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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Scosche ControlFREQ - An App Controlled Stereo Receiver [Video]

Scosche is a popular accessory maker for cell phones and tablets. Late last year they introduced their first car stereo. The single-DIN receiver capable of being controlled wirelessly through a smartphone app is called ControlFREQ. Here are a few details.

The iOS and Android versions of the ControlFREQ app connect to the stereo via Bluetooth. From there on you can change radio stations, select music from a USB drive or SD card connected to the receiver, change source and stream music using A2DP wireless streaming using the app. Almost everything about the ControlFREQ is minimalistic and basic. There are no gimmicks here. It's just a straight up head unit.

The stereo will work and can be fully controlled with or without the companion app. Initial reviews have been less than flattering with users complaining about the app constantly crashing. Using the stereo through the app is quite cumbersome making the user click through different screens on the phone. This is just the beginning of the cons of using this product.

If you're looking to stream music over Bluetooth alone you can't do it without having the buggy app. Also, music stored on a USB drive or SD card can be played and controlled from the app but there are no folders for organizing the music. Without folder management one can imagine the horror of having to sift through thousands of songs.

As long as you avoid using the app, however, the stereo does a good job with its other functions. CD playback, radio etc work flawlessly when controlled directly from the head unit. The stereo features a built-in microphone so handsfree calling is also an added feature. Check out this feature video from Scosche.

ControlFREQ is priced at $120 if you buy directly from Scosche. Lower prices maybe found on Amazon or eBay. But, just because the stereo is iOS or Android compatible doesn't make it a recommended product. There are a lot of issues that need ironing out. The firmware can be updated using the USB port on the device and improvements have been made in recent times. Until the companion app is improved to work without any of the current bugs this stereo should be viewed as any other single-DIN product that plays CDs and has a radio tuner.

Full details about the ControlFREQ can be found on Scosche's website. Here are some screenshots of the iOS version of the ControlFREQ app.

Picture source: Scosche

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