Vehicles coming off the assembly line now are almost guaranteed to have Bluetooth built-in for hands-free calls, whereas older models have to be grandfathered in using aftermarket Bluetooth speakerphones. Supertooth is known for making good ones, and the company thinks its new HD Voice unit can give integrated Bluetooth a run for its money.
Supertooth HD Voice
Coming soon to retailers
If you’ve seen or owned the Supertooth HD, this unit will no doubt be familiar to you. The form factor is virtually identical, right down to button placement and the magnetic clip for the visor. Even the functions and list of commands appear to be the same, so it’s hard to see what’s so different this time around right out of the box.
Under the hood, however, Supertooth has given the device something of a makeover in that it now has two microphones and two speakers inside. It can pump out five watts, and uses both microphones to cancel out background noise. And, like its predecessor, it can connect with two phones simultaneously, complete with contacts for each.
And for those who speak another language, there are 12 supported here – British English, American English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Japanese and Polish. The unit communicates in any of those languages, and understands commands spoken in them, too.
All of this would be worthless if the HD Voice didn’t deliver something better than Supertooth’s previous speakerphones.
Not only does it sound noticeably louder, but the extra microphone does make a difference with noise cancellation. Callers could tell I was in a car or otherwise not holding the phone to my ear, but commented on how lively and clear my voice came through without background noise seeping in. Refusing calls was as simple as pushing the phone button, and the unit worked fine with all four major smartphone platforms.
Saying “OK” to answer a call was convenient, and this unit generally understood me better, but there still wasn’t any major difference to the voice-command side of the unit. Not that the list of things you could say wasn’t already adequate, but it would’ve been interesting to see more done in this area to add more credence to the notion that the HD Voice could compete with what the auto makers do.
Suggesting that this is better than factory Bluetooth really depends on which vehicle you’re comparing the HD Voice to. It may be better than some that came to market a few years ago because of how loud and clear it can be, but it’s still just a standalone speakerphone. If that’s what you’re in the market for, then you won’t go wrong with this unit.