Review: Jabra Freeway In-Car Bluetooth Speakerphone
Price: ~$129.99 at Amazon.com
The Jabra Freeway is the latest in-car speakerphone for hands-free dialing and surround-sound audio for music playback. The Freeway is very interactive with built in voice guidance. Upon turning on the device, you are greeted with “Power On” followed by “Connected” as the device connects to your phone (which you previously paired).
Receiving Calls: Upon receiving a call, the Freeway announces “Call from …”. To answer immediately, you can hit the Send/End button. If you need to keep your hands on the wheel, you can let the Freeway finish announcing the name or number, wait for the tone, and speak “Answer” or “Ignore”.
Placing Calls: As you might assume, you may place a call from your phone and the audio is routed through the Freeway. The other option is to use voice dialing. As with every other device I have ever tried to use voice commands to dial, the wrong name was usually picked up. “Call Shannon” resulted in calling a friend Matt with a last name sounding similar to Shannon. “Call Home” resulted in a “goodbye”.
Other Voice Commands: Other than picking up the right contact name, the device picked up all other commands very well. Commands available include “Redial” and “Call Back”, “Battery” to hear the amount of talk time remaining on the device, and “Play” to stream stereo music over Bluetooth from your phone. “What can I say?” will speak back to you a menu of voice options, and “Phone Commands” allows you to then speak any voice commands built in to your phone.
Speaker: The speaker on the Jabra Freeway is nice and loud. Both the built in voice and caller’s voices came through loud and clear. The Freeway claims Surround Sound Music and I was very impressed with the quality. The device can get quite loud while still sounding crisp and clear. The Freeway also includes a built in FM transmitter to play your music over your car’s stereo.
Other Thoughts: Hitting the “Voice” button to speak a voice command is very convenient and works very well for all tasks other than attempting to get the right contact to be dialed. That being said, every time you hit the “Voice” button, the device loudly announces “Say a command”. This could probably be replaced with a short beep or tone, as it becomes a nuisance pretty quickly.
Conclusion: If your car does not already include built-in Bluetooth the Jabra Freeway is for you. The Freeway is as easy a device to use as there could be, the speaker is loud and clear, voice commands work quite well aside from the aforementioned caveat, and you now have the ability to listen to your phone’s music on the Freeway’s speaker or your car’s stereo.