Bluetooth speakerphones enable hands-free driving

Jabra offers two devices to combat distracted driving at affordable prices

Published: February 29, 2012, 12:00 PM
Updated: October 14, 2014, 9:11 PM

We live in a wireless world but in many jurisdictions we can only use a cell phone while driving if it is not in hand. One of the least expensive and effective ways to do this is a wired headset with an earpiece and separate microphone. From there you can move up to a wireless earpiece that incorporates a microphone.

Aside from having to keep it in your ear to function, the other disadvantage is that it often blocks out some critical sound from the surrounding driving scene.

Perhaps the best solution is a complete wireless speakerphone setup like those incorporated in many high-end luxury cars. The folks at Jabra, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hands-free headsets and communication devices, have a pair of highly functional and well thought-out Bluetooth wireless speakerphones – the SP700 and SP200.

We tried the SP700 but the newer, less expensive and more compact SP200 incorporates the same technology and most of the same features.

These devices pretty much define hands-free driving – and living – because you can take them into the home or office for conference calls or hands-free operation there as well.

The larger size allows higher quality sound and they incorporate DSP technology to reduce background noise whether from fellow road users or pots boiling while you prepare dinner.

They also feature voice-activation in 10 languages and allow you to stream music wirelessly from your mobile phone to the vehicle’s audio system. No wiring or installation is involved.

They pair easily with any Bluetooth-enabled phone and attach readily to everything from a sun visor to kitchen cabinet or bookshelf. The price: $99 on-line or at Best Buy or Affinity.