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I've wanted to update my Insight with a hands-free phone capability... And after quite a bit of research, I decided to get a Parrot Rhythm N Blue unit:

http://www.parrot.biz/usa/products/rhythmnblue

Now I have instant access to my phone numbers through the radio, and can dial them directly from the unit's phonebook or through the built-in key pad on the face while my phone remains holstered... or via voice commands, so you can program the unit to hear "Phone... Cindy... Home (cellular, work, other)" and the RNB will dial for you hands-free (up to 150 contacts!). And when a call comes in, I get caller ID and the call plays through the speakers, which automatically mute when the call is received and unmuted (demuted?) when the call is terminated (manually by me or automatically when the other party hangs up). The reception is better than my old Pioneer, the sound is better, and to my admittedly unsophisticated taste, the unit looks better, too. :D

The installation was simplicity itself. Drop the lid to the glove compartment and remove a few screws that hold the central surround around the factory (or aftermarket, like mine) radio, pull gently away to release the factory clips, remove four screws holding the radio, and slide the offending unit out. The RNB has an ISO plug which will not plug in directly to the Honda loom, but an aftermarket plug is available at any stereo store (surprisingly, Best Buy was out "because they're real popular, them Hondas." Just get the 01-05 Civic harness plug, don't even bother to ask for an Insight one because they'll just say "we don't have that" as soon as you start to say Innnnn-sigh..."). It's a rectangular, light-blue thing with a bunch of wires hanging out of it. But the little plastic baggie tells you what every wire is for. This is a great thing... :lol:

The RNB ISO plug has every wire labeled. If you're lucky enough to get an ISO Honda adapter plug, just plug it into the harness and you're done! I wasn't quite as fortunate, since my stereo store would have had to order the ISO plug (a three-day+ affair), and I didn't want to wait, so I got the Honda end of the adapter with about twelve or fourteen wires protruding therefrom. I snipped the ISO end of the RNB loom off, but matching the wires (plastic baggie legend!) and soldering them in the matching order was a ten-minute job with no drama. I ran the wired mike up the A pillar (the plastic trim pulls right off and snaps right back on) to the center of the windshield, just above the mirror, and double-stick-taped it in place as high as possible, and dressed the wire under the headliner. Then I reassembled everything, and fired up the accessory position. The RNB sprang to life, and everything worked. (NOTE: When you turn the unit off via your key, the unit stays on for about six seconds, then turns off. Kinda cool but weird at the same time. Don't freak out when it happens to you). ;)

After using the menu to adjust the display color to closely match the dash, I paired both my Sprint PocketPC and My Beloved's Samsung phone to the unit. Her phone carried the phonebook over to the RNB, but my PocketPC would not send over my contacts. Not surprising, since I have several thousand entries (which would have overwhelmed the memory of the RNB). I just dedicated a category to the numbers I normally would call (reducing the contacts to a more manageable 160 or so on my end, and her 90 numbers) and sent the information via Bluetooth. It took maybe ten minutes tops. :D

I made a few phone calls to try the unit out, and no one, not one single person, realized I was on a speakerphone instead of having the phone next to my face, until I confessed my test. I even rolled my window down on one call to prove to my Doubting Thomas that I was in the car doing 55 mph, and the faithless rascall actually argued with me that yes, he could hear some wind noise, but he thought I had just turned on my AC on high, not at all an obnoxious loss of fidelity in his opinion. I assume the noise cancellation feature is really outstanding. :lol:

Am I 100% thrilled? No, there are some issues I am a bit peeved about. Changing from FM to AM is a bother (you have to access the menu. Pooh.) and this may be a dealbreaker for some (I knew about it, but no big deal to me)... there is NO CLOCK on the display. Whaaaa... who designed this thing? And the owner's manual is absurdly simple and at times, uninformative (no challenge for most of us techies and techie hopefuls, just experiment a bit and you'll get it). Other than those silly things, I'm at 99% happy. :D

I assume some of you want to keep your original Insight radio in place. Fear not. You can have the handsfree capability with any of the Parrot Bluetooth kits available (which see) with installation as easy as what I described above. Check their website. Costwise, my delivered RNB was under $220 (available at multiple venues and eBay, Google and search for the best price as I did: mine came from http://www.etronics.com ) and since I installed it myself, there was no installation charge. I did slightly scratch the plastic surround in a moment of spasticity :roll: , my fault :? , but I'll get some matching dark grey model paint and make it disappear here shortly. I hope this longish report helps someone out there, as for me, life is good right now. :D
 
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