Headless audio: Bluetooth, amp, phone calls

DeltaNu1142

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
163
Location
Maine
I know this has been done--I'd love to see your examples.

For awhile I've been planning to install a CarPlay-capable, camera-enabled double-DIN head unit. Hook that up to a compact 4-channel amp, upgrade speakers, and add a powered sub & you've got a system to compete with the wind and road noise that comes with driving an open-air, body-on-frame, solid-axle vehicle.

Lately, though, I've been thinking about a headless system: a Bluetooth-enabled amp hidden away somewhere that the phone will connect to means there's no head unit to steal. I'm not overly concerned about theft where I'm at, but it's one less thing to worry about. And with the development of electronic rearview mirrors, I can get a backup camera built right in. Headless audio fits in well with a more or less minimalist vehicle like a TJ.

I'd like to see any examples of headless audio units. Particularly any that incorporate hard controls for volume, source, etc., like what you might find in a built-up SxS. Almost any amp with RCA inputs can be made BT-compatible. I don't really need FM radio, but I don't have to count that out just because I don't have a head unit either. I do want to be able to make phone calls through the system, so a wired microphone is probably unavoidable.

Show me what you've got and sell me on the idea. Or, talk me out of it if you think it's a terrible idea.
 
Rugged Radios... intercom, radio integration and Bluetooth music that auto fades.

IMG_20240519_18064359.jpeg


-Mac
 
Rugged Radios... intercom, radio integration and Bluetooth music that auto fades.
As a motorcycle rider, I can see the value in this. But headsets means more parts & pieces to manage. I'd rather all the pieces of my audio system be non-removeable.

In the case of motorcycle intercoms, it just goes into the helmet you'd have to put on anyway. Having phone integration, music, and intercom from inside a helmet is a game changer.
 
I've got two headsets in bags. I've got the unit mounted, cables dressed. Takes 30 seconds to whip out the headsets and plug them into the plugs dressed down on the seats. Super simple but to each their own.

I fixed up the stereo in the Jeep with a powered sub under the seat, stuffed the soundbar with polyfil, bigger speakers in front with foam baffles... about the only time I use it is when I'm fixing the Jeep.

Doesn't help either that I'm usually filming something for YT so you've got to avoid copyright music...

I will say the downside to the headsets... especially with the hoop in back...you can't rest your head on the back of the seat and it's hard to turn your head sideways. Kind of wish I had gotten headsets over the top...but these are super comfortable...drove five hours yesterday down the freeway from Long Beach WA back the Fall Creek OR.

-Mac
 
I've got two headsets in bags. I've got the unit mounted, cables dressed. Takes 30 seconds to whip out the headsets and plug them into the plugs dressed down on the seats. Super simple but to each their own.

I fixed up the stereo in the Jeep with a powered sub under the seat, stuffed the soundbar with polyfil, bigger speakers in front with foam baffles... about the only time I use it is when I'm fixing the Jeep.

Doesn't help either that I'm usually filming something for YT so you've got to avoid copyright music...

I will say the downside to the headsets... especially with the hoop in back...you can't rest your head on the back of the seat and it's hard to turn your head sideways. Kind of wish I had gotten headsets over the top...but these are super comfortable...drove five hours yesterday down the freeway from Long Beach WA back the Fall Creek OR.

-Mac

I have the OTH ones and they start to annoy me after several days straight of wearing them wheeling every day.

We really like the headsets for wheeling when it's just Mrs App and me. Easier to communicate when hanging out the window and spotting tires and such. And the PTT on the GMRS is great.
 
https://outofsightaudio.com/ is what you are looking for in your original ask
That's it, yes. I wasn't sure until I got to the Mark 4, which has hands-free calling with a mic input. There isn't much info on the amp, though. Power ratings are RMS or max (for example)? $400 is spendy for something with no screen, but I guess that's what you're paying for.

What I would do here is clip the speaker wires for the OEM head unit so it still powers up, shows the time, etc... but then install this device under the steering column and run it to the speakers.

I prefer discrete components, so I'd rather see this device without an amplifier: just a receiver with inputs for the phone and microphone, and RCA preamp outputs. As it is, it only has two channels for amp output.
 
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https://outofsightaudio.com/ is what you are looking for in your original ask

Had to control myself.

I have no need for the audio head unit. All I listen to is BT audio from my phone. Pandora, Spotify, Apply Music... Almost never make or receive calls while driving and if I had to, it doesn't have to go through the Jeeps speakers.

So I remove the audio head unit, could install the Mark III, control output to four speakers 100% from my iPhone and repurpose the space the head unit occupies now? Or install the Mark IV and have capability for making or receiving calls?

Not cheap but such a great option.