HANDS FREE ON THE FREEWAY

Jabara Hands Free

We envy our friend Louise for the built-in hands-free speakerphone that came with her Toyota Prius. We’ve been in her car when a call came through and the sound quality was perfect. So we tried doing something similar in our car, using a Bluetooth device called the Jabra “Freeway.”

If Joy calls Bob when he’s in the car, he need only say “answer,” instead of fumbling about for the cell phone. The whole conversation takes place over the speakerphone. If he can’t answer at that moment, he can say to the device, which clips onto the visor, “Call back” and it will phone back the last number called.

At least that’s what it said in the operating manual. In the real world our unit didn’t always respond. It was supposed to give us a hands-free dialing option when we said “Phone Commands,” but sometimes, no matter how loudly or carefully we said it, the box stayed dumb and silent. It worked the first time and then became dumb. We waited an hour and it worked again.

Another problem just about drove Bob nuts. The speakerphone is very loud! You can turn down the volume for calls, but it stays at ear-piercing levels when the gadget talks to you. He had to be restrained from throwing the Freeway out the window.

The Jabra Freeway got great reviews on Amazon and some users said they carry it into the house with them to use as a speaker phone. This makes us wonder and not for the first time who the reviewers are. Are they employees of the company? Or relatives of same? It won a “Best of CTIA Wireless 2011” from Laptop Magazine. We guess they don’t drive at the shows. The Freeway sells for about $130, by the way.

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