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Old     (volfo)      Join Date: Dec 2014       05-19-2015, 9:36 AM Reply   
What are the best options to add bluetooth to a boat stereo? Currently have a 2012 Clarion head unit with a wetsounds 420. I understand there is an aux input in the 420 I can hook the bluetooth unit into. Wetsounds makes a version for $100. I see JL makes one for $40 and Exile one for $60. Are these the best options or are there others also to consider?

Also, I don't want to start a war about which one is higher quality, etc., but I do wonder if any of them allow multiple phones to be connected at the same time such that I can play a song off my galaxy and then my wife can play the next one off her iphone. Thanks.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-19-2015, 9:54 AM Reply   
All good companies but based in the recent video review I saw and owning the WS version, I'd be going with the Exile. It had amazing range and according to the reviewer had excellent audio quality. I've never heard of a BT that will allow multiple devices to be connected at once with the ability to bounce control back and forth.
Old     (volfo)      Join Date: Dec 2014       05-19-2015, 10:53 AM Reply   
Hate, why would you go with exile given you own the wetsound version? Similar products at cheaper cost or something more than that?
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       05-19-2015, 11:29 AM Reply   
Old     (wetsounds1)      Join Date: Jan 2006       05-19-2015, 1:22 PM Reply   
The best way to look at it is how you plan on using a BT device. The Wet Sounds BT VC is a knob for track control and volume and pairing. So if you want to leave the phone stored away and still have access to changing tracks, having something with track control would fit your goals. You can still use the phone to control tracks.

If changing track controls from the phone is Ok with you. Then there are plenty of similar non track control devices like the ones you listed that will add BT connections into an aux into a radio and leave the track control on your phone.

Hate has a BT VC in a golf cart installed in metal so he has some range issues. Metal can affect the range. We have BT VC installed in boats and UTV's and even our dealer displays and have seen range in the 100 feet mark. However, i have one in my rat rod (1930 ford model A. All metal of course) and the range is very limited. So the issue Hate is having and in my rat is application dependent and not the BT device.

With a dongle, he might be able to install it somewhere else that is not as affected by the metal. But if it is installed in the same location, he might have the same issues. You will see on our WS-420 BT, it has an oversized front panel. With a small oval black insert. This is the external antenna. So we are able to get the range from the unit as the antenna is on the front panel and not buried inside a metal box.

Tim
Wet Sounds
Old     (dougpyne)      Join Date: Aug 2010       05-19-2015, 1:28 PM Reply   
I have it in my boat. I Use Spotify set at extreme in the quality settings in Spotify. It sounds awesome and really works up to 100 feet from the boat. Exile blue tooth is the bomb! It's super easy to hook up and is Bluetooth 4.0. That's why it plays large music files suberbley. Definitely worth the price. It pairs to your Android phone super easy and connects effortlessly.
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       05-19-2015, 2:38 PM Reply   
Tim ?

I just installed a ws-420bt in my boat does it have the ability to change tracks???
Old     (wetsounds1)      Join Date: Jan 2006       05-19-2015, 2:50 PM Reply   
Blair, No the 420 BT does not have track control. Only the BT VC blue tooth knob. You will have to control tracks on your phone.

We offer the WS-420 BT with a simple integrated Bluetooth chip so its an all in one. But track control is on the phone. Other option is the WS-420 SQ with external BT VC for BT with track control. You can see we make an under dash billet mount for the WS-420 SQ that has a spot for the BT VC. So options for which people prefer

Tim
Wet Sounds
Old     (sp0tts)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-19-2015, 4:41 PM Reply   
Tim,

I'm slightly confused by your post. Does the BT VC knob do anything other than act as a remote?

If it were added to a 3-4 year old WS-420, would it act as a remote as well as receiver to send music into the older 420? If so, what bluetooth protocol is it built on? 3.0? 4.0?
Old     (wetsounds1)      Join Date: Jan 2006       05-19-2015, 5:07 PM Reply   
The BT VC is a stand alone complete BT device with line driver. It has a knob for volume and track control and play pause. It has a 3.5 mm aux output to an amp or aux input of a radio. It can be used as the complete source. It can be used as BT into a 420 like you have using a 3.5 to 3.5 into your aux in. It can be used into a radio aux in either 3.5 to 3.5 or 3.5 to rca adapter if a radio only has rca aux in.

If you add it to your 420. You would then have Blue Tooth to your 420 aux input and would have play/pause and track control of the phone. The BT VC uses the CSR chip in 3.0 and has been a running change to the CSR 4.0 chip.


