Gear4 BluEye iPod-phone adaptor
FM radio and player remote control too
Review When I previewed the BlyEye Bluetooth-based iPod-to-phone connector in August this year, I was impressed by its size, its functioanlity and its price. There were some glitches, of course, but the unit I looked at was a pre-production sample, and developer Mavizen had given itself two months to iron out the wrinkles...
You can read Reg Hardware's exclusive BluEye preview here, but a quick recap's in order. The BluEye is a tiny gadget that's slightly taller and fatter than an SD memory card - it's 3.8 x 2.5 x 0.5cm - that connects to your iPod's dock connector and provides a earphone socket for your usual 'phones. On the front is an iPod Shuffle-like control wheel and a Button marked with the Bluetooth logo. There's a shirt clip on the back, a Hold button on the side, just above the button that activates the BluEye's FM radio.
So what we have is a unit that provides the tuner absent from the iPod, allows you to control your music player while keeping it out of sight, and - here's the best bit - links up to your mobile phone so you can make and take calls without touching the handset.
Pairing the phone and the BluEye is easy - there's now visual feedback on the iPod - and the device automatically reconnects to your handset as soon as it's powered up by connecting it to the iPod, for which a cable is included. When someone calls you, whatever you're listening to is paused automatically and if your phone can tell what the number dialling you is, it'll be displayed on the iPod's screen for you to accept or reject. The BluEye has a microphone so you can take calls and use your phone's voice-command system if it has one. When you're done, playback starts again.
Call quality is good, though you'll need to watch where you clip the BluEye as top-mounted microphone is easily muffled. It's best if you talk at it - just leave it dangling down and your caller is likely to wonder where you've gone.
All these people with iPods must feel a little silly having to hook their phone up to their iPod through yet more gadgetry. I personally just have a phone (a w810) that includes an mp3 player, a radio, expansion slot for more memory, a phone etc etc... and it all works nicely together - leaving me with only one bulge in my pocket. No 3rd party addons needed. I'm sure apple has taken note of this as well as they will no doubt try again to enter the phone market.
I have had mine since last friday...
I have had mine since friday 10th November and I have to say that it works ok, there are a couple of niggly bugs, but nothing major.
1. If you dial a call from the phone and the call clears from the other end the headset will not automatically flip back to music.
2. After making a call, when the BlueEye does not return to audio mode, it will not receive the voice from the phone when you make another call, unless you manually flip the BlueEye back to iPod/Radio first
This isn't too much of a problem as you can quickly hit the play button on the BlueEye and then make your outgoing call, but it is a bit annoying, I am sure it will be fixed in the next firmware. I have tested with a Samsung SDH-D600 old style Nano 2GB and an iPod Photo 40GB.
Gear4 have great customer service, I had my BlueEye on pre-order follwing the reg review some months back. I actually rang them prior to receiving my BlueEye as I was going on holiday and I was afraid the package would be dispatched and returned by the courier while I was away, the next day I received an email from Gear4 telling me they had dispatched my BlueEye, and that I was the first in the world to own one! I also got a slip through the door from the delivery company the same day, saying I would need to pick up the parcel as I wasn't in to receive it.
Now that is service, highly recommended!