We tried out a device called the “Spracht Aura Mobile BT.” (Spracht? Where’s my German dictionary?) This lets several people talk into a cell phone at once; no crowding.

The Spracht Mobile easily fits in one hand (most of the space is taken up by the unit’s speaker). The sound quality was terrific, better than the cell phone itself, and Spracht we’re talking about an expensive Sony Ericsson cell phone here. It can be used with any phone that has blue tooth capability, or connected to any PC or Mac computer with a cable.

You both speak and listen through the same device. The volume is good enough that everyone could hear it in an open car or a conference room.

If you’re connecting it to a computer, it’s a quick and easy way to make Skype calls, the software commonly used for making Internet phone calls. Skype now lets you connect to land lines at no extra charge, by the way. We talked for an hour to friends in California, and the quality was great. Computer to computer calls were always free with Skype and other Internet phone services, but being able to call someone’s regular phone line free of charge is a new wrinkle.

The Spracht Mobile comes with several accessories for connections to various devices, including a charger that plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter. Since it has good pickup and volume, it’s kind of ideal for hands-free operation in a car or elsewhere. The battery is good for four hours of talk or 24 hours on standby.

List price for the Spracht Mobile is $150, which is not cheap but the quality was excellent. Web info at


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