iClever Portable A2DP Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 Music Streaming Receiver

iClever Portable A2DP Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 Music Streaming Receiver

From the product page on Amazon.com:
List Price:    $99.99
P
rice:    $19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35

Friction Factor = LOW FRICTION
Value = RECOMMENDED

Having received this unit for review, I asked my son to test it since he has an AUX jack in his car. Test results that he reports: I've written this after about 10 hours of using the product, mostly listening to audio books while working in the yard or shop. I've made some test calls and listened to a selection of high quality music with good headphones.

In summary I am pleasantly surprised by the performance and usability of this tiny Bluetooth receiver. In spite of the plethora of Bluetooth headphones and receivers around my house this one has found a niche and will stay in use.

First impressions were good. I was able to charge it and sync it to my Nexus 7 2013 without difficulty at the first attempt. Not all devices are as easy to sync the first time. You get a blue light and audio notification when the device is turned on and again when it is connected. You also get some annoying pops and soft static but that comes with the territory. The first odd thing I noticed, it took several tries of turning it off and on before all the controls (play / pause, volume, and track seek) worked as expected. After the first 3 or 4 minutes I never had a problem with the controls again. I like the clear access to the buttons. Some Bluetooth devices leave you hunting around carefully for a subtle button each time you want to pause your audio. Not this receiver.

Audio quality is not stunning. There is some noticeable interference and static when the device is idle before it goes into power saving mode. You can hear compression artifacts in music, especially with good headphones. That is no surprise since this is a technical limitation inherent to Bluetooth. With BT the audio must be compressed for available bandwidth. It is certainly good enough for listening to audiobooks or podcasts which is my primary use.

This device was intended as a Bluetooth interface for a car that does not have built-in BT. So I tried it in my car plugged into the AUX port. I've made a few test calls which were all successful. The microphone built into the device seems to catch my voice without having to shout. I could hear the other party fine and be heard in turn. To my surprise there was no discernible echo or feedback. I would not have thought a device at this price point would have good feedback cancellation, but apparently it does.

Another really nice feature - it stays on and connected while being charged! This makes it much more practical for in-car use. Most other receivers I use turn off when plugged in to a charger.

While it was intended as a car interface, I've found a better use for it. I keep a pair of safety headphones (hearing protection with an audio input port) in my garage. I've zip-tied the iClever IC-BR02 to the headband and, with a short audio patch cable, I can now mow the lawn or use power tools and listen to my books at a comfortable volume. This replaces a rather uncomfortable solution where I had to run a cable down to my phone in my back pocket. No more annoying cable. For me, this is where the iClever IC-BR02 is perfect. It is inexpensive enough to order a couple of them and convert regular headphones (that have audio input) to Bluetooth for use in environments where you don't want to risk hardware costing $hundreds.