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Old 07-06-2008, 10:08 AM
vferrari vferrari is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Default Extolling the Virtues of Pilot's Bluetooth

Insignia Pilot's bluetooth is a feature that has basically transformed portable audio for me.

Wireless Headphones:

I have a pair of single wraparound wireless headphones (Motorola S9's) that have NO WIRES (not even wires to a so-called bluetooth pendant nor do I look like Princess Leia), are low profile (I can easily slip them into my pants pocket or backpack pouch), are weather proof, and have decent sound quality. I use these for casual listening in the subway, doing yardwork, or exercising and never have to worry about tangled cords or getting my earphone cords caught on something or breaking. Transport and volume controls reside right on the earpieces so my player can be placed anywhere convient and safe on my person. Another side benefit is that I am not repeatedly plugging and unplugging headphones into the headphone jack of the player, thus wearing out the jack/plug of the player and headphones over time.

There are, of course, drawbacks. Bluetooth audio fidelty limitations and the limited selection of quality bluetooth headsets keeps the audio from being the best it can be compared to a quality set of wired headphones, but I've found the audio quality to be very good. You can't share a pair of bluetooth headphones for private listening with a partner like you can with two wired headphones. Finally, bluetooth transmission does put a strain on the battery, with battery life at 3/4 to half of that which you would get using wired headphones, plus you have to periodically charge the headphones. Cost of bluetooth headphones is commensurate with the cost of medium quality headphones (i.e, $30 to $100).

In-car audio:

For car audio quality, I am a big believer in plugging your player directly into the aux jack of your car's sound system rather than the significantly degraded audio provided by most FM transmitters. However, since I take my diminutive Insignia Pilot player practically everywhere I go, its not practical to keep the player permanently plugged into the aux jack of my car's sound system nor is it wise to keep plugging and unplugging every time I enter and leave the car. Plus I have more flexibility to place the player where I want when its not tethered to the aux jack patch cord. Problem solved with bluetooth.

I have a simple $6 Insignia bluetooth ipod dock adapter that I connect to an ipod power/audio auto kit (about $20). The auto kit consists simply of a cigarette lighter adapter for power, an ipod dock connector (into which I have the insigna bluetooth receiver, and a wired 3.5 mm mini-adaptor stereo patch cord that I plug directly into the auxiliary input of my car sound system and into the aux connector on the auto adapter. Now whenever I enter the car, the player automatically pairs up with the bluetooth receiver which powers on as soon as I turn on the ignition. When I leave the car, turn off the ignition, everything powers down. If I leave the player in the car, it is automatically paused when the bluetooth receiver powers down and eventually shuts off based on the power saver settings (IOW I don't even have to shut off the player when I leave it in the car, it does it on its own when bluetooth disconnects). Since the player is small and is not physically "tethered" to the aux jack or bluetooth/ipod adaptor, I use it as its own "remote control" to skip to the next track or change the playlist and place it anywhere within convenient reach to me while in the car.

One minor drawback to this setup is that I need a separate power source/adapter if I want to charge the player while in the car.

Portable amplified bluetooth audio:

I use a simple, compact Insignia bluetooth enabled speaker set with "boombox"-like audio quality and volume (the ipod dock compatible bluetooth receiver I described above can also be used with an ipod dock/speaker system). This setup was a big hit at the holiday pool party this weekend. I could set the speakers up at a set location in the pool deck area and could carry my player with me around the pool deck like a virtual "remote" to control the content coming out of the loudspeakers. It was a big hit as I could change genre playlists on the fly or quickly fire up specific song requests at a moment's notice. Unobstructed range was about 30 to 50 ft.

Hope this provides some perspective on some of the potential advantages using Pilot's bluetooth feature and gives you ideas on how you might be able to exploit this feature for your listening/partying pleasure.

Disclaimer - I am not an Insignia or Best Buy shill - it just happens that Insignia has made two inexpensive ($6 and $60 respectively) and easily obtainable accessories (the ipod dock bluetooth adapter and insignia portable bluetooth speaker system) that happen to work well with the Pilot and in the applications/situations I described above. There are other similar non-Insignia branded accessories that should work just as well or better than the ones I described in these scenarios.
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