Great Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Father’s Day is coming up, which poses the difficult question: what do you buy your dad? While Mother’s Day comes with obvious gift ideas such as jewellery or bath products, finding a gift for your father is slightly more difficult. But fear not, at Car Audio Centre we have tonnes of great gadgets your dad will love. Here is our pick of the top 3 Father’s Day gift ideas:

Multi-Source Music Player

A car stereo is a must for any driver, but a stereo packed with features makes an even better gift. The InPhase IPS520MP can play CDs, iPods, iPhones, smartphones, and any other device that can plug into the 3.5mm aux in. The device also comes equipped with a built-in FM/AM radio, Smart Remote control, and security features. MOFSET technology enables amazing sound quality, and the device comes at just £39.99, making it great value for money.

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High Quality Headphones

Having a high-quality pair of headphones can make the world of difference when listening to music. Headphones also make a practical and highly affordable Father’s Day gift. These iDance Mycookie20 ear buds have a great shape, huge sound and come at just £10.49. The headphones come in 8 different colours, so there is bound to be one your dad will love.

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Hands-Free Set

A Bluetooth hands-free set is the perfect Father’s Day gift if your dad is on the road a lot. This RAC Voiceport Connect is a totally universal Bluetooth headpiece with multi-function button control, allowing you to answer, end and reject calls, and even re-dial your last call. It will work in any vehicle with no installation, and includes voice-dialling features. And the best part? It costs just £9.99.

While these products certainly make great gifts, don’t forget this is just a small selection of what we offer. Feel free to have a browse; I guarantee we have something perfect for your father.

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How Bluetooth can change bad driving habits

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Bluetooth Car AudioBusy times can sometimes lead to breaking rules, such as talking whilst on the phone. As we all know it is prohibited to use a mobile during driving a car, van or any other vehicle as this can ultimately lead to an accident. The police have become stricter on this rule recently and legal action can be taken against those who have been caught – so it’s time to make a change from bad driving habits by using Bluetooth.

In the busy environment that we live in, many people find it difficult to avoid a call so when they see the call incoming; the phone is held to their ears before they know it. For some people, not attending a call can have a detrimental effect on their business so a risk is taken to avoid loosing any business.

Over the years, many phone companies have tried to advance and develop devices that can be used in the car. Devices that are legal and also let you attend that ‘important’ call. Before the invention of Bluetooth in car, drivers were advised to use the head set that connected to the mobile phone through the wire but this caused a lot of discomfort to users.

There was then a Bluetooth earpiece craze, -an attachment for the ear that allowed a connection to the mobile without the external wire connection. This however was surely soon replaced by much more advanced technology with built in Bluetooth car stereos, which would already be installed or could be purchased – many at reasonably great prices! The Bluetooth feature remains to be a must have feature in many in car devices.

With advanced Bluetooth the driver is able to listen to FM radio, MP3 songs and audio straight from their phones. Any incoming call can be attended with either voice recognition or by the touch of a button.

Bluetooth allows the driver to drive, listen to music of their choice without additional devices such as USB or having to put up with scratched CD’s full of the same songs that at some point finally lead you to wanting something different to nod your head to.

Road safety for on-board entertainment

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Technology now plays such a vital role in our lives that it’s sometimes hard to resist the lure of our mobiles and gadgets – even when driving. Using these systems while in control of a vehicle can be incredibly dangerous, not to mention illegal, and that’s why road safety has begun to focus on on-board entertainment and the best ways to use it.

Bluetooth technology allows us to talk hands-free and even text safely whilst driving while the arrival of touch screen and voice activated technology allows us to complete numerous other actions.

The infotainment system is a system that takes care of all your music, navigation and information needs while also keeping you connected with friends. This system is similar to a tablet and uses Bluetooth to ensure that you can use the features safely while keeping your eyes on the road.

Let’s take a look at some of its features in more detail.

Voice recognition

This could be invaluable if you’re running late and need to call work. You simply tell your system to call the office and it will put you through – eliminating the need to stop off and make a call and thus delaying your journey further.

The same voice recognition technology allows you to text while on the move. You can have messages read out aloud and reply with pre-programmed responses. If the text needs to be replied to urgently, this is much safer than pulling over in a rush.

You’ll find plenty of Bluetooth-enabled mobile accessories for your car available for purchase.

Distraction free

Infotainment systems are also a life saver when it comes to playing music. You can connect your iPod or MP3 player to it via Bluetooth and it will play the music you have stored on your device. Again, voice activated technology allows you to control the volume and choose tracks so you can keep your hands firmly on the steering wheel.

