8 Best Bluetooth Speakerphones | March 2017
- accepts voice commands
- can't be used to originate calls
- buttons are a bit small
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
- slide-in design acts as device stand
- automatic echo and noise reduction
- audio quality is inconsistent
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
- includes a dashboard phone mount
- automatically reconnects once paired
- maximum volume is a bit low
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- instant pairing with nfc technology
- built-in usb port to charge devices
- must be plugged into an ac outlet
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- wireless range of up to 30 feet
- can also be used to listen to music
- battery life worsens over time
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
- impressive 24-hour battery life
- full-bodied stereo sound
- great value for the price
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
- can handle multiple calls
- won't silence simultaneous speakers
- built-in mute buttons on each mic
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
- built-in usb port
- provides loud and clear audio
- carrying case for travel
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
A Quick Overview Of Buetooth Speakerphones
A Bluetooth speakerphone is a hands-free phone device that allows a person to take calls without the use of a headset. There are models that plug into a wall through an AC adapter, as well as ones that run on a battery and can be used wirelessly. Bluetooth speakerphones in vehicles have become increasingly popular since many US states banned the use of cellphones while driving.
Some individuals wear headsets or earpieces that connect to their Bluetooth, but those who do not like the feeling of those accessories may prefer a speakerphone. Units designed for the car typically clip onto the visor over the driver's seat, and can be recharged through the cigarette lighter.
The speakers are fairly compact and all of the components are usually integrated into a single housing, but some models may have a speaker which extends through a small arm. Most models have buttons for basic functions such as making and ending phone calls, redialing a number, or adjusting the volume.
Depending on the affiliated cell phone, a Bluetooth speaker can support conference calls and is capable of voice recognition — those that can do the latter are the safest for use in the car since they can be used 100 percent hands-free from start to finish. People who make a lot of calls while driving will appreciate the echo-cancelling technology found in various Bluetooth speakerphones.
The speakerphone connects to the user’s cell phone utilizing Bluetooth technology, which uses radio frequency waves to pair devices without the use of wires or cables. Once the devices have been linked, the user can adjust their call system so that all incoming calls are directed to the speakerphone anytime it is near the cell phone. More advanced models can double as media players, automatically switching from music playback to an incoming phone call.
Surprising Ways to Use Bluetooth
Though usually associated with smartphones, Bluetooth technology is capable of so much more. If one doesn’t have their USB cable with them, but needs to transfer files from one device to another — like from a smartphone to a tablet, or a tablet to an external drive — information can transfer via Bluetooth, expelling the need of USB ports and various cables altogether. So long as two Bluetooth enabled devices are within range of one another, they can send and receive files regardless of whether they are on different networks.
Bluetooth also allows for a Wi-Fi sharing technique called tethering. If one device is connected to the Internet and the other is not, Bluetooth can tether the two devices together so each can access Wi-Fi. Bluetooth tethering even consumes less battery power than connecting a device directly to the local Wi-Fi network. Bluetooth users also have the option to create a Personal Area Network. The PAN operates within a 30-foot range and can support up to seven Bluetooth-enabled devices, each of which can communicate with one another, share data, and use the same Wi-Fi connection.
As stated previously, Bluetooth compatible devices are not limited strictly to cellphone use; there are a magnitude of items available on the market designed to mitigate hassle. Wireless keyboards, for example, allow the user to sit anywhere leisurely within the connectivity rage, without being tied down to a desk. If you work in large office, a Bluetooth enabled printer can easily connect to your computer without any hardware, software, or Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth enabled gaming consoles help create a more engaging and active experience, without the fear of ripping a wired console from its hub. These are especially useful in motion-sensitive games, in which the player does a lot of moving and can’t afford to be tied down by wires.
The History Of Bluetooth
It is not associated with it today, but the name Bluetooth actually has violent roots. It was the nickname of Danish King Harald Blatand. King Blatand violently brought together areas of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden in the mid-900s. As for the nickname, some historians conclude it came from the king’s love of blueberries. Others say it sprung from the fact that the warrior’s teeth would turn blue after eating the flesh of his defeated enemies.
A Swedish man named Sven Mattisson developed the form of Bluetooth technology that we use today. In 1995 Mattisson’s Ph.D. thesis at the California Institute of Technology on circuit simulators gained the attention of Ericsson Mobile Communications. The company brought Mattisson in to help develop a technology that would allow mobile phones to connect through short-range radio links, rather than cables. This technology was called Multi-Communicator Links (MC Links). By 1997, Intel’s head of technological development Jim Kardach partnered with Mattisson to explore more devices that could be connected using MC Links.
Mattisson and Kardach decided that their technology would be most useful as an open standard in the frequency range of 2.45 GHz. The duo invited Nokia, IBM, and Toshiba to organize their own company-based development groups to work on the project. In 1998, the first MC Links technology became available for public consumption, under the name of Bluetooth. Consumers were initially unimpressed by Bluetooth’s slow download speeds — a mere 721 kilobits per second — and it took Mattisson and Kardach nearly a decade to release a version capable of the 20 megabits per second we're accustomed to today.