We recently received a Kinivo BTC450 hands-free car kit to evaluate. Let’s start by unboxing it.
For those not in the know: The Kinivo BTC450 hands-free car kit is intended to give drivers of older vehicles the ability to use their phone like they would if their hooptie was instead a new car packed with the latest Bluetooth synchronization capabilities. The info on the side of the box says it uses Bluetooth V2.1+EDR on Bluetooth profiles including HSP, HFP, A2DP, and AVRCP. The unit supports SBC and apt-X audio codecs and can be operated from 10 meters away. That’s all fancy words to tell you the BTC450 should pretty much work with all the latest Bluetooth hardware, m’kay?
Fully unboxed, we see the whole picture: There’s a large, round, black button with the Kinivo logo on it. That’s the multifunction button that should be used to answer or end calls, if my experience with another Bluetooth hands-free car kit is anything to go by (more about that later.) The top edge of the button features track forward and backward buttons to aid in track selection whenlistening to Bluetooth audio files. The back of the button is a flat, recesed surface that perfectly accommodates one of the two sticky pads included in the set. The idea is to allow you to stick the button, which also contains the unit’s tiny microphone, wherever it will be most easily reached and where its mic can give the best sound pickup quality.
Tethered to the button by a thin wire is a cigarette lighter male plug and a 3.5 mm jack on a Y-tail configuration. The cigarette lighter plug is your power port, and also has a USB charge port on the back of its casing to allow for charging of your devices. The tiny jack is meant to plug into your car stereo’s AUX input hole. Kinivo was thoughtful enough to include what appears to be an extension cord for the plug, just in case you need another couple of feet of reach. With the number of cars whose AUX ports are located in the glove box or center console instead of on the head unit itself, that extension may very well come in handy.
Otherwise, the box contained no instruction book — there was only a simple explanation of how to set up the Kinivo BTC450. Once we get to test this unit in a car, we’ll see whether the experience leaves us wanting a dedicated instruction manual. In our next chapter: Installation and setup.
Disclosure: Kinivo sent us the BTC450 for testing purposes.