Most of the Bluetooth hands-free kits also let you stream music and live podcasts or access internet or HD radio stations by using voice commands. This is a much safer way of surfing channels, making for a less distracted drive.

Uncompromised enjoyment

While these features are all designed to make driving safer, they also set out to ensure the enjoyment of your drive is not compromised. You still get to listen to your favourite tracks or take important calls or messages – just all while keeping both hands firmly on the wheel and your eyes strictly on the road ahead.

Bluetooth stereos that will leave your friends green with envy

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The way that in-car stereo systems develop often mirrors other technical advances as manufacturers integrate the latest technologies into their ranges.

Today, the cutting edge is provided by Bluetooth connectivity which basically means you can use a smartphone, an iPod or other MP3 playe in tandem with your in-car entertainment system.

Being able to play music from other devices through the car radio isn’t the only thing that Bluetooth offers, as you can use the car radio controls to browse and select items from the connected device.

So, when it comes to being able to display track information on the screen or information display and make and receive phone calls hands-free in your car, what are some of the choices that will make you the envy of your friends?

Sony MEX-BT2900

The Sony MEX-BT2900 CD player features an integrated microphone as well as audio streaming capabilities from other devices. What’s more, support for both MP3 and WMA playback via CDs means you can get far more playing time from older formats too.

An easy-to-read single line LCD display shows clock, station ID and track data and the auxiliary input is located handily on the front so you can connect almost any portable audio device with an ‘audio out’ socket to your car’s sound system

In Phase IPS 249BT

The In Phase range of head units are competitively priced and engineered to high standards. Perfectly suited to anyone wishing to get started straight ‘out of the box’, they also offer a wide range of customisation options via multiple line outs.

As well as being a CD/MP3 player with full RDS radio for FM and AM, the addition of an SD card slot and USB on the front of the fascia gives the maximum number of connection choices. That’s before you even get down to the built in Bluetooth capabilities.

Clarion CZ301E

The Clarion CZ301E is known for easy compatibility and great value. CD-R and CD-RW playback using MP3 and WMA file formats and a 3.5mm mini jack AUX input on the fascia means that it is a multi-use music player.

In addition the RDS-EON tuner with 18 FM, 6MW/LW station presets and 4 x 45 watts output with subwoofer sound enhancement options means it certainly isn’t a lightweight option.

Of course built-in Bluetooth allows for legal, hands-free phone calls and streaming connectivity which are clear assets.

Five essential mobile accessories every car owner needs

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

There is no getting around the fact that our habits in cars have become much more sophisticated as mobile technology has boomed.

However, making the best of this is hard and it can be easy to fall for gimmicks that won’t catch hold rather than genuine mobile-enhancing accessories.

In an effort to give you a starting point, the following are five proven accessories that you shouldn’t be without.

1. Bluetooth hands-free kits

Obeying the law couldn’t be easier now. Bluetooth hands-free kits allow you to control your phone and music while driving and are a must-buy if you have to use tech on the go. There really is no excuse not to have one.

2. Wireless headsets

Particularly useful for motorbike users, wireless headsets offer the convenience of Bluetooth kits without taking up the same amount of space.

Coming in a range of single or dual headset systems, staying safe while keeping in touch has never been easier.

3. Solar chargers

Going environmentally friendly doesn’t just mean a hybrid car. Find a solar charging kit and get something discreet that still leaves you able to use your phone effectively on the move.

Combining the benefits of a hands-free phone with no charging cables and eco-benefits offers an alternative glimpse to current integrated technology.

4. Multi-media stereos

If you love your music on the go, then finding a smartphone compatible stereo is a natural step to take. Able to plug-and-play a variety of smartphones without giving up normal stereo functions, these are a great complement to your music collection.

Ideal for getting the most from your music without the need for endless fiddling, they offer great value, and versatility, for your money.

5. Spare parts

It’s not ideal, but batteries die without warning, cases go missing and cables are a law unto themselves. Keeping a small stash of extra essentials means you have a safety net just in case. A spare case or cover, a charging cable and if you’re really cautious, a spare battery, should all be packed away for common sense.

Save Money With Our Popular Bluetooth Car Stereo System

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

It’s simple, it’s popular and it’s fully functional. The In Phase IPS-249BT Bluetooth car stereo system has been selling like hot cakes because of its simplicity, easy installation and functions. Amongst all the benefits of this product, I think the best bit has to be the competitive price.In Phase Bluetooth Car Stereo System

It’s Affordable!

