MINI Bluetooth Kit Reviewed
Here's a review from 1st time contributor Dave Carroll about the highly anticipated official MINI Bluetooth Handsfree Kit:
I had the Bluetooth Handsfree Kit installed yesterday. It costs $450 plus installation labor. It took my dealer less than 2 hours to install it.
It works really well with my Sony Ericsson T610 and I'm very impressed with the voice quality and recognition capabilities. It takes a few seconds to set up once, and from then on it's totally automatic. The voice recognition is much more reliable than what's built-in to my phone.
It does seem to use the oval grille near the sunroof as its microphone. This is not a button, however. The activation button for the system is located on a separate control unit installed with the system.
Not only does it automatically connect and disconnect to my phone wirelessly, but also it automatically mutes and un-mutes the stereo when a call comes through or when you need to make a call. The woman's voice who guides you through the menu options is pretty typical of voice automated systems, but the voice control is extensive, including dialing numbers, using the built-in phonebook, even calling MINI roadside assistance.
I used to have a Bluetooth headset, but I found the sound quality to be poor (lots of echo) and I lost it. It fell out of my jacket pocket when reaching for a glove, I think.
I am disappointed with a few things about the MINI Bluetooth Handsfree kit though:
- It requires a separate control unit, which was mounted on the passenger side dash pillar. It's a small unit, but it does change the symmetry of the dashboard. I was expecting the extra un-used button on the multi-function steering wheel to be used instead.
- The night illumination of the separate control unit is GREEN not orange. That is very disappointing, and surprising that BMW did not insist that its vendors use the brand's strong orange illumination color.
- The indicator LED light is green. It should really be blue, to celebrate Bluetooth.
Perhaps this is the first model and MINI will address these complaints by, allowing the system to use all built-in parts (MFSW) for the user interface, and if not, fix the illumination colors so it really feels like a branded, official accessory. It's way too expensive to not be seamless both operationally and aesthetically. Now you know why MINI didn't put pictures of it in the most recent Accessories catalog!
Pictures are available in my resume photo gallery.
I should also disclose that I'm a Bluetooth fanatic, I use it all day, believe it or not. My phone connects to my 12 inch PowerBook G4 to control my instant messenger status, on-screen caller ID, text messaging, remote control access, you name it. Now that I've Bluetoothed my MINI, I have completed the wireless lifestyle.
Thanks Dave. As an avid Bluetooth user myself (SonyEricsson T616, Apple 15″ Powerbook, SE HBH-65) I've been interested to hear first hand accounts of MINI's new handsfree kit.
Written By: MF Staff
Sort by MINI model
- MINI’s New Identity and Brand Strategy is All About Minimalism
- 2016 MINI Clubman Detailed in Official Videos
- Woofcast #555: We Have a Petition for That
- MINI’s First Clubman Commercial is Out
- MINI Re-Brands & Re-Aligns its Strategy with an Eye On Car-Sharing
- The 2016 MINI Clubman – Just the Facts
- An Inside Look at the Design of the new MINI Clubman
- World Premier: The 2016 MINI Clubman
- 2016 MINI Clubman Photos Leaked on Facebook
- Is This the New AWD JCW Clubman?
MotoringFile on Instagram
- Deconstructing the BMW Concept Path 22
- Do You Need More than a 3 Series Diesel?
- BMW Team RLL – Sahlen’s Six Hour of the Glen Preview + The M6 GT3 Debuts
- New in the BF Garage: BMW G650 GS
- BMW Group Overall Winner at the Engine of the Year Awards 2015
- BMW E28 M5 Owner Featured by Petrolicious
- Video: BMW 7 Series Design and Driving Scenes
- BMW Rolls Out New 7 Series Ad Campaign
- Rumor: BMW in Advanced Stages of a Radical Return to Le Mans
- Worldwide BMW Sales Up 8% for May
- Recap: Amerivespa 2015 — Indianapolis, IN
- Scooter Vagabonding. Man Quits His Job, Rides Ruckus 30k Miles. (video)
- Change.org Petition Aims to Ban All Motorcycles In Hawaii
- Genuine Debuts New Buddy Color: Titanium Gloss
- Review: Vespa GTS 300 ABS by Just Gotta Scoot
- Ask SF: What’s the Best First Motorcycle for a Scooterist?
- Custom: The Hunter’s Honda Ruckus
- Review: 2015 Vespa GTS 300 Super ABS
- The EcoReco: We Want Your Questions
- Video: Four Friends, Three Vintage Vespas, One Epic Adventure
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F55: Five Door Hatch
F60: MINI Crossover
Advertise with MotoringFile
MotoringFile Buyers GuidesR50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range