A no-nonsense hands free car kit.
The Jabra Freeway’s excellent sound quality is thanks to three speakers hidden under the device’s mesh front, which deliver some impressive audio. Even when cranked up to maximum volume on the device and my phone, the sound was clear with plenty of bass. You could probably clip the Jabra onto your belt and transform into a mobile party speaker, but you didn’t get that tip from me. Battery life was also quite good, thanks to the device’s auto-shut off feature. At full charge and with constant use for phone calls, audio streaming and FM transmission enabled, the device was at about 3 hours battery time after four days of use. Recharging is also fairly quick, with the device back at full charge in just under 2 hours.
But despite being an excellent piece of kit, there is one thing to make note of. The Jabra Freeway’s voice commands depends heavily on your phone’s capabilities. Saying “Phone commands” will automatically activate your phone’s voice recognition feature, enabling you to dial numbers or send and SMS. This feature didn’t work at all on my Android phone (with stock ROM and CM7) but voice commands was turned on when I paired with my iPhone 4. The device’s promotional video shows the driver sending text messages by voice, but all of these features are entirely dependant on the type of phone you have paired with the device.
I tried every trick I knew to get the voice commands on my Android phone to work with the Jabra Freeway, but to no avail. So whenever I needed to make a call I had to unlock my phone, scroll through my address book, and then tap on the person I wanted to dial. It defeats the purpose of having a hands-free kit, so at the moment it seems that you’ll get the best out of the Jabra Freeway if you’re using an iPhone.
The other small gripe to be had is because the device is mounted on your sun visor, if you flip the visor downwards your voice tends to be slightly muffled to your callers, as the device will be pointed away from you. Given that we have some serious sunshine here, it’s something to consider if you’re using this device in a car that doesn’t have a tint on the top of the windscreen.
The Jabra Freeway is at the end of the day a fantastic hassle-free Bluetooth car kit. The installation and setup is extremely simple, and the FM transmission and music streaming are great features to have. While true voice control and commands will depend on the phone you are using, the Jabra Freeway offers great voice quality and clear audio whether you’re in a phone call or listening to music. A no-brainer purchase for anyone looking for a reliable Bluetooth car kit that does the job right.