Many cars music systems lack the Bluetooth feature, but could Tantra Fluke hands-free kit be the answer to your prayers? We review this device and weigh its pros and cons.
According to Cisco, networking solution leader, India is the second largest smartphone market globally and is expected to go over 650 million owners in the next four years. This shows how common smartphones are these days, but the same cannot be said for Bluetooth enabled car music systems, as this feature is usually available in high-end variants. This leaves a smartphone user with a conundrum because he or she can’t play their favourite playlist or stream tracks from their mobile phone via Bluetooth. A simple solution for this is a Bluetooth hands-free kit and we test Tantra’s Fluke and find out if it answers our requirements.
Simple and minimalistic design is where Fluke scores full marks. It is a circular device, which houses three buttons — answering calls, previous and next track options. It is attached with a wire that splits into 3.5mm jack and USB plug. Fluke also comes with an extension wire for jack, which has to be inserted into the auxiliary input port and get connected to the music system. The USB end is plugged into a 2.1A dual USB car charger connected to a 12 Volt socket, which acts as the power source for the device. The dual USB charger is a boon as you can charge your phone on the go.
Fluke is magnet based and with a dual side sticker it can be placed anywhere as per convenience. You can easily connect your mobile phone via Bluetooth, then choose AUX option and start playing music from the car music system. What was disappointing was the sound quality. It was very low and you had to turn up the sound level to hear anything. A better quality 3.5mm wire could improve the sound quality, unfortunately you can’t change it as it is directly attached to the device and only the extension can be replaced. We would prefer if the wires were separate and independent. Call quality is much better as it is equipped with echo and noise cancelling technology. This ensured that the call was audible and voice did not get lost in surrounding sound or wind noise. The in-built microphone captures your voice clearly and there was no echoing.
As a product, the Tantra Fluke has a lot of things going for itself. It is a very user friendly device thanks to the simple design. Setting up the device is also easy. It has LED lights in the centre, which lets you know the power is on. The dual USB car charger is another useful feature. But Fluke has its flaws as well, the voice quality is decent but it could have been better, the music quality is below par and the built quality is average. And at Rs. 4,000, we think it is slightly overpriced.