Using a Belkin Bluetooth Car Hands-Free Kit with an iPhone 5

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I recently switched from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5 and as a result I now have access to Siri. I’ve seen others attempt to use Siri and until I upgraded my phone I didn’t have much of an interest in using it. However, after a week I realized that it is very useful in one situation: driving.

In order to use Siri while driving I would have had to touch the phone. Not only is it distracting and potentially dangerous, it’s also illegal in the state that I live in. Unfortunately, I do receive phone calls and text messages while driving so I decided to look into purchasing a hands-free kit to use with the phone.

After doing the typical research and reading reviews I decided to purchase a Belkin Bluetooth Car Hands-Free Kit (cost is about $50). It’s turned out to be more practical than I realized. The device easily connects to the iPhone 5 (when Bluetooth is enabled, of course). It has a large button that mounts easily, which is used to play and pause music, activate Siri, or answer phone calls and plugs directly into the accessory power port under my A/C controls.

Siri itself isn’t perfect, of course. It does misinterpret speech every now and then. Most importantly, the darn thing keeps locking my phone. This is rather annoying because though I may have my phone unlocked when I start driving the first time that I ask Siri to do something it will lock the screen when it’s finished. This is a bit of an issue because there are some things Siri won’t do unless the screen is unlocked. It would be helpful if I could disable Siri’s ability to automatically lock my phone.

When playing music over the Bluetooth connection into my Aux input it sounds great. Oddly enough, phone conversations and Siri’s voice do not sound quite as good.

This isn’t a device problem but unfortunately my 2008 Impala continues to provide accessory power when the vehicle is shut off so in order to avoid risking a dead battery I unplug the kit every time I shut off the car.

Updated 10/28/2013: My kit is still working great though my wife has had some issues with hers that I need to look into. I enjoy using it for phone calls, listening to music, and for GPS navigation but Siri is rarely used due to its clumsiness.

In addition, I’ve forgotten to unplug the kit a couple of times and upon re-entering the vehicle I noticed it had turned off. I’m uncertain whether or not this is a feature of the device itself or if my car simply stopped providing power to the accessories (I know it doesn’t kill power as soon as the car is turned off or the key removed from the ignition).

Updated 07/06/2014: I’ve begun to have problems with the wired audio connection, which sometimes breaks up and once in a while I noticed a bit of interference. I suspect it’s a problem with the audio connection cable. It’s not a constant problem, but it’s begging to become a more frequent issue.

4 thoughts on “Using a Belkin Bluetooth Car Hands-Free Kit with an iPhone 5

  1. Eric

    I have had two of these. First one quit working completely, but it lasted a while, so I bought another.
    I mainly use it for phone calls and streaming music. Siri doesn’t understand everything I ask, but the belkin and Siri do well enough for my needs in the car.

    • Thanks for the comment. Mine is starting to suffer from some issues but when it was new it worked well. My wife says she can’t hear me as well when I call her using it but nobody else has complained yet though I have had similar issues with Siri. If I continue to have issues I may replace it with something different but for now it still works OK most of the time.

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