Review: Jabra FREEWAY Bluetooth Speakerphone
December 11, 2012 by Beatweek
Beatweek Best Bluetooth Speakerphone for 2013
Can the Jabra FREEWAY single handedly solve two in-car puzzles for smartphone users? For many users, smart phones have two primary functionalities in your car: allow you to make phone calls, and allow you to listen to your music. Neither can be done particularly well without third party help. There are a variety of wireless speakerphones which allow you to talk on the phone while your phone remains in your pocket, and they vary in quality. There are also a number of products for connecting your iPhone to your car stereo, but a number of car stereos don’t allow such connections, or don’t allow them to be done with any quality of audio.
The idea behind the FREEWAY, then, is that in addition to being a high end bluetooth speakerphone it also doubles as a de facto car stereo system for your phone. That requires built in speakers that are good enough not merely for voice but also for stereo music playback. The first hint that the FREEWAY might be up to the task is that while most speakerphones have a tiny speaker, this one has a front speaker grille about four and a half inches wide. Behind it is a trio of small speakers. The device mounts on your sun visor and pairs up wirelessly with your iPhone or other smartphone via bluetooth, a setup process which is painless.
As it turns out, the FREEWAY is by far the best sounding car speakerphone of the many I’ve tested over the years. The audio quality of a phone call is ultimately dependent on the quality of your carrier’s cell signal, but assuming you’ve got a good signal, your calls will sound fantastic. So for that alone it’s worth its price tag. When it comes to playing music, let’s just say that it’s no match for a decent set of speakers built into your car, but that’s a given. This is meant to be a workaround for those who would otherwise have to rely on FM transmitters or other low fidelity options. And in that capacity, it works plenty well.
But the music playback is really just a bonus feature, as the superb phone call quality of the Jabra FREEWAY and its fourteen hours of talk time on a USB-rechargeable battery make this the ideal car speakerphone whether you tap into all of its various extra features or not.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5 • Price: $129 • jabra.com