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Old 30th August 2009, 20:38   #1
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Default Whats the next best thing after Blue & Me? ... Try the Jabra SP700

Have to admit, the Blue and Me is a cool gadget on the Fiats. But you certainly can't blow all of 6.5L Indian Rupees (roughly) on the Punto just to get one. So I got myself the Jabra SP700 Bluetooth Speakerphone the other day from Croma. At 5.4K, its not cheap but it does pack a punch for the price. For starters, it looks cool, its slim and has a nice piano finish to it. At the same time, it does look a bit delicate to hold and to operate as well.

This is the top of the line speakerphone available from Jabra for the car. Now most Bluetooth speakerphones for the car are meant for hands-free calls and that's it. The Jabra SP700 is one in-car speakerphone that is also compatible with stereo Bluetooth (A2DP). This means you can stream music wirelessly from a stereo Bluetooth-capable phone to the SP700.

Apart from this, you also get an additional feature, that of transmitting your calls or music via an FM transmitter to your car's head unit. So you have a choice of listening to music or take calls either through the unit's in-built speakerphone itself or through your car's speakers.

I quite liked the lady's voice announcements to tell you the speakerphone's status.It will announce the incoming caller ID and also dispay the number on your head unit if you have activated the FM transmitter, provided your head unit's radio is RDS(Radio Data System) enabled. I believe thats whats available on most of the radio enabled cell phones that give a read out of the station's name the you are tuned into (like Big FM or whatever). Unfortunately, I dont think my old Pioneer 2950 model has the RDS system so it does not display the phone no.

The voice quality on the speakerphone itself is brilliant and crystal clear, and so far I think its been pretty clear for the person on the other end as well. Same goes for streaming music and playing it on the speakerphone. But the real negative is when you transmit the two on your car's radio, the voice quality gets a bit muffled and you have to really crank up the head unit's volume to really understand what the caller is saying. Also, there is a bit of disturbance when listening to a caller if your frequency on FM is very close to a FM channel. The speakerphone gives you a choice to tune into different frequencies to try and move away from radio channels so as to improve the voice quality. But I'm afraid, it hardly helps. And the music quality isn't all that great on the car's speakers as well. It sounds quite tinny infact and you have to lower the treble levels to make it sound acceptable. But I guess you really cant help the quality since its being transmitted through FM. Also, I guess it depends a bit on the quality of sound being transmitted from you mobile phone itself. Now I bought myself a Sony Walkman W395 phone a couple of days back and the sound quality frankly is more treble than anything else.

Overall though, the voice and sound quality is great on the speakerphone and acceptable on the car's speakers. You also get a car charger and USB cord for charging the unit. Stand by time is roughly 10 days or so and it has a rated talk time of 14 hours. So I think its a pretty decent buy. Do I need Blue and Me? Of course you cant compare the two. But I do get a lot of features that Blue and Me comes with so that makes me reasonably happy.

Pictures from Jabra website. For more details on the product :-

Jabra SP700 - Bluetooth speakerphone for your car and conference calling
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Old 30th August 2009, 21:57   #2
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Good review. The product looks interesting.
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Old 31st August 2009, 00:48   #3
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Thanks for the first hand review. I also ordered this a couple of weeks back. A friend should be bringing it from USA when he comes down. I did not know it was available in India!
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Old 31st August 2009, 02:23   #4
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I have the Bluetooth kit on my JVC 814 which I bought for roughly the same price and I feel feautre wise thats much better. Of course when you dont have this option then this device is cool too.
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Old 31st August 2009, 13:42   #5
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Thanks archat68, nishantgandhi & WanderNomad.

@WanderNomad, can you elaborate the additional features on your JVC 814. Thanks in advance.
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Old 9th September 2009, 06:56   #6
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I have owned the Jabra SP700 since October of last year with my HTC Herald. I had bought in the US and simply love it. Works very very well as a in-ear BT replacement for the car.

Only -ve point is that the use a propreitory mini-usb cable. Its thinner and longer than the standard mini-usb cable which if misplaced can spell doom for your unit.

Cheers
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Old 9th September 2009, 11:13   #7
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The next best thing to Blue & Me would be Blau & Me.

My Blaupunkt Head Unit (Hamburg MP57) has bluetooth support. It can be paired to a mobile handset with bluetooth support.

When you receive a call on your mobile, the music automatically stops. You can answer the call using a dedicated button on the Head Unit. The sound is directed to the car speakers, and you speak into the microphone attached near the driver's seat (on the A pillar).

After the call, you can hang up using a dedicated button on the Head Unit.

I think it also has features like caller's number display, call stored numbers etc. Does not play music through Bluetooth though.

