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Konrad C

Bluetooth USB adapters

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I have two bluetooth/usb car adapters one LaPower, the other APPS2CAR. They do a similar job, but operate quite differently on many aspects. They have their good and bad points. 
The following photo shows the two units side by side. They were tested on my Mk3 Avensis with W53828 stereo fitted.  P1120384.thumb.JPG.92e20150b7dbb5203611980d2cd667f0.JPG

I will start with the LaPower unit first and say that my example works well playing from USB memory sticks (upto 32GB size). The stereo display on shows cd volumes up to 6 folders, and 99 tracks per folder. Unfortunately there are no track and artist info, just track number. Response to changing tracks is good. The audio level matches the other sources and the quality is very good. The bluetooth audio streaming is poor by comparison. The sound volume is lower and in mono! Yes the sound is dull and sound stage compressed. Turning up the volume on my phone helped a little with the overall volume, though still lower than other sources. The steering controls change the tracks, but the display on show CD99 or similar. Phone calls are also a bit quiet, so you have to turn up the volume to hear the caller. After a call, you need to turn the volume down or be blasted by the much louder sources. The one good thing about the LaPower bluetooth is that calls can be answered regardless of the source you are using - radio/cd/mp3/stereo off. 

Next the APPS2 adapter. This unit plays the USB memory stick, but with some minor issues. The display does not even show the correct folder number like the LaPower unit. Also the initial response to changing tracks is slow though it seemed to improve after a few minutes. The APPS2 comes with a little wired remote to answer calls and chang tracks. If the wired control is plugged into the unit, the steering controls are disabled. The response is similar to the steering controls. bluetooth streaming works very well, being loud, clear, in stereo and easily matches the volume of other sources. Track changing works well too. Phone call volume is also very good. This unit has one big weakness - if other sources on the stereo like the radio or CD and when not the adapter is not in use, you cannot receive bluetooth calls. Effectively the adapter is switched off, unlike the LaPower which would receive the call regardless of the source in use. 

One feature that really surprised me about the APPS2 adapter is that it actually streams directions if you are using Google maps. It cuts in promptly then cuts back to the music on the adapter - it won't work with the radio or cd, you must be using the adapter! What ever bluetooth chip and protocols the APPS2 is using it suits android well. My Samsung nav commands don't work with my car internal bluetooth like my Nokia 625 does. 

My overall summary is that the LaPower great for USB memory stick playback and taking occasional calls (volume turned up), but terrible for streaming music via bluetooth. The APPS2 USB playback is okay but seems sluggish at first to track changes. bluetooth streaming is very good, and works with Samsung nav commands. Handsfree call is fine so long as the unit is on and in use! 

I would recommend the LaPower for it's USB streaming and the APPS2 adapter for it's bluetooth capabilities. Both are not perfect but will suit a particular user.    

    

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Update.

I have now installed a new Blue/USB/AUX interface from WEFA via Ebay - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Music-Streaming-Bluetooth-Telephone-Toyota-Avensis-Charger-2xUSB-AUX-SD-Module-6/132989857232?hash=item1ef6d02dd0:g:tDwAAOSwo8Nci6Mf

This unit works well out of the box and I would recommend it for those who don't have music streaming via bluetooth, as well as USB. 
It was well presented in a white box with Wefa logo. 20190620_112109.thumb.jpg.9f4dea58b6c4bd94e2d6f8ee17aec057.jpg 20190620_112130.thumb.jpg.7b7c54d3d5be4cc16def01e36c616055.jpg

The unit has two USB sockets, one is only for charging. 20190620_112301.thumb.jpg.53dc8e0536c5d8548ea2c29301e578b4.jpg

The contents include an adapter for memory cards.  20190620_112357.thumb.jpg.e81c0b95afe2a803ded0ec773af16302.jpg

Here is a size comparison between the adapters. 20190620_112642.thumb.jpg.0a20c6f14db5111e1d3bee97d35dffd6.jpg20190620_120205.thumb.jpg.a9b33f521082b4fd1f9ae5b13ffaf652.jpg  

The Apps2car interface performed the worst compared to the LaPower and Wefa units. It comes with a wired remote to control track changes and answer phone. Response to commands are very sluggish, and music via the USB seemed slightly muted. It seems to struggle playing tracks and the display seemed garbled. The bluetooth was a little better, but again commands to change tracks was slow. The worst problem with the Apps2car unit is that it must be in use to respond to phone calls. That means switching sources to answer a call, if at all. The other units work regardless of the source - CD, radio, Aux, you can take a call. This unit doesn't integrate as well as the other two, especially the need of the wired remote control.

Next the LaPower which I got first. Great interface with the car stereo and responds instantly to track changes via steering controls. Also can answer and reject/end calls via the steering track controls. It's weaken was the bluetooth audio which was muted compared to the USB, and the volume had to be turned up to hear the caller. Worst the music was in mono. If the bluetooth volume had been higher and the music in stereo, the LaPower would have been perfect. music via my USB memory stick sounds good by comparison. Maybe I had a defective model! 

Finally the Wefa. This unit ticks all the boxes - very responsive, works with the steering control, good bluetooth sound (in stereo), good USB playback and a spare USB for charging. The bluetooth seems to be more enhanced, even the Google assistant responds to commands! The Wefa is well integrated with the car.

I definitely recommend Wefa for those who want to upgrade their audio just by simply plugging into the CD changer port, and not have to change the whole stereo.    

 

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I take it haven't tried the Dension Gateway Lite BT?

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On 6/29/2019 at 2:00 PM, @lpher said:

I take it haven't tried the Dension Gateway Lite BT?

I know all about the Dension Gateway systems. They are good but some may consider pricey. The cheapest is a lot more what I paid for the Wefa, and I get the same functions plus a second USB for charging! It depends where you are buying from - Dension actually sell the Lite BT for £104, which is the cheapest.

With more BT and USB coming as standard these days, there will be less demand for these adapters. Still glad they are available than fit a new ICE.

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you could buy a Pure Highway 600 for £75 last week  - that would add DAB as well as bluetooth quite simply.

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Hi does anyone know if Wefa adapter reviewed by KonradC, would work on B9010 sat nav unit?

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Hi does anyone know if Wefa adapter reviewed by KonradC, would work on B9010 sat nav unit?

 

never mind. Ordered it and tried it myself. It does work with B9010. 

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