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Consumer Reports Tests New Bluetooth Technology

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Susan Koeppen
A nationally known, award-winning journalist, Susan Koeppen co-anc...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Most cars now come with Bluetooth technology built in, so you can talk hands-free. But you don’t need a new car to get Bluetooth.

There are now lots of devices made for older cars.

Consumer Reports checked out four inexpensive ones.

Beth Rothschild uses her Bluetooth to talk hands-free in her car. She wants to be able to keep her hands on the wheel.

“You don’t have to think about it. The phone rings, you push a button and you’re talking,” said Rothschild. “There’s nothing to do. You can keep on driving. You’re focused on the road.”

To see how they work, Consumer Reports checked out some Bluetooth kits for older cars that cost $60 or less. There were some pluses and minuses.

The GoGroove FlexSMART X2 was easy to install because it is wireless, but the audio quality wasn’t great. There was a lot of background noise.

On the other hand, kits like the Belkin Caraudio Connect AUX sounded really good because they plug directly in. You can also talk or play music from your phone through the car’s speakers.

There is a downside though.

“That one won’t work unless you have an auxiliary jack,” said Jim Travers, of Consumer Reports. “It does have very good audio quality, but you’re also, of course, going to have a bunch of wires in the car, and you do need to semi-permanently mount it.”

The easiest to install are self-contained devices that clip on the visor, no wires. You could hear calls clearly with two – the Jabra Journey and Motorola Roadster 2.

Also, you can play music through your car’s audio system with the Motorola kit.

So, if you have to talk while driving, a Bluetooth kit is a smart move.

“Studies have proven that as long as it’s just a hands-free device, you’re a lot safer behind the wheel,” Travers added.

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