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Microsoft Sync Review

I’ve been told that two of the most stressful times in your life will be when you buy a car, and shop for a house. I can safely say that the ‘buying a car’ portion was correct. Looking around for a deal, haggling with sales people, and finally coming up with what you want generally leads to a headache. Then some crying once you see what the final cost of the car is.

After all of the above, I decided to purchase a 09 Focus SES. I’m really liking the car going into about my third month of ownership. It’s very roomy, and has a slick interior. One of the perks of the car, but wasn’t a huge selling point was Microsoft Sync. If you haven’t researched this technology, then it might be something you should look into.

My portable devices that I always have with me are my LG VU, and my iPod Touch. Both of which are compatible with the Microsoft Sync technology. After my first few months using it, I don’t see how I could ever be without Sync.

The Good -

The greatest thing I’ve found while using Microsoft Sync is the Bluetooth connection. It automatically picks up the LG VU, and from then on out everything relating to my phone is handled through Sync. If I want to call a friend, it’s a press of a button and say my friend’s name. I’ve got nothing but wonderful reception so far, as everyone I’ve talked to says the reception is crystal clear. The audio coming through the car speakers is high quality as well. The convenience of just being able to drive without a phone to your ear is a godsend.

Besides Bluetooth, you have the option of plugging in a USB device or using AUX input. I’ve only use the USB plug so far, for my iPod Touch. Sync automatically relays the meta information of the song database and displays it on the Sync screen. Just like with Bluetooth, the audio is high quality and having my entire song list available to play in my car without any other device is very convenient.

Another benefit of Sync, is that no matter what part of the console you’re using it is on. So, if you want to listen to a CD, while being able to receive or make calls it’s available. The same for the radio, Sirius, and USB devices. It’s the seemless transfer from different functions that really take Microsoft Sync a high level.

The Bad -

While most of Sync is great, there are some downfalls to the technology. Easily the most apparent weakness is the voice recognition. If you’re using one word, and simple names and phrases then Sync is fine. If you want to call your dad, then speaking Dad will be picked up. But if you have your iPod plugged in, and want to hear Billy Joel, sometimes you get Billy Idol. This has happened to me on a number of occasions, and can be a bother. I’ve found that for some reason it picks up track names, much easier than artists.

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If you’re someone who travels a lot, or goes on trips then Sync might be something serious to look into. The hands free navigation through your phone list, and having a massive music library at your disposal is a treat. I wouldn’t say that for most casual drivers that Microsoft Sync is a must. However, if you’re looking at the Ford Focus, I would say that upgrading to a model that offers Sync might be an option you should consider.

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4 Comments »

  1. avatar John Says:

    I just have a quick question for you. I just got myself a 2009 Fusion SE with the SYNC package installed. I’ve also been thinking about upgrading to the LG Vu from my Samsung A707. I’ve seen on the SYNC website that the SMS/Text feature of the SYNC does not work with the Vu. I want to confirm or disprove this–is it true?

  2. avatar John Says:

    I’ve got a question regarding the Microsoft SYNC versus the LG Vu. I recently purchased a 2009 Fusion SE with this package installed and was also considering upgrading my current phone (Samsung A707) to the LG Vu. I found on the SYNC website that the LG Vu shows no compatibility with the SYNC’s SMS/Text feature. I just want to confirm or disprove this finding–what has your experience been?

    Thanks.

  3. avatar John Says:

    Not happy with the sync system. The voice recognition is horrible and will dial unexpected contact choices. The artist recognition is just as bad. The system is more cumbersum than an average stereo and I find myself leaving my attention from the road to look at the screen to figure out what the systems doing. I think the next upgrade should include a cuss feature so you can tell it where to go. Cheap and what I should have expected from Microsoft.

  4. avatar Bob G Says:

    I just bought a Fusion SEL and so far SYNC is great. It takes time to recognise your voice but once it is in tune with your voice, it works like wonders.

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