Kensington LiquidAUX - Highly Recommended

SooneratND

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
158
0
Just installed one of these in my new car and, after spending a few days driving around with it, I highly recommend it.



http://us.kensington.com/html/14492.html

I got a new Lexus IS250 afew months ago and had been looking for a way to interface my ipod. A simple cord into the aux input worked great, but I also wanted to charge and to change tracks without having to fiddle with the touchscreen all the time on the phone (bad idea while driving, as I soon found out). Lexus wanted $300 plus installation to get this done -- no thanks.

I had seen this particular solution online, but was skeptical of how it actually performed. and how it would fit in my car (I HATE to have wires running everywhere... I like things to be hidden) However, when I was killing some time at the Apple store the other day between appointments, I saw that they had them in the physical store. Perfect! Now I could try it out and take it back with no shipping hassles if I didn't like it.

I got it and plugged it in to my car as soon as I got home. It consists of a simple 12v plug with two wires: one to plug into to the dock connector on the iPhone and the other to plug into the aux input on the vehicle. Mine is installed completely out of sight in my center console.

You also get a nifty remote to attach to the steering wheel. It's small, unobtrusive, and looks really sharp. Made of sort of a matte rubberized plastic that molds to the sterring wheel, with soft velcro securing around the back. It completely blends in with the black leather on the steering wheel in my Lexus IS250. I mounted mine on the bottom left side, just under the spoke with the other audio controls for my stereo. Out of the way while driving, but still easily accessible.

The audio sounds great and the remote works perfectly. The only problem I had at first was an annoying buzz coming through the audio. It varied with RPM and gearing, so I knew it was coming from the car somehow, not the LiquidAUX unit. I quickly diagnosed the problem as ground interference from Lexus not properly grounding the 12v supply in the console (thanks for nothing, Toyota). Problem was easily solved by ordering a ground loop isolator from Crutchfield (http://www.crutchfield.com/S-mW61MVi7zxj/p_127SNI135/PAC-SNI-1-3-5-Noise-Filter.html) and placing it between the 12v supply and the aux input. Now it works great, with nothing but great sounding tunes coming through the stereo.

Kensington LiquidAUX- $60
GLI - $20
Total cost: $80 plus 5 minutes of my time to install.

Lexus cost for same functionality: $300 plus installation costs.

I think I got a pretty good deal.
 

Tu13es

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2009
161
0
Hmm, cool. I was previously using a cheapo dock-to-aux cable for my old iPod but recently was thinking it'd be really useful to have one that charges the iPhone as well. Looks like the LiquidAux is a good way to do this, though it is a little pricey.
 

batcatman

macrumors member
Sep 4, 2009
51
6
From Amazon "Kensington can provide you with a ground loop isolator free of charge by calling Kensington's Technical Support team at (800) 535-4242. Please provide the serial number of your LiquidAUX product when you call Technical Support, and the company will arrange to ship you the ground loop isolator."

Could have saved u another 20. Me planninf to order it too, but saw some horrible remote reviews with 3GS. Is urs 3GS?
 

ihonda

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2009
1,837
169
there is a guy who sells these on ebay for around $25.00-$30.00 shipped, i bought one so i would know, just need to be on the watch for him. i believe he lists under different names because they always ship from same place. his name i purchasesd from was dragonw

edit;

http://cgi.ebay.com/KENSINGTON-LIQUIDAUX-CAR-KIT-IPHONE-IPOD-33429-REMOTE_W0QQitemZ160343054646QQihZ006QQcategoryZ58350QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

$23.00, also the 2-year warranty period that kensington offers is STILL VALID, just provide them a copy of your ebay/paypal reciept.
 

Tu13es

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2009
161
0
there is a guy who sells these on ebay for around $25.00-$30.00 shipped, i bought one so i would know, just need to be on the watch for him. i believe he lists under different names because they always ship from same place. his name i purchasesd from was dragonw

edit;

http://cgi.ebay.com/KENSINGTON-LIQUIDAUX-CAR-KIT-IPHONE-IPOD-33429-REMOTE_W0QQitemZ160343054646QQihZ006QQcategoryZ58350QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

$23.00, also the 2-year warranty period that kensington offers is STILL VALID, just provide them a copy of your ebay/paypal reciept.
Awesome! Why so cheap?
 

ihonda

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2009
1,837
169
no clue, but i can testify that it was 100% brandnew, box was a little scuffed, i somehow managed to break it and contacted kensington about warranty, i provided the receipt and they FedEx Ground'd me a brand new set and told me to throw away the old one.
 

SooneratND

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
158
0
From Amazon "Kensington can provide you with a ground loop isolator free of charge by calling Kensington's Technical Support team at (800) 535-4242. Please provide the serial number of your LiquidAUX product when you call Technical Support, and the company will arrange to ship you the ground loop isolator."

Could have saved u another 20. Me planninf to order it too, but saw some horrible remote reviews with 3GS. Is urs 3GS?
Wish I would have seen that...lol.

I've used it with both the Touch and the 3GS, both work fine. I got that "accessory not supported by iphone" message the very first time I connected it, but I disconnected it and plugged it back in and haven't seen it since.

No problem at all with the remote. Works well and looks nice.

Matt
 

Alexwithad

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2009
323
1
USA
Wait, does this allow you to change the song on the iPhone(without remote) or does it lock it up and say device connected like many other devices?
 

