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ARCHIE ADAMSEditor-in-Chief of the Handy Home Master
Today, we are checking out iMars BC30 Bluetooth FM transmitter for your car to connect to your smartphone over Bluetooth and stream your music and voice calls over FM radio frequencies to your radio. So you don’t have to wire anything if you don’t have a Bluetooth in your car or an auxiliary port to connect your phone to it.
Ease of Installation and Setup
The installation is very easy. You have a nice little mouth that you need to stick into your air vent, then take the device and place it over the little mouth. It pops right into place because it’s magnetic so when it’s in the right position you’ll know for sure. It holds very firmly and now the other end of the wire goes to your 12-volt socket. To keep the interior aesthetic just guide the cable to follow the outlines of your car stereo. I have wired mine a little bit better, so there’s no wire lying around, maybe just a little bit around my car stereo. I could do this without the waterfall console and guide the cable under it, but I want to stay portable so if I want to take it out from my car I can still do it. It has two USB ports so you don’t have to compromise between using the transmitter and charging your phone. In fact, you have a separate port for another device if you need to charge as many devices at the same time. After setting the device up, I turned on the ignition, and on the display screen, I can check the frequency that the transmitter is set to. Mine showed an 87.7, so I set the radio to this frequency. 87.7. And then I connected the phone to the Bluetooth transmitter. You will know if you’re already connected if the transmitter makes a beep.
To check if it works I wanted to play something from Spotify. Believe me that it does play the music. Music is here. And when I press the play button, I can hear it in the car’s speakers. This device is the default sound card (let’s say it is a sound card) for the phone, so all the sounds are going through Bluetooth. You can watch YouTube videos, you can stream other video services over it, and you can use your navigation, and use voice guidance. All that using your car’s stereo without the need to wire anything. Everything is wireless, you are streaming over the Bluetooth to the device and the device is streaming to your radio over FM frequencies.
But when you are driving and you don’t want to reach for your phone, you have this device in front of you. It can be closer to your reach than your smartphone. And it has some buttons over on the side, so let’s check how to control your phone using the device. We have this wheel in the middle of it which you can use to adjust the volume: turn up the volume or turn down the volume. And when you press the wheel, you can pause and play your music and answer your calls, and also end the calls. On the side, there are two more buttons that you can use to browse through your audio library. So when you press the lower button you go to the next track and with the upper one you go to the previous one. As of now, I am using the 87.7 frequency but if you press and hold on one of those buttons, you can change the frequency to find something that is more available and noise-free.
As I said, this can also be used as your hands-free kit. That is why there’s a little hole near the wheel. There’s a microphone inside it. It’s best to place this device close to your head, so when you are speaking the mic can pick up your speech.
Micro SD Slot
There’s also a micro SD card port on the side, so we can stick a memory card inside with mp3 files and play them through the device and not from our phone. I have a memory card inside it, and I’m still connected to my phone. When I press and hold the wheel button, we can hear that the device just switched to the memory card. We can adjust the volume, change tracks, and when we want we can pause and play the tracks.
Let’s go back to Bluetooth because there is one more thing that we need to check. I have my iPhone connected over Bluetooth so let’s check if I can use my voice assistant over this transmitter. Hey Siri! What’s the time right now in Sydney, Australia? In Sydney, Australia, it is 22:24. Hey Siri! I want to go home. Getting directions to home. Some functions, of course, require my finger on the finger scanner of my phone because my home location is secured by touch ID. But all the other actions that you are used to using with your voice assistant are available without any problem.
Overall, I do recommend this device. The quality is very good and I have to say that it is the first Bluetooth FM transmitter that I actually liked and enjoyed. The signal strength is very high. I had compared it to other devices and to a regular radio station nearby using the BMW radio hidden menu which shows you the signal strength. And this device when connected to your car is stronger (the signal is stronger) than my nearby radio stations. And there is no buzzing or humming when there’s no audio playing through and you have your speakers turned up high. So there’s no buzzing from the power source or any other interference that I do find sometimes in other transmitters. Also, check my other tutorials and reviews.