Jabra CRUISER Bluetooth hands-free speakerphone reviewed

Depending on where you live, the law may prohibit using your mobile phone without a headset or speakerphone. And even if the law is on your side, driving around while trying to juggle your phone is just not a good idea. So, to keep you and everyone else on the road a bit safer, we’ve taken the Jabra CRUISER car speakerphone for a ride.

The CRUISER is a very compact device, on the top are a couple of buttons, on the side is a charger port and power switch, and on the back is a flexible metal clip for attaching the speakerphone to your visor.

Using the CRUISER is simple – you turn it on, and pair your mobile phone. This pairing process is a one-time thing, and is made easy thanks to clear voice prompts from the unit. The power switch is a “real” switch, and you can leave it on as much as you want, because it turns off if your phone is out of range for more than ten minutes. A quick tap of the call button turns it on again.

Where the CRUISER excels is in call quality and features. Lets face it – you’ll never get amazing call quality out of something this small, but it does come damn close. The CRUISER features dual microphones and a variety of noise canceling technologies, so even if you are making a call while driving 65 down the interstate, it’ll sound pretty good for both sides of the call.

Audio can be sent to the internal speaker or to your car stereo using the built in FM transmitter. And to be honest, this FM transmitter is one of the best I’ve ever come across. The unit first scans the FM ether, then tells you what to tune your radio to. Best of all, it supports RDS, so when you have it tuned on a car stereo with RDS, you’ll see the incoming phone number on the display of you car stereo..

To top it all off, the CRUISER also supports Bluetooth stereo music streaming, either to the built in speaker, or over FM. This means you can listen to the music on your mobile (smart)phone and beam it to your radio. If you are on the road, you can bring the CRUISER to your hotel room and use it as a conference speakerphone or music speaker.

The CRUISER charges using microUSB, and a long car charger cord is included. Best of all, even though its MSRP is $99.99, you’ll find it online for well under $50, at places like Amazon.com.

I’ve covered over 2000 miles with the Jabra CRUISER, and am highly impressed with how reliable it has been. It never drops calls or fails to connect, and the music streaming feature is absolutely perfect for rental cars where you usually don’t get an iPod or line-in jack. The low price just makes it even better.

Unless you already have a Bluetooth headset or built-in Bluetooth system, the investment in the Jabra should be easy to justify, and your fellow drivers will be grateful. To find retailers, or to learn more about this product, head on over to the Jabra CRUISER mini site.