Tu13es

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2009
161
0
lo, so you spent how many thousand $ on a new lexus but wouldn't pony up on a measly $300? :rolleyes:
It's pretty easy to do the iPhone install yourself and save a that chunk of money. It's not pretty easy to build your own Lexus.
 

Kadman

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2007
1,216
0
I've been using one of these for a couple of months now and it works very well. I'm actually using it in connection with a cassette adapter as my 2004 Audi S4 lacks a line in. Quality is great considering the connection method.
 

SooneratND

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
158
0
Wait, does this allow you to change the song on the iPhone(without remote) or does it lock it up and say device connected like many other devices?
Mine hasn't locked up at all in the week I've owned it and played with it. Remote works to both change the song and to wake the ipod up after starting the car. I found also that if you turn the car off, it cuts power to the ipod and puts it to sleep. Upon starting the car again, pressing play on the remote will pick up right where you left off. Pretty slick!

on edit: just read your post closer and realized I didn't answer your question directly. -- I haven't played with it a ton, but my wife grabbed the touch it was connected to in the console yesterday and chose a song directly without it locking, so it worked at least once that way with no problem.
 

SooneratND

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
158
0
lo, so you spent how many thousand $ on a new lexus but wouldn't pony up on a measly $300? :rolleyes:
Correct. I have the money to buy a Lexus because I don't waste it on things like paying someone else $300-$400 to do something I can figure out how to do myself for far less.

Plus, I find it enjoyable to do things myself most of the time. It's fun to solve the puzzle.
 

EarthDawn

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2008
883
10
Long-eye Land, NY
Correct. I have the money to buy a Lexus because I don't waste it on things like paying someone else $300-$400 to do something I can figure out how to do myself for far less.

Plus, I find it enjoyable to do things myself most of the time. It's fun to solve the puzzle.

HEHE... wel said !!!

and it looks like a clean install as well
 

SooneratND

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
158
0
I think he pulled those pic's off the net,.......
True, but it was a clean install. The phone, aux input, and 12v charger are all in my center console, completely out of sight. The only thing visible in my car is the small remote on the bottom left side of the steering wheel. I can't stand wires around my car, so this was a big selling point for me.
 

Lemons!

macrumors member
Jul 1, 2009
79
0
I heard that this can be used as handsfree for talking when someone calls, but where's the mic if you don't have bluetooth in your car? Does this also work with the iPhone 3GS?

Also what car mount do you recommend for this? I don't like the ones that mount to the windshield.
 

Tu13es

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2009
161
0
I just realized that this may not fit with my case (Speck CandyShell). Gah. How bulky is the dock connector? The apple USB cables work fine, but I have a dock-to-aux cable in my car that doesn't fit with the CandyShell.
 

apfhex

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2006
2,682
4
Northern California
Also what car mount do you recommend for this? I don't like the ones that mount to the windshield.
They make a version of the LiquidAUX that comes with a mount sticking out of the 12v plug. May or may not work depending on your car. I suppose technically you could use it for handsfree calling but probably wouldn't work too well with the positioning of the mic.

I looked at getting a LiquidAUX (you know they're $20 cheaper on places like Amazon right?) but reviews seemed to indicate it was cheaply made and the remote fell off a lot (and yes complaints about needing a ground loop isolator, seemingly specific to this unit, but that's only anecdotal). Curious what the OP's experience with the remote has been like.
 

SooneratND

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
158
0
They make a version of the LiquidAUX that comes with a mount sticking out of the 12v plug. May or may not work depending on your car. I suppose technically you could use it for handsfree calling but probably wouldn't work too well with the positioning of the mic.

I looked at getting a LiquidAUX (you know they're $20 cheaper on places like Amazon right?) but reviews seemed to indicate it was cheaply made and the remote fell off a lot (and yes complaints about needing a ground loop isolator, seemingly specific to this unit, but that's only anecdotal). Curious what the OP's experience with the remote has been like.
No problem with the remote. The remote is a piece of rubberized plastic with a rectangle of harder plastic sitting in the center. The center part is designed to be able to be popped out of its holder so you can turn it upside down, pop it back in, and use it on the opposite side of the steering wheel. If you couldn't do that, the controls would be upside down when you moved it from the right side to the left.

I suspect the reviews about the remote falling apart are people who are too stupid to realize it's a feature, not a bug. Nothing has popped out inavdertently in my use. It's too simple to fall apart, really.

As for the ground loop, it has more to do with your car than the unit. Any unit that uses the aux in and charges at the same time would have problems in my car, because Lexus didn't ground the 12v power outlet correctly. If your outlet in your car is grounded properly, you won't need the GLI.
 

SooneratND

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
158
0
I just realized that this may not fit with my case (Speck CandyShell). Gah. How bulky is the dock connector? The apple USB cables work fine, but I have a dock-to-aux cable in my car that doesn't fit with the CandyShell.
Doesn't seem any bigger than the Apple dock connector. Fits fine with my Seidio Innocase.
 

SooneratND

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
158
0
I heard that this can be used as handsfree for talking when someone calls, but where's the mic if you don't have bluetooth in your car? Does this also work with the iPhone 3GS?

Also what car mount do you recommend for this? I don't like the ones that mount to the windshield.
Works with the 3GS. Got the compatibility message the very first time I plugged it in. Replugged it in and it went away, and never saw the message again.

Handsfree isn't advertised as an option with the version I got, and I haven't figured it out if it does.

I don't have a car mount, so I can't speak to that.