How many hours a day do you spend commuting? One? Two? More? These days, a lot of people commute from one metropolitan area to another just to work every day. If you spend that much time in your car, you probably want to chat on the phone with friends and family. But you also need to keep your hands on the wheel, both for safety and legal reasons. So what is the solution? Equip your vehicle with a Bluetooth car speakerphone.
Not sure where to begin your hunt for the perfect Bluetooth speakerphone for your car? We have done all the legwork for you and put together a list of the top choices. Check out the table below to compare features and prices on the best Bluetooth speakerphones for cars.
|Jabra Freeway||Check Price on Amazon|
|Jabra Tour||Check Price on Amazon|
|Jabra Drive||Check Price on Amazon|
|Motorola Sonic Rider||Check Price on Amazon|
Still aren’t sure what you are looking for? Read on to learn more about the important features to shop for in a Bluetooth car speakerphone.
What is a Bluetooth Car Speakerphone?
This device is exactly what it sounds like—it is a gadget you link up to your mobile device and then physically clip to your sun visor or set on your dashboard or somewhere else secure and out of the way. When your phone rings, you can activate the speakerphone with the touch of a button and enjoy crystal clear audio.
Before you can buy the right Bluetooth car speakerphone, you need to evaluate your needs. Here are some important questions to ask yourself:
Would flashing lights on the device help you or distract you?
Many car speakerphones include an abundance of flashing lights. Some people like these, but others cannot stand them. If they are likely to distract you from driving, you will need to shop for a device without them.
What charging options do you want?
If you live in an area that receives ample sunlight, you can purchase a speakerphone that charges through a solar panel. This is a great choice since it is wire-free. If you do not get a lot of sun, you should probably just stick with a device that is powered through your accessory jack.
Do you need fast and easy setup?
This is important if you plan to move the device a lot, say from one vehicle to another and back. This also goes for situations where you have to park in a public location. A speakerphone may be a theft target, and you may need to detach it every time you parked. If this is what you expect, you want that process to be as quick and easy as possible.
Is it legal in your area to mount a speakerphone on your windshield?
Some speakerphones are designed to be mounted directly on your windshield. This can work great, but only if your state allows it. A lot of states have rules against anything being on your windshield while you are driving, so double check the laws in your area. If you cannot attach the speakerphone to your windshield, you will need alternate mounting options.
What is your price range?
There is a huge price range when it comes to car speakerphones. At the lower end, you can find devices that cost less than $20. At the higher end, some models exceed $100. Naturally you will get what you pay for. Do not expect a $20 device to perform like a $100 device.
Recommended Features For Bluetooth Car Speakerphone
Big buttons or voice control
While you are driving, you are going to need to keep your eyes and attention focused on the road as much as possible. For that reason, the best Bluetooth car speakerphones include large buttons for operation. It should be easy to find them out of the corner of your eye.
Don’t want to push any buttons at all? These days you can find car speakerphones which are entirely voice-operated. This is an even better choice, though you may pay extra for the feature.
One advantage of buying a car speakerphone instead of a headset is the much longer battery life you can expect. Since speakerphones are larger devices than headsets, they can use larger batteries. While talk times can range quite widely, you should be able to find a minimum of 10 hours of talk time per charge. Some devices will even give you up to 40 hours!
Standby times are even longer. Look for a week at the minimum. At the maximum, some devices will give you up to a couple of months of standby before requiring a recharge.
Incoming and outgoing call quality
The clarity of your incoming and outgoing sound should be your top consideration when you are shopping for a car speakerphone. That is after all the point of the purchase; otherwise you could just use the poor-quality speakerphone on your cell phone.
Look for a frequency range of 50Hz to 7kHz; this will provide you with the most natural sound. Also check for features like echo cancellation and noise reduction. Multiple microphones can assist with screening out background noise as well.
While you are at it, look for a dedicated mute feature. This lets you silence the device if you need to without touching a single button. This is an important road safety feature.
What can you expect in terms of warranty and support? Most car speakerphones come with a one-year warranty. Some companies provide additional support as well in the form of downloads and apps online.
You now should have a much better idea what to look for when you are shopping for a Bluetooth speakerphone for your car. Scroll back up to the top of the guide and take a closer look at the comparison chart for top Bluetooth car speakerphones. You are now ready to compare different models and pick the best one for your needs!
1. Jabra Freeway: a Great All-Around Bluetooth Headset Alternative
The best thing about the Jabra Freeway is that it almost always recognizes your commands. Other Bluetooth speakerphones struggle when it comes to voice recognition. This device’s noise filter is quite strong as well. If you need a way to use your phone wirelessly but you don’t want to bother with a headset, take a hard look at the Jabra Freeway.
