Avantree Cara II, Bluetooth 4.0 aptX handsfree car kit/speakerphone
Having used the Avantree Cara II, Bluetooth 4.0 aptX handsfree car kit/speakerphone for a week now in the car, and using it several times everyday I have found it a total good replacement for my old car kit which was clipped to my sun visor and always got in the way.
The Cara II is a cool, sleek looking little device that will look great on any dashboard. Its simple to fit. It literally only took seconds. Just decide where in the car you want to place it. You will need to have it somewhere close to the car stereo to be able to plug the aux jack into it. Made sure the desired area is clean, dust and grease free. On the magnetic mount peel off the sticky back and firmly press it onto the place you selected. Thats all there is to it. The only other thing is to plug the jack plug into the Cara II and the other end into the aux jack of your car stereo.
One thats done, select aux on the set and when you get a call, the sound comes through your car speakers. This being said, its also one of the annoying things to me as I cannot play the car radio channels at the same time. If the stereo is selected to play radio, I found it turns off the speaker on the Cara II.
Although I have not tried this feature, the Cara II does come with the ability to voice dial ( if its enabled on your phone first ).
The Cara II comes with the ability to have two phones connected at the same time to it, which is really handy if your on a car journey with someone else. This is a neat idea I have not seen on any other handsfree kit before.
One thing that confused my a bit was the two velcro disks stuck together in the pack. Unless I totally missed it, I could not see any mention of these in the enclosed instructions. The only disk shaped thing thats mentioned in the instructions was the magnetic mount, but not the velcro disks.
After a week of using this in the car I’m more or less happy with it. It looks great, but the cable, gets in the way. When it works correctly, its really good, with good sound and from what I’m told most of the time, by my callers, really good quality at their callers end as well. There is a problem I have had with my Cara II, that bugs me a bit. There have been quite a few times where the Cara II announces that my phone is connected but when I get a call, the people say I sound distant, as if, the speech is going through the mic on the phone rather than the Cara II. Sometimes it does not transfer the audio to the Cara II to go through the car speakers, but stays on the phone ( on Samsungs ) automatically, when a call comes through so I don’t get the sound of the caller, rather I get a very distant voice from my phone trying to be heard until I realise what is happening.
It has been reported by a couple of people Ive rang from the car using the Cara II that it takes sometimes up to 30 seconds for my speech to start going through the Cara. From the call connecting to Cara working fully, speech seems to be picked up very quietly, a bit like its going through the mobile phone mic. Hopefully they will get that sorted for future updates of this device.
One thing I would suggest is looked at for future updates of this device is the LED light. If the Cara is not directly in front of you at a perfect angle ( which it wouldn’t be if you’re driving, then you cannot see the LED to make sure its still switched on. The light is tiny.
Another thing I would suggest is including some additional magnetic mounts so that they can placed in extra places in case you need to move the Cara or in a second car.
Despite the couple of MINOR niggles with the device, after a couple of weeks using it now, I am still really pleased to have this in my car. Its a good looking small device that does not look out of place ( apart from the cable ) and when its connected on the call fully, gives a good clear call quality, and the the music transfer from the mobile to the car stereos just tops it off nicely.