New toy: Supertooth Voice

by Volker Weber

Supertooth Voice

When Supertooth's agency sent me a press release last week about this device I found it interesting enough to ask them for a sample. And I am not disappointed.

The Supertooth Voice is a small Bluetooth car kit that you clip to your sun visor. It supports both the headset and the handsfree profile and it automatically detects which one your phone supports. After you pair the Supertooth with your phone it will try to download the address book. That did not work with my E90, but I was able to push the addresses from the phone to the Supertooth.

Once it knows your addresses it will read the caller to you through its text-to-speech capability. You can then pick up the call either by pressing the green button or by saying "OK". Since I don't trust voice recognition, I switched off that capability so that the device waits for me to push the button.

What I find pretty neat is that it tells you in clear words what it is doing. "Mobile phone connected". "Switching off" and so on. The speaker is very powerful and I was able to make a phone call while travelling at 100 km/h with the top down.

The manufacturer says the device is good for 15 hours talk time or 800 hours standby with a 3 hours charge time. Even if it's only half of that, it would be more than I need. Good design: it charges through a standard mini-USB port and thus you can use the same cable that drives a TomTom for instance. Even if I would run out of juice, I would have that cable handy in the car anyway. (The device comes with it's own cable, but I have enough of those already.)

The visor mount is also a good design. You put this clip on the sun visor and then attach the device with the help of two magnets on the back:

Supertooth Voice mount

This lets you quickly remove the device from the visor in an instant while leaving the clip in place. You probably won't notice it anyway if your visor is as black as mine. :-) And this brings me to the only thing that I don't like: while connected it flashes a blue LED. And I don't want that within my peripheral vision because it attracts the eye. Easily solved with a piece of black tape, but Supertooth should really only show indications of things not working properly. To be fair, this is not the only company who gets this wrong.

The product lists for 100 € in Germany, but you can get it for substantially less.

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I have an older model, and it's a very nice and useful tool -- low on battery usage (since I only switch it on when I actually want to use it), easy to use (just "switch" the microphone down), and unobtrusive.

The only thing missing compared to a full-fledged built-in car system is that it won't control the radio. But that's not really an issue, turning that one off is also just one button away.

Matthias Leisi, 2008-06-02 18:46

I have that - sort of - included in a Garmin nuvi 770 TFM. One gadget less to carry around, at least when BT handsfree can be included in the GPS. But a good thing if you just need the handsfree. And the streetprice of less tham 60€ takes away the excuses of not having a handsfree in the car.

Armin Auth, 2008-06-02 19:49

bezüglich der Syncro mit dem e90 muß ich anmerken, dass es bis jetzt kein Hersteller von "Zubehör" geschafft hat, Kontakte aus dem Telefonbuch eines s60 3rd auszulesen. Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc. e50, e61i und e65 bleiben unberührt, nur Sprachübertragung funktioniert (immerhin) - der Fehler wird wohl nicht behoben wie es aussieht. Daher wundert mich das mit dem Supertooth festgestellte Problem nicht, die Lösung ist aber erfreulich. (besser als nix)

Samuel Orsenne, 2008-06-02 20:24

Armin, das TomTom 720 kann das auch. Kriegt aber das Telefonbuch nicht gelesen (siehe Samuels Kommentar).

Volker Weber, 2008-06-02 20:27

Nice. But it'd be better with wires ;-P

Chris Linfoot, 2008-06-02 21:18

One way it could be cooler - as it is on the sun visor anyway, why not a solar panel on the sun-side of the visor clip, so you don't have to worry about recharges?

Brian Benz, 2008-06-02 22:31

The device is on the sunny side (under the visor). Probably not where you live. :-)

Volker Weber, 2008-06-02 22:43

I actually bought a portable solar panel recently. My use is on hiking trips to power my GPS (using a mini-USB port). But then again, having a GPS, a speaker, and also a solar panel around your dash-board may be a bit too much, really. But other than that, I am (almost) totally happy with my solar panel. The only thing I could see improved is simultaneous charging of the built in battery-pack and powering the external device (phone, MP3 player, GPS, whichever). But probably the power provided by the photovoltaics is not enough for all this. Oh, and yes, the battery-pack could use a bit more capacity, 900mAh is just enough to get you through the day (sometimes not even that).

Ragnar Schierholz, 2008-06-03 13:12

I want to pair a new mobile phone to my Supertooth but it finds the device but will not pair with it. What can I do??Thanks

Karen Lunn, 2011-03-12 07:53

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Ceci n'est pas un blog is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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