As more and more states pass laws requiring that drivers use Handsfree devices - the choices for Bluetooth shoppers are almost staggering. Headset or speakerphone? Built in Bluetooth or use a peripheral? Responding to consumer needs and concerns - BlueAnt Wireless has updated one of their more popular products and made it even easier to use.
Last year, I was very pleasantly surprised by the BlueAnt Wireless Supertooth Light Speakerphone. It was so far ahead of others that I had tested that it eventually earned the coveted place of honor as the best of the best in my wife's car.
Well, the ST3 (SuperTooth 3) is even better - and, it is staying in my car!
From the BlueAnt website: BlueAnt Wireless is a market leader in the Australian Bluetooth industry, BlueAnt Wireless provides the ultimate in Bluetooth communication and audio streaming solutions. BlueAnt is the Bluetooth brand which an increasing number of dealers are adding to their range. They recognize that They need to be different. They recognize that They need to be more than just another Bluetooth brand.
All brands speak of quality but do other brands support all of their products with a 2 year full replacement hardware warranty?
The "Official Line" on the Blueant Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Speakerphone
The BlueAnt Supertooth 3 handsfree speakerphone provides a safer, legal alternative to talking on your cell phone while you drive. Voice prompts provide assistance to help you connect the device with your phone and upload your address book. The Supertooth 3 announces the name or ID of the caller when the phone rings - just say 'OK' to accept the call. Install the Supertooth 3 in seconds for a totally handsfree experience.
Incorporating sophisticated 'Text-to Speech' software; the Supertooth 3 represents the very latest in Bluetooth sun-visor speakerphone technology. Its outstanding audio quality is a result of advanced Digital Signal Processing software to eliminate noise and achieve echo cancellation, regardless of whether the car is stationary or traveling at high speed. It also adjusts sound levels to compensate for loud engine noise or external noise created when the windows are wound down.
The device requires no installation and is quickly and easily installed and connected to your cell phone. Simply slide the metal clip onto your sun-visor and attach the Supertooth 3 via the magnets on the rear of the device. The voice prompts provide guidance and assistance to help pair the device and upload your cell phone's address book. When a call is received, the Supertooth 3 announces the incoming caller's name or number. Simply say 'OK' to accept the call. There is no need to take your hands off the wheel or remove your eyes from the road, making the Supertooth 3 a safer and legal alternative to driving while on the phone.
Incorporating a choice of 6 languages including American English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and British English, the Supertooth 3 can be easily programmed to suit your individual needs. The Supertooth 3 can be paired with up to 8 devices and supports voice dial activation, redial and call reject (mobile phone setting dependent).
The BlueAnt Supertooth 3 handsfree speakerphone will give you up to 15 hours talk time and up to 800 hours standby.
- Bluetooth v2.0
- TTS Text to Speech - a voice announces incoming 'callers' name or Caller ID
- Announces device status, call status and setup instructions for use
- Voice Answer - answer calls with your voice. No button press needed
- Automatic Vibration Sensor Reconnection
- Choice of 6 languages (British English, American English, French, Italian, Spanish and German)
- Full DSP Noise Cancellation/Echo Cancellation
- Full Duplex, high performance speaker
- Automatic connection and reconnection with notification
- Digital Volume Control
- Can also be charged directly from a PC via USB Cable (not included)
- Fix to the sun-visor via a two sided magnetic clip - no installation costs
- Supports voice dial activation, redial and call reject
- Pairs with up to 8 Bluetooth devices
- Includes 1 x AC Travel Charger
- Includes 1 x Car Charger
- 2 Year Replacement Warranty
On to the review.....
The BlueAnt ST3 is really a marvel of "simplicity in design." The unit is a little bigger than a deck of cards. On the main surface of the device there are simply "Green" and "Red" phone buttons and an attractive speaker with the BlueAnt logo. On the side facing the driver (when installed on a sun visor) there are very easy to use volume up and volume down buttons. Under the Red Phone button are the LED's which indicate a bluetooth connection or alternate in color during the pairing process.
The underside had two very powerful magnets that attached to a clip that went on the sun visor and there was a mini-USB charging port on the side as well.
Overall, the design is simple, well thought out and there are very few buttons for the driver to worry about.
Pairing/Ease of Use
Like other BlueAnt products tested, the pairing process is quite simple. Just turn on the unit for the first time and the unit automatically goes into "pairing mode." What is really unique and very cool about this product is that is talks to you and tells you what to do.
Turn it on for the first time (or just hold the green button for about 5 seconds) and the unit asks you if you want American English or other variations. Choose the language, then it tells you to have your phone search for it. Then it tells you to type in 0000 and pair the device to your phone. Even the most technically challenged won't have a problem understanding what to do.
I only needed to do this process once and each time my phone was in range, it connected automatically to the ST3.
Calls were automatically routed from my BlackBerry 8220 and my 8320 right to the ST3 each time I was in the car.
One very cool feature is that the ST3 will say the phone number of the caller - so you can decide whether to accept or reject the call. The ST3 also supports address book transfers - but this feature did not work on either one of my BlackBerry devices. If it did work, the text to speech feature would announce the name of the caller -not just the number.
Holding the "green" button for 1 second activated Voice Command on my phone and I could voice dial quite easily.
The ST3 can contain pairing information for up to five different phones which can make things quite interesting if more than one person in the car gets a call - but it is a nice feature, especially when there are multiple drivers of a car.
All the features in the world are terrific - but if your callers can't hear you well or if they come in muffled on the speakerphone - the features don't really matter that much.
Fortunately, that was a non-issue with the ST3. BlueAnt's web site attributes the remarkable sound quality to the integration of the cutting edge Clear Voice Capture (CVC) Digital Signal Processor (DSP) technology, providing truly superior sound. Well, whatever it is - they are right. This was simply the clearest and most powerful Bluetooth speakerphone I have tested and it costs half as much as some that don't perform nearly as well!
Callers were loud and clear coming through the Speakerphone - so loud that I had to turn down the volume on several occasions. The DSP technology worked great as callers on the other end said they did not hear anything but my voice coming through - not the wind and not the radio. I found that I could speak at a much reduced volume and be heard very clearly.
Bang for the Buck
The BlueAnt ST3 is an good value. At $109.95 it is a fraction of the cost of many higher priced systems that can't compete in sound quality. It may not have all the additional features and bells and whistles - but when you get down to it - it is call quality that is key in a device like this.
The ST3 bested the Supertooth light which sells for $79.95 It also bested speakerphones costing twice as much. It is easy to pair, easy to use, attractive and amazingly clear and powerful - what more could you want in a Bluetooth Speakerphone.
- Great sound
- easy to use
- None to speak of
- Design and Function: 5/5
- Aesthetics: 4.5/5
- Sound Quality: 5/5
- Ease of Use: 5/5