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BlackBerry VM-605 Visor Mount Bluetooth Speakerphone review: BlackBerry VM-605 Visor Mount Bluetooth Speakerphone

BlackBerry VM-605 Visor Mount Bluetooth Speakerphone

Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin
3 min read

Although branded and marketed as a BlackBerry accessory, the VM-605 Visor Mount Speakerphone should pair with most mobile phones via Bluetooth wireless.


BlackBerry VM-605 Visor Mount Bluetooth Speakerphone

The Good

The BlackBerry VM-605 features a loud speaker for clear calls. Built-in FM transmission allows drivers to make use of their vehicle's stereo for calls and music.

The Bad

The wire-spring visor clip is easily bent if handled roughly. FM audio quality is highly dependent upon your local airwaves.

The Bottom Line

The BlackBerry VM-605 speakerphone matches our current Editors' Choice in all ways but build quality. However, its lower MSRP makes it a worthwhile alternative.

The slim-profile VM-605 measures 4.5 inches long by 2 inches wide. The unit is only about half an inch deep at its thickest point, not counting its removable wire-spring mounting clip--which adds an inch to the package's depth.

The majority of the unit's glossy black front panel is one big button. This button can be held down to power the unit on and off or tapped to start or end a call. Integrated into the faceplate, and almost invisible when not illuminated, are four icons for battery, call, connection, and FM statuses. Meanwhile, the bottom quarter is occupied by a matte-black grill covering the speaker.

The leading edge of the unit--which is aimed at the driver when in use--is where you'll find the pinhole microphone, and along either side are a volume rocker and a Micro-USB charging port covered with a rubber flap, and an FM button.

Because the power button is so easily pressed, BlackBerry has included a button lock function. Holding the FM, Volume Up, and Front Panel buttons for four seconds will power off the unit and lock the keys, preventing accidental calls. Repeat the process to awaken the unit.

The VM-605's integrated rechargeable battery is not user-serviceable. The unit charges through its Micro-USB port via an included 12-volt power adapter or by connecting to a powered USB port. The 12-volt charger features a 3-foot coiled cable, which is fairly generous.

Oddly, BlackBerry lets us know that charging takes 2 hours, but has not published talk time or standby time estimates. Go figure.

The VM-605 connects with your BlackBerry or other Bluetooth device with a four-digit PIN. The unit supports hands-free calling and A2DP stereo-audio streaming. Once paired to a phone, the unit doesn't import your contacts, so you'll have to depend on your phone's voice dial feature for truly hands-free driving. However, double tapping the front panel button will redial the last-called number and, on supported phones, the VM-605 will read aloud caller ID info.

No play/pause controls are available when paired to an A2DP stereo-audio source, but volume control is available.

The VM-605 also features a built-in FM-transmitter. Pressing the FM button will cause the unit to automatically scan the airwaves for a clear FM frequency. Once a clear channel is found, the VM-605 will verbally announce, for example, "Frequency, eighty-eight point one megahertz." You should then be able to tune your car's stereo to the proper frequency to hear your calls and any streamed audio over the vehicle's speakers. If the signal isn't clear, holding the Volume Up button will cause the unit to rescan for another station.

The internal speaker is far too tinny to be optimal for prolonged music listening, but for voice calls, it's fine. Calls were reported clearly on both ends of the line, with no noticeable echo.

Audio quality when FM-transmitting is, predictably, as good as your average FM radio station, but ultimately depends on the density of FM stations in your area. On the crowded airwaves of the San Francisco Bay Area, we had a hard time even finding a consistently clear frequency and found ourselves rescanning often when testing outdoors.

For your $99, the VM-605 doesn't feel as bulletproof as the more expensive Motorola Motorokr T505, but both units have nearly identical feature sets. So, unless you can find the Motorokr at a fairly deep discount, the VM-605 is a slightly better value, particularly for BlackBerry users who want to use an OEM accessory.


BlackBerry VM-605 Visor Mount Bluetooth Speakerphone

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 8