I have to mention this point first because it will save you so much money compared to if you were to buy this product elsewhere. I had a look on Amazon and found that this exact Bluetooth Car Stereo System was priced at nearly half as much more than the Car Audio Centre price.

And if you read ahead to the next section on Bluetooth Hands free, you’ll find why it is a good investment to make.

Bluetooth Hands Free

I love Bluetooth; it’s a great function to have. The Bluetooth car stereo gives the benefits and functionality of a Bluetooth device. It allows you to connect up your mobile phone to the system to enable you to take and make calls wirelessly. That’s probably a feature you should be looking at if your anything like me and get distracted by your phone whilst driving.

I remember when a Police officer on his motorcycle stopped me, whilst I was sitting in traffic, on my phone. The phone was on my ear, and even though my car was stationary and I still believed to have full concentration on the road (all my defenses, which didn’t really help me from not getting points, how ever much they were justifiable) I was still breaking the law.

Now, the good news is – he let me off. However, it could have cost me £100 and 3 points according to, and if I had a Bluetooth car stereo system installed in my car I could’ve been safer, more law abiding and still enjoy a good ol’ conversation without all the hassle and risk.

In Phase have also supplied free of charge an external microphone which can be located nearer the user for clear voice calls, an ideal place to put this microphone could be the sun visor as it’s directly above your face and not too close to be an obstruction to your view of the road. There is also an easily accessible button on the microphone to accept and end calls.

Audio Streaming

Nowadays we have more of a collection of music than ever. We have become more demanding and we have a bigger and more extensive range of music available to us, so naturally this means we want to be able to listen to what we want, wherever we are.

The Bluetooth Car Audio System allows you to stream your music from a Bluetooth device to the head unit. All the music you have stored on your iPhones, or other music device can be readily available to you for your car journeys without any connections or wires.

So there’s no need to listen to the same CD over and over again, and worrying about scratches or listening to radio stations, where their selection of songs has to be your choice by default. Bluetooth car stereos fade away the possibility of having no music to keep you entertained while you drive and instead offers you what you want to listen to on your personal devices.

The In Phase IPS249BT is fully featured it also has a CD MP3 player with full RDS radio for FM and AM, it also has SD card slot and USB on the front of the fascia- so it spoils you for choice.

Inphase IPS 249BT Key Features:

  • Bluetooth CD / MP3 / WMA / SD / USB
  • 60W x 4 MOSFET power output
  • Dot Matrix display
  • 1 Pre-out
  • Flip down front panel
  • Aux in
  • ID3 Tag
  • ESP (Electronic Shock Protection) Blue illumination
  • Rotary volume encoder
  • RDS
  • FM/MW
  • 30 radio pre-sets
  • Random / Repeat play
  • Security Features: Face off
  • Bluetooth profile supported: A2DP and AVRCP, Built in stereo code and audio streaming
  • Built in Bluetooth connection for hands free calling with Bluetooth mobile phone keypad included for hands free calling
  • Incoming and Calls Made call history
  • Six ring tone melodies

Have a look at some of the other Bluetooth car stereo systems that Car Audio Centre sell.

Top car gadgets which are anything but useless

Monday, December 30th, 2013

According to research, Brits have millions of pounds tied up in useless household gadgets which rarely get used. If you’re looking to make the most of your cash in 2014 then why not use it to invest in some of these top car gadgets which are anything but useless?

Here are our top suggestions:

In-car stereo

Whether it’s the crescendos of classic compositions or the pumping beats of modern hip hop which gets you moving, we all like to listen to music. Car stereos give every trip you make its own soundtrack and are a great way to keep passengers entertained – providing they agree on the choice of tunes of course!

These essential entertainment gadgets are like the electric tin openers of the home which research claimed were one of the most-used items in the kitchen.

Sat Navs

Never lose your way again with satellite navigation devices! The popularity of sat navs is undeniable but it’s important to make sure your model can cope with the demands of modern motoring.

Portable units are ideal for those changing cars regularly while an integrated unit can be fitted in the form of double-din screens to provide perfect directions along with varied entertainment options.

You can also get sat nav units for motorcycles which are specially designed to be operational whilst wearing motorcycle gloves. They often come with vibration-dampening mounts and hardware to help them stand up to such rugged use.

Handsfree kits

Perhaps the most widely owned gadget of all, finding a place for your phone within your car has always been a little tricky.

