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Keep your eyes on the road with the Jabra DRIVE Bluetooth speakerphone

Jabra DRIVE img2
By Zach Gilbert on 26 Jul 2012 04:00 pm EDT
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"Drive safe and stay connected with the Jabra DRIVE Bluetooth speakerphone"

In Short:
"Connecting your BlackBerry couldn't be easier. Stay safe with the Jabra DRIVE Bluetooth speakerphone"

Should I Buy?
"With great battery life, a low profile design and a simple interface, this Bluetooth speakerphone is a must have"
BUY NOW

I’m guilty of it sometimes, and I’m sure I am not the only one. What I’m talking about is driving and using your cellphone -- something that we all know is quite dangerous but many continue to do. Now for me it was because I didn’t have a Bluetooth device to use -- and I know that’s truly just an excuse -- but now I have no excuses. Recently I was able to try out the Jabra DRIVE, an inexpensive yet effective in car Bluetooth device. Continue reading to see if the Jabra DRIVE is worth your cash.

The Review


Features:

  • Designed for intuitive use and great sound.
  • Easy to access control buttons.
  • Easy Voice Guidance (Connected and Low Battery).
  • Easy to set up. Pair to your phone and place on your sun visor.
  • Transfer your music, audio from a GPS application or any other.
  • Type of audio from your Bluetooth device to Jabra DRIVE using A2DP.
  • Use the USB cable to connect Jabra DRIVE to the car charge.
  • Jabra DRIVE can be connected to two mobile devices at the same time.
  • Specification:
  • Product type: DRIVE Bluetooth Speakerphone.
  • Connectivity: Wireless.
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth version 3.0 + eSC.
  • Great microphone with noise cancellation.
  • Talk Time: Up to 20 hours.

Design

The Jabra DRIVE is a Bluetooth speakerphone that employs a simple yet effective design. The whole front of the device is your answer button, and by Jabra utilizing this style of design the user won’t have to dig around to find the button needed to answer or end a call.

They’ve placed the on/off switch on the right hand side of the device and while this location works, the button itself can sometimes be a pain to use due to it being quite small. The whole electronic piece is housed in a metal clip. This clip is what keeps the device stuck on your visor. One complaint I had about the way Jabra decided to keep the speakerphone attached in your car is that if you are constantly taking it on and off of your visor it may damage a the fabric (if your visor is fabric of course). So I would recommend keeping the Jabra DRIVE in place unless you must take it off.

Set-up

Setting up your Jabra DRIVE is actually quite straightforward. Turn it on … okay, well it’s not that simple, but it’s close. Once you turn on your Jabra DRIVE it will automatically start the pairing process. After you’ve powered the speakerphone up you’ll want to go into the Bluetooth options on your BlackBerry smartphone and from there hit ‘search for device'. Once you’ve enabled your BlackBerry to search for Bluetooth connections you should then see the Jabra DRIVE. Click on it and your BlackBerry may or may not ask for a passcode. If it does it will be “0000” (four zeros). From this point, your BlackBerry and the speakerphone should be connected and you can now make and receive phone calls hands free!

Sound quality

Now this was one of my complaints with the Jabra DRIVE, and that is sound quality. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t horrible, but it could have been a little bit better. Often the sounds didn’t have much depth to them, but for an entry level Bluetooth speakerphone it’s certainly better than some of the others out there.

Device overview

Front

Jabra DRIVE img3

On the front of the Jabra DRIVE is where all the action is. The main part of the device is your answer, and end call button, and by having such a large button you will be able to focus on driving and not finding where to click to answer a call. The other features on the front are volume up, and volume down.

Right side

Jabra DRIVE img4

On the right of your Jabra DRIVE you will see the power on and off rocker, and the USB charging port. Now, one thing to note is that the charging port is Micro USB, so it is using the same charger as all of the newer BlackBerry smartphones. Because it’s the same charger, you can reduce the clutter in your car and just use one to charge two devices.

Back

Jabra DRIVE img5

The back of the Jabra DRIVE is pretty simple; it’s a metal clip…quite riveting I must say. But this metal clip is an essential part of the whole device; it’s what keeps it in place on your visor.

The Good

  • Low cost
  • Low profile
  • Long lasting battery
  • Low cost
  • Quality construction

The Bad

  • Average sound quality
  • No built in voice commands

Conclusion

For those looking for an entry level Bluetooth speakerphone and don't care for the added features like music streaming or built in voice commands, look no further than the Jabra DRIVE. With up to 20 hours of battery life and an easy to use interface, many will find the Jabra DRIVE both easy to use and quite handy as you speed down the highway and take that important phone call.

