2010 Mazdaspeed 3: No Wires, No Hassles
July 14, 2010
Our Mazdaspeed 3 has one of my recent favorite audio features: Bluetooth Audio. I say recent because, although the technology has been around for a while via the aftermarket, it's only recently started to gain traction among the OEMs. And I'm seeing it in many more cars. Even if most people still don't know what it is or what it does -- even among those who drive our long-term cars.
So it's still somewhat of a novelty for me to jump in a car, switch to BT Audio mode and have my iPod automatically start playing tunes, with no wires to connect. And I like it even more for listening to Pandora.
At least that's the way it's supposed to work, and that's the way it works in the MS3. In some cars I've tested, like in Toyota and Lexus vehicles, I have to pair BT for hands-free phoning and BT for audio separately, even though I'm using the same device (an iPhone 3GS) for both purposes.
I've seen in some owner's manuals of vehicles I've tested that you can also skip tracks and pause and play the music using the car's controls with a compatible device, but my iPhone apparently isn't one of them. In the MS3, I can adjust the volume using the car's controls and play/pause the music, but track up/down doesn't work.
Full functionality, as with some iPod-integration solutions, would be ideal. But as Bluetooth Audio expands to more cars -- and more people know what it is and want it -- functionality will only improve. And music in the car will eventually become wireless.
Doug Newcomb, Senior Editor, Technology