Motorola Roadster Pro

A premium product with a premium price

If your car doesn't have built-in Bluetooth of some sort, and you don't want a Bluetooth dongle hanging off of your ear, the Motorola Roadster Pro Bluetooth Speakerphone may be just what you're looking for.

In most places it's illegal to use your phone while you're driving, and chances are (Boomsound notwithstanding) the tiny speaker on your phone isn't going to cut it. You need something that's loud, but also easy to use. A few extra features never hurt, either.

Motorola Roadster Pro

The Roadster Pro doesn't look like most other Bluetooth speakerphones. It's big (it's about the same size as a remote for one of the products in your entertainment stand — 200 x 62 x 20.5 mm) and while most products of this type are smaller, box-shaped devices the Roadster Pro is long and rounded at the sides. It's covered in a nice soft-touch coating on the plastic bits, with a cloth covering over the speakers.

Motorola Roadster Pro

You've got four buttons across the front — mute, call, play/pause/next music controls, and a voice recognition button. On the back you have a set of volume buttons, as well as the clip that holds the Roadster Pro on your sun visor. On the side, you have a micro USB charging port, a status LED and the power switch. There's nothing surprising here, and the buttons all do exactly what you think they do.

Motorola Roadster Pro

The Roadster Pro has all it'a magic on the inside. It's four microphones mean that what you say is going to be heard and processed — whether you're talking on the phone, or telling Google Now to navigate you somewhere. Add in active noise cancellation, and you have a device that works really well. I thought my old Bluetooth speakerphone — the Motorola SonicRider — was great. The Roadster Pro is noticeably better, both at recognizing what I'm saying as well as sounding better to the party on the other side of the conversation.

The sound coming back to you is also pretty darn good. There are two 2 watt speakers under the cloth covering, and the Roadster Pro is noticeably louder than other Bluetooth speakerphones while still remaining clear. You have music controls — they work fine with Google Play Music on the various Android phones I've tried — and the Roadster Pro is loud enough to use for listening to music, but it's not going to replace your car stereo. Even a factory car audio system is going to deliver better sounding music. But it certainly sounds as good or better than any phone that's not an HTC One.

You can also pair with more than one phone at a time. When you have two phones paired, you do seem to lose any caller ID function as it is replaced with a message that a call is coming in on line one (or line two) and you're asked if you want to answer or ignore. It works well, but of course you can't be on two calls at once.

Motorola Roadster Pro

The Voice Control button uses software on your phone and not anything built into the Roadster Pro itself. It functions just like pressing the microphone button while on the Google Now screen, and commands like "send a text to Phil" or "navigate to the DMV" work well. If you're using a Moto X or one of the new Moto Droid phones, pressing the button starts up the voice control option included on your phone. It also works great with features like Driving Mode where all incoming messages can be read aloud.

Motorola Roadster Pro

We also have to mention battery life. Motorola has a special motion activated power switch inside the Roadster Pro that turns it on when you start moving, and goes into standby after about 15 minutes of sitting still. It all seems to work well, and without turning the unit off by hand I get about 6 days of battery life in my car. My wife, who has a bit of a daily commute (about an hour each way) gets four days battery life. Again, this is far better than my old SonicRider that would need recharged every other day iunder the same conditions.

Motorola Roadster Pro

The Roadster Pro isn't the cheapest Bluetooth speakerphone. Motorola lists it at $129.99, but you can pick it up at ShopAndroid for $104.95. That's a lot more than some other options, but I can say this is the best damn Bluetooth speakerphone I've ever used.