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BlueAnt Visor Bluetooth S1 Car Kit Review

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Starting in early 2010, a new law in Greater Vancouver will ban the use of cellphones while driving. Users will be required to use either a handsfree device, such as a Bluetooth headset. If you’re not keen on wearing a Bluetooth headset, you’re going to enjoy using the BlueAnt Visor Bluetooth S1 car kit.

Features:

  • Talk handsfree while driving
  • Say “Answer”, “OK” or “Accept Call” to answer calls
  • Pairs up to 8 Bluetooth devices
  • Voice dialling works with iPhone’s Voice Control
  • Streams music via A2DP
  • 15 hours talk time; 800 hours standby

The BlueAnt S1 has a clip that securely fits onto your sun visor. The clip can be removed and inserted in either direction. The device itself has four buttons: a green multifunction button (pairing, answering, voice dialling, redialling, transferring audio), volume rocker buttons, and a red button for ending and rejecting calls. There’s an LED on the front side that flashes when the S1 is on.

One of the most important features of any Bluetooth handsfree device is the sound quality. How well does your voice sound to your caller? Is there an echo or feedback? Is it obvious you’re on a Bluetooth speakerphone? These were the questions I asked my caller while I did my review.

BlueAnt S1 and Pairing With my iPhone 3GS

Pairing the S1 with my iPhone was extremely easy. Once paired, the S1 will automatically connect to the iPhone when turned on, as along as Bluetooth is activated on the iPhone. By pressing the green button, I was able to use Voice Control and dial my contacts hands free. I highly suggest creating “nicknames” in each of your contacts for increased success using Voice Control. When I say “Call my wife”, Voice Control never fails to follow through.

The speakerphone on the S1 was nice and loud. It was very clear and made talking handsfree with my iPhone a breeze. You can also play music through the speakerphone, however don’t expect much though. The sound is more for casual listening as it’s not the greatest.

After Some Unscientific Tests: The BlueAnt S1 Is Awesome

I made test calls with my wife and a few of my friends. Each time, I did not tell them I was using a Bluetooth car kit, until about 1 minute into the conversation. When I did bring up that I was on a Bluetooth speakerphone, nobody noticed! They couldn’t tell any major differences at all.

After it was obvious I was testing out a new handsfree device, they said the quality was excellent and sounded pretty much the same as a normal conversation. The S1’s noise cancellation feature really does the trick.

If you’re looking for a good sun visor Bluetooth solution, I would suggest the BlueAnt. Buy it and test it out for yourself. I enjoyed it’s ease of use, sound quality, and quality design. Take a look at the helpful BlueAnt S1 Userguide for a more detailed look at the product.

The BlueAnt S1 retails for $109.99 from Amazon.ca.

PS – Upcoming Bluetooth reviews include the BlueAnt Q1 and Plantronics Voyager Pro. Stay tuned!

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  • Andre

    This device sound great but I've tried 3 different bluetooth devices and they all disconnect after about one minute of use then they reconnect. Very annoying. I've seen a lot of people having this problem when searching the Apple discussion board.

  • I currently use the bluetooth capabilities in my 3 year old TomTom Go 720 for hand-free voice work (Ontario already has a hands-free law in effect) and it works great. Plus I can still navigate and talk at the same time – one of the reasons I'm still hesitant to want to switch to an iPhone solution for GPS navigation.

  • Dusty

    This car kit sounds like its a gooder!
    I don't use hands free Bluetooth devices when driving but I always used bluetooth headsets on all my iPods and iPhones. My current Bluetooth stereo headset supports voice calls and well I could use it while driving but really, I think its stupid to wear headphones while driving lol I do see many drivers around town with headphones on while driving though. Soon the law will be changed here and I may have to look into a device.
    The price seems reasonable….

  • iVictoria

    I've been looking at the S1 for several weeks now and it is available on-line at much cheaper prices than at places like Future Shop or Best Buy. For example, SIG Electronics offers the Blueant S1 Sun Visor Bluetooth Car Kit for $70 plus $10 shipping in Canada. Product Link: http://www.sigelectronics.com/SIG/Blueant-S1-Su….

    You should also consider the Jabra SP700 which is a bit less expensive than the Blue Ant S1. It has similar noise reduction technology but it also has the added benefit of connecting to an FM frequency on your car radio and playing conversations and music through the radio.

  • Pingback: BlueAnt Q1 Bluetooth Headset Review | iPhone in Canada Blog - Tips, Tricks, News, and Tutorials for Canadian iPhone Users()

  • piluma

    ***Be careful when you're pricing something. This device is 75$ on Blueant website (http://www.blueantwireless.com/shop/us/products…) and can easily be found under 60$ (http://store.theiphoneblog.com/blueant-s1-sun-v…)

  • The pricing was for people looking to buy it immediately in Canada, of
    course there will always be pricing cheaper elsewhere online.

  • artikas

    Thank you, just ordered one from SIG, the price went down to 64.99 + $10 shipping. Thanks for the site!

  • Hot deal, nice!

  • gh99

    Well I can do most everything the reviewer suggest but I can get the blueant unit to dial using voice control. When I press the green button and hold it will redial the last number I call but no voice control as yet. I am using a n iphone G3s

  • Kris

    I've been using the blueant for a few days and the first day was fine. After that, nobody was able to hear me while I was talking. I've fully charged it and everything. I brought it up to my condo and tried it there and it worked fine again… strange. Also the voice answer feature isn't working for me. (yes i've turned on the feature by holding down the volume + button until i hear the beep…
    will keep testing but will most likely return it. (bought if for $79 at the wireless wave booth in Costco)

  • artikas

    Hi Gary!

    Just received my Blueant S1 yesterday. Gave it a try right away and called my wife. First thing she said was “The connection sounds like crap, where are you??”
    I am getting so much static on my 3GS, did you experiance any issues at all with static noises that you worked around or did i just end up with a lemon?
    youre the only one i know that used one sofar so i thought i bug u

  • AWeir

    Those of us who bought an iPhone 3G a year ago are screwed. Nothing will give us handsfree dialing! And Rogers says we're not eligible to “upgrade” to a 3GS phone yet.

  • Mark

    I'm having the same problems. People can't hear me. The problem is intermittent, and I'm on my second one now after I returned the first. Same problem with both.

  • NAK

    Unfortunately, my experience with a similar device the hands free (visor attached) Blue Ant N15417 was not as positive. Using the same method as the reviewer Gary, I found that all my recipients wondered if I was calling from the “bottom of a well” and in a couple of cases were annoyed by the echo. That's really positive for business calls. As well, the sound quality was less than adequate. Most of the time I could hardly hear the person on the other end of the phone, without straining closer to the visor. This is not advisable when you are driving. The Jabra SP700 was no better. Now it could be the phone I am using – a Samsung. I did contact Blue Ant and they walked me through setting up the phone again, but it was no more successful. Anyway, I am still looking for a hands free that actually is as good as it says. So far I've been wasting my money.

  • NAK

    Unfortunately, my experience with a similar device the hands free (visor attached) Blue Ant N15417 was not as positive. Using the same method as the reviewer Gary, I found that all my recipients wondered if I was calling from the “bottom of a well” and in a couple of cases were annoyed by the echo. That's really positive for business calls. As well, the sound quality was less than adequate. Most of the time I could hardly hear the person on the other end of the phone, without straining closer to the visor. This is not advisable when you are driving. The Jabra SP700 was no better. Now it could be the phone I am using – a Samsung. I did contact Blue Ant and they walked me through setting up the phone again, but it was no more successful. Anyway, I am still looking for a hands free that actually is as good as it says. So far I've been wasting my money.

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