Rockford Fosgate Bluetooth Adapter review: Simple car Bluetooth adapter does one job well

It is a compact solution, but its neatness in a car depends largely on where the power point and auxiliary port are located. In some cars, both are at the base of the console, making it easy to plug both in. However, if the power point is midway on the console and the aux port sits on the stereo faceplate, the cable will have to stretch between passenger and driver, and will likely get knocked out of place or interfere with the shifter.

Once I had the Bluetooth Adapter installed in a car, I turned on the ignition and saw the button at the end of the device flashing blue. Opening my iPhone's Bluetooth settings menu, I found the device labeled as RFBTAUX and selected it. When the Bluetooth pairing finished, music playing from my phone came out through the car's speakers. The quality sounded as good as any other Bluetooth connection I have heard.

Pairing the Bluetooth Adapter proved quick and problem-free. There is no PIN or other security feature, but then, it's not likely someone is going to pair a phone and follow you around, making you listen to their music.

When I got back into the car and turned the ignition, the Bluetooth Adapter paired with my phone again automatically, although the iPhone's music player was paused by default. Pushing the button toggled pause/play on the iPhone's music player.

Rockford Fosgate Bluetooth Adapter
Depending on the proximity of 12-volt power point to aux input, the Bluetooth Adapter may fit well. Wayne Cunniingham/CNET

While an easy way to retro-fit a car with Bluetooth streaming audio, the Rockford Fosgate Bluetooth Adapter lacks any other features. For example, there is no ability to skip songs from the device. Likewise, there are no features for hands-free phone use. As it has no microphone, it can't activate a paired phone's voice command feature.

Since most new cars come with Bluetooth hands-free phone systems and audio streaming, the Rockford Fosgate Bluetooth Adapter will be redundant in those. Cars from about 2002 and earlier rarely came with an auxiliary audio port, so the device won't work with those. However, for a set of cars built from about 2002 to 2010, the Bluetooth Adapter makes for a quick and cheap means of adding wireless music.

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