SuperTooth Crystal review: SuperTooth Crystal

If you'd like to pair additional phones (the SuperTooth Crystal can remember up to eight distinct devices and pair with up to two of them simultaneously), you'll have to power down the unit and hold the power button for a few seconds to reboot into pairing mode.

Features and performance
There is no phone book syncing for the SuperTooth Crystal because the unit doesn't possess its own dialer. Rather, tapping the Multifunction button triggers your handset's voice dialer, if present. This is okay because most phones that feature Bluetooth hands-free also have voice dialers and it's great if you're already accustomed to, for example, the iPhone's or Android's voice dialer. The drawback is that there's no way to browse contacts the way you can with something like the Parrot Minikit units and there's no audible caller ID -- not even a number, just a rendition of "Ride of the Valkyries" composed of bleeps and bloops. (Seriously, why do so many manufacturers default to that ditty?)

Holding the Multifunction button will redial your last call and tapping it during an incoming call will accept. Additionally, the Cancel button will end a current call or reject an incoming one. Finally, the Volume buttons work about like you'd expect them to.

The illumination color and blink pattern of the Multifunction button can tell you quite a bit about the SuperTooth Crystal's state, including the battery status (red for low, green for full), charge state (orange), connection status (blinking blue), notification of an active call (steady blue), and pairing mode (blinking red and blue). iPhone 4 and 4S users can also take advantage of the Crystal's ability to display a battery meter in the iOS status bar alongside the phone's battery level.

SuperTooth Crystal Bluetooth speakerphone
The SuperTooth Crystal's multifunction button handles is your primary point of interaction, both initiating and accepting calls and providing information about the phone's state. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

In addition to making and receiving calls, the SuperTooth Crystal also supports A2DP audio streaming, which can be used for music playback, but is probably most useful for increasing the volume of the turn-by-turn directions from your GPS-enabled smartphone.

Call quality was good on both sides of the call. I was able to hear and be heard clearly by the recipients of my test calls. I wouldn't go whipping around trying to hold a conversation with the windows down at highway speeds, but in our poorly insulated econobox of test car at a cruise, I was able to chat without shouting. The SuperTooth Crystal's audio output for music was a bit flat, paling in comparison to the Jabra Freeway , but these aren't boom boxes. Thankfully, the Crystal's audio is clear and full enough where it counts: in that sliver of the audible spectrum where human voices reside.

In sum
At an MSRP of $69.99, the SuperTooth Crystal goes toe-to-toe with the recently reviewed Griffin SmartTalk Solar , which is the same price. The SmartTalk Solar's solar charger means that it almost never needs to be charged -- it doesn't get much more convenient than that. However, the SuperTooth model feels like a more expensive device thanks to its metal faceplate and snazzy magnetic clip. Plus, its Bluetooth connection endows the SuperTooth with neat features such as Secure Simple Pairing with no PIN and a visible battery meter on iOS devices.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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    Where to Buy

    SuperTooth Crystal

    Part Number: CNETCRYSTAL
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Regional specs shown for US. UK specs are unavailable.

    • CE Product Type Bluetooth hands-free car kit