Tim
Wet Sounds
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       05-19-2015, 7:10 PM Reply   
Volfo - The answer to your question is not which one is best. It really should be which product fits your needs and why?

Some people have posted in this thread that offers some of that insight. Here's some more that should help you:

- If a BT device has track up and down in its streaming mode it using a specific protocol to do this. You need to decide, is this feature important to you? If your chaining tracks from your iPhone, its not important. If your changing tracks at the bluetooth module itself (like mounted on a dash) its important.

- If BT device doesn't feature track up and down its using yet another specific protocol to do this. Do you want to install it and forget it? Then a product like this would be useful.

These are the main differences...in "types of Bluetooth" (in the mobile / marine market). Don't get caught up in all the computer networking jargon.

Then there is hardware implementation of the bluetooth type. Is it stand alone? Is it built into a head unit or EQ or preamp or similar device? Generally speaking, BT units built into other devices impact the range. Before everyone gets all butt hurt about who's selling what, you need to again ask yourself whats important to you. Because the opposite is true as well-- generally speaking, BT units built into the head unit, or EQ are simple to use. Heck they are built in. So its trade off. You want longer range? Get a stand alone product. Want simpler to use? Get a built into product. Make sense? I hear people make claims about handsets affecting a BT receivers range.... This is thinking is antiquated. while yes the statement is true, It would only really apply to phones that are ancient. If your using any newer iPhone android samsung device, they all have very competitive transmission power.

Next we have BT compliance level. Many available today BT devices spec a BT compliance level. If they don't, they should or the mfg is being deceptive. Most common products are the older legacy devices such as BT 3.0XX or BT 2.0XX. The newer modest available model is BT 4.0XX. In each iteration of BT compliance, nicer, features have become available to the end user. For example - the BT4.0 offers almost 30% less power consumption from the 3.0 spec. This means your handset (iPhone, android whoever) will last 30% longer. The 4.0 units have very good range and the offer advanced codecs.

So lets talk a moment about codecs - The BT 4.0 models may or may not feature advanced codes like APTX audio compression. There are a whole list of codecs but APTX is one of the more popular ones.

Ok, so did you learn anything new? Maybe not. But I at least want to clear up the miss understandings out there about BT tech.

RE the Exile piece - It's BT 4.0le model that is a stand alone install and forget device thats made from plastic and is IP rated for water resistance. It's range is fantastic primarily because its not buried in any product of any kind. It's a fantastic add on unit to any head unit or EQ that has AUX in. It also features 2.2V which is super cool for the UTV market. It basically has more output voltage than many decks on the market.

-Brian / Exile
Old     (DatTexasBoy)      Join Date: Aug 2012       05-19-2015, 7:29 PM Reply   
+1 on the new Exile BT. Great product and is really handy if you have multiple users linked up. It also has great range and I don't know of many people not using a phone for their music now days so it renders most other devices useless.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-19-2015, 7:42 PM Reply   
As Tim said I have had range issues with mine because of the fact that its mounted on a steal body golf cart, had I know it would cause those problems I would have tried a different location but hey you live and learn. Mines right below the seat so I can reach down and make adjustments without the phone e but honestly its just a lot easier on the phone. You can do everything you want including volume adjustments from your phone so for me the added controls are kind of a waste. Certainly they could come in handy if your on a motorcycle or a side by side and want to stow your phone away but still have control. The range for me has been a bummer, again I realize its not the fault of WS, but it still sucks. I literally cannot get more than a few feet from my cart and not have it cut out on me. This is not meant to be a knock on WS they make great products but for me I'd just assume control everything from my phone or tablet and hopefully get more range. I will say 100' on any BT device really surprises me. I have several whether in my car, house, garage, cart or portable speakers and I have yet to have one that allows you to get more than 30-35' away.
Old     (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       05-19-2015, 8:28 PM Reply   
Hate,
Seems predictable that RF transmission would be compromised when mounted so low. However, just thinking out loud. I wonder if the BT portion is on a daughter board or integrated into the main circuit board. You probably can't extend an antenna length but perhaps you could extend the BT receiver board (if separate) in a higher location. Might check into it.

Another option, the stand alone JL Audio BT unit has been doing very well. Only $39. If you have an input available why not supplement what you have.
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       05-19-2015, 10:22 PM Reply   
Hate - Makes zero sense that you cant mount a BT device on metal. most of the ones I've seen in the market place are plastic just for this reason. Shoot me an email. You can try the Exile unit and see if it works better. I'd be very surprised if it didn't. That video linked in this thread has the Exile unit actually mounted on the EQ itself (metal). I suppose anything is possible in interfering with RF transmission but willing to call it a Pepsi Challenge.

