Since cellular handset use will be illegal on 7/1 here in CA I decided to get a full bluetooth integration in my car. Yesterday I installed the EGO Flash Bluetooth unit. It's by Raytel Funkwerk of Germany. I considered the Parrot 3200LS but the Flash was recommended by the shop I go to as they just started carrying the EGO line and installed it in their own cars. My Alpine CDA-9886 is bluetooth ready but the Motorola built Alpine bluetooth unit was universally slammed on review sites for echo and iPod interference.
I got it for the text msg capability, super clean design and reviewed quality.
You can find out more at EGO FLASH*-*EGO Multimedia Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kits
I installed the control display unit at the 2 o'clock position from the steering wheel to allow for one touch operation while driving and the mic is on the steering column in front of the speedo. Sorry no install pics as the aftermarket headunit does require splicing of wires via wiring diagram. I believe harnesses to factory stereos are available.
The EGO Flash is integrated into my Alpine CDA-9886 so incoming and outgoing calls mute the stereo and allow for calls through the car speakers. The headunit displays 'Interrupt'.
I tested by calling under different conditions. Windows open on the freeway sounded horrible according to people on the other end. But windows up, people commented on how impressively clear I sounded without hint of echo...one even said our mutual buddy with OEM bluetooth in his BMW M3 sounded much worse than I did. Calls on my end were clear with sound coming from the right side speakers. My friend even told me that I didn't have to talk so loudly, the mic was picking me up just fine.
The downside to the unit are:
1. The clean interface actually makes the buttons kind of hard to use, you kind of have to press down with some effort.
2. Not all phones are compatible. Please check their site for the compatibility list. My Samsung Blackjack will work for calls but phonebook upload and SMS text msg features do not work with the Flash. Not a big deal as I will be switching phones next month anyways.
3. Installation documentation was lacking. The included wiring diagram in the box did not match the wiring diagram on the website. I think it's growing pains of a company just starting business in the US.
The bottom line for me is that the sound quality and the ability to carry on a conversation without a lot of "what?" and having what I think is a clean simple interface/installation makes this a worthwhile option for anyone considering bluetooth in their car.