iPhone Question

I put this here because it has a factual answer. I haven’t yet gotten an iPhone, but I’m interested.

I understand that the new iPhone comes with a set of ear buds that have a built in microphone. If you’re listening to your music via the iPod function and a call comes in, you can click a button and talk using the microphone and ear buds.

Now, say I’m using the iPod function and a cassette adapter to listen to my music via my car’s tape deck. If a call comes in:

  1. Will the sound output from the call be routed through my car stereo? (I can’t see why not)

  2. Will the microphone built into the iPhone (not on the ear buds) be active to pick up my voice (a la speakerphone)?

I have an iPhone, and I would test this out for you if it weren’t for one small detail that I have yet to address: You need an adapter for a typical minijack to work in the iPhone’s headphone jack. It’s deeper set than usual, and I’ve noticed the earbud/microphone it came with have a longer, 3-stage jack than what I usually see on a typical headphone jack.

Here’s one from Belkin

Anyway, once you get past there, I can’t see why the sound wouldn’t be patched through your car stereo speakers? It should work as you hope for. Can’t test it for now… maybe someone out there has the jack adapter and a cassette adapter?

Think about it, your car stereo does not have a microphone. So even if the sound was routed through to the speakers, how is the caller going to hear you?

Rick, the OP’s question number 2 addresses that properly. He’s asking if the phone’s usual microphone is still functional with headphones connected, and if it’s sensitive enough to pick up the user’s voice from a distance.

Actually, if you need an adaptor anyway (most headphones do), you could get one of the adaptors with a mic in it (there are a couple available now). This would be on the end near the iPhone.

Unfortunately, how far away it could be from your mouth, I don’t know. I’d also worry about feedback if the microphone could hear the car speakers. This doesn’t seem to be a problem with the built-in speaker phone capability, though.

I’m pretty sure that the internal mic stays active if you get a call while connected to non-mic-bearing headphones, but I’ve not explicitly tried it. It would be a pretty dumb design if not, and Apple tends to think of these things.

I tried this for you when I got in the car today. Used a cassette adapter (no microphone) and made a call. The sound came through the car speakers as you’d expect, and the iPhone microphone continued to work, also as you’d expect.

In my car, with the engine running, the iPhone mic will pick up my slightly-louder-than-conversational voice while sitting on the seat next to me, but it’s marginal. Putting it in the “armrest area” works a little better, as does speaking a little louder. The person on the other end didn’t report any feedback.

Looks like I will be the proud new owner of an iPhone and a 2 year contract with AT&T soon…

Thanks TimeWinder

You’re welcome. But let me note, in case it matters, that regardless of the outcome of my experiment, the iPhone isn’t a particularly good phone for use while driving (assuming for the moment that you think any phone is). The lack of tactile buttons, and the relocatable targets mean you’ve pretty much got to look at it, and if you need to scroll (very likely if you have many contacts or favorites), you’ve got to look at it for a fairly long time, driving-wise, and fairly precisely hit the target.

This is definitely a “pull over and call” phone if ever there was one. But I call from my (stopped) car frequently; the use-the-car-speakers-as-speakerphone trick may actually come in handy for me from time to time.

It should go through the car stereo, yes. I don’t know if the microphone will be active, but if it is it should be sensitive enough to pick up your voice. iPhone (which doesn’t take an article, to judge from the documentation) has a proximity sensor to turn off the touchpad while it’s near your face, but also to act like a speakerphone when it’s not.

That said, I just got one right before I moved down here to N’awlins, and I found my iPhone immensely useful on the drive, especially coordinating with my mother driving the truck or my car (whichever I wasn’t driving). I didn’t use it like an iPod, though – I just hung one earbud in my right ear to be ready in case we needed to talk. As for “pull over and dial”, that’s true if I ever have to dial. However, there’s a nifty “favorites” screen that I just left open, so whenever I needed to get her I just tapped her entry there. iPhone is designed so that you actually dial as little as possible.