Bluetooth Car Kit Review
Why Buy a Bluetooth Car Kit?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted drivers kill nine people and leave 1,060 people injured every day in the United States. The main culprit of distracted driving is people who can't resist the lure of their phones. They receive a text message and have to respond immediately. They hear their phone ring and immediately begin digging through their purse or pocket in search of it. Any way you look at it, interacting with your phone takes your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel.
Distracted driving is so dangerous that many states have adopted laws against using your cell phone without a hands-free device while driving. However, for many professionals who spend a significant amount of time both on the road and on the phone for their job, ignoring their phone while driving is impractical. Bluetooth car kits allow you to stay connected to your phone without taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel.
The Motorola Roadster Pro, Jabra FREEWAY and Motorola Roadster 2 are excellent examples of Bluetooth car speakerphones that provide HD voice calling and comprehensive hands-free control over your mobile devices. They keep you connected to your social networks with speech-to-text and text-to-speech features, and they don't require complicated and expensive installation. To learn more, read our articles about Bluetooth car kits.
Bluetooth Car Kit: What to Look For
The optimal location for a Bluetooth hands-free car kit is your car's sun visor because it puts the speakers and microphone close to your head. As such, we focused on kits that install easily to the sun visor instead of kits that install to the median console. We also focused on Bluetooth hands-free devices that don't rely solely on connecting to your car stereo to use the car speakers for the audio reproduction. These models suffer from poor audio reproduction due to echoing, which occurs when the microphone picks up the audio from the speakers.
Below are some of the criteria you'll want to consider when choosing the best Bluetooth car kit for you.
Call quality is paramount. If you can't understand your caller and your caller can't understand you, then the call is unproductive. The first characteristic to consider is the frequency range. HD voice uses a wideband frequency range of 50Hz to 7kHz, which is more than double the frequency range of standard narrowband audio. The result is a voice that sounds clearer and more natural, as if your caller is in the car with you.
The next important characteristic for call quality is the noise reduction and echo cancellation system. Multiple microphones are better than omnidirectional microphones because the multiple mics can better differentiate between your voice and the background noise. The best Bluetooth car speakerphone uses four microphones so that your caller only hears your voice, even when you have the air conditioning on high and you're speeding down the freeway.
Other important speakerphone features include advanced multipoint pairing and a dedicated mute button. Advanced multipoint pairing allows you to connect two phones to the device at the same time. The dedicated mute is important because it allows you to mute a call without having to touch your phone.
The best Bluetooth car kits have companion apps that provide text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities. These apps allow you to dictate text messages, tweets, status updates and emails without looking at your phone. Likewise, you can hear text read to you. This allows you to stay connected to your social networks without disconnecting your focus from driving safely.
To provide the best hands-free calling for your car, the best Bluetooth car kits have the Hands-Free Profile. This lets you use your voice to access controls and features. Other Bluetooth profiles that work in tandem with these voice controls are the Phone Book Access Profile, the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile and the Audio/Video Remote Control Profile. Your phone must also have these Bluetooth profiles for the hands-free performance to be effective.
Every hands-free Bluetooth car kit has a rechargeable battery that can charge using the car's charging port, a USB port or a wall plug. The talk time on a full charge ranges from 10 hours to 45 hours, and standby time ranges from three weeks to over six months.
An important battery feature to consider is automatic on and off capability. The best Bluetooth hands-free speakerphones have sensors that can detect when you get in and out of your car. When you enter your car, the sensor turns the kit on and pairs it to your phone automatically. When you leave, it turns off. Not only is this convenient, it also saves power.
Help & Support
Most Bluetooth car kits have a one-year warranty. Manufacturers should be easy to contact if you have a concern or question. You should also be able to access a FAQs page, apps, downloads and manuals so that you have all the information you need to make sure you're getting the most out of your hands-free Bluetooth car kit.
Using your phone while you're behind the wheel is irresponsible. It's not only dangerous to you, but also to others on the road. With a Bluetooth car kit, you can responsibly take your important phone calls and text messages while you drive.