After a soft launch last year, Crux Interfacing is officially selling a new Bluetooth kit that claims to offer better features at half the cost of some leading Bluetooth car kits.
Crux, which has been an OEM interface supplier for 20 years, is delivering its first Crux-brand Bluetooth kit that works with factory radios. It uses the car’s steering wheel controls or radio buttons so you don’t need a separate display or controller. And Crux supplies plug and play harnesses for separate car models so install time is trimmed to a half hour, essentially cut in half, says the company.
The unit mutes the radio when a call comes in and raises the volume when the call ends. It also works with premium amplified systems (such as Bose) while other Bluetooth kits do not, claims acting sales manager Mike Beyersdoerfer, also owner of rep firm BEI.
Beyersdoerfer is currently in a motor home touring the country to show the unit– called “Bluetooth Connectivity Kit”– at a suggested retail price of $209.
“What Crux did, is take all the negative aspects of the Bluetooth channel and solve them,” he said. “It’s as close to factory installed as you can get.”
Audio quality, often sub-par in Bluetooth kits when you are trying to speak over road noise, is superior, claims the company. Crux also simplifies phone pairing.
“Turn the car on and the radio on and it recognizes the phone is not paired. It says ‘please set your phone to Bluetooth,’ then it tells you to put 4 zeros in and then it says ‘ready’ and 20 seconds later it says ‘completed.’ It’s taken every name out of your phone book and put them into the unit. Nobody else can do that; that’s incredible,” said Beyersdoerfer.
The kit comes with a separate microphone and a “brain” module that sits behind the radio. Specific harnesses are available for Toyota, Lexus, Scion, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia models. Additional cars will be added this year.
The product is aimed mainly at expeditors but also sold through retailers.
Crux also makes an OnStar Radio replacement kit that lets you add an aftermarket radio to a GM or Chrysler vehicle and still retain OnStar functions including the chime and back up camera.