Try it and report back to me, good bad or indifferent. I'm curious...

and BTW: I still have this memory of meeting you up WA a few summers back. I turned around and you are dancing on Brandons Swim deck... I thought, that crazy indian is gonna go right thru it. I think the whole crowd was sauced! Was a fun time! We need to all do it again.

-Brian
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-19-2015, 10:54 PM Reply   
Haha! That was an amazing day!...from what I can remember lol. I'd be happy to give the Exile a run.
Old     (wetsounds1)      Join Date: Jan 2006       05-20-2015, 7:48 AM Reply   
Hate, Did we ever swap your BT VC and see if another unit had the range?

Tim
Wet Sounds
Old     (sp0tts)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-20-2015, 8:16 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wetsounds1 View Post
The BT VC is a stand alone complete BT device with line driver. It has a knob for volume and track control and play pause. It has a 3.5 mm aux output to an amp or aux input of a radio. It can be used as the complete source. It can be used as BT into a 420 like you have using a 3.5 to 3.5 into your aux in. It can be used into a radio aux in either 3.5 to 3.5 or 3.5 to rca adapter if a radio only has rca aux in.

If you add it to your 420. You would then have Blue Tooth to your 420 aux input and would have play/pause and track control of the phone. The BT VC uses the CSR chip in 3.0 and has been a running change to the CSR 4.0 chip.


Tim
Wet Sounds
Can you elaborate on what you mean by running change?

I saw mention of 4.0 in another thread, but what are the primary differences between 3.0 vs. 4.0? (I've read efficiency - could that be on the device itself or the handset too?).
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-20-2015, 9:38 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wetsounds1 View Post
Hate, Did we ever swap your BT VC and see if another unit had the range?

Tim
Wet Sounds
No, I had an issue with one but you guys sent me out a new one which is the one I have now with the range issues. I never tried to swap this one out assuming it was just the metal body issue.
Old     (jaed)      Join Date: Feb 2012       05-20-2015, 12:32 PM Reply   
After looking at both I ended up using the exile BT unit and a remote mounted next to the steering wheel with velcro.

Bluetooth Remote: http://www.amazon.com/SatechiŽ-Bluet...492Y3B9QSE6MM1

So far it has worked well.
Old     (volfo)      Join Date: Dec 2014       05-22-2015, 9:46 AM Reply   
Thanks for the help. I'm sure that the wetsounds unit and the exile unit are both excellent quality and that any quality differences that might exist would be lost on me. It sounds to me like if I want the ability to skip tracks without using my phone, I should pay a little extra and get the wetsounds. If I'm happy using my phone for that, I should save a little bit and use the exile. They should both take about the same relatively minimal effort to install (splice power into it and use a 3.5 line into the back of my ws420). Neither of them, nor any else, would allow multiple phones to be hooked up at the same time and play music alternatively from them. If I have this wrong, please let me know. Thanks for all the help.
Old     (zacharoo)      Join Date: Nov 2005       05-26-2015, 2:52 PM Reply   
I just bought the JL MBT-RX bluetooth module. I'll get it in the boat and come back to this thread to post my thoughts. I'm a WS fan but with the 4.0 version not yet available, I just think you can't go wrong with anything JL makes. Only time will tell..

