Look, Mom, No Hands! … Mom? Hello?

If you talk on the phone while driving, you should consider a hands-free Bluetooth device. I’ve tested dozens of models over the years and am particularly fond of offerings from Plantronics, Sound ID and Aliph’s Jawbone line.

But if you don’t like putting things in your ears, speakerphone attachments such as the Jabra Bluetooth SP200 provide an affordable alternative. These units sell for about $40 and clip onto your vehicle’s sun visor. Other models use a FM transmitter to broadcast phone calls over your car stereo.

A far-more-adorable option is the new Moshi Bluetooth Handsfree Car Kit, which is smaller than a flip phone, has just a few buttons and uses a magnetic clip to attach to the sun visor.

The coolest feature of the Moshi is that you activate the device by talking to it. Say, “Hello, Moshi,” to turn it on, then speak your commands, such as “call favorite number one.”

As a speakerphone, the Moshi is great. I was able to hear the person on the other end of the line, loud and clear. But as a receiver, it leaves much to be desired.

When I talked, I heard nothing but complaints. My mother-in-law had the nicest thing to say (“It sounds like you’re talking in an old phone booth”), but my wife and brother-in-law were not so kind. My wife asked me to call her back without “that Bluetooth thing” if I had something important to say, and my brother-in-law said, “This is the worst one you’ve ever called me on.” (I tend to call him a lot while testing Bluetooth devices, apparently.)

Instead of purchasing Moshi’s $79 Bluetooth unit, I suggest using my rule of three: Buy three Bluetooth units, use all three to call your brother-in-law, then keep the best one and return the other two.



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