VR3 Car Kit: Perfect Smartphone Companion

Why a speaker connected to a cell phone via Bluetooth is called a “car kit†I cannot tell you, but it is. The VRBT200V car kit by Roadmaster allows you to make hands-free calls from your mobile phone, which is an important safety consideration when operating a vehicle. I shudder every time I see a mother with a car full of kids yapping away on the phone oblivious to traffic. If it’s not against the law to talk on a mobile phone while driving, then the law should require drivers to have a car kit installed, and the VRBT200V is a good choice.

The first reason that it is a good choice is that it quickly and conveniently clips to your visor. When I first mounted it on my visor, I thought it was a poor design because I could not see the screen. However, I soon discovered that you can swivel the screen down for the perfect viewing angle.

The second reason is that it connects easily to a mobile phone with a minimum of fuss. Sometimes getting devices to pair is like mating a raccoon and a skunk.

The noise cancellation feature works well, and is important for use in a car with wind and road noise in the background.

As you can see from the list below, this car kit has some powerful and attractive features.

Here are some of the major features of this device:

• Rechargeable battery with CD charger
• DSP echo cancellation and noise suppression
• Auto connection for incoming calls
• Call receiving and rejecting options
• Mute function
• Call waiting
• Call forwarding
• Last number re-dial
• Voice Dialing
• Ring-tone supported
• Built-in microphone
• Large view LCD monitor
• Swivel screen
• Caller ID for last 10 calls
• Compatible with virtually all Bluetooth phones

The kit comes in one of those pesky bubble packs that require a Sawzall to extricate the contents. Once you have penetrated the package, you will discover that it contains a mini USB charger for the car, an ear bud, and a spare visor clip, which makes me wonder why. I appreciate the mini USB connection because it means that you don’t have to pack as many cords. If you ask me, I think every mobile device should have a mini USB connector.

Here are some observations: I think the unit is somewhat large and that perhaps a smaller form factor would be preferable. I found the Bluetooth easy to connect with several phones I tested.

You’d better have some safe-cracking tools to open the bubble pack. Another suggestion is to make the visor clip more easily removable in case you want to mount the unit without the clip using Velcro, for example.

Received calls were loud and clear. I have had varying reports from the receiving end. For some, my voice was clear enough. For other called parties, my voice sounded as if it were in an echo chamber, and got worse as I moved farther from the unit. Some called parties reported an annoying echo of their own voice, especially if they were on a cell phone.

This hands-free solution costs $69.99 and is available at many automotive and electronic retailers. For more information online, visit www.roadmasterusa.com.

This easy to connect, easy to mount full-featured car kit could save your life and others by avoiding the dangerous and unrecommended use of a cell phone while driving. It makes a good partner to your pocket communicator.

Even if your phone has a speakerphone, it is usually not adequate for use in a car, and this car kit with its built-in noise reduction/echo cancellation features offer a better solution.

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