Even though I have this lovely Head Unit in my car, I never use the bluetooth feature. Talking on the mobile phone (even with bluetooth) while driving results in a loss of concentration and it is also against the law.

If I need to answer a call, I would pull over, stop the car completely and then use the mobile.

If you go by the rule book, the driver is required to switch off the mobile phone as soon as he gets in the driver's seat. As per the rules, the person sitting in the driver's seat is not allowed to use the mobile, even in a stationary vehicle !

IMHO, Fiat's Blue & Me is an over hyped feature, not to mention, illegal in India.

Rohan,
Bangalore
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Old 9th September 2009, 11:36   #8
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I have one, which I bought in US during March this year and have been using it after I came back. I got it for around USD 67, so its cheaper there, although I didnt know it was available here. I agree with all the points made in the review.
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Old 9th September 2009, 14:51   #9
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There are many HU nowadays available in market from all the maufacturers like Sony, Panasonic, Kenwood, Blaupunkt, etc which have bluetooth support and can connect with your cellphone to take the call while driving. IMO exchanging a HU with BT enabled HU is also a good option.
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Old 9th September 2009, 16:01   #10
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Similar bluetooth + FM Transmitter + USB + SD Memory slot rear view mirrors area available in the market. You can plug in this to the central rear view mirror via blue tooth you can pair it to the mobile and the voice can be transmitted to stereo through FM.

It has a built in speaker plus a bluetooth head phone, it just pull the head phone, you can put it on the ears and have a private conversion else, talk over car stereo.

The other best part is, it has USB + SD memory slot so you can plug in your memory stick and play the MP3 music also.

I would say this is a complete replacement for blue & me. I am not sure about the sound quality of this device. I saw this with many auto accessory dealers @ JC Road in Bengaluru
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Old 10th September 2009, 12:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohan41 View Post
I have one, which I bought in US during March this year and have been using it after I came back. I got it for around USD 67, so its cheaper there, although I didnt know it was available here. I agree with all the points made in the review.
It costs close to 35 USD now. Might get one from the US
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Old 15th September 2009, 12:56   #12
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Technically all Bluetooth speaker phones / headsets are illegal if used by the driver in the car including the Blue and me. - And for the record I believe this is a dumb law if one considers the Bluetooth system usage.

That said i have used the earlier SP500 (till it got stolen in a repair garage)

The SP500 was also a office table speaker phone, this one seems focussed on the car.

The SP500 looked better in a way, but the SP700 is slimer and more sleek,

Overall a good review by the thread starter.

roms a question for you- Suppose I wish to listen to the standard FM/CD on the car and keep the SP700 channel tuned on another channel, how would I manage to get the calls on the Car Speaker system when I receive a call. Any work arounds for this. Can this be connected to the cars Aux or something.
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Old 15th September 2009, 13:17   #13
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Personally, I use the the Kyocera bluetooth speaker which I ordered off buy.com a while back. Good thing about it is that the bluetooth dongle comes out and u can put it in your ear at home/work and just plug it back into the speaker to make it a bluetooth speaker phone. It works like a charm, without any echo as such and I got a sweet deal on it too - I think i paid about USD 30 for it. Another cool model was one which replaces your rear-view mirror but I preferred this because of its dual use capability. Cheers!
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Old 15th September 2009, 13:24   #14
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This RDS feature sounds pretty good, but the only downside is that if you want to see the callers name on the headunit you must be tuned into the frequency at all times. Hence you wont be hearing music if you want the name to pop up as soon as a call comes.

I am sure the sexy bluetooth lady makes a total mess of our Indian names?
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Old 15th September 2009, 13:34   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACM View Post
roms a question for you- Suppose I wish to listen to the standard FM/CD on the car and keep the SP700 channel tuned on another channel, how would I manage to get the calls on the Car Speaker system when I receive a call. Any work arounds for this. Can this be connected to the cars Aux or something.
Thanks ACM. Yes, you do have to make a few adjustments before you actually take the call in case you are tuned into another channel or listening to a cd. When I receive a call, the SP700 announces the caller's no and also plays your actual ringtone from the phone on the unit itself. If I am listening to a CD, I have to change the source to FM and then to the channel where I have stored the frequency for the SP700. This can also get a bit distracting if I am driving in traffic. And no, there is no provision to transmit the voice calls or music via Aux. Most of the times, I directly take the calls on the unit itself instead of using the car's speakers. On an open stretch of road though, I dont mind taking the extra effort to use my car's speakers.

The best bit is the battery life. Its been 2 weeks or so and I yet have to open the seal on the charger.

P.S - Forgot an additional step. When I receive a call, I have to first click on another button on the SP700 so that the calls are transmitted via FM.

Last edited by roms : 15th September 2009 at 13:49.
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