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BlueAnt Supertooth II review: BlueAnt Supertooth II

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Unfortunately, the Supertooth II has no built-in voice recognition, so we hesitate to call this a truly hands-free device. Since our Sony Ericsson T610's built-in voice recognition didn't work very well with the Supertooth II--the phone requires recording voice tags directly through the phone, so it doesn't seem to understand words spoken from a distance--we found ourselves using the keypad to make nearly all our outgoing calls. The kit also includes an earpiece for keeping conversations a bit more private, as well as an A/C adapter and a car charger.

Good sound on the go
Connecting is very easy with the Supertooth II. Our test phone required the hands-free mode, so we just had to push two buttons simultaneously for several seconds until we heard a beep and saw the lights change. We then had to follow the instructions for the phone, and we were done--the total time was less than 30 seconds. We did notice, however, that the unit showed up as an HCC-200, not as a Supertooth II.

The Supertooth II's 2-inch speaker is powerful enough to be easily heard at speed--even with the sun visor down so that when the speaker faced the windshield, we didn't need full volume. We did feel there was a little more distortion than we would have liked, but the sound was more than acceptable. To the person you might be calling, the system sounds much like a normal speakerphone, thanks in part to the DSP noise cancellation and echo suppression that eliminated many of the extraneous cockpit sounds. However, if you sit too far away from the unit, your voice can sound a bit weak to the person on the other end of the call, so proper microphone placement is important.

One of the more annoying things about the Supertooth II is that our cell phone rang for about 3 seconds before the system began its Twilight Zone ring. If we tried to use the Supertooth II to pick up a call before it started ringing, it didn't, plus it would lock out from picking up that phone call. This meant we had to pick up our phone and answer it manually; fortunately, we were able to transfer the call to the Supertooth II for hands-free talking.

The Supertooth II's multilanguage manual is a bit thin, with only 8 pages in each language, but a more detailed 73-page manual (English only) with phone-specific instructions is available on the manufacturer's Web site as a PDF. Tech and warranty support can be accessed via e-mail or an international call to Australia.

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