Hands Off: The 6 Best Bluetooth Car Kits

Not everyone can afford to have a hands-free kit built into their car. Others realize that many of the factory systems leave much to be desired and so they seek out their own aftermarket in-car Bluetooth kit. The advantage to investing in a decent wireless Bluetooth device is that it can go with you rather than being tied down to a single vehicle so even when you’re jet-setting in rental cars or using the company Beamer to land a whale of a client you’ve got reliable, familiar equipment that is easy to use so you don’t have to spend your day fiddling with a new gadget while you drive.

These kits come in a few different flavors. There is the FM transmitter type that works through your existing car stereo system and is better for those looking to tote their tunes around rather than do big business in the car. You can choose speakerphone models that clip on to your visor. They work best for those who need the best call quality possible. Lastly, there is the AUX input type that runs through the tape deck or auxiliary port in older or classic cars. However you roll down the road, prevent a distracted driving disaster with one of the 6 best Bluetooth car kits.

SuperTooth Buddy Bluetooth

SuperTooth Buddy Bluetooth

Pro: Simple and affordable
Con: Receiving speaker is weak

Best for Beginners: If this will be your first car Bluetooth kit and you aren’t sure how you like the idea, or if you don’t plan on using it very often and are trying to keep some extra scratch lying around, the SuperTooth Buddy is all you need. It doesn’t dazzle with features – up to and including caller ID – but that gives it as much as 20 hours of talk time for those marathon debates with your fiancĂ© over who loves who more. This falls under the speakerphone category and is meant to either clip onto your sun visor or ride around in your pocket. It can connect to two devices and the speaker is crisp for voice projection while music is tinny. Expect callers to have trouble hearing you if you don’t project like an opera star when you speak. [Purchase: $35]

Jabra Freeway

Jabra Freeway

Pro: Very clear speakerphone
Con: Body is bulky

Premium Speaker Quality: This is the best sound you’ll get out of a speakerphone style car Bluetooth kit. It uses a triple-set of 7-watt speakers to give you virtual “surround” quality even when you aren’t using the FM feature. Whether running it through the speakers of your car or straight from the on-board drivers you’ll be able to hear music crisply and voices will come through loud and clear. It uses the A2DP system to help pump up the volume and ensure that GPS directions, vocals, and whoever you are reaching out and touching are easy to understand. The two issues that come along with the Freeway are the minimal number of apps that work with the device and the large size. While you can live with it behaving as just a good Bluetooth phone attachment, having it drag down your visor or lurk in your range of vision can be distracting. [Purchase: $72]

GoGroove FlexSmart X3

GoGroove FlexSmart X3

Pro: Looks and feels like an iPod
Con: Limited features

Smooth and Simple: If you’ve ever tried to use one of them new-fangled iPod thingers, then you can probably handle the FlexSmart X3. It uses the same big, friendly interface that you’ll find on iPods with intuitive controls that you don’t have to stare at. The AUX cable means you’ll never have to worry about recharging the battery while the bright channel display tells you exactly what station to tune to in order to make use of the FM transmitter. It fits neatly on your console right beside your stereo allowing you to swap tracks or work the device as simply as your receiver. The simple manufacturing gives it minimal extra features so expect to play music or take calls, but little else. [Purchase: $60]

Motorola Roadster 2

Motorola Roadster 2

Pro: Lots of Motorola app interfaces
Con: Speakerphone could be clearer

Feature Rich: Even though there is also a Roadster Pro, you’ll want to avoid that hunk of heavy hardware since it pales in comparison to even the original Roadster. This is a nice combo of speakerphone and FM interface that lets you swap between the two depending on whether you want to listen to music or to talk. It doesn’t have the same rich quality of the Jabra Freeway, but it does come with tons of features at a reasonable price that lets you customize your experience. First and foremost is the syncing with the Motorola Car Finder App. It will work with your phone so that you never lose your car in a busy parking lot. You can also get it to function with an advanced text-to-speech app that works both ways so you’ll never have to fight with autocorrect critiquing your beefy man-fingers ever again. [Purchase: $59]

GoGroove Mini Aux

GoGroove Mini Aux

Pro: Excellent voice reception
Con: Single control button

Delightful Dongle: GoGroove seems to have this whole AUX interface down to a science. The Mini has a 6 hour battery so it doesn’t rely entirely on the cable for power. The body looks like a microphone and performed as well as anything out there for capturing your voice even over ambient noise like heaters, air conditioners, and the squealing kid in the car seat that you should have sold off. It can be mounted anywhere in the car with a velcro pad so you can keep it closer to your mouth to even further enhance the audio quality. You won’t get any of the distortion that comes from FM transmitters and the dedicated power button means you can shut this off whenever you want so it won’t drain your car’s battery. The sad part is that power button is the sole control you have for everything, which can cause problems. [Purchase: $25]

Parrot MKi9000

Parrot MKi9000

Pro: Steering wheel remote
Con: Small controls

Total Control: The expensive MKi9000 from parrot is one of the true hands-free car Bluetooth kits that is meant to act with the same power and ease as any factory-grade addition. Playing, pausing, changing tracks, and other basic controls can be operated by voice or from the tiny steering wheel remote. It automatically interfaces with your phone book and can work with any voice user. The FM interface blows many cheaper products out of the water while the tactile user won’t need to look away for long to find all the power they need at their fingertips. The tiny controls are discreet, but will take a little time to learn how to use by feel alone. Expect a few dropped calls at the beginning or whenever you’re just tired of listening to your boss, mother, or wife. [Purchase: $166]

Get The Goods

HiCONSUMPTION'S DAILY NEWSLETTER

Sign up for HiConsumption The Goods

© HiConsumption | DMCA

Back To Top