• SumoMe

Kinivo BTC450 BluetoothYes, I’m aware that the image is upside-down; actually, it’s right-side up…or that’s how it actually looks. The Kinivo BTC450 is my first real foray into the bluetooth-in-your-car world, because I live in Texas where we value freedoms to talk on the phone while we drive and read the newspaper in traffic. Get on our level, America. All joking aside, people who talk on their phones and drive are a known hazard, especially when you’re in the city. The Kinivo BTC450 was my first attempt at doing two things: using a hands-free phone, and playing my music via bluetooth.

The unit itself is very small, and has basically one huge button and some forward and back buttons on the top (or bottom, as shown). The reason I have my unit upside-down is because I have a charger and auxiliary jack in my arm console, and this was the least-intrusive place to stick the unit. There’s a strong sticker thing that comes in the packaging (there are two, actually) so you can put it anywhere you want. This rules, because it should fit any car. The big button is essentially “stop” and “play,” as well as “answer” and…really anything else. When I first started testing this, I freaked out a few times because I didn’t know what to do, so I hit the big button and the unit did what I wanted. It’s magic, and I don’t question it.

When you get a phone call, you can hit the button and bam–you’re good to go. You car’s speakers will pick up the audio, and the microphone (shown in the top left) will take over for your phone’s microphone. Another reason I like the unit in this position as shown is that the microphone is at the top, rather than the bottom, which means it is theoretically clearer. I’m not sure if it actually makes a difference, but that’s how my mind works. The quality is pretty good, and I’ve never had someone ask, “Are you on speaker phone?” or “What is that noise?” Sometimes I’ll use it and not say, “Hey! You’re on my car phone! Huk huk!” Nobody seems to notice.

The real beauty of the Kinivo BTC450 is the bluetooth music feature. If there’s any reason to pick one of these up, this is it. The unit will default to your iTunes playlist, and play random songs if you just hit the button, or it will play an album throughout if you select the song in an album specifically. No idea what it does if you don’t have an iPhone, sorry y’all. But, not only that, it will skip, start, and stop songs on Pandora too: this rules so much. It basically knows what’s what, and doesn’t ask questions.

This is one of the most user-friendly gadgets I’ve come across in a while, and I appreciate its simplicity and promotion of safety. No longer do I have to swipe my phone on, punch in a code, and hit the next button on my phone. I just reach down, hit the next button on the unit, and it’s no more dangerous than switching a blinker on. If you’re a player in the bluetooth game, give it a shot with Kinivo BTC450. This thing is nuts.

Have you ever used the Kinivo BTC450? What are your thoughts on this unit, or on hands-free devices in general? Tell us in the comments.