereo, you won’t need to install a hideaway adapter box. Installing a stereo with built-in Bluetooth hands-free capability gives you full control over your cell phone. When shopping for car stereos, look for stereos with built-in Bluetooth. With these models, you will install them into your dash opening and connect the wire harness and power wires just as you would a regular car stereo. After you tighten the screws, you will have Bluetooth in your car, compatible with any Bluetooth ready phone. With a Bluetooth integrated stereo, you can read the caller ID display on the stereo faceplate and control the volume of the call with your stereo controls. Some stereos also have integrated controls for answering calls. They may also allow you to use your stereo controls to scroll through your address book. Finally, if you install an in-dash DVD player with a built-in monitor, you can use touch-screen controls for dialing and selecting phone numbers in your address book. This is very convenient for locating phone numbers.

Bluetooth has quickly become a necessity for drivers due to recent laws and the sheer convenience of hands-free communication. Enjoy a safer driving experience and install Bluetooth into your car today!

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