What the Tech? Hands-free options for drivers

Weekend Extra

According to AAA, it is illegal to wear two earbuds while you’re driving in 18 states. It’s unsafe. You can’t hear sirens or drivers honking their horn. But there are a few options that allow you to talk on the phone while driving down the road.

One piece headsets are the best solution for many drivers.

The Plantronics Voyager 5200 is one of the most comfortable and least intrusive Bluetooth headsets I’ve tried. The sound quality of phone calls is better than if you were holding the phone to your ear, and it’s 100% hands-free. It will announce who’s calling and ask if you want to answer or ignore. It works with Siri and OK Google, and you can hear turn-by-turn directions if you use Maps or Waze.

One of the newest solutions on the market is the Soundcore Life NC headset. With this style you don’t need to keep something plugged into your ear, the buds hang from a neckband. It vibrates when you get a call and you simply insert one of the earbuds to talk.

When you’re not driving and listening to music, the Soundcore Life NC has active noise-canceling. There’s also a transparency mode which turns off the noise canceling so you can hear your music AND what’s going on around you.

If you don’t want anything in your ears and your vehicle doesn’t have Bluetooth or an aux-input, Jabra makes a couple of Bluetooth speakers that clip to the visor. Play music from your phone, make calls and answer calls using voice control. They’ll also connect to your car’s FM stereo to listen through the speakers if you can find a clear band on the radio.

if your vehicle has a cassette player, you can pick up one of these adapters at the dollar store. Plug it into the phone and you can listen to music and make calls over the car’s sound system.

But the number one thing you need to use your phone hands-free is a phone mount and it’s all up to your personal preference of which type to get. Some stick to the dash, some fit in the cup holder, some on the AC vents and some use suction cups to mount to the dash or a window. You can find thousands of options, some for as little as $10.

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