Today we will be going hands on with the newly released BlackBerry Music Gateway, which was announced a couple of days ago. A quick recap for those who do not know exactly what the BlackBerry Music Gateway is or does, it basically lets you wirelessly play music to your home or car stereo from your BlackBerry smartphone, BlackBerry PlayBook tablet or any Bluetooth/NFC enabled device. That’s right, using Bluetooth or NFC you can enable up to 10 meters of wireless music to be played on your home or car stereo using your BlackBerry device and the BlackBerry Music Gateway all for one affordable price! Continue reading for more on the BlackBerry Music Gateway.
Here is the package fresh out of the unboxing. As you can see, RIM has done a great job and have provided details with graphics on how to install and work the BlackBerry Music Gateway so that you can get to jamming in no time! In case you’re wondering, the Music Gateway is NFC ready so a simple “tap to connect” will trigger a connection. To locate NFC on your device, simply bring up your Manage Connections menu and check the box next to NFC to enable Near Field Communication (NFC). After that is done, simply tap your smartphone to the Gateway and a connection will trigger and enable. If you are successful you will get a notification in the form of a music note with a check mark letting you that you have successfully paired your BlackBerry handheld to the Music Gateway. If you happen to be unsuccessful at pairing your BlackBerry to the Music Gateway, you will automatically receive an error message displaying a music note inside a red circle with a line drawn through it signifying an unsuccessful pair.
Upon opening the package there are a few accessories you’re going to need to know about before getting started. Enclosed is:
- Audio Cable with 3.5 mm Stero Plugs
- Audio Cable with RCA Type Connectors
- Music Gateway which is equipped with an LED indicator light, Functional Touch Power Button, Line out Jack, USB Port
Here is a drawn component list courtesy of RIM so that you can get another idea of the acessories enclosed in the package which I have listed above.
Here is an up close photo of the accessories enclosed in the package once again. Notice the extra wall charger? If you already have one – its OK, keep this handy. Trust me, it will be put to use sooner or later, especially if you find yourself streaming lots of music from your device to the Music Gateway.
Once you begin to pair the Music Gateway you will get a series of LED lights that when successfully paired, you should end up with solid blue LED light letting you know that the Gateway is turned on and is connected with your BlackBerry device. Below is a chart which breaks down what each LED means. For instance if you see a flashing red and blue light, the Music Gateway is in pairing mode. If you see a solid violet LED light, there is a problem with the gateway.
This chart breaks down what each LED color indicates. Remember, the goal is to get a solid blue LED light which means a successful pair between your device and Music Gateway.
In my vehicle, I chose to connect the BlackBerry Music Gateway using the 3.5 mm Audio cable and connecting it to my Auxiliary port (see image above). Looking at my dash, the vehicle picked up an Aux Input Device which is the Gateway. The next step is to either pair it via Bluetooth or using your NFC enabled device. As you can see, I went the NFC route and with a simple “tap to connect”, I established a successful paired connection and was happy to see that solid Blue LED light.
One more thing to note before you get going. In order for the Music Gateway to properly function it needs to use power. For juice, the Music Gateway plugs into your cigarette lighter or travel charger port located in your vehicle. The Gateway is equipped with a USB port so you can use the travel USB charger that comes enclosed in the box. Next to the USB port is the line-out jack which connects to your Aux port via the cables included in the package. Depending on the port in your stereo or vehicle, you will either use the Audio Jack or RCA connectors. Most newer model factory vehicles use the standard 3.5 mm Audio Jack Cable so keep your fingers close to that one.
- Easy to Use: Connect the BlackBerry Music Gateway to any home, car or portable stereo system, pair it with your BlackBerry smartphone and it’s ready to rock.
- Remote Control Operation: Change tracks, adjust the volume or play and pause music using your BlackBerry smartphone as the remote control.
- Automatic Call Taking: Need to take a call? Your music automatically fades when a call is received.
RIM is really being flexible in today’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) world and are showing it with the BlackBerry Music Gateway. With your BlackBerry smartphone/PlayBook or any Bluetooth enabled device you can stream music to your home or car stereo. Setup is painless and the outcome is priceless. Finally, an affordable solution which lets you take your favorite music that is on your handheld device and allow you to play it on your home and or car stereo. I rated the BlackBerry Music Gateway in 2 categories. The first being a product hardware rating which lets you know how good or bad the hardware is. RIM is known for making superb hardware so it didn’t surprise me that the product hardware rating received 4 out of 5 stars. The reason why it did not reach 5 stars is because I wish the Audio Cable was longer so that I could hide the Music Gateway (personal preference) and another reason was I would of preferred it to hold some type of charge rather than having it connected to power at all times.. Second, I rated it in terms of quality. Once paired, you get clear and crisp sound coming from your BlackBerry to your home or car stereo giving you an unmatched sound quality.
- Product hardware rating
- Quality rating
You may purchase the BlackBerry Music Gateway at shopblackberry.com for US $49.99.