Features and performance
The main reason people will buy the MEX-BT2600 is its competitive price and its integrated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability. With a built-in microphone and Bluetooth adapter, the system provides an easy and intuitive means of making calls from behind the wheel, an increasingly important consideration as more and more states enforce bans on driving while talking on cell phones. Pairing a phone to the MEX-BT2600 is straightforward: after holding down the BT button for five seconds, drivers search for the stereo using their Bluetooth-equipped phone, completing the process with the entry of a passkey. With the connection made, all calls made out from the cell phone handset are routed through the car’s speakers while the system’s built-in microphone lets drivers speak naturally and be understood from the other end of the line. Unlike its higher-end sibling, the MEX-BT2600 does not copy cell phone address books when paired. This is not a problem for incoming calls, which are answered by the touch of the rotary dial. However, there are limitations on outgoing calls: drivers can either use the handset to dial out (not ideal when driving along); redial the last number (obviously limited in its scope); or use the voice-dialing feature of the phone to call out. While this last option is dependent on the phone having a voice-dial option, we found it to be by far the easiest–and safest–way to call out via the MEX-BT2600. With a call underway, incoming sound quality via the car speakers is clear as is outgoing call quality–although the latter does sound a bit tinny. A new mic-volume control lets drivers adjust the outgoing call volume.
In sumWith a price tag of $169.95, the Sony MEX-BT2600 represents a great value for those looking for an all-in-one hands-free calling and audio receiver. If you can live with its lack of phonebook transfer, the system provides an easy-to-use Bluetooth speakerphone with good calling quality and seamless integration. Its wide range of audio options–including support for Bluetooth audio–is an added bonus.