Zacharoo
Old     (volfo)      Join Date: Dec 2014       05-30-2015, 3:10 PM Reply   
Well the JBL one says BT 4.0 on their website but every vendor link that is actually selling it says it is 3.0. One even has photos of the actual box it is in straight from JL that says it is 3.0. I'm guessing they updated it from 3.0 to 4.0 but how do I know which version I'm ordering? I probably would never know the difference but back to the Exile or the Wetsounds.
Old     (volfo)      Join Date: Dec 2014       05-30-2015, 3:45 PM Reply   
If I were to wire the exile bluetooth unit into the back of the 420, would it be any sort of issue that the 420 has a single 3.5 mm input instead of rca jacks? The exile output is rica jacks, and it looks like the 420sq aux input is 3.5mm?
Old     (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       05-30-2015, 4:41 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by volfo View Post
Well the JBL one says BT 4.0 on their website but every vendor link that is actually selling it says it is 3.0. One even has photos of the actual box it is in straight from JL that says it is 3.0. I'm guessing they updated it from 3.0 to 4.0 but how do I know which version I'm ordering? I probably would never know the difference but back to the Exile or the Wetsounds.
The only Bluetooth receiver that JL Audio is shipping is the 4.0 version with 2 volts. All other information is dated. Price is $39.
A dual female RCA to single stereo male 3.5mm adapter is readily available.
Old     (BaadLS1)      Join Date: Dec 2013       05-31-2015, 9:06 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidAnalog View Post
The only Bluetooth receiver that JL Audio is shipping is the 4.0 version with 2 volts. All other information is dated. Price is $39.
A dual female RCA to single stereo male 3.5mm adapter is readily available.
Either they just updated that on their website from 3.0 to 4.0 or it wasn't specified at all as of last week. Didn't get my business because of that very reason. SMH!
Old     (ctxaggies)      Join Date: May 2010       06-22-2015, 8:24 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by zacharoo View Post
I just bought the JL MBT-RX bluetooth module. I'll get it in the boat and come back to this thread to post my thoughts. I'm a WS fan but with the 4.0 version not yet available, I just think you can't go wrong with anything JL makes. Only time will tell..

Zacharoo
Who did the JL bluetooth module work out?
Old     (granddaddy53)      Join Date: Dec 2013       06-23-2015, 7:19 AM Reply   
I have a bluetooth I insisted upon on my boat, but since the stereo is powered to the ignition, so is the blue tooth, so everytime the key turns off, you lose the connection at least that's the way it is on my Sony in my Axis A 20 2014 model, so It seems you want to go hardpower to the battery for the head unit and not to the ignition, to avoid this problem. And I don't know of multiple devices, usually for multiple devices to have connection, I think they need to be of different functions, like a bluetooth keyboard and a headset simultaneously on a device, but not two phones to the stereo simultaneously. We don't use it at all anymore, straight USB, which is much better sound on the Iphone 5 type wire vs my wifes usb to her ipod(like the Iphone 4 connection)
Old     (boardjnky4)      Join Date: Dec 2011       06-23-2015, 7:23 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by granddaddy53 View Post
I have a bluetooth I insisted upon on my boat, but since the stereo is powered to the ignition, so is the blue tooth, so everytime the key turns off, you lose the connection at least that's the way it is on my Sony in my Axis A 20 2014 model, so It seems you want to go hardpower to the battery for the head unit and not to the ignition, to avoid this problem. And I don't know of multiple devices, usually for multiple devices to have connection, I think they need to be of different functions, like a bluetooth keyboard and a headset simultaneously on a device, but not two phones to the stereo simultaneously. We don't use it at all anymore, straight USB, which is much better sound on the Iphone 5 type wire vs my wifes usb to her ipod(like the Iphone 4 connection)
On my A20, I took the stereo off the ignition and instead utilized an unused ACC toggle switch on the dashboard. Wired that to both my Fusion Bluetooth and my Headunit. No more music stops when the ignition is turned off.
Old     (kirk)      Join Date: May 2003       06-23-2015, 7:37 AM Reply   
Quote:
After looking at both I ended up using the exile BT unit and a remote mounted next to the steering wheel with velcro.

Bluetooth Remote: http://www.amazon.com/SatechiŽ-Bluet...492Y3B9QSE6MM1

So far it has worked well.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I just added the Exile Bluetooth and the Satechi remote to my boat. Great combo for a Bluetooth option. The Exile unit really has great range and crisp clean sound. The Satechi remote allows for easy control of your BT device from your dash .
Thanks for the tip.
Old     (jaed)      Join Date: Feb 2012       06-27-2015, 2:33 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaed View Post
After looking at both I ended up using the exile BT unit and a remote mounted next to the steering wheel with velcro.

Bluetooth Remote: http://www.amazon.com/SatechiŽ-Bluet...492Y3B9QSE6MM1

So far it has worked well.

Used the setup for the first time yesterday.
It worked great the phone stayed paired though the whole trip.
With turning the boat on and off.
The remote worked great also.
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       06-27-2015, 2:46 PM Reply   
has anyone tried this remote yet?

http://www.amazon.com/iSimple-Portab...etooth+control
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-12-2015, 10:27 AM Reply   
Shawn - You know the guys that designed simple controller. It works very well.
Old     (rasorjb)      Join Date: Nov 2011       07-12-2015, 12:15 PM Reply   
Brian,

When are you guys releasing this??? It says July 1 but I don't see it on your site anywhere?
Attached Images
 
Old     (DatTexasBoy)      Join Date: Aug 2012       07-12-2015, 1:17 PM Reply   
^^^oh that's a bad boy right there.
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-13-2015, 1:37 AM Reply   
JR - Mid week (next week). Call the office and get on the early list if you need to pre order it. -Brian
Old     (rasorjb)      Join Date: Nov 2011       07-13-2015, 8:06 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianinpdx View Post
JR - Mid week (next week). Call the office and get on the early list if you need to pre order it. -Brian
Do you guys have any specs on it? Features? Mounting dimensions, etc? Price?

