• Review: Jabra CRUISER2

    As much as I like playing around with gadgets, I really can't stand wasting money on things that promise more than they deliver.

    After buying a new car recently, I discovered the stereo was a bit rubbish to say the least. Despite having a USB port - it would only play MP3s or WMAs and CDs regularly skipped. I had a few choices: buy a new stereo, listen with earphones while driving, or install a phono jack adapter. Neither of these appealed to me, and thankfully I stumbled across the Jabra CRUISER2.

    This is a Bluetooth receiver for both calls and audio. It clips to the visor and then sits there unobtrusively. Connecting your PlayBook or BlackBerry to the Jabra is a breeze, and it allows for two simultaneous connections - great for that massive music library on your tablet and those important calls on your BlackBerry.

    Phone calls are managed easily. The first time that you connect your BlackBerry to the device it scans your address book. When your phone rings, the Cruiser2 calls out who is calling so that you don't have to take your eyes off the road. There are tactile buttons on the device to answer / hang up calls, change the volume and mute a call.

    When you use it, the Jabra has a built-in speaker which can pipe out audio from calls and your music library. It's pretty loud but a bit tinny - I wouldn't use this for any serious music listening. Luckily the Cruiser2 has a neat feature which allows you to transmit the audio on an FM channel to be picked up by any local radio receiver. This pipes both music and phone calls, so listening to your favourite music and chatting with Isaac Hayes are equally enjoyable experiences.

    The FM frequency can be changed to suit your area to prevent interference. And once it's set, the frequency is remembered every time that you turn on the unit.

    The Jabra also has a neat power saving feature. If you forget to turn off the device, it will turn itself off once the Bluetooth connections have been closed. There have been a couple of times I've managed to leave it turned on, so it's good to know that you'll still have a working unit.

    Battery life seems to average at 20 - 30 hours using Bluetooth and FM radio so you won't have any problems on long trips. And even if you do, the unit is charged through a handy micro-USB connector which is included in the box along with a car power adapter.

    Retail prices seem to vary, but I managed to snag mine for £40 online which is a great price, and certainly a lot cheaper than even a cheap car stereo with full Bluetooth support.

    If you find that you want to use your BlackBerry for music, podcasts, phone calls or anything else while you're driving - then I wholeheartedly recommend the Jabra CRUISER2.

    Check out the video for a hands-on.

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