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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
BlueAnt Commute Handsfree Car Kit CMT-USEN
Closer Look: BlueAnt Commute
Handsfree Car Kit Test Results
BlueAnt Commute Conclusion

BlueAnt Commute Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions of the same product. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

There's a lot to like about the BlueAnt Commute. First, it's not just for cars and trucks. With a Bluetooth range over 30 feet this handsfree device can be used in larger vehicles, making it possible to mount Commute near the driver in an RV or at the helm of a long boat while the paired phone is safely stored elsewhere. Next, Apple Seri and Google Voice Search have given Commute the ability to replicate voice controls on recent smartphone devices and enables to operate in a completely handsfree environment. Then there's the ability for Commute to read text messages aloud without taking your eyes away to look at a phone. Finally, interaction with GPS navigation tools and searches can now be made without distraction to the driver.

Overall I was pleased with performance, and the BlueAnt Commute voice-activated handsfree car kit exceeded my expectations. It worked incredibly well with Apple's Siri assistance, and may offer similar functionality for users with the Google Voice Search feature tuned and operating properly on their smartphone. Google Voice Search can also be triggered by saying "Google" if you install the Google Now application in conjunction with Voice Search. I can't fault Commute for not adding features that don't already exist on older phones, however basic functions were still available despite this.

BlueAnt-Commute-Voice-Activated-Handsfree-Car-Kit-Corner.jpg

As mentioned in the article, Commute shares the same look, size, and weight as Samsung's Nexus-series phones. This means that the handsfree device looks modern, and although Commute is no bigger than the average smartphone it still has some size to it. The glossy surface will show fingerprints, but with the device tucked away on the visor it's not going to attract any attention.

BlueAnt Wireless has built Commute to be a solid handsfree car kit with plenty of durability. This device is mostly battery, so there's little risk in breaking something internally if it fall or slips off the visor. The touch-sensitive buttons are nice, but real-time feedback would help avoid impatient double-presses. The included 12V DC 'cigarette lighter' to USB power adapter micro-USB cable keep the handsfree device charged, and will work with most smartphones as well.

As of late November 2012, the BlueAnt Commute CMT-USEN voice-activated handsfree car kit was available online for $99.99 (Amazon / PriceGrabber). This is roughly the same pricing you'll find for higher-end Bluetooth headsets, which all lack the battery life and handsfree functionality. At the time of this writing there were no similar products on the market to compare against.

Users with recently made smartphones will be extremely pleased with the BlueAnt Commute, as it worked incredibly well with Apple's Seri assistant and extended the handsfree functionality beyond all expectations. The Samsung Galaxy S III also had a large command list, thanks to the built-in voice assistant. Older phones will still make and receive calls, receive and read text messages, and in most cases hear GPS directions through Commute. Adding apps like Google Now and Voice Search/Actions will help further increase functionality. If you drive in one of the many places that restricts telephone use while operating a vehicle, then BlueAnt Commute is definitely for you.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Incredible performance with Apple Siri assistant
+ Answer calls and receive texts hands-free on all phones
+ 700-hour battery life or 20-hours of talk time
+ Excellent Bluetooth pairing range (30+ feet)
+ Features wind and noise-elimination technology
+ Includes DC charge adapter and micro-USB cable

Cons:

- Not all phone support handsfree call cancel
- Some voice-command features are phone dependent
- Lacks command to cancel wrong number dial

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 8.75
  • Construction: 9.25
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 8.50

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

Comment Question: Would the BlueAnt Commute meet your handsfree needs?


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Comments 

 
# Just ordered!Alan 2012-11-20 13:10
I knew this was coming. Just ordered from myblueant.com.
Supposed to ship today.

Looking forward to receiving.

Thanks for an excellent review!

Alan
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# This handsfree rocksSimon 2012-11-27 02:12
Received mine a few weeks ago. The voice dial functions work fantasic with my iPhone 5.. Read, and create text messages, dial numbers... all without having to touch the car kit.
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# Just checkingRobbin 2013-02-06 12:15
Simon,

Have you had any issues with this product with your iPhone 5? I just got the iPhone 5 and it wont' work with my current bluetooth speaker.
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# RE: Just checkingOlin Coles 2013-02-06 12:21
It could be your Bluetooth speaker causing issues. Connect only the BlueAnt Commute to your Apple iPhone 5 and pair. That should solve the problem.
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# RE: RE: Just checkingRobbin 2013-02-06 12:27
Thank you. I currently have a Jabra Journey and the simplest of things that worked with my iPhone 4 like volume, don't work at all since I got the iPhone 5. It connects but because I can't turn down the volume on the unit itself or my phone, it is so loud, people are "screaming" so I just turn it off and use the speaker on the phone. Will try again but I really like the features of the Commute. I just wanted to make sure it works well with the iPhone 5 before making the purchase.
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# Jabra Journey Firmware UpdateJason 2013-03-14 18:52
I saw on some Amazon reveiws that the Journey worked better with an iPhone 5 if you went to Jabra's website and installed the firmware update for it.

BTW how do other's say you sound on the Journey, especially when diriving on busier roads, etc. It is one of the units I am considering.
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# Blueant Commute/Samsang galaxy note2Careyp 2013-02-13 00:03
I have a problem with my new Blueant Commute as it is not activating my phone book when I call out a name to ring .
It just simple redials the last number that I have made with my Samsung galaxy note 2 even though they set it up for me including the phone book.
The tech guys that set it up for me said it could be an issue with the two devices and told me there should be an update coming out soon.
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# Dial by nameNo More Wires Support Dept. 2013-03-11 10:09
Dialing by name is a feature handled by your phone, not the Commute. Once you say "Launch Voice Control" or "Phone Commands," then Commute tells your phone to start it's default voice search application. When the is ready for your voice, then you can ask it to dial so-and-so.

For a list of things you can ask your Commute to do, Say "BlueAnt, speak to me" or touch the middle icon. When the Commute asks you to "Say a command," say "What can I say." This should give you a clear understanding of what the Commute can and cannot do.
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# FeaturesNot Happy 2013-06-13 16:15
I was under the false impression the top of the line Commute would stream music and calls to my car radio like my 3 year old Motorola T505. Instead the best you get is the tinny sounding onboard speaker.
As pointed out by others it actually uses the phone for all voice dialling features, leaving you at the mercy of Siri and making it a waste of time transferring your phone book to the Commute.
The voice commands work ok in the office, but on the road, and my car isn't noisy, I'm lucky to get a 50% success rate on voice activation by using the "Blue Ant Speak To Me" command.
Charging doesn't work off my powered USB hub that I plug every other device into. It has to go straight into the laptop.
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# RE: FeaturesOlin Coles 2013-06-13 16:35
It sounds like you should have read this review first, because almost all of those things were mentioned in it. Also, USB ports/hubs are all rated for different power output. Some are 500 mAH, while others are 2500 mAH. That makes a big difference.
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# MrJoseph Hnatiuk 2013-07-22 07:48
I sent CMT-USEN Commute Voice Activated Handsfree Car Kit on June 06 2013 to the California office for repair/replacement and have heard nothing. What gives?????????????? Purchased February 04 2013.
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