Jabra Freeway In-Car Bluetooth Speakerphone Review
Jabra, the leader of the Hands-Free market, has recently launched a 3-speaker, virtual surround, all-in-one speakerphone. The Jabra Freeway easily clips to the visor and assists with crystal clear wireless phone calls and A2DP audio streaming. It even has a built-in FM transmitter in case you would prefer to use your car speakers for music and phone calls. Connect up to two bluetooth devices at once and use your voice to make and take calls.
What’s in the Box
-Jabra Freeway Speakerphone
-1x Micro-USB Cable
-1x Car USB Adapter (Cigarette Lighter Plug)
The Jabra Freeway is packed with great features, but even more impressive is the design. It’s super sleek and smooth looking with some really nice curves. At it’s thickest point it’s not even one inch. The metal clip that affixes the Freeway to a visor is strong and dual-functions as a stand for the device while it’s sitting on a surface. The Freeway is covered in matte black plastic, with a black mesh speaker cover and white text. There are six buttons on the device’s face: the largest button on the top is the phone button, underneath this is “FM” for transmitting, and “Voice” for voice activated commands. On the bottom is volume down, mute, and volume up. On the side of the device is a hard on/off switch, a micro-USB connection, and the microphone. The device weighs just 150 grams
The Jabra Freeway offers loud and clear audio with its 3 speakers. With the Freeway you can use your voice to make and take hands-free calls. There are voice alerts that will announce the name of the caller, the battery level, how to pair your phone, and the connection status. The Freeway can connect up to two bluetooth devices at once. There are two microphones which work together to reduce unwanted background noise. You can stream A2DP (two-channel) audio from your device and play it over the Freeway speaker, whether it be music, podcasts, audio books, or directions from a GPS app. You can also play audio from your computer via the included Micro-USB cable. Should you prefer to play music or phone calls through your car speaker you can use the built-in FM transmitter to transmit to a radio station. The battery can last up to 14 hours of talk time and up to 40 days of standby time.
The Freeway provides easy pairing with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR & eSCO. It supports Bluetooth profiles: HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP, and PBAP.
Aside from the sleek design, the best aspect of Jabra’s Freeway is it’s ease of use. Once it’s paired to a bluetooth device it’s a piece of cake. There’s a physical on/off switch, and it immediately turns on and pairs (no need to hold a button down until it’s on). The rechargeable battery can standby for 40 days, so you technically don’t have to worry about turning it off. With heavy usage, you only really need to charge the device once a week. The Freeway will walk you through the pairing process with voice prompts. You’ll be able to make and take phone calls without a problem, though to get the most out of the Freeway, it’s worth breezing through the manual. For instance, double tapping the phone button ignores the call, you can also transfer calls by holding the phone button. It’s also helpful to learn the different voice commands that are available (alternatively, you can press the voice button and say “What can I say?”). You can still dial or answer directly from your phone while Freeway handles the speakerphone aspect. The large volume and mute buttons are helpful and easy to press.
For the size of the device, the audio is darned impressive. At a regular volume, streaming music sounds clear with surprising bass and nice treble. Only at the loudest volumes did the audio start to sound tinny and degraded, but this was not a surprise for such a small speaker producing such big sound. The bass really packs an impressive amount of oomph. The audio gets loud enough to provide ample tunes for a small apartment. It’s certainly loud enough for the inside of any car. The speakerphone for phone calls sounded great too, it’s loud and clear with only occasional static. Inside the car, my callers said I sounded great; they couldn’t even tell I was on the speakerphone, even driving on the highway. While inside of the apartment, and distanced from the Freeway, my caller reported I sounded loud and clear but it was apparent I was not near the microphone.
The Jabra Freeway worked almost perfectly with my iPhone 4 (iOS 4.3.1). I make calls and take calls wirelessly, I control my music with voice commands, and I can access iPhone’s voice activation feature to make specific music requests or call specific contacts. The only issue I had was that my callers were announced as “unknown”.
The Jabra Freeway Bluetooth Speakerphone is a safe and effective way to go hands-free in the car or in your home. It’s also considerably easier than using a bluetooth headset, and with a lot more features. The beautifully designed device is sleek, light, and well built. It features a very long battery life, a loud and respectable speaker, noise cancelling microphones, built-in FM transmitting, and voice activation inside of an easy-to-use interface. If you have not went hands-free inside of the car yet, then the Jabra Freeway should be seriously considered. Jabra’s Freeway is currently available on Amazon for $126.43.
The Good: Sleek Design, Physical On/Off button, Speaker Gets Loud, Speaker Sounds Great at Moderate Levels, Easy-To-Use, Voice Commands, Latest Bluetooth Profiles, Micro-USB charger
The Bad: Speaker gets worse at highest volume (more apparent with Music), Announced Callers were “Unknown”