Portable Speakerphone

Portable Speakerphone

I have one of those legendary Jawbone BlueTooth headsets. It works great, but I hate having to deal with it: Put it on. Take it off. Forget you have it on and look like a dork. Charge it when you get home. Lose it.

What I REALLY wanted was a speakerphone for my car that I never had to think about. It would just work when I got in and quit when I got out. Well,  now I have one; the BlueAnt ST3.

I tried a bunch of different devices before settling on this one — Sony, Motorola, BlueConnect. None of them met my specs for performance and convenience.

The ST3 is small, just barely bigger than my phone. At first, I was suspicious because of the unit’s small size and light weight. I wondered how much battery power it had onboard (read “talk time” and “standby time”). I’m going to save to you bunch of time and give you the answers: an unbelievable 15 hours of talk time and one month of standby time on a single 3-hour charge.

The sound quality is very good. It’s plenty loud enough even at freeway speeds and the other end of the conversation is ALMOST as good as my Jawbone (which is saying a lot).

If your phone supports BlueTooth directory integration (which the Android sadly does not until later this month), the ST3’s text to speech processor will even announce who’s calling and allow you to voice answer or not, making the unit truly hands-free.

I don’t even bother turning it on or off. When it notices the BlueTooth signal fade as you walk away, the ST3 shuts down. But it has a vibration sensor in it similar to the ones used in car alarms. When you return to your car, the ST3 wakes up, finds your phone, and locks on.

I suppose that some time, a week or two from now, my ST3 will ask to be recharged. It comes with both an AC charger and a car cable, so no problem. Meanwhile, I’m giving it 5 stars.

Rating: * * * * *

Street price: under $100


BlueAnt Wireless Website