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.

 

Reader comments

Motorola Roadster Pro Bluetooth Speakerphone review

14 Comments

I use the Roadster 2. It has fewer mics, but it has an FM radio built-in so you can listen to your music on the radio. $100.

Posted via Android Central App

By "listen to your music on the radio" are you saying I can use it to stream music from my phone to my car stereo?

Yes I do that with my roadster also. Works well so long as you have an available station that can come in clear. in the NYC market that is a monumental challenge.

He is correct, though there's a caveat. The sound isn't that great. It works for phone calls, but music sounds like it's in a tin can.

Posted via Android Central App

Try the "Jabra Cruiser 2" for half of the price. I have been using it for two years and I love it.

Posted via Android Central App

Yuuuuup. I get WEEKS of battery life out of mine, AND it has an FM transmitter to play your phone's tunes through the radio.

And you can get it for less than half of what this Motorola costs.

Yeah, the lack of an FM transmitter seems to be the feature missing from this one. Add that in and this would be an easy purchase.

I had this thing for about 6 months. It sound good and performs really well, but one thing this post did not mention is actual talk time. Talk time on volume cranked up at 80 to 90% will let you talk no longer then 15 minutes before low battery warning kicks in. So for long conversations i keep it plugged in.

Seems like a big deal breaker, if it's built for the visor that means taking it off and tossing it somewhere in the dash, ugh... If your car has an aux input you're much better off with a solution that plugs into the 12V jack and the audio aux and just pipes sound over the car stereo, nothing to recharge ever.

Something like the Knivio BTC 450 with a discrete mic/control pod you can stick somewhere for better mic reception. Only downside compared to something like the Moto is the voice pickup might not be as great.

One good thing is that came with decent (if you can live with giant blinding blue light it has) charger. Charger can be routed behind rear view mirror and other things to get it partially out of eye sight cause it can be stretched to about 10 feet.
Its a big deal breaker indeed. Especially when you have it fully charged and it tells you it has 5 hours of operating time, but in reality it only lasts for about 15 min before need of charger. Plus if you live in cold region forget it, leave that thing in your car in the cold and it will be dead on the start up. It acts the same in excessive heat too.
I really regret buying it at full price $129. When it went on sale at best buy for $70 it was a deal to consider, but it was too late to return my unit.
I like it that its loud easy to hear while driving on loud highways and microphones perform fantastic too.