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Bluetooth vs. FM: A False Equivalency

Reader Rolf Taylor comments on desirable features in new cars

Dear RW:

Commenting on the story “Bluetooth Beats FM in Public Radio TechSurvey”:

I would not buy a car that does not have both. My previous car, a 2010 Toyota Matrix, did not have Bluetooth, but it did have an Aux input that allowed me to connect an external Bluetooth device. That was a bit clunky, but essential so I could safely use my phone in a hands-free manner. It became an essential when my commute lengthened.

My current car, a 2012 Mazda 3, has built-in Bluetooth (it does not have HD Radio BTW, despite a supposedly upscale Bose sound system, but I digress). That makes taking calls very smooth and therefore safer.

I do not stream media from my phone. But I do rely on my smartphone as my navigation system, and Bluetooth aids in that as well.

So my answer to the question “If you were buying a new car but had to choose between having FM radio or Bluetooth in the vehicle, which would you take” would be C: None of the Above.

I suppose I would be willing to accept a car with FM and no Bluetooth, but only if an Aux input where included. But it would be a step backwards.

[See past letters on the Reader’s Forum page.]