I have tried a number of Bluetooth devices in my car. I live in Connecticut, a state that enforces laws that require drivers to use their cell phone hands-free. Complicating my quest for the perfect device is that I’m just a bit hard of hearing. So, I need a device that is loud and clear.
I have tried a number of Bluetooth headsets. My overall problem is that either the people that I’m talking to say that I sound terrible or the device isn’t loud enough for me to hear my callers. So, I find myself pushing the headset into my ear canal to get the most volume possible. This sort of defeats the idea of hands-free.
So, I decided to look at hands-free car kit. I wanted a plug and play kit that would be inexpensive and portable from car to car. I drive a 2005 Land Rover LR3 and use an iPhone 4. My first purchase was the Parrot Minikit Slim. Parrot has a great reputation and has been making Bluetooth solutions probably longer than anyone. So, I figured that they would have a great product.
The Minkit setup easily and synch’d with my address book. It worked fine. The calls were clear and loud. But after sometime, my problems began. Many times, the device would not connect to my iPhone and the only way that I could get it to connect was to reset the Minikit. It happened so often that I stopped using it. I read all of the tech bulletins and updated the firmware, but the problem remained.
My next purchase was IOGEAR’s Solar Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit. This device setup easily and connected to my iPhone. The call volume is loud and clear. One of the nicest features of IOGEAR’s device is that it has a built-in solar charger. It come with 2 different mounts – one that attaches to the windshield where is can charge and another that attaches to the visor. I have never had a problem getting the device to connect to my iPhone. This device works as advertised, is inexpensive, and never needs to be attached to a charger. It is widely available for less that $40. At this price, it’s a bargain and I recommend it.
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