Those miserable days when people had to actually watch commercials or even worse, not only remember to set the timer on a VCR, but actually figure out how to successfully record a television program have ended with the popularity of a Digital Video Recorder, also known as the DVR. Those without a DVR don’t know how amazing it is to have the ability to pause a live show for a bathroom break or have an entire season of a series recorded with one click.
Having Bluetooth integration in a vehicle is one of those conveniences many people rely on regularly once they start using it. Imagine a world where you don’t have to power up a headset and place it in your ear every time you get in the truck. It’s a magical kingdom where you can crank up the music and when a call comes in, automatically have the sound muted then look to the factory radio display to view incoming call information. Answering or rejecting calls is as easy as changing the radio station. And no more struggling to hear who is on the other line as the call plays through the factory speakers while a noise-canceling microphone stuck to the windshield makes phone calls feel more like a conversation.
Receiving and placing phone calls is the extent of Bluetooth use for a lot of people. Although A2DP sounds like a fictional Sci-Fi robot, it is actually a Bluetooth profile that allows streaming stereo audio. Blackberry, iPhone or Android, once a phone is linked it can use the factory sound system to do things like play Pandora or songs stored on the phone without needing to attach any plugs. As great as Bluetooth integration sounds, unless the option was offered and installed by the factory, retrofitting a stock system is an option albeit an expensive one. Or you can have factory-performing hands-free calling with the ability to stream A2DP stereo for less than $250 with the BlueFusion from Scosche.
Available for select Dodge, GM and Ford radios, BlueFusion uses the factory buttons along with the OEM radio display to provide modernization in the convenience department. The only non-stock appearing item is the microphone, but the rest of the Scosche BlueFusion installation is stealth, giving would-be thieves one less reason to break into your vehicle. Because the 2500HD we modified is based out of California, installing the BlueFusion made sense given the state’s hands-free cell phone law. It also was about as plug-and-play an item as it gets with a start-to-finish time of 10 minutes including the time it took to pair a test phone. We didn’t even have to break out the toolbox.
On the 2500HD, the BlueFusion module piggybacks on the factory XM tuner. Also included is a harness for head units without satellite radio. Once installed, the call quality of BlueFusion was as well or better than many of the high-end European luxury cars we’ve driven with factory Bluetooth. Voices on incoming calls were clear and easily adjusted by rotating the OEM volume knob. On the other end, a few people we spoke with were able to tell we were using a hands-free unit, yet none complained about problems hearing us. Because of A2DP limits, the quality of streaming audio is suitable for most, yet may leave some to be desired among discerning audiophiles. For convenience-per-dollar, the BlueFusion packs a lot of punch.