Motorola T505 Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone Review!!

By gusbell on 11 Dec 2008 06:20 am EST
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[ This BlackBerry Accessory Review comes to you via our Community Reviews Forum and was written by CrackBerry member gusbell. Be sure to post your BlackBerry Smartphone, Accessory and Software reviews in our Community Reviews forum! If promoted to the blogs you'll receive a $20 coupon to ShopCrackBerry.com! Click Here for more details ]

Hi all, New crackberry user here (about 2 weeks) but soon to be an abuser like so many of you hard core, thumb aching readers. I'm a bit of a techie having been into computer gaming and staying abreast of the latest and greatest in hardware over the last 20 years. I've built a few systems here and there, some for myself and others for friends so I'm not afraid to venture into the great unknown. A little while ago, I did my first OS upgrade without issue so I'm getting familar with the blackberry and how its system works.

I commute 72 miles each way to work, 5 days a week and work as a manager for absolutely, positively, the best air express company in the world. As you can imagine, I take quite a few calls on the road during that travel time. I have had a over the ear bluetooth solution before and liked it but was always bothered by keeping up with it and afraid of losing it. When I switched to a blackberry a few weeks ago, it also presented the con of having two different vehicle chargers so I started my search for a handsfree bluetooth device that would use the mini USB charger my 8330 did.

A quick gander at newegg and here at the crackberry store had me interested in a few different devices. I Googled reviews for each of the contenders and after a few hours of reading, I decided to give the Motorola T505 the thumbs up as my first attempt at a solution.

Motorola T505

 

It's a sweet little device that clips on your visor and becomes a speakerphone for your bluetooth enabled phone/blackberry. Where the T505 really brings some bells and whistles to the dance is that it also has a FM transmitter to play through your car's stereo. No more poor volume from your bluetooth connection. If you have volume to crank on the left dial (or volume buttons), it will play just as loud as your favorite AC-DC song. Max volume on the actual unit without going the transmit route is more than acceptable in all but the worst of noisy conditions.

Linking to a FM station is as easy as pressing the right hand button on the rear of the unit. It searches for a clear frequency and speaks it over the speaker twice. You tune your FM dial to that channel and your good to go. What I do is discover the frequency when I get in the car, tune to it and do a quick press of my radio's pre-set buttons and then go back to listening to my sirius radio. If I get a call, a quick press of my radios pre-set tunes the radio and then a press of the left front button to answer the call and I'm into my conversation.

The FM transmitter also works for your music library if your device supports music playing (doesn't everything these days).

The T505 goes into pairing mode easily by pressing two buttons at the same time to put it into discovery mode. It's a one time thing and takes all of about 5 seconds and your linked to your phone for good. Could not be simpler.

It supports voice commands (any actions that your phone supports).

Sound quality is clear and plenty loud although it's comparable to AM radio in tone. I have been using the T505 for over a month in my little Elantra. It's not the most sound insulated vehicle on the road but I have never had anyone complain they could not hear me or understand me, even when driving through rush hour with the semi's on both sides. I believe this is because the mic hole is place on the bottom of the unit, closest to you if clipped on your visor, which clearly was the best spot for it.

One last thing I have found it useful for is conference calls or speakerphone at home.

Battery life is fantastic as a full charge lasts me over a week or about 15 hours on road. I have never run it down until it wouldn't power up so thats the best estimate I can give on real world testing.

Bluetooth Mode

It has the little Motorola "M" on the front and it indicates much by its color. Blue means its syncing (or synced) with a bluetooth device (clever guys at motorola). Green means it's fully charged. I think Red means it's low on power or something but I've never got that low.

Overall, the Motorola T505 has been a great solution for me. Here are some Pro's and Con's for you that may be considering something similar.

Pros

  • Single charging cord if your using a mini-usb device
  • Small enough to be unobtrusive on your visor or could fit in a shirt pocket.
  • Big enough to not constantly be hiding somewhere when you need it.
  • Sound quality is solid on both ends
  • FM transmitter is nice feature to have if you are in a noisy enviroment and need a little extra volume. 
  • Price is right. This can be found for $70-$100 about anywhere. 
  • Doesn't need constant battery charging. Once a week for most commuters seems likely.


Cons

  • Don't expect stereo or CD quality from your phone or music when using the transmitter. This is likely typical for most FM tranmitters, especially in moving vehicles.
  • I didn't find it before I tried an ear piece bluetooth solution.


Cost/Value - 4/5 stars
Ease of use - 5/5 stars (even a caveman could do it ;-)
Performance/Quality - 4/5 stars
Styling/Cool factor -  4/5 stars


Hope you all enjoy the review. Feel free to shoot me a PM if your considering this product and have any questions. And for more info check out the ShopCrackBerry link below.

Reader comments

Motorola T505 Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone Review!!

29 Comments

Bought one for my wife, since her car was not Bluetooth, and she loves it. Get a call, it pauses the song, and resumes when you are done. The only problem she has found is that you get some background noise when playing music through the radio. It is because you are really using an "empty" station on your dial, and the "hiss" comes through, but only at higher volumes. Call quality is great, and since she tends to have our 2 year old son with her, I can talk to him in the car at the same time. All in all, well worth the money. Very nice product.

Thanks so much for the review. I hate those earpieces and so have resisted using them but this seems like it might be a good solution for me and the price seems reasonable! I think this might have to be mine!! Good job.

I have one of these devices and found it to be very useful. The device has some searching technology it uses to find the best FM station available. Once I found a good one for my area and most commonly driven streets I was good to go You can create a priority list of 5 best stations. I play my whole library of music from my Storm, works great. A call comes in and it tells you the number.

