Search box

Thursday, June 28, 2012

iPhone Control on the Bike

Normally, I use my iPod and headphones on the bike. To control the volume, pause and changing tracks, I had been using the Monster iEZ Click Remote Control. The setup has worked quite nicely. I can turn the volume down when in town and traffic and pause to talk to my friends at traffic stops.

However, since I switched out my iPod for an iPhone, I've been challenged to find a different solution. The RF receiver that plugs into the bottom of the iPhone does not fit with my protective case--and it's a hassle to change out if I'm riding.

At first, I switched to the Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones. I've used Shure products for years and I really like the new ones since they lay flat in my ears and makes managing them with my helmet that much easier.  Coupled with the Shure Earphone Accessory Cable for iPhone, iPod and iPad, I had remote control ability. In addition, I also discovered that I had the ability to make phone calls while on the bike--for the most part. At a stop, it works well, but while riding, not so much.

I wouldn't recommend this solution because the remote control has a mic, which means it hangs by your neck. I spent more time groping around trying to find the darn thing and then trying to figure out what button to push.  It was much more of a distraction than I wanted to deal with. I suppose that I could have activated Siri, but I had problems with voice calls, so I doubt that this would be a reliable and effective solution.  Besides, I like Shure's over-the-ear, behind-the neck cord routing and the accessory cable does not allow for efficient cable routing because of the in-line control/microphone.

So much for that, the search continues.

While I wanted to change my headphones, I did not want to spend too much trying to put bluetooth capability on the Harley. There are a number of great mobile solutions for automobiles, and I was thinking that I could modify. Unfortunately, most were more than I wanted to pay. In addition, I didn't want too much capability--I simply wanted to control the volume, track, and pause music. Not interested in making phone calls or voice texting.

I came across a little device by Satechi. Called the Saitechi BT MediaRemote, this little device just does what I need--controls the media (i.e., music) on my iPhone! It also controls other Apple and claims to work with Android products. It's also small enough that I could mount on my handlebars. This allows me to control the music, pause or change tracks with minimal fuss so I can keep my hands on the handlebar grips.

Pairing was simple and after a few clicks, I was connected. This device works like a dream! In addition, I can turn the music off when I need to communicate with friends or during times I don't want to listen to music. I still wear the headphones because they are noise isolating--and I want hearing protection from wind noise.

A little bit of velcro allowed me to attach the device to my handlebar clamp:

Overall, I'm satisfied with this solution! In addition, off the bike, the remote can be utilized as a remote shutter control.

Until next time...

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine