- Rating: ★★★★☆
- RRP: £59.99
- Buy it at: amazon.co.uk
THE HUMBLE automobile was once a safe haven where you could be alone with your thoughts. But new in-car technology makes the daily commute a perfect setting for productivity. Sadly, your boss knows it.
Factory-fitted and aftermarket Bluetooth hands-free systems let you make phone calls on the move quite legally, but sound quality can be a problem. Poor construction and badly placed microphones may let excessive extraneous noise leak into the call, and passengers may find themselves privy to the conversation whether they like it or not, as the caller’s voice plays through the car’s speakers.
There is a more discreet way of catching up with the office on the road: a Bluetooth headset. Before you turn away in disgust, take a proper look: these devices have moved on from the flashing plastic monstrosities that turned hands-free phone users into geeky cyborgs.
The Storm is one of the lightest and most discreet headsets in Jabra’s range, tucking comfortably behind the ear with only a small microphone stalk visible along the jaw. Inconspicuous buttons along the back of the unit let you answer, reject and end calls, as well as increase or decrease volume.
“Bluetooth headsets have moved on from the flashing plastic monstrosities that turned hands-free phone users into geeky cyborgs”
It boasts a 10-hour battery life and can be paired with a smartphone that has voice-recognition software, such as Apple’s Siri. The Storm then replaces the phone’s microphone, so the user can dictate a text message or make a call by speaking the phone number, reducing the time hands are off the wheel.
Bluetooth pairing is quick and easy, and the Storm supports NFC (near-field communication), so users can simply tap two gadgets together to make a connection.
Sound quality is superb through the earpiece: calls sound crisp and clear. Noise cancellation is better in some other sets — yes, the Storm is better at this than many hands-free systems built into modern vehicles, but it’s companies such as Jawbone and Plantronics that excel in this department.
The Storm’s trump card is design. This ergonomic device can be worn for hours without discomfort — or other road users spotting the device and casting aspersions.