The timing of my SuperTooth HD Voice review is a bit unfair, as my previous hands-free experience was with the rather stellar system built into my Kia Soul. Unfortunately, the rest of the Kia Soul was considerably less than stellar, so that car is gone now. My current wheels have no hands-free system, so I was eager to try out the HD Voice.
After a few months with it, I can say I’m quite satisfied.
Installation of the SuperTooth HD Voice is incredibly simple. A metal clip attaches to your visor, and a set of powerful magnets then holds the HD Voice in place. They’re powerful enough that you get no movement when driving, but the unit comes off easily when you need to remove it for charging. Although, with 1,000 hours of stand-by and up to 20 hours of talk time, you won’t be needing to do that often. And considering a USB car charger comes with the kit, you may not need to remove it at all. Quite honestly, I was shocked at how long it took the HD Voice to warn me that its battery was low.
Pairing it is just as simple. When you first turn it on, you’ll select your language from the 12 available (if you consider British and American English to be two separate languages). You then simply search for the HD Voice from your iPhone, select it when it appears, and enter the pairing code provided. Two phones can be connected simultaneously (eight can be paired, but only two can be active at a time), and once I set up the connections the first time, the HD Voice never lost them.
Once pairing is complete, the HD Voice will transfer your phonebook for contact identification. When successful, the incoming caller’s name will be spoken to you, and you can accept the call by simply saying, “Okay.” You can also accept a call by pressing the volume button for one second.
Oddly, it’s not as simple as to make a call. If you press the volume button for three seconds you can redial the last phone number dialed, which is great for reconnecting a lost call or if you typically only speak to one person, which is not uncommon for me. Otherwise, you’re using the HD Voice to connect to Siri on your iPhone to make your call. That’s all well and good, but Siri’s voice recognition is pretty sketchy when I’m not driving down the highway. Trying to call my wife, Tieraney, through the HD Voice mostly ended up with Siri not finding “Journey” in my phone book or trying to find a Chinese restaurant near my current location.
Once you are connected, however, the HD Voice is fantastic. The dual speaker / dual microphone / dual noise cancellation system was very clear at any volume, and the person on the other end never had any trouble understanding me, even with the windows down at city road speeds. This is where it paled to the system built into my Kia Soul, which used the car stereo system for audio, but it’s certainly better than you’d expect from a singular device hanging above your head.
I also found it useful for hearing Navigon’s turn-by-turn GPS directions, as the speaker was clear enough for me to understand it without having to turn down the car stereo; I never had that luxury when using the iPhone’s speakers alone. And because the HD Voice uses A2DP technology, you could stream your music to it, too, but come on…the speakers aren’t that good.
Ultimately, the SuperTooth HD Voice is good enough that I don’t miss the built-in system in my Soul. My next car will still likely feature a factory installed hands-free system, but I’m good until then. Pick up the HD Voice, and you will be, too.
Provides: Bluetooth voice controlled hands-free calling