One side benefit is that my movies and VZ navigator can both come through the speakers of my car. Nice little added bonus.

Thanks for the informative, layman-esque review. I have an old version of this device without FM transmission and I feel like I'm really missing out. But I just bought an earpiece so I'm not sure I need to spend more right now.

But seriously, sir, move closer to work for christ's sake! That's an absurd amount of daily drive time!

Thanks for the review. This is a nice alternative for people who don't want a bluetooth or corded earpiece but need some form of hands-free. Having this located in your car at all times is nice and with the clip you are less likely to lose it compared to an earpiece.

I had been wanting to get one for a long time and I got a great deal during thanksgiving so I picked it up instantly. It is AMAZING and has made my in-car phone chats so easy. I usually do not speak on my cell phone while driving (except for emergencies) so this thing definitely improves things immensely! I have the same experience with battery life...it just doesnt seem to die.

I've also been looking at this and an alternative to the earpiece. Just curious if anyone has tried the Jabra SP700 Bluetooth Car Kit, which is almost identical. I'm not worried about the price difference, just looking for the best one out of the two.

I have not used the Jabra SP700 but have used the SP5050 for a long time with very good results. Before that I had a previous version of Motorola speaker phone but don't remember the model number. I thought it was OK until I switched to the Jabra.

I am thinking of buying the Jabra SP700 for relatives Christmas present but not sure that it will work as well since they don't have a Blackberry.

I was about to post a review on the forums about this item. You said everything I wanted to say about it an more. I love mine!!!

Thanks!!!

Anyone know how it would work when sharing a channel over the FM transmitter? I have a Sirius radio with FM transmitter. How would this work out?

I use Sirius also and it's not a problem. Sirius tunes to 88.1 on my stereo and the T505 tunes to the next available channel. The T505 is in the top 10 most useful items I've ever bought for under $100.00

I chose the Satechi unit over the T505 as the Satechi is a full duplex speakerphone whereas the T505 wasn't. This is a pretty big deal if you ask me!

Initially I didn't think that the T505 had A2DP Bluetooth support, which I found out now that it does.

As was pointed out earlier, I'd love to know how this compares with Jabra's SP700 device. This one looks a little bulkier, but it's also cheaper as the Jabra goes for $99.99. Curious to know which one has better sound quality, etc.

Do you have to operate the FM button on the rear of the unit each time you turn it on so its linked to the FM radio?

I considered getting one of these but I wanted something more permanent. I found a device called the Part. It is a little more money but fully integrates into your stereo and uses what are called "Magic Words" like "TELEPHONE" or "HANG UP".

There is a mini controller with a function button-turn-nob along with a red button on bottom and green button on top. The size of the unit is about 1" by 2" long. Because it is harnessed into your stereo there is no need for FM modulating and no static.

When listening to xm202(The Virus) for example and you receive a call the stereo in your car turns down and you hear the ringing. You recite your magic word "TELEPHONE" and BANG! you have answered your call. Of course with the awesome blackberry voice dialing this works great. Driving down the road even with the stereo on I can Say "TELEPHONE" and then I hear over my speakers "Say a Command" I continue with who I would like to dial and all is well. my music plays through it along with movies as well.
Only con is it is not portable.
But on a positive note you can hide that little device anywhere. They only time I've used it is to adjust the settings. From there I control it all by voice or my storm. Also No Batteries to charge since it gets the power off your car battery!!!

Good luck

It's called the Parrot Black Edition

I think I paid $300 installed in my Infiniti G35x but it cost me more then usual because they had to order a special harness that wouldn't interfere with my car or break my warranty.

I have the T505 also. It really is a great device! One feature not mentioned is that it has buttons for forward, back, and play/pause so that it can remotely control your BlackBerry while playing music. This way I can be using navigation software and still control my music player at the same time (without switching apps).

And yes, you have to operate the FM button on the rear of the unit each time you turn it on so its linked to the FM radio. Otherwise, the audio just comes over the T505's internal speaker.

When you voice dial... does the phone responses ie. "say a command" come through the car speakers or through the phone?

I have a Storm and the Motorola IHF1000. Everything works except the above. When you initiate voice dialing the phone's response comes from the phone itself until the actual connection is made - once made everything is through the car speakers.

P.S. Nice review, Thanks!

This could be a great device if it continues to perform as it has been for the last 24 hours. Great sound quality. Cool feature on the FM transmitter. It finds the best local station ad if that does not work, press it again an finds the next one. Also you can press side buttons to advance to the next song or go back.

No complaints so far from callers. Have not tried call while in FM Trans mode,

The voice dialing prompts from the Storm sounds very garbled when you use the speaker or FM radio on the T505. Once the call connects the voice sounds normal and the music sounds normal.

The voice dialing prompts from the Storm sounds very garbled when you use the speaker or FM radio on the T505. Once the call connects the voice sounds normal and the music sounds normal.

Thank you for the great review. I was planning to give each of my kids bluetooth earpieces for Christmas, but this may actually fit the bill for all of us more efficiently. I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to write a detailed product review, be it good or bad. Thanks again.

I bought this for my husband as a Christmas gift after reading this review. I am actually excited to present it to him because he desperately need something like this (always losing his bluetooth earpieces, keep asking me for an FM transmitter for his Archos etc). So, this would also make my life easier ;). Thank you!

Hey I have the luck of trying these things out at work. The Motorola has issues where you can not understand "Say a Command" or when it repeats back to you it is "clipped, scratchy or distorted". The calls sound fine though.

The Parrot Mini Kit $35 at most closing Circuit City stores does not do this. My wife said she heard me a little better on the MOT and She sounded a bit clearer on the MOT, but you need Voice promts to be as clear as you can or its a waste of time to call out.