Hands Free FAQ - Bluetooth Headsets, Wired & Car Kits
Wireless headsets use a communication protocol called bluetooth. Bluetooth is a great option to consider in states that require hands-free operation of a cellular phone.
Keep in mind that your cell phone must be bluetooth compatible if you are expecting to take advantage of this hands-free option.
The setup of a bluetooth headset is relatively simple -- just follow the directions that come with the product. When wearing a bluetooth headset, you can hear the phone ring through the ear bud attached to your ear. You also can answer the phone by pressing a small button on the bluetooth headset. In addition to these options, there are also volume controls on the headset that are conducive to the hands-free experience. The manual that comes with the bluetooth headset will explain all of the options available.
Wired Headsets - The Inexpensive Hands Free Option
Wired headsets are an economical way to become hands-free. Although the wired headsets are not as trendy as the bluetooth wireless headsets, my experience has been that the sound quality on both ends is much clearer with a wired connection.
Bluetooth clearly has an advantage in the hands-free race; it uses wireless technology with no tangles and a clean installation, however, the simplicity, quality and cost of a wired headset (IMHO) is still superior to the more expensive bluetooth headset. The photos below show, in part what a wired headset looks like.
Kits come in two flavors, "Installed" and "Portable". Installed car
kits are usually installed by a professional, while portable car-kits
are typically installed by the vehicle owner. Car kits are a great way
to conform with hands-free laws in your state and offers flexibility
that wired hands-free options don't.
These car kits include advanced control options including muting options for your car stereo when receiving a call and a routing of the voice signal through you car stereo speakers. This option is relatively expensive, however it is a clean installation with more flexibility than any of the other hands-free options.
Portable Car Kits are bluetooth enabled (wireless) and they require a phone that is bluetooth enabled. One of the advantages to the portable car kits is the ability to move the kit from one car to another.
There are many ways to become hands-free, the bottom line is your budget, your tolerance for technology, and what works for your individual situation. My suggestion is to go cheap first, then, work your way up. Hands-free laws are on the rise across the United States, so understanding your options are important to drivers that live in a state that has enacted hands-free legislation.