Last edited by rasorjb; 07-13-2015 at 8:07 AM. Reason: edit
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-13-2015, 8:39 AM Reply   
JR - this should shed some light. Fully kitted about 100 bucks.


Old     (rasorjb)      Join Date: Nov 2011       07-13-2015, 10:42 AM Reply   
Boom! Thanks Brian!
Old     (rexlex01)      Join Date: Mar 2010       07-15-2015, 6:16 AM Reply   
Looking for feedback on the iPhone compatibility.

http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=...3&e=97b47cbbaa
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-15-2015, 8:56 AM Reply   
Rex - works perfect for iPhone 3/4/5/6/6+ and also Droid users too.
Old     (zimme)      Join Date: Feb 2013       07-15-2015, 2:06 PM Reply   
Just thought I'd give my input here on what I went with.

I chose the JL dongle for 39 bucks. Paired it with my WS420SQ. Works great. Sounds clear as day, no hissing, no pops, everything is good. It stays connected, no issues there. Also my phone barely has any battery used at the end of the day. I have a galaxy S5, and a full day on the water playing my music only brings my phone down about 30% battery power. Biggest thing is to keep the wifi off.

Overall, I've been extremely happy. I'd recommend the JL version to anyone. Range is good as far as I can tell. I haven't had to be further away than inside my boat, and I mounted the module right under the helm, so at any given time I might be 10-15ft away from it max, and no issues. Haven't tested range in a parking lot or anything though.
Old     (phillywakeboarder)      Join Date: Sep 2008       07-16-2015, 7:13 AM Reply   
The Exile digital media center looks like a nice product. One question - is there any way to tell when you've reached max undistorted volume?
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-16-2015, 8:18 AM Reply   
Eric- Media center is unclipped output at full volume 2.2 volts. Turn it all the way up and your fine. Theres a picture of the output on the website. -Brian
Old     (phillywakeboarder)      Join Date: Sep 2008       07-16-2015, 8:51 AM Reply   
Thanks Brian! That's a great feature. I get tired of telling everyone that 32 is the max, and I know they probably don't listen when I'm riding anyway. This unit really makes me want to scrap my headunit/bluetooth adapter setup entirely.
Old     (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       07-16-2015, 5:39 PM Reply   
You really have to thoroughly think through it before scraping a HU. There are pros and cons.
Eric, since you already have a WS420 your situation is pretty defined. You can easily eliminate a HU if you don't use the other sources (FM, CD), features, or transom remote control.
But for others who are equipped differently there might be some concerns.
For example, let's use the existing JL Audio MBT-RX BT receiver, or the JL Audio MBT-CRX gauge-style BT receiver & controller (shipping almost immediately). Either will have 2 X 2+ volt preouts. That's twice what you might need going into the Aux input of a HU or into the Aux input of an EQ. So you're good. It may be just right for a single amplifier application in an ATV/UTV. 2 volts is the industry standard for HUs. A few have less and a few have more but the vast majority run 2 volts. Also being the standard in home audio/video. But here is the big difference. A standard HU will have 4 to 6 X 2 volts while a BT receiver/controller will have 2 X 2 volts. When you get into multi-zone, multi-amplifier systems you are going to be dividing that BT voltage when not using a HU. For instance the Roswell C920-0300 passive dual zone level controller could be used to provide dual zone control...just the same as two PAC LC-1s. Now you have divided the 2 volts in half with 1 volt going to each amplifier input, half what the typical HU produces, because the HU has at least four discrete 2 volt preouts. If you are bridging and have to populate multiple inputs then you are divided the 1 volt even further.
So if you have a multiple amplifier system and you choose to eliminate the HU in favor of a BT receiver/controller, then I would recommend that you either have a) an EQ line driver (like a Wetsounds WS420), or b) an active line-driver/dual-zone-controller like the Kicker, so that you have four strong discrete preouts, rather than a passive zone controller that divides voltage.
Again, you must look into each application differently. There's no 'one-size-fits-all' solution and no single product package that best suits every system layout.

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