I am not a big fan of Bluetooth headsets. I don’t really care for the way they look in your ear and I don’t like how they feel. Recently I bought a car with a convertible top and a manual transmission and I decided it was time for a hands free device. It’s nearly impossible to drive a 5-speed in traffic and talk on the phone without a hands free device. Today I am going to look at the BlueAnt S1 Sun visor Bluetooth car kit. Read on for all the details on the BlueAnt S1.
Features & Specifications
The BlueAnt S1 uses Bluetooth v 2.0 and offers up to 10 meters of connectivity. The device uses the 2,4GHz frequency and has up to 15 hours of talk time and up to 800 hours of standby time. Charge time for a full battery is three hours and the BlueAnt S1 measures 64 x 120 x 21mm and weighs 100g. Multipoint technology allows the S1 to pair and connect to two phones at once and answer either one. Other features include voice dialing if supported by your phone, last call redial and full noise, and echo cancellation.
The BlueAnt S1 is an attractive looking hands free device, which is important to those of us who take pride in our cars. The device is rounded and black so it doesn’t stand out too much on your sun visor. The low profile design means that on cars with limited headroom the BlueAnt S1 doesn’t encroach into your line of sight, unless you are freakishly tall.
Pairing the device to my iPhone was a snap, turn the S1 on and enter the “0000″ pin in the iPhone and I was done. The visor clip is strong and wide enough for even the fattest sun visors. Visor clips that are too narrow are a problem on some cars like my wife’s Nissan Murano. That SUV has very thick visors and most things won’t fit on them.
I figured that the best way to test the ability of the BlueAnt S1 to block wind noise and pick up my voice was to drop the top, hit the highway, and see how well the S1 worked. While driving at slower speeds of up to 50 MPH the voices on both sides of the conversation are easy to hear. The BlueAnt S1 did pick up noise outside the car a bit, but I don’t think there is a hands free device out there that wouldn’t hear cars zipping by at 70 mph ten feet from the mic.
Once I started down the highway, I was able to talk to the person on the other end of my call until about 55mph before they could no longer hear my voice. I could still hear the other person’s voice though. I think that is a very good showing for the noise cancellation features of the BlueAnt S1. Put the top up and you can drive as fast as you want and the S1 keeps the voices clear and easy to hear even though the road and wind noise in a convertible is higher than a sedan or coupe when the top is up.
Since my original iPhone doesn’t support voice dialing I couldn’t try that aspect of the S1. The device will allow you to answer calls with you voice by saying OK or answer. I did have a call get picked up without my knowledge once. The person could hear me and I had no idea the phone was connected. That could have been embarrassing if I was singing aloud.
The only issue I had during my testing of the BlueAnt S1 was that the wireless range is almost too good. I got out of my car and forgot to turn the S1 off. When I tried to place a call inside the house with my car in the garage and the garage door shut the call was transferred automatically to the S1. I found that anywhere I went in my house with the S1 on and synced to my phone the call would go to the S1. I would like to see some sort of proximity sensor that transfers the call back to the handset if you get more than a few feet from the car. In the realm of problems you can have with a hands free device, too much wireless range is not a deal breaker in the least.
- Works Well
- Pairs with two phones at once
- Good noise cancellation ability
- Wireless range is almost too good
The BlueAnt S1 is easily one of the best hands free devices I have used. It syncs well, is easy to use, and blocks an impressive level of road and wind noise from your calls. Overall, the BlueAnt S1 is one of the best Bluetooth devices you can get.TAGS: BlueAnt, Bluetooth, S1