Since talking on the phone whilst driving has been banned, drivers have had to resort to using Bluetooth headsets and speakerphone systems so that they can continue to legally answer phone calls.
I’ve grown accustom to using a Bluetooth headset in the car but have yet to use a dedicated speakerphone system. So it was a pleasant surprise to find the convenience that one brings when I tested the Motorola T505.
The T505 is a compact speakerphone that connects to a Bluetooth-enabled phone and is designed to clip on to the sun visor. With a loudspeaker and microphone built-in, it offers a complete solution for handling your calls whilst driving. But it does much more than that though. The T505 also features a wireless radio transmitter that lets you tune your stereo into and use your car audio system for the audio playback.
Another bonus feature is the ability to stream music from your phone or Bluetooth-enabled mp3 player directly to the T505 and then through to your car stereo using the FM transmitter. So for some of you, this could mean that you no longer need to have a separate FM transmitter for your phone/mp3 player for the car. And if your phone is A2DP compatible, you’ll benefit from stereo streaming quality through Bluetooth as the T505 is A2DP compatible.
Talk time is rated at 18 hours on a full charge, which takes about 5 hours to complete using the mini-USB trickle charge. A sleep mode helps the T505 to reserve battery life when it’s not in use – this resulted in about two weeks of use before the device wouldn’t power up. For those occasions, included is the 12v cigarette adapter with the mini-USB end for charging up in the car.
The built-in speakerphone can be adjusted to a high volume using the controls on the left and right sides of the T505, and if you’re still finding that it’s not loud enough, there is the option to connect it to your car stereo system using the FM transmitter. When you hit the transmitter button on the back of the T505, the frequency is read out through the speakerphone. This makes it great for re-adjusting the frequency if you start to experience static or interference from a strong radio signal.
Basic playback controls are available on the front of the T505 with the ability to play and pause music. Although the T505 is set to auto-answer your calls after a couple of rings, there is a hang-up button.
Overall, the sound quality is excellent for both phone calls and music playback even through just the built-in speaker. And when you activate the FM transmitter, you get the complete solution. The T505 launched with a price tag of about £65-£70, but you can find it for less than £50 from Amazon today.