Jabra has been producing quality Bluetooth accessories for years ranging from wired to Bluetooth headphones and speakerphones. The latest Windows Phone accessory from Jabra is the Cruiser 2.
The Cruiser 2 is a Bluetooth in-car speakerphone that is billed as having "superior sound for hands-free calls in the car". Jabra incorporates their Noise Blackout technology, along with dual microphones, to offer clear, understandable calls.
We liked the original Jabra Cruiser and to see if the Cruiser 2 lives up to the Jabra standard, follow the break.
The Cruiser 2's design is a little bit of a departure for Jabra. Previous in-car speakerphone's have been vertical in design while the Cruiser 2 is horizontal. Measuring 2.6" L x 4.9" W x .75" H the Cruiser 2 fits comfortably on the visor.
The button layout is simple with one main button bar that controls your calls and volume. To right side, you'll find the power button, FM tuner button and micro-USB port for charging and firmware upgrades. Small LED lights are on the face of the Cruiser to serve as indicators for connectivity, battery, and FM status.
The Cruiser slides on to your visor with a metal wire clip. The clip is firm and holds the speakerphone in place nicely.
My only nit with the design of the Cruiser 2 rests with the power button and visor clip. The power button needs to be a little more distinguishable from the FM button. I often found myself trying to slide the FM button thinking it was the power button. All that would be needed is to make the power button a tad larger.
While the visor clip holds the Cruiser nicely in place, it's a little on the long side and forces you to place the Cruiser 2 to either end of the visor. I think the ideal placement would be centered on the visor but because of the clip's length the vanity mirror gets in the way. Granted a shorter clip may not be as secure as what is in place so this may be the only compromise possible for a secure fit.
Initial Set-up and Features
Initial set-up is simple, just turn on your Cruiser 2 and it will automatically enter pairing mode. Go through the steps on your Windows Phone for Bluetooth pairing and in a matter of seconds, the two are paired. After you the two are paired, the Cruiser 2 will download your contact list for it's Caller ID feature.
The Jabra Cruiser 2 has your standard phone features (call answer/end, mute, redial, etc.) plus it supports voice commands (device dependent) and audible Caller ID. The Cruiser 2 will use the information it downloaded during pairing to announce incoming calls. For incoming calls from one of your contacts, the caller's name will be announced. For incoming calls from someone not in your contacts, the incoming phone number will be announced.
To answer a call, simply press the main control bar at the phone icon. To end the call, press the control bar again. Redialing and Voice Commands are also controlled by this bar by either tapping it or pressing and holding.
There is an independent control to mute the microphone and volume controls are found at either end of the main control bar. The Cruiser 2 is equipped with an FM transmitter to allow you to stream music and audio files to your FM radio. Just press the FM button and the Cruiser 2 will provide voice guidance on setting up your radio.
Battery life is rated at 14 hours of talk time and 13 days of standby time. The Jabra comes with a cigarette lighter adapter for your micro-USB cable to allow you to charge the speakerphone on the go. In testing the Cruiser 2, I found battery life to be not far from the ratings and with the in-car charging ability, concerns about battery life become a non-issue.
Call quality with the Jabra Cruiser 2 is very good. I had no problems hearing calls through the large speaker and the dual microphones picked up my voice nicely. The Noise Blackout technology filtered out a considerable amount of background noise.
The FM transmitter works and the quality is on par with similar devices. At times I did have to search for a channel that was free from static but the same can be said of other FM transmitters I've tested.
After paired with a Windows Phone and powered down, when you turn the Cruiser 2 back on it will search for the last device it was paired with. In using the Cruiser 2, it took but a matter of seconds to reconnect with my Samsung Focus.
The Cruiser 2 has an automatic sleep mode that kicks in shortly after pairing is lost or after a more extensive period of inactivity while paired. This helps conserve and prolong battery life.
The Cruiser 2 does take up a little more real estate on the visor than the vertical designed speakers. If you need room for garage door openers, sunglasses, and other visor accessories you may want to stick with the original Cruiser or BlueAnt's S4. However, if visor space is not an issue, you will be pleased with the Cruiser 2's performance.
Asides from a few design concerns, I really liked the Jabra Cruiser 2. I do wish the power button was a little large and it could fit easily at the center of my visor. But both of these concerns aren't enough to detract from a very good Bluetooth speakerphone.
Call quality was very good and the control layout/function is presented in a simple, straightforward fashion.
Priced at $89.95 the Jabra Cruiser 2 is available at the WPCentral Store. If you're looking for an in-car, hands-free solution for your Windows Phone, the Jabra Cruiser 2 is worth strong consideration.