Back when I was 17, and passed my test, I got a Fiat Seicento. Not the greatest start to my motoring life, but certainly one of the most affordable. One of the first things I did was swap out the standard Fiat radio with this (the old one had a cassette player, for goodness sake!)
After discussion with my dad, I decided to get one with Bluetooth phone capability, as Dad said he could almost guarantee I would be pulled over for using my phone behind the wheel otherwise. I never did, so that just shows his complete lack of faith.
First up, the install is fairly easy, even my sister can do it without any assistance. Then you'll notice, even with the standard speakers still installed, that the sound quality is improved compared to the factory fitted head unit. The CD player, FM/AM radio, and aux all work perfectly as you would expect them to. Controls are very easy to use. I later added some custom speakers to my car (kind of got shiny shiny syndrome when Dad ordered his Audi with a Bose system), and then spent about an hour sat on the drive, making adjustments to the fade (can fade left to right and front to back if you want, I tended to keep the sound slightly focused to the back as there were bigger, more powerful speakers back there), bass and treble. It wasn't nearly as good as the Audi's Bose system, but at 20% of the cost this wasn't surprising. In general I'd say it was impressive.
Now, the main reason I bought this; the handsfree phone. Thing you have to remember is, the mic is actually behind the fascia of the head unit. In most cars this isn't a problem; but in the Seicento, the head unit is much further down the centre console, near the gearstick. So people had difficulty hearing me, but after replacing the Seicento with a Panda, people could hear me better as the head unit was placed much further up, so this is not a fault of the head unit. Incoming voice quality is fairly good, but it will depend on your car's speakers. Overall, it's a fairly good solution; not one to rival the factory installed options on newer cars mind, but on older cars without it, then it's a much more elegant solution than others, some of which require mics and speakers to be placed on your dash or sun visors.
Now the party piece. If you have a phone that supports a later version of Bluetooth with A2DP, you can play music on your phone, and it'll come through the car. Like all Bluetooth based wireless speaker systems, you do lose some sound quality, but in cars which have a lot more wind noise, like my Fiats both did, it's not too noticeable.
In short then, if you want a Bluetooth handsfree option, but your car doesn't have one, then get this, it could just save you that £60 fine and 3 penalty points.
I bought this stereo out of Halfords. This is an outstanding stereo with lots of worthwhile features.
With the intention of replacing my current stereo, I wanted to buy one that had bluetooth connectivity because I had been pulled over before for using the phone whilst at the wheel. I had learned my lesson and paid the fine. I was not going to fall dumb a second time. Not only did this stereo solve that problem by having a hands free system built in, it was also able to playback my mp3 tracks from my phone. Something I didn't know it could do until the sales person told me so.
Not only that, it also has a front auxiliary to attach your Ipod allowing playback of your music through the car's speakers. Like all other stereos it has a CD player and radio, which has perfect reception. You can get all the major radio stations and local ones as well. You can receive stations on FM, MW and LW. There are over 25 presets to store your favourite stations.
The whole unit is very easy to use with most functions just one or two buttons that require to be pressed. In the dark the buttons light up and the screen can be seen very clearly even in the back seat. Setting your phone up through bluetooth is simple as long as you follow the instructions in the manual. It also comes along with a remote control for the users in the back seat.
The sound quality is excellent with different levels of bass and tremble adjustable through the stereo. The calls coming through are also very clear and the built in microphone picks up every word you say. This is a very good product and I think cheap. Altogether including fitting cost me a total of £140 which im sure will be worth its while in saved fines and of course road user's lives.
One thing it lacked was a USB port but it was not a deal breaker.
The Sony MEX-BT2600 AM/FM/CD receiver with wireless Bluetooth technology provides hands-free solutions and improved audio streaming functionality at an affordable price. Easily paired with compatible Bluetooth-enabled cell phones, the integrated microphone behind the faceplate eliminates the need for additional wiring, so the installation process is as quick and easy as an ordinary car stereo. With one preout, this receiver is satellite- and HD Radio-ready.
For drivers who carry their music libraries on Bluetooth-enabled digital music players, the MEX-BT2600 head unit can be used with the Bluetooth-enabled adapter made for iPod (model TMR-BT8iP) and works with an iPod player to play music back wirelessly. Using Bluetooth technology, it is easy to play, pause, skip, fast-forward or back-up songs directly from the receiver. Album, artist and track information appears on the display through the wireless connection.