Top critical review
53 people found this helpful
FM mode doesn't work as advertised
on January 2, 2009
I purchased this device so that I could listen to my music from my Blackberry Pearl on my car stereo. The concept for the device is good. It's sleek and fits well on the visor. My phone recognized the device and they paired right away. I had the device for 2 weeks and used it almost everyday before I returned it.
The device has two modes: speaker and FM transmitter. In speaker mode, the device works just like a speakerphone for phone calls or like a speaker for music. In FM mode, it retransmits everything it receives on its bluetooth interface to an FM channel. I thought the device was a bargain selling for a street price of ~$70 when compared to an FM transmitter alone or a speakerphone alone (~$50). Boy was I completely wrong!!
The major problem with the device is that the FM mode doesn't work as advertised.
The speaker mode worked great with my phone. I was able to make/receive calls with no issues. It would cancel out the road noise and background music. The battery lasts for a long time on one recharge -- upto 18 hours (manufacture claim).
The device would stop transmitting in the FM mode every 10 minutes or so and I would have re-activate it. The logic on the device used to determine if the phone is streaming music is faulty. I tried emailing Jabra technical support, but never received a response.
In either mode (speaker or FM), the device would auto-adjust the volume down when it thought there was no music being played, even though it was connected to the phone and streaming music. Every minute or so, the device would automatically adjust the volume down so low that I couldn't hear the music on the FM radio any more. This was especially true on podcasts or interview type programs. Then, all of a sudden, it would re-adjust itself and transmit at full volume again for sometime until it would start adjusting the volume down again. It didn't matter what volume setting I used on the phone. There is no way to adjust the volume on the Jabra device when it is in FM mode. It was rather annoying to adjust the volume on the FM radio every minute to try to match what the device was doing.
I wasn't able to stream music from my phone to the device with the standard Blackberry music/media engine application, though it did work with the Mobiola xPlayer music/media player application. I think this is more a function of the Blackberry standard software than it is a problem with the Jabra device.
The device uses a micro-USB connector for power. My phone uses a mini-USB connector. The cigarette lighter attachment provides a standard USB interface. Since I couldn't plug the micro-USB into my phone, I needed to carry two cables for power.
The user-interface needs some work. The on/off/pair/answer functions are all combined onto one button. Jabra would have done better to put the on/off function onto its own button or use a switch.
The FM mode is not strong and distant FM stations on the same channel do intermittently interfere with the device FM signal.
The FM mode has a very low treble and very high bass response. The music actually sounds more balanced coming out of the tiny speaker than the FM stereo.
I returned the device as the main reason I bought the device was to listen to music from my phone on the car stereo. I am buying a Motorola MOTOROKR T505 instead.
* sleek look; attaches to visor
* two modes -- speaker and FM
* Speakerphone is loud; can be heard clearly over background noise
* Microphone picks up voice over moderate background noise; Works well to cancel noise when having a phone conversation
* Bluetooth paired right away; no need to re-pair each time you get into the car
* Long battery life
* FM Mode is terrible and needs a lot of work
* FM Mode stops transmitting every 10 minutes
* Intermittent interference in FM mode
* Terrible music response in FM mode
* non-standard micro-USB connector for power
* User interface poor - each button has too many functions
* Jabra does not have a North America support team. They do not respond to email inquiries.