- No need to use an earpiece. If you don’t like the way Bluetooth headsets make you look, this speaker is a good alternative.
- Picks up your voice every time. Unlike many Bluetooth speakers, this one understands your commands almost every time.
- Short, simple setup. Just pair the speaker with your phone and you’re good to go.
- Filters out noise. This device’s built-in noise filters ensure that nobody will ever know that you’re talking to them via a speaker.
- Turns itself on when you need it. Because the Jabra senses when you’re around, you can use it for about a month before you need to recharge it.
- Music sounds great on it, too. The speakers are of good enough quality to handle music.
- Siri compatible. If you have an iPhone, hold down the big button for 2 seconds to talk to Siri.
- The Jabra Freeway’s optional VoiceAssist software isn’t quite ready for prime time. There are too many bugs for it to be useful.
- The built-in FM transmitter would have been a nice feature, but it doesn’t work very well.
2. Jabra Tour: A Car Speakerphone Which Is Easy to Use and Hear
The Jabra Tour is a Bluetooth car speakerphone from the Jabra brand. This speakerphone allows you to make hands-free calls, and also to listen to music and podcasts. You can even get the speakerphone to read you directions from GPS while you are driving. As such, it is far more than just a speakerphone.
- Multi-use device. As mentioned before, you can use your Jabra to chat on the phone, listen to music, get directions, and more.
- Automatic on and off function. With Jabra, your device is ready to go when you climb into your vehicle. You never need to worry about leaving it on after you exit the car either; it will automatically sense you are gone and shut itself off.
- Long talk and standby time. You can get up to 60 days of standby time on a single battery charge, and you can talk for 20 hours straight before you need to switch to a new battery.
- Caller ID announcer. You do not have to read the caller ID display to know who is calling; there is a voice which reads it aloud to you so you can keep your eyes on the road.
- Clear and loud audio. Even when you are on the highway, you should have no problem hearing the crystal clear audio.
- Sometimes the audio quality on the receiving end may be poor. Most units do not seem to suffer from this issue however.
3. Jabra Drive: A Tough Little Bluetooth Speaker
The Jabra Drive is little, but don’t underestimate its ability to survive drops and dings. It’s high grade plastic shell is very hard to crack. Also, its battery life is very impressive. Though the speaker isn’t so great for music, all telephone calls come in loud and clear. It’s a nice workhorse Bluetooth speaker that does what it does very well.
- A cinch to install and use. Like most Bluetooth speakers, this one is easy to pair and use.
- Auto connects when you get in. The built-in motion sensor activates the Jabra Drive and turns it off automatically when nobody is around.
- Sun visor clip. The clip is convenient because it allows you to get close to the mic and speaker.
- Includes cigarette lighter charger. A single charge lasts a long time, but if you do need juice you can plug it in.
- Long battery life. You can use this speaker for about a month before it needs more power.
- Small size. This speaker won’t attract attention because it’s about as big as a garage door opener.
- Sturdy construction. The high quality plastic and metal shell is capable of surviving accidents and drops.
- The speakers don’t sound good when you play music. However, they are just fine for phone calls.
- The noise filtration feature isn’t so great. A/C and wind noise are a problem.
4. Motorola Sonic Rider: A Bluetooth Speakerphone for the Whole Family
The Sonic Rider by Motorola is a speakerphone for the road which is designed to be used by the whole family. It supports two phone lines simultaneously, which means that two passengers can use it at a time. It also boasts extra long talk time and other great features.
- Unbelievable battery life. Most competing products offer around 20 hours of talk time and a couple of months on standby on a single charge. The Sonic Rider provides you closer to five months of standby time and 45 hours of talk time. This makes it perfect for road trips, everyday commuting and more.
- Multipoint functionality. This is what allows two users to connect two separate mobile phones simultaneously to use at the same time.
- Easy to use. Getting set up and learning the ropes with this product should be a breeze for most users.
- Easy to hear. The sound from this device comes through loud and clear thanks to high volume and advanced noise reduction. Echo cancellation further enhances the clarity of the sound.
- Hands-free operation. The set includes audible caller ID, voice prompts to let you know if the battery is running low, and support for hands-free answering and ignoring of phone calls.
- Dedicated mute button. This useful feature allows you to turn sound on or off with the push of a single button.
- Sound quality may vary. Most models seem to perform fabulously, but a few units may suffer from poor quality sound.
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