|BlueAnt Commute Handsfree Car Kit CMT-USEN|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Phones | Handheld|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 20 November 2012|
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Closer Look: BlueAnt Commute
BlueAnt Commute is a handsfree voice controlled Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR car speakerphone kit that sells for $99.99 online (model CMT-USEN available at Amazon). The BlueAnt Commute hands-free device measures 4.85" long x 2.35" wide x 0.85" thick without the clip, and shares nearly the same profile as a Samsung Nexus S smartphone. Commute also weights exactly the same; with the metal clip attached the hands-free devices weighs 4.6 ounces/130 grams. BlueAnt Wireless includes a USB power adapter that fits into a 12V DC 'cigarette lighter' receptacle and a USB to micro-USB cable with this handsfree car kit.
Like the BlueAnt headsets, Commute features wind and echo cancellation technology to ensure clearly defined sound. The BlueAnt Commute car kit offers handsfree conferencing capabilities to answer, merge, swap or end phone calls. Additionally, the Commute can connect both the driver and passenger's phone at the same time. BlueAnt specifies the 2.4GHz frequency good for up to 10 meters/32.81 feet, although I have tested Commute at 35 feet from the phone with solid results.
BlueAnt Commute features touch-sensitive face with volume increase/decrease and action controls along the top of the device. Three LEDs glow when the battery is charging or low, Bluetooth is connected, or the Handsfree Trigger Indicator is active. A pin-hole microphone is located above the Command 'button', while the speaker resides in the lower portion of the device behind four grill openings.
Along the left side of BlueAnt Commute resides access to a micro-USB charging port, concealed behind a soft rubber flap. Whenever Commute's battery is low, it will announce aloud "battery is very low". A full charge takes approximately 3-4 hours using the supplied USB cable connected to either a powered computer, or the included 12V DC 'cigarette lighter' adapter. While charging a red LED will shine below the Decrease Volume symbol on the device, and will disappear when Commute is fully charged. Apple iPhone users will appreciate that BlueAnt Commute features an iPhone battery meter on the device. The power switch has three settings: powered off, short-duration trigger battery saving mode, and always-on handsfree trigger mode.
Once Commute is powered on and paired to your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, say the hands-free trigger phrase "BlueAnt Speak to Me" and the device will confirm it is ready for voice commands. To make a call, say "Launch Voice Control" and Commute will activate your phone's voice dialing feature. The voice control functionality on your phone is dependent on the version of Operating System or applications installed. Whenever an incoming call rings the phone, you maintain focus on the road because BlueAnt Commute will read out the caller's name or telephone number then ask you if you want to accept the call with either "Answer" or "Ignore".
The BlueAnt Commute works together with Siri on Apple iPhone devices, or a free BlueAnt Commute application for Google Android phones. Depending on the phone, Seri or the Commute app will read an incoming text message aloud from the handsfree device. On the iPhone 4S, say "Launch Voice Control" followed by "Read My Messages" to have new text messages read back to you. On Android phones, the Commute app will automatically read text messages back through the Commute handsfree device or display support documentation (such as the command list) on your phone.
Depending on the phone, Commute supports A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) streaming audio functionality that enables users to listen to music or podcasts and hear turn-by-turn directions from the GPS application on their phone. Since drivers don't have anything to touch or adjust, the BlueAnt Commute allows them to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel while remaining in contact with others.
In the next section I share my test results after using the BlueAnt Commute voice-activated handsfree car kit to make and receive telephone calls or read back text messages.