You’re not allowed to physically operate a mobile phone whilst in control of a vehicle – even if it is stationary – and this is where handsfree kits come into play. Mobile phone holders, chargers and answering systems all ensure you stay safe and legal on the road whilst making sure you never miss a call.

Parking sensors

Gadgets don’t just help with driving – they can also be used to tackle the bugbear of many a motorist: parking!

If you struggle to manoeuvre your car into an appropriate space then parking sensors, reversing cameras and accident cameras can help give you the extra guidance you need and prevent any embarrassing bumps or collisions.

The idiot’s guide to using Bluetooth in conjunction with the car

Monday, December 16th, 2013

The use of Bluetooth in a vehicle to aid communication is becoming commonplace, but yet it is by no means considered a simplistic device to use. However, many are relatively simple to set up and combine via a car stereo while others are custom-built, especially for use in vehicles. Most smartphones now have Bluetooth capabilities, meaning drivers can use their devices while remaining hands-free. Staying within the law Under law, the use of a mobile phone in a vehicle is illegal but a hands-free function offers the chance to stay connected while keeping two hands free to work the controls of the car. With more and more people feeling the need to stay connected, this option is therefore a lot more beneficial than having to pull over every five minutes to answer a call. Depending on the type of device, some can also include redial functions, voice recognition and caller displays. Larger devices with touch-screen displays are operated via the screen, while smaller devices that are only a little bigger than the size of your ear will often require buttons to trigger sensors. Increased connectivity These devices are great for accepting or rejecting calls but very little else – although once paired up there’s no extra gadgets to worry about. Many require a connection on a car stereo or via a portable cigarette lighter, but step-by-step instructions make setting up and combining the devices a straightforward process. Many of these units are also capable of playing audio files so you can also be in charge of what you listen to, as well as who you choose to talk to. The key thing to remember is that Bluetooth enables you to have a wireless connection and allows you to travel without breaking the law. Three points on your licence is at stake should you be caught using a hand-held phone while driving, and you bank balance will take a hit as well – avoid both with the use of a Bluetooth device.

What Bluetooth hands-free kit is right for you?

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

In the modern age being contactable in all circumstances is seen as essential and this includes when you’re on the move. While it’s against the law to use a handheld mobile phone while driving, using a Bluetooth headset can enable you to use your device while being safe in the process.

It means there’s no need to bypass the law and you can keep all personal and work issues under control with relative ease. There are a number of hands-free kits out there and all offer a variety of features to keep you connected, while also coming in all shapes and sizes.

From devices that fit into your ear such as the RAC Voice Port to the Mr Handsfree headsets that fit around your head, there are plenty of styles to match your requirements. Clear sound quality is vital as you want to ensure that those you are connected with can hear everything you’re saying without missing anything out.

There’s also devices that can plug into the car’s cigarette lighter socket that enable contact on the go, with controls and buttons appearing on screen in front of the driver.

What about the extras?

Some features include echo cancellation and noise suppression so the clarity of the call is never impeded. Therefore all those key details won’t be missed and you’ll never have a reason to miss an important call.

Additional perks of some devices can be voice recognition and the potential for no contact at all with the machine – enabling your eyes to remain on the road at all times. For instance, the Parrot Minikit Slim recognises any name in your phonebook and can call any desired contact based solely on what you ask – ideal for a completely hands-free experience.

When it comes to picking a hands-free kit, it’s all about individual preference and what sort of device may suit your needs. Fundamentally, all do the same task, but the operating processes and connections will all be different. The key will be that it is easy to pair with your device and that it is capable of meeting your individual needs.

There are a number of different hands free kits available, but finding the right one for you will depend on how much you intend to use it and what functionality you require.

NEW In Phase BT MATE Bluetooth cra kit with A2DP and AUX input for any AUX input car stereo

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

In Phase BT MATE Bluetooth Car Kit with A2DP Audio Streaming

This great product design and function allows you to connect to your car stereo system via Aux-In to allow you to make bluetooth handsfree phone calls and stream audio using A2DP from your bluetooth media device direct to your stereo system.

  • Car speakers will play voice from your call and audio from your media device (connected via line-in or streamed via bluetooth)
  • Audio played from your media device is automatically muted during an incoming call
  • Recharge the built in li-polymer battery via USB in 1.5 hours
  • Use the supplied audio dock to reposition the BT MATE in a more accessible location if you wish
  • Full duplex communication with echo and noise cancellation
  • Supports 3-way call function

BT Mate