As hands-free driving laws go into effect around the nation, many people are looking to Bluetooth solutions for use in the car. Headsets are a good choice, of course, but not everyone wants to fiddle with a tiny headset, especially when on the road. The other choice would be a Bluetooth speakerphone, which can be easily attached to a car's visor. BlueAnt Wireless has launched several of these speakerphones, the Supertooth Light being one of their more popular models released last year. However, they have come up with an even better solution this time around, dubbed the Supertooth 3. The Supertooth 3 has the same excellent sound- and noise-cancellation technology as the Light, but it also features advanced voice recognition software, so you can answer and end calls simply by speaking to the speakerphone. It will also read out incoming caller ID to you, so you can keep your eyes on the road. The Supertooth 3 currently retails for around $119 but you can get it cheaper if you shop around.
The Supertooth 3 looks a lot like the Supertooth Light. It has the same rectangular body shape, with the round speaker on the left and the Multifunction/Talk and End/Reject buttons to the right. It measures around 4.8 inches long by 2.4 inches wide by 0.8 inch deep, which is ever so slightly bigger than the Light. At 4.05 ounces, it's quite lightweight and portable, making it easy for you to switch the Supertooth 3 between different vehicles, or to carry it around in the office.
On top of the device are two volume keys, while a charger jack sits on the right spine. Two LED lights indicating battery life and Bluetooth connectivity sit underneath the End/Reject button--the Bluetooth indicator flashes blue when connected to a phone and the battery light glows red when it has a low charge. The microphone is on the bottom right. On the back of the Supertooth 3 are two strong magnets that attach easily to an included metal clip, which you can then attach easily to a car's visor.
We paired the BlueAnt Wireless Supertooth 3 speakerphone with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl. The process is pretty easy--the Supertooth 3 goes automatically into pairing mode the first time it starts up. Then it asks you to confirm the language selection by speaking in a variety of languages (you have a choice of six languages; American English, British English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German). Next, the Supertooth 3 will ask you to pair your phone, which is as easy as finding the Supertooth 3 under Bluetooth devices, and entering the pin code, just like any other Bluetooth device.
The next step is where the Supertooth 3 sets itself apart from a lot of other speakerphones--it will automatically go into phonebook transfer mode. If your phone does not support automatic transfer, you can do so manually (if your phone supports phonebook transfers at all--BlackBerry and most smartphone owners might have to do this). The reason behind the phonebook transfer is so it'll recognize caller ID, and say something like "Call from John" when there's an incoming call. Next, you can activate voice answer if you wish, which lets you speak voice commands like "Answer," "OK, "Accept," or "Accept Call" to answer a call. However, the voice answer won't work if you don't wait for a loud beep after the caller ID is spoken. In our tests, the voice answer worked pretty well, but if our cell phone ringer was set particularly loud, the speakerphone sometimes could not hear us accept the call. Also, you can't use your voice to end the call--you'll have to hit the red button to manually end it. This is pretty good, since you won't be able to accidentally end the call.