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iO Play In-Car Audio Streaming via Bluetooth



pocketgpsworld.comForum Moderator Mike Alder has written up an interesting review and installation summary of iOPlay.

This is a combined hands-free and audio streaming unit for Bluetooth devices but it has the additional benefit of being able to divert the audio instructions from compatible sat-navs to the head unit of your car audio system.

Mike has installed his unit and tested in use with a TomTom 940 with excellent results. Now music stored in MP3 format can be streamed over high quality Bluetooth and at the same time have the music interrupted by the audio navigation instructions from the device.

The unit uses ISO connectors to interface with your head-unit and is easy to install and best of all costs less than £100. Couple this with full hands-free support, a built-in audio amp and optional Bluetooth adapters for non-Bluetooth devices and its pretty much a perfect solution.

Read Mike's review and installation summary here:

 

Comments
Posted by AndyVaughan on Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:23 am Reply with quote

Excellent review Mike.

I can vouch that the hands free quality is very good - I couldn't tell you were on a hands free - no echoing or background noise.

Given that handsfree on the TT is flakey this provides a reasonably cheap alternative, along with the benefit of the A2DP support.

Is the audio quality through the iO Play any different from the audio quality streaming directly to the head unit?

What happens if you are streaming audio from the TT just for navigation instructions - does the iO Play switch back to the head unit output in between instructions (detects silence and then switches back)?

I see the iO play supports AVRCP - does this work with the TT? My head unit supports AVRCP but cannot control the TT. It works fine with my Nokia phone though.

Perhaps the author of the hififix can be persuaded to build AVRCP support in seeing as TT don't seem to be bothered that it doesn't work.

Were did you find it for £70 - I can only seem to find it for about £80?

Andy


Andy
TomTom for Android on a HTC One X
CamerAlert for Android

 
Posted by mikealder on Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:54 am Reply with quote

AndyVaughan Wrote:
Is the audio quality through the iO Play any different from the audio quality streaming directly to the head unit?

The quality is just as good as when playing through the bluetooth car deck, what is better though is the volume - its much louder, I used to hit 100% volume with audio from the TT, with the iO Pay I don't need it anywhere 100% and it hurts the ears! The device uses its own 60W amplifier that is supplied with the kit.

AndyVaughan Wrote:
What happens if you are streaming audio from the TT just for navigation instructions - does the iO Play switch back to the head unit output in between instructions (detects silence and then switches back)?

If you use it for just thew Nav Instructions thats all you will get, nav instructions followed by silence no hiss or back ground noise.

AndyVaughan Wrote:
I see the iO play supports AVRCP - does this work with the TT? My head unit supports AVRCP but cannot control the TT. It works fine with my Nokia phone though.

The TT doesn't support AVRCP AFAIK so its small wonder it doesn't work, the iO Play can control the iPhone and one of my other phones for volume and next track/ previous track etc.

AndyVaughan Wrote:
Were did you find it for £70 - I can only seem to find it for about £80?

It doesn't take too long to find it even cheaper than I paid for it Crying or Very sad - try This for example - Mike


 
Posted by mikealder on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:22 am Reply with quote

mikealder Wrote:
AndyVaughan Wrote:
What happens if you are streaming audio from the TT just for navigation instructions - does the iO Play switch back to the head unit output in between instructions (detects silence and then switches back)?

If you use it for just thew Nav Instructions thats all you will get, nav instructions followed by silence no hiss or back ground noise.


Sorry Andy my bad Embarassed if I had turned the car radio volume up from 0% I would have heard the radio sound kick back in after the device has issued a navigation instruction, having just tried this again with the radio turned up it does indeed allow you to listen to the radio and get spoken alerts/ instructions via Bluetooth through the car speakers. Receive or make a phone call and the phone audio takes over the output so you hear no nav instructions - Mike


 
Posted by Darren on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:30 am Reply with quote

And that final snippet is enough justification for me to go grab one of these babys!


