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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Review: Scosche motorMOUTH II Bluetooth

I was recently given a Scosche motorMOUTH II (model BTAXS)
bluetooth gadget to try out.*

The motorMOUTH II is an ingenious idea, one of those "why didn't they think of it sooner!" type things. It is basically a bluetooth headset combined with a stereo mini-jack. Instead of sticking it in your year (that would really hurt) you plut it into your car's aux input. It plays the audio from your phone call, or stereo audio via A2DP, through your car's sound system.

I have been using the gadget for a few days, and I think it is worth buying. If your phone rings, you just change your input to AUX, and press the button on the side to answer the call. You can also use the button hang up, redial, and voice dial (if your phone supports it). It isn't large or obtrusive, and while I didn't care for the shiny plastic microphone end, it isn't ugly. Since it can be plugged directly into a mini stereo jack, it can be installed without wires trailing all over.

Inbound sound quality is reasonably good. Streaming music from my iPod was decent, but not as good as a direct USB connection. I did find that the volume level was a little low, but I was able to compensate it on my head unit by increasing the gain on the AUX input. People I called on the unit told me that I sounded reasonably clear, but occasionally a little "robotic" or "tinny", which suggests that a high level of compression and noise cancellation is going on. My callers were able to understand me even with the car moving at highway speeds, and I didn't have to shout.

The design of this unit suggests an interesting unintended use. If you were to plug this unit into the input jack on your PC sound card, or another recording device, you could easily record telephone conversations, conference calls, or other audio streams that come through your bluetooth connection.

  • Reasonably good incoming audio and A2DP sound quality
  • Good battery life
  • Plugs into your AUX port directly
  • Easy to use (like a bluetooth headphone)
  • Useful accessories included, such as Y adapter, extension cable, dash mount
  • Compact

  • Unit resets when connected to power and drops bluetooth link temporarily.
  • Non-standard power connector, should be micro or mini USB
  • Outgoing sound quality mixed
  • You may need to increase your AUX volume
Overall, I think this is a great gadget, and I would buy one. It is more convenient than a stand-alone bluetooth speaker, or fumbling with an in-ear headset while in the car. And it is quite a bit cheaper, at around $70 (Amazon Link), than an add-on bluetooth module for your factory stereo, which will typically cost around $300.

You can find the PDF manual here.

*Note: a publicist for Scosche sent me a motorMOUTH II to review, I did not purchase this unit with my own money. But I would, because it is good.


vicky said...

wow sounds great.

Douglas Adams said...

At 70 dollars what a bargain.