==Phillips Bluetooth/USB Car Stereo==
I had been using my AM/FM in car scanner to connect my iphone to the stereo unit in my car for sometime. This worked well for the most part and although a little fiddly I certainly got my monies worth with £30 I paid for it. However It began to play up as it was attached via the charge port to the iphone and in the end it managed to damage said port and I had to get this replaced in order to charge my phone. I wasn't happy as this cost me £40 and I wasn't able to use the scanner again either as it was sure to damage my newly replaced port. So with the idea of not being able to connect up to my car stereo I decided to have a look in Halfords to see what they had that might be suitable.
My LOOK in Halfords was not to be and thee was a very good deal on at the time I went in to browse which is where this Phillips car stereo comes into my life.....
==Price and Availability==
So as I said, I purchased this car stereo from Halfords and it was on a very good offer. The RRP for this unit is £139.99p but I paid £79.99p. However I wanted it fitted then and there and another cable is needed for it to be installed so with all the extras and fitting of it I paid a few pence under the hundred pound mark which I still don't see as very expensive when thinking about buying a car stereo. I was initially looking at getting the model down from this which was around £20 cheaper and the only difference with this was that there was no blue tooth and you simply connected your iphone via the USB cable. The sales guy was great however and he swayed me to this model so I spent a little extra for a better all round product.
Although I spent near on £100 in Halfords for the stereo, extras and fitting I have to say that I was able to get a little bit of this money back by making sure that I was signed up to a cash back website that have Halfords down as one of their in store cash back partners. This may not have saved me a lot but it probably took the price of the cable off for me so this is also something I would suggest looking at before forking out a lot of money for an item such as this.
Having had a quick look online it would appear that the deal is still on in Halfords so whether it is going to be a long standing one or not I don't know but it would appear that this is the best price from this particular stereo that I personally can find. Of course if you know how to fit items such as these you are saving yourself some cash compared to me and when I watched the technician fit the stereo, it took less than 10 minutes and didn't look too hard a task.
==Look and Design==
Once the stereo had been fitted into my car it was like it was made for it and looked far superior to the one that had been removed. My car lights up with a red dash at night when the lights are on and this stereo mirrors that as it has a red glowing front panel and the buttons are illuminated red also. The panel has not too many buttons or knobs and I feel has quite a sleek look to it. It is not overly confusing which is handy as generally I am easily confused!
One thing that you won't see on this stereo in an area to put CDs as this is something that this product is lacking in. Yes you can listen to the radio and yes you can attach an Mp3 player or your iphone but listen to CDs you cannot. For me this is not a big issue and of course was something I was well aware of when purchasing this item. I feel that this is probably why the front of the product looks less fussy and has a simple overall design.
It does seem to attract the dust as I am forever cleaning it with the microfibre cloth we have in the car. However it may just be the case that our car is pretty dusty anyway! You need to make sure that the display is kept clean otherwise it is hard to see what is being shown on the screen especially in the day light as I feel the display is not very clear at all.
The Phillips stereo, once installed by the men that know, was up and ready to go as soon as I got back in my car. I was able to attach my iphone to the bluetooth system easily and very quickly. Turning the bluetooth on my iphone and then selecting the "bluetooth port" on the stereo I was able to pair the devices and save them so that now every time my bluetooth on my iphone is on and I get in the car they will automatically find each other! It is worth taking note that this will drain the battery of your iphone very quickly and I will often plug it in to charge through the USB port at the same time but keep the connection bluetooth as this works easier for changing tracks.
Not only are you able to play your music through this stereo when the bluetooth is linked up to your iphone but when you want to make a call or receive a call the phone will use the car speakers as your phone and the person who is calling will be coming to you loud and clear through your speakers! So cleaver and in my opinion the best hands free you can get! You will have to buy a separate holder for your phone to go in and these can vary in price depending on what you get. Or like me you may well be able to flutter your eyelashes at the sales guy and get him to give you one for free. Some car stereos now have these holders built into them but unfortunately this is not one of them.
So as far as connectivity goes there is not just the bluetooth or the front USB option, as there is also another USB cable which is located in my glove box and named as the "rear USB" on the stereo when choosing your port with which to listen too. This makes it a lot easier when I want to control the music and I'm the front passenger as I can link up and still have a nice amount of power cable, charging my phone at the same time. Having all these options is a really great thing although to be fair I have probably used the rear USB port only a mere handful of times.
The radio that this stereo has is very good and it will automatically tune in the stations for you and then you can have up to a selection of 8 pre-tuned stations stored by using the buttons on the front panel. It is a little bit of radio wars with me and my other half whereby I like to listen to modern music and always have Capital tuned in whereas he loves to have the local station on to get the old tunes mixed it. Suffice to say that Capital is on a lot more than the local station!
The sound quality on the stereo is very good too and a vast improvement on the previous car manufactures one system that we had in there before hand. It is strange but I wouldn't have thought that the sound would have changed as I assumed that this would all be down to what sort of speakers that you have in the car but apparently not. This Phillips stereo does actually have four built in 50 watt amplifiers which of course aid with the quality and clarity of the sound. My favourite button on the front panel of the device is the "Max Sound" button which just makes the bass a whole lot more noticeable. Of course this isn't ideal when the kids are in the back as I have often seen their chubby cheeks shaking with the baseline if I have this up and I was surprised at how well the speakers of my car could handle the louder volume and heavier bass. Being able to turn the volume up and down with this button as well as the sturdy twist dial on the front is a real bonus and the range of volume with each is very good. As far as the clarity of the sound in general goes I am really impressed by this stereo and the range with which you can get.
I am not the most technical of people and unfortunately I cannot write about the stereo in a jargon filled review like a am sure some people could which is why for all that stuff it would probably be best to look on line at the Phillips website to get all the list of dill specifications that you might be interested in. Here however are just a few that came from the box of the stereo:
Made especially for ipod/iphone
Front USB Port
Compatible with iPhone 3, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iphone 5
18 pre-set FM stations
I think that all in all I got myself a very good item the day that I went to window shop car stereos. My view on this Phillips product is that the price was very reasonable, especially considering what you get for that cost and that it works well and looks good in the process. I haven't missed not having a CD player in the car and neither has my partner as we both have iPhones which we link up and most of our music is stored that way any how. The only time there was a little bit of disappointment was when we took the boys on a recent trip to Longleat safari park and on arrival they give you a CD of Steve Bracknall from Deadly Sixty to pop in your CD player and play as you are driving round the park. Of course we weren't able to play this so there was a bit of moaning until Daddy did his own talk in the voice of Steve Bracknall ( not very well) but this got the laughs.
I would say that if you are thinking of investing in a stereo for your car which allows you to link up and use it for a charger, a hands free kit and a music player then this really is the stereo for you. We have had it around 6 months now and I haven't had a single problem with it at all. I found it simple to use and from the get go have worked out how to choose different sound options and select the options from the ease to figure out menu which is shown on the display. It really couldn't be easier to get top quality sound.
I am more than happy to give this Phillips bluetooth car stereo a top score of 5 out of 5 stars and I would certainly give it the highest recommendation to any that asks and even those that didn't!
If you would like more information or to find a stockist located near you please take a look at the Phillips website which can be found here:
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.