Jabra Freeway Bluetooth Speakerphone Perfect for In-Car Music Playback, Navigation
The Jabra Freeway is a full-featured in-car Bluetooth speakerphone that responds to voice prompts. The $130 gadget not only connects to vehicle sound-systems for music and navigation playback but also offers impressive audio via its built-in three-speaker system.
By Paul Mah, CIO
Jabra’s compact Freeway Bluetooth vehicle speakerphone has audio prompts, and it accepts rudimentary voice commands. Music from mobile devices or navigation instructions from GPS apps can be streamed directly to the Freeway and played over its speaker or relayed to your car radio using an integrated FM transmitter.
The Jabra Freeway is a high-quality speakerphone that connects wirelessly to your smartphone and lets you do away with that awkward Bluetooth headset. The gadget’s dual high-sensitivity microphones with noise filters and digital signal processing (DSP) software help remove background noise for clear conversations. And the speakerphone offers sufficiently loud volume.
An integrated visor clip means it’s easy to “install;” you just attach it your car’s visor. Jabra says its built-in battery offers 14 hours of talk time and 40 days of standby time. Charging takes two hours via a standard micro USB charging port, and it comes with a car charger and USB cable. I got more than 10 hours of talk time and music streaming before I needed to recharge.
The voice prompts can be very useful, but overall I found the Freeway’s speaker volume to be too loud and you can’t adjust it. You answer calls by tapping the “Answer” button or using your voice. You can also use additional voice commands by tapping the “Voice” button before speaking. Voice commands work well enough, but you have to be careful to say the exact commands or the device prompts you to repeat yourself.
The visor clip of the Jabra Freeway. Note the micro USB port and on/off button
The Jabra Freeway on a vehicle visor
The Best Things About the Jabra Freeway
The Jabra Freeway can connect to more than one Bluetooth device at a time, and it will pause music playback when making an outgoing call from another paired device. The device offer surprisingly high-quality audio from its built-in three-speaker system.
I particularly like how the Jabra Freeway turns itself off after a period of inactivity. A built-in motion sensor turns it on when you get back into your vehicle, and the Freeway automatically connects to your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. However, I use the FM transmitter heavily, and I wish I didn’t have to manually reactivate FM mode every time I get behind the wheel.
Conclusion: Jabra Freeway
The Jabra Freeway is an excellent in-car speakerphone that produces quality audio. It is crammed with an impressive array of capabilities, including voice prompts, voice commands, a motion sensor and an FM transmitter to interface wirelessly with in-car stereo systems. The device is priced at $129, and in my opinion it’s well worth the price if you spend a lot of time in your car.