While most so-called handsfree car kits involve complex installation, wiring through car radios and other technical nightmares, the Arico BTHF0082 couldn’t be a simpler device. A small, egg shaped device, it simply plugs into your cigarette lighter socket and works. No hassles, minimal configuration. I took it on some road trips and tested its call performance.
Road-testing the BTHF0082
Measuring 90 x 62 x 29 millimetres, the BTHF0082 would be compact if it wasn’t for the huge rod attached to its back, which allows it to be connected to a cigarette lighter charger. There is a huge speaker that adorns the front of the device, with a ‘Set’ and two adjustment buttons for control, as well as a blue indicator light. The three buttons, in different combinations perform a number of functions during a call, but we’ll get to that later.
The charger rod on the back is where the microphone is situated, and can be adjusted vertically 180 degrees and approximately 60 degrees horizontally, so it should suit a number of differently positioned socket types. This is important as there is no built-in battery in this device, so being able to plug it into an in-car power socket in any position is important.
As with all Bluetooth devices, a phone with voice-activated dialling represents the easiest way to make a phone call while driving. The BTHF0082 supports voice dialling and worked perfectly using a Motorola RAZR V3. Pressing the Set button queues the phone for voice dialling, and once you say your stored name, the voice tag is repeated through the BTHF0082 and the call is dialled. The Set button answers and hangs up on calls, and can dial the last dialled number when pressed twice in succession.
Voice quality of the speaker is very good, and volume can be set to fairly loud levels. However, my test caller reported that my own voice comes through fairly low, so I needed to speak up for him (in some cases almost yell) for him to hear me. This is probably because of the position of the microphone, but Arico saw fit to include a portable, corded microphone that plugs into the handsfree and attaches to your clothes. This microphone boosts the volume significantly, at the disadvantage of having a cord attached to you.
Connectivity and compatibility
The BTHF0082 is Bluetooth 1.2 compliant and supports both headset and handsfree profiles, although it will attempt to use the handsfree profile first before resorting to the headset one. This is because the headset profile doesn’t support voice activated dialling and other extra features, although most phones these days support both profiles anyway, so it’s not much of an issue anymore. Pairing is a simple process: use your phone’s Bluetooth menu to search for the device and pair with it, entering the code 8888 to do so. The BTHF0082 is then paired and will receive the call transmission through it whenever a call comes through. I should note that this device is permanently is discoverable mode and cannot be hidden, although I don’t see why you’d want to hide it. On the same token this means you don’t need to put it in a pairing state to pair with it, simplifying the process. I had no problem pairing the BTHF0082 with the RAZR V3 and my Sharp 903.
This device is perfect for you if you want a no-hassle, car handsfree that you can remove and plug into different cars whenever necessary. There’s no battery, meaning you don’t have to worry about recharging it, and operation couldn’t be simpler. Apart from the microphone’s sensitivity, it’s a handsfree that outputs calls loud and clearly and supports voice dialling too. At $109 it’s a bit on the expensive side, but nonetheless another practical alternative to a dedicated hands-free car kit.
Arico is the distributor of this product in Australia. For more information contact them at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit them at their website here