Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review: Jabra Journey Bluetooth Car Speakerphone

I got used to the Scion's built-in Bluetooth integration with my phone, so I ended up buying a Jabra Journey Bluetooth Car Speakerphone. You expect these 3rd party after-market solutions to be much worse and kludgey than say a built-in OEM solution, but you'd be wrong. The Jabra outperforms the Scion's Bluetooth integration significantly.

The Scion, for instance, only pairs with one phone at a time. The Jabra will pair with two phones at once. That's really useful, since sometimes both of us get in the car at the same time, and the Scion would inevitably pair with the wrong phone while the Jabra never has that problem. (The passenger can always click the Bluetooth button on a call to call basis)

What's great about this unit is that I expected to have to constantly recharge it. It does turn out that the 45 day standby time is correct. We've had to recharge it a couple of times since we purchased the device, but it's never run out of juice. What's amazing is that the auto-on-off works. Just getting into the car and closing the door is enough to trigger the device to power on and connect to our phones.

Voice clarity is variable, and I suspect it has to do with the phones involved much more than the device. When the phone is streaming Google maps directions, for instance, we can always hear it loud and clear. But if the voice call is iffy or noisy, for instance, why would you expect the Bluetooth speakerphone to work better than the earpiece?

Since the Journey supports A2DP, streaming music or Google Maps directions works automatically and magically. It's very cool, and in this respect is way better than the Scion's integration, where you'd have to switch the audio channel manually to see it.

All in all, I've been very impressed by this piece of technology, and would highly recommend it.

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