Understanding your Hands-free Options

Here is a list of disadvantages that the earpiece manufacturers and resellers don't want you to know about: 


  1. 1.Nearly all Bluetooth earpieces have an internal battery that can't be removed.  These batteries have a short life of approximately 300 charges, or approximately one earpiece per year (less if you recharge every day). And prices range from $20-$300, averaging about $50. 

  2. 2.The earpiece can't be used while it is charging.

  3. 3.The earpieces don't fit everyone comfortably. One size definitely doesn't fit all; yet you cannot try the earpiece before you buy.

  4. 4.The earpieces are uncomfortable for those who wear glasses or sunglasses.

  5. 5.For reasons of hygiene, the earpieces should not be shared.

  6. 6.Earpieces are easily lost, stolen, or broken.

  7. 7.Bluetooth headsets, on average, last just 26 hours when not in use and only 2 to 3 hours when talking.

  8. 8.Many users purchase more than one Bluetooth earpiece, then finally give up and buy an integrated Bluetooth car kit.

  9. 9.Potential harmful effects from radiation through the earpiece.

  10. 10.Most people find the earpieces uncomfortable and ugly, and/or experience lousy audio quality.     


Source: Ken Lum, Safewireless.com

Contact Us:  Marketing & Communications Office - (248) 354-5400 or Email: kelly.zachos@parrot.com



Parrot devices supports Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution, Audio Video Remote Control, Headset, and Hands-free profiles. In order for Bluetooth devices to communicate with one another, they must utilize the same Bluetooth profile. Contact the respective cellphone manufacturer to review a list of supported Bluetooth profiles.

Certain Bluetooth features including those listed may not be supported by all compatible Bluetooth-enabled devices, and/or the functionality of such features may be limited in certain devices, or by certain wireless carriers. Contact your wireless carrier about feature availability and functionality.

The use of wireless phones while driving may cause distraction. Discontinue a call if you can’t concentrate on driving. Additionally, the use of wireless devices and their accessories may be prohibited or restricted in certain areas. Always obey the laws and regulations on the use of these products.

Consumer Hands Free Options:  3 Basic Choices

California's new law barring drivers from talking on cell phones unless they use a hands-free device takes effect July 1. Hands-free options range in flavors from old-fashioned corded headsets to high-end installed car kits with features including voice recognition for easy dialing, caller ID, image display, hi-fi ring tones, color wallpapers, mobile phone book synchronization and GPS. All of the options have benefits and depending on a driver’s needs, there is an alternative that will fulfill their legal obligation but more importantly, reduce distraction and make them more comfortable while driving. Points to consider when selecting a hands-free device include compatibility, functionality and price.

1. Headsets – Wired and Wireless Bluetooth

Bluetooth headsets offer a large range of options and prices. You can spend as little as US$10 for a low-end model, or $150 plus. The main advantage of a headset is often price – they can be purchased very inexpensively. They’re also very portable so your phone conversation doesn’t need to end in the car. Generally headsets have limited battery life and design comfort and weight vary widely. The more expensive models tend to be a bit more fashionable and lightweight with advanced noise cancelling technology. 

For older phone handsets without Bluetooth, wired headsets are the only headset option. For newer phones, they are an often cheaper alternative. Many phone manufacturers include wired headsets with the cell phone when purchased. There are also higher-end wired headsets that will allow you to listen to music on your cell phone and turn it off when a call comes in. Wired headsets range in price from approximately $10 up to $200 with noise cancellation, etc.

2.  Portable Car Kits

Not everyone wants a headset. They can be irritating and unattractive to wear, and difficult to hear above the ambient noise in a car.  Some are also difficult to use.  A good alternative is a portable hands-free car kit -- an external speaker for your phone – which allow drivers to keep their hands on the wheel using voice recognition technology. 

Portable car kits are small and often attach to your car's visor. Many, like the Parrot Minikit, include noise reduction technology and have much better volume than most speakers built into cell phones. The benefit of a portable unit is that it can be moved from car to car – which is especially good for travelers. Many have rechargeable batteries and can connect to multiple phones -- though not at the same time -- so both you and your partner or kids can use the same device. Portable car kits are extremely easy to use and can range in price from $40 - $100.

Some GPS (Global Positioning System) devices can double as hands-free device. They function like the portable kits with the added feature of global navigation. These units which have high-end features can range from $200-$2,000.

3.  Installed Car Kits: 

Installed car kits – like the Parrot CK 3100 and 3200 LS-Color (with color photo caller I.D.) -- are professionally installed devices that integrate with your car's stereo system – just like those in new cars.  Because they are integrated, when you receive a call, the radio mutes and you hear the caller through your car’s audio system.  They also display caller I.D. Some installed kits -- like the Parrot MK6100 and Parrot RK 8200 AM/FM car stereo -- also allow you to stream music wirelessly via Bluetooth through your audio system and some even provide iPod-specific and USB or SD card connectivity for music devices or cell phones.  The advantage of an installed system is that they provide more than adequate volume – even at highway speeds – and it’s always in your vehicle…you can’t forget to take it along. 

Motorcycle Kits: Wireless hands-free kits are not only available for cars but also for motorcyclists.  They install in the motorcycle helmet and some – like the SK4000 from Parrot – even has a handlebar-mounted control for true hands-free use.  Like a car kit or headset, motorcycle kits connect automatically to the phone in your pocket by means of a Bluetooth link.