Jabra DRIVE Bluetooth speakerphone

The Good

The Jabra DRIVE will keep you connected for hours and hours. With up too 20 hours of talk time, easy to use controls, and a simple pairing process it’s certainly worth a buy.

The Bad

There are a few misses with this speakerphone, and one of the biggest is the sound quality. While it’s perfect for those quick phone calls about picking up eggs, it’s lacking for those long calls where you really want to hear the persons voice, like when you’re talking to a family member.

Conclusion

Though the audio quality the Jabra DRIVE produces won’t be fit for an audiophile, it’s perfect for those who are looking for an inexpensive in car solution. With an easy to use interface, and easy pairing option buying the Jabra DRIVE sure beats a ticket from your local police officer.


Additional Bluetooth speakerphone options for your BlackBerry smartphone

GREAT ALTERNATIVE
A STEP UP
OEM BLACKBERRY MADE
Blueant S1 img Jabra Cruiser 2 img BB_VM-605_img
BlackBerry J-Series Charging Bundle
"The BlueAnt S1 is a sophisticated and stylish next generation Bluetooth handsfree  and will provide you with the truly hands free experience. "
Seidio Charging Vault Kit
"The Jabra CRUISER2 Bluetooth in-car speakerphone makes hands-free in-car calls even easier. "
BlackBerry JM-1 Standard Battery
"The BlackBerry Visor Mount Speakerphone VM-605 is a hands free Bluetooth speakerphone from RIM. Enjoy your calls and your favorite music from your BlackBerry smartphone with the convenience and sound quality of your car's FM stereo system."

Reader comments

Keep your eyes on the road with the Jabra DRIVE Bluetooth speakerphone

7 Comments

So we can talk for 20 hours at a clip, and its cheap...oh but the sound quality stinks. Thanks, I'll pass. Hate to post negatively, but when audio products with bad audio are actually for sale, I get perturbed. If anyone wants to get a device that works, and is simple to use, and only costs 80-100 bucks. Try any Blue Parrot product. Google them, its worth it. Zero ambient noise, and 100% noise cancelling, Ive had my head next to a 600 horsepower diesel engine while it was running and the person on the other end thought I was in my office. You can't beat that. I require all my drivers to wear one while operating their truck. They forget their headset, they don't work.

You run a tight ship and that's great. I still see a lot of people driving and talking on their phones without a hands-free device. I'm lucky my car came BlueTooth enabled but I still have an earpiece anyway.

There are always people looking for those inexpensive units, and this is one of the best in the $50 price range. While a $100+ unit will provide better audio quality, not everyone will spend that for the odd quick phone call.

"when audio products with bad audio are actually for sale, I get perturbed."

Yeah, what good is battery life if the audio quality is not even acceptable?!

Have used a similar product (BlueAnt S4) and it was surprisingly good, especially with the roof down in a sports car (apparently my voice was still very clear to the caller)

Agree with one of the previous posters - audio quality is everything

BlueAnt S4 FTW!!! True hands free - simply say "Blue Ant, speak to me" and it responds with "Say a command", you say "Phone commands" - it answers "Activating your phone's inbuilt voice commands" then you are off and dialing via your BB's voice commands. Incoming calls you tell it "Answer" or "Ignore" after it tells you the name or number of the caller( name if it's in your address book).

Like I said, Blue Ant S4 FTW!

I have the previous generation of this (the Jabra SP 700) and have always loved it. Mostly I didn't use it for calls, and I suspect that most other people won't use this for it either. It's a very convenient, very low profile, very effective FM tranciever that will send your music or GPS or whatever to your stereo, and it can also let you make and receive calls too sometimes. Compared to the other Bluetooth trancievers around, these kind of units are better constructed, less intrusive and more importantly can be run off of the same car-charger that supplies your phone. It's also a lot more passenger friendly because bluetooth is universal and everyone can play stuff on the stereo if they want. The battery life is phenomenal. I had mine running for 24 hours straight one time with no problems.

I will say the really important thing to remember about these kinda hands free devices is that the sound quality almost always has to stink for a bunch of combined reasons.

Remember that you are in a car. And cars move very quickly and make a lot of noise, and are surrounded by other cars and trucks and so forth, all of them making a lot of noise too. Hands-free systems that are just an open mic either have to try and filter out road noise or turn the sensitivity down so far that you have to yell to be heard. Now, cars with built in speakerphones have a lot more resources to cancel the background noise and are the best. A seperate unit doesn't have a chance of matching the quality.

If you seriously need to make long call while driving then either a headset or built in bluetooth is what you want. If I'm likely to NEED to make calls, I have a bluetooth headset that I leave clipped to my seatbelt, and all is well.