Bluetooth is taking off. No one expected the technology to work as well as it does. Now, manufacturers are jumping at the chance to exploit Bluetooth for their own devices. RIM (Research In Motion), the makers of BlackBerry, is using the technology to jumpstart their one device and build up a reputation in the consumer marketplace.
The Remote Stereo Gateway offers a way to stream audio to BlackBerry devices with the help of the Bluetooth. Every BlackBerry that is equipped with an external media card, except for the original BlackBerry Pearl, is compatible with the A2DP technology that is used for the BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway.
What exactly does this mean? What the device does is allow the user to connect their BlackBerry into an audio system through a line-in jack to play the music files that is stored on it.
There is nothing I like more than having many options to play music. My car stereo supports line-in music and I can connect my MP3 player and BlackBerry to it. Along with satellite radio and CDs, I have the full experience to listen to all of my music while I am in my car. So, the excitement that RIM was releasing something that I could use in the house or wherever was too much to contain.
On the BlackBerry website, they give this Official Line:
“Break away from your regular headsets and enjoy your favorite music throughout the comfort of your own home. This small, stylish device works with your home sound system or personal stereo to stream the music stored on your BlackBerry smartphone or other A2DP-compatible devices. To wirelessly transmit your music, simply connect the Gateway using the accompanying 3.5mm stereo cable or RCA auxiliary cable to your stereo system, turn on the gateway, pair your device, and that’s it! You are free to roam up to 30 feet without missing a single beat. The BlackBerry Music Gateway is compatible with all Bluetooth enabled mobile devices so you can stream your music from your BlackBerry smartphone, PC, laptop, or any other A2DP-compatible mobile phone.”
All of this sounds really good, but the question is does it work. The bad thing about the device that allows me to do this in my car is the quality of the audio. It sounds like an old AM radio. I was really hoping this wasn’t the case with the BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway. After plugging up the device, I have to say there was a distinct improvement in audio quality to what I’ve been using before. It is probably as good as you are likely to find when dealing with a compressed MP3 file.
The gateway is relatively easy to use and set up. There are no batteries that come with the device. To set up all you have to do plug in the USB power cord and it instantly goes into pairing mode. You then go to your BlackBerry device and put in the pass code to get connected. To use the device, I just connected the gateway to my stereo and used my media player on my phone. Voila! The music played from my stereo while I still moved freely around the house with my BlackBerry on my hip.
Verdict (4 out of 5)
I am very impressed with the device. It was very easy to use and very affordable. The small device only cost around $70. The design is very well thought-out and sleek. It is extremely practical and something that almost everyone can use. I didn’t have any hiccups with it even though I wished that I didn’t have to buy separate power cables or that it has a battery for a power supply. Still, I enjoyed the device and would definitely recommend it to anyone I see.