Niall HamptonSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Technology on tour’ written by Niall Hampton
IF YOUR CAR dashboard is draped in cables that connect various devices to the stereo, then the Scosche MotorMouth II is a little gadget that will cut down on at least some of them.
In essence, the MotorMouth II is a hands-free Bluetooth headset, but instead of plugging into your ear, it plugs into the 3.5mm audio-in socket found on most relatively recent car stereo head units. The connection between smartphone and stereo can then be made wirelessly, as long as the smartphone supports the Bluetooth A2DP standard for stereo transmission – Android, BlackBerry and iPhone/iPod Touch devices all do.
The MotorMouth II takes the form of a small plastic dongle about the size of your thumb, with a 3.5mm connector at one end and a noise-cancelling microphone at the other. This means that the gadget can also be used to make telephone calls through the car stereo — a smartphone will pause music playback when a call comes in, making this a convenient and relatively safe solution for hands-free use.
Also in the box is a 3.5mm socket splitter for connecting two devices to a stereo head unit — if you use a separate phone and MP3 player, for example. There’s also an extension cable for mounting the MotorMouth II is a more convenient position for microphone use if the head unit’s 3.5mm socket is tucked away, but this starts to defeat the object of a wireless system like this.
Five-hour battery life
It’s a similar story with the cigarette lighter adapter used to charge the MotorMouth II’s battery, but with a five-hour active-use battery life and 150-hour standby time, you should only need to use this on the longest car journeys. A separate mains charger isn’t supplied, but the MotorMouth II can be charged from a computer’s USB port in a couple of hours.
Setting up the MotorMouth II only takes a couple of seconds and with a Bluetooth connection established, a smartphone will play music over the wireless connection automatically. Sound quality is good too, although this does depend to an extent on the smartphone’s implementation of the Bluetooth A2DP standard — some versions sound better than others. We had no problems with the iPhone 3GS used for our tests, though.
At around £62 online, the MotorMouth II costs about £60 more than a simple cable connection, but it’s a neat option to cut down on cable clutter.