Feature Writer Lynne Tatum – My Experiences with Blue Teeth, I mean, Bluetooth

Here are a few brief notes on my experiences using devices with the increasingly popular wireless method known as Bluetooth.

In 2009, we purchased GW Micro’s BookSense DAISY (Digital Audio Information System) player. Shortly thereafter, Maria presented me with the suggested Bluetooth headset. At that point, Bluetooth was naught but a term tossed around by techies. Sad to say, I do not recall how I received the all-important pairing (connecting) instructions. By the way, I learned that pairing can be a frustrating experience in itself. The headset had decent sound quality, but I was unable to wear it for long periods of time.

My next device was a very cool speaker named the Jawbone Jambox. This blocky, rubberized red speaker packed quite a punch with regard to sound quality. Other commendable features are the volume controls and talking instructions. I listened to an audio demonstration to assist me in pairing the device to my iPhone 4. I recall it being a matter of syntax–do I turn on the speaker first or the Bluetooth feature on the iPhone first? Once I worked that out, I enjoyed it immensely–until Mickey the Menace knocked it to the floor and the headphone jack was smashed in–rendering it useless. It is available at www.amazon.com/mp3 for a substantially reduced price. I’m now salivating for the Big Jambox.

The adorable Satechi Bluetooth speaker (which resembles a turtle or a spaceship, depending on your viewpoint) was given to me by a dear friend. The learning curve was painless as he was also able to provide hands-on instruction. The sound quality is surprisingly good for such a small unit. It travels with me every day and is now the device that is paired with my iPhone. I really can’t recommend it enough. This speaker is also available at www.amazon.com/access for under $40.00.

I was hooked by QVC’s five easy payments for the unknown brand of the Braven Bluetooth speaker. The unit has a wonderfully warm sound quality. Turning to the web to find an instructional video, I wasn’t able to see the young man as he pointed to the buttons, but he provided useful layout tips that ultimately aided me in the pairing process.

My latest Bluetooth purchase is the RII Bluetooth keyboard available at www.atguys.com. It took quite a few tries for me to type the pairing code for my keyboard, but I was successful and was able to enter Maria’s in one pass. If you’re having difficulty using the on-screen keyboards for iOS or Android devices, you might find this a useful solution.

The Jambox, Satechi and Braven speakers also come with a wire so that you can plug them in to any device with a headphone jack.

For those of you who use Bluetooth devices, which ones do you use and how have your experiences been? Let us know in the Reader’s Forum.

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