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by AndyVaughan on Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:07 am Reply with quote

That is useful - the ability to have Nav instructions via the stereo that interrupt the music.

Very tempted as need a decent hands free setup and the TT doesn't cut the mustard.

Andy


Andy
TomTom for Android on a HTC One X
CamerAlert for Android

 
Posted by PaulB2005 on Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:19 am Reply with quote

So do i have this correct? With one of these i could

- Have all my calls hands-free through the car speakers with or without my TT 740 on?
- Have the instructions from the TT 740 played through the speakers interrupting the radio or CD i am listening to?
- If i get a "proper" iPod (only have Shuffle at the minute) and i connect the iPod to the TT 740 via the Active Dock (radio has no AUX) i can play the iPod over the car speakers via the TT, control it via the TT and have the voice instruction over the car speakers interrupting the iPod AND have Hands-free calls too?

All for ~£60 (not inc any necessary ISO cables and iPod cables?)

Shocked


 
Posted by mikealder on Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:33 pm Reply with quote

PaulB2005 Wrote:
Have all my calls hands-free through the car speakers with or without my TT 740 on?


Yes, the device works with the phone and doesn't need the TomTom for handsfree work.

PaulB2005 Wrote:
Have the instructions from the TT 740 played through the speakers interrupting the radio or CD i am listening to?


Yes, this is exactly how it works, when the nav instruction ends there is a two or three second pause before the device releases control back to the car stereo.

PaulB2005 Wrote:
If i get a "proper" iPod (only have Shuffle at the minute) and i connect the iPod to the TT 740 via the Active Dock (radio has no AUX) i can play the iPod over the car speakers via the TT, control it via the TT and have the voice instruction over the car speakers interrupting the iPod AND have Hands-free calls too?


Having just been out to try this I think I might have found a bug in the TT, if you connect the iPOD to the omTom and stream music to the iO Play unit you get the music from the iPOD through the car deck, the sound is then interupted for the nav instructions but after the two second pause it switches back to the radio Crying or Very sad - I will have to ask TT about this as I would have expected the unit to continue with iPOD audio out via Bluetooth but it doesn't.
There are other iPOD accessorys you can get to let them stream A2DP music directly to the iO Play without needing the special lead and TomTom in the loop - Mike


 
Posted by PaulB2005 on Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:44 pm Reply with quote

Grrrr.... Well i can forget the iPod for now but the phone and TT through the speakers has sold me.....


 
Posted by AndyVaughan on Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:32 pm Reply with quote

You talked me in to it Mike - just ordered one from ebay for £70 inc the ipod BT adapter.

The fact that I can still play mp3's etc through the stereo via usb and then have the nav instructions interrupt sold it for me! - plus I need a good quality hands free with a remote mic.

Andy


Andy
TomTom for Android on a HTC One X
CamerAlert for Android

 
Posted by MaFt on Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:45 pm Reply with quote

AndyVaughan Wrote:
You talked me in to it Mike - just ordered one from ebay for £70 inc the ipod BT adapter


any links? i'm liking the sound of this, particularly when used with a BT ipod adaptor...!

few more questions though...:

how many devices can connect to it at any one time? eg my phone, my ipod (via bluetooth adaptor mentioned above) AND tomtom 520? is it possible to choose priority of devices?

i would mainly use it for the ipod and handsfree on phone as i don't always use the tomtom.

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by PaulB2005 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:08 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
how many devices can connect to it at any one time? eg my phone, my iPod (via bluetooth adaptor mentioned above) AND TomTom 520?


5

Quote:
is it possible to choose priority of devices?


From looking at the way it works i can't see you need to. The phone will override everything, the mp3 player will override your stereo (although you can manually switch between the 2) and the TomTom will kick in when it needs to...

Anyone know any reputable online retailers stocking this at a decent price ~£80 that is not eBay?

I've also noticed a lot of online retailers are stating it comes with the BT Dongle for the iPod / iPhone. However many reviews show it doesn't come this and it is a separate item.


 
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