Review: BlackBerry VM-605 Bluetooth Car Kit | webOS Nation
 
 

Review: BlackBerry VM-605 Bluetooth Car Kit 46

by Derek Kessler Mon, 01 Mar 2010 3:30 pm EST

BlackBerry VM-605 Blueooth Car Kit

Packed into the deceptively small package of the BlackBerry VM-605 Bluetooth Car Kit you’ll find a host of quality audio equipment and technology that puts this car kit a step ahead of the pack. Now I know you’re asking yourself, “I thought this was a Palm site, not CrackBerry.com.” You’re right, but seeing as the VM-605 is a bluetooth car kit, it should be more or less universal and work with just about any bluetooth-equipped phone. The Pre would be one such phone, and the VM-605 performed admirably when paired.

Audio Quality

BlackBerry VM-605 Blueooth Car Kit Under the matte finish slotted grill at the base of the VM-605 is a large speakerphone. The voice quality from this speaker was nothing short of superb, sounding clearer and louder than any phone’s built-in speakerphone and better than most car kits. The microphone was able to easily pick up my voice while driving and managed to cut out most road noise, though it was clear to the other caller that I was in a moving car. The VM-605 can also function as a bluetooth music speaker and did so quite well with the built-in music app from the Pre. Bass from the speaker was decent while higher tones were nice and clear. If a chord was too broad, however, the speaker struggled to reproduce all the tones

The VM-605 comes with a built-in FM transmitter that can broadcast both call and music audio to your car’s stereo system. While an awesome idea in concept, the FM transmitter is hobbled by the same drawbacks that hinder the performance of dedicated FM transmitters. Namely, in urban areas such as my home of Cincinnati there are so many and so powerful radio stations broadcasting that it is near impossible to find a clear radio frequency for your own in-car broadcasting. And if like me you find yourself traveling to other metro areas, that radio band that is open at home may not be open where you’re going. Once an adequately clear radio band was found the VM-605 transmitted almost without fault, though it did seem to skip every few minutes. While the FM transmitter is a nice touch, an aux-out port would provide much better audio clarity.

BlackBerry VM-605 Blueooth Car Kit

Controls

There are three sets of buttons on the VM-605: the FM button on the left side, the power/call button at center, and the volume rocker on the right. As you might expect, the power/call button functions just like it would with any bluetooth headset (hold to turn on and off, tap to answer or end calls). Frustratingly to a shiny addict like me, the large glossy panel that is the power/call button is a fingerprint magnet on the same order as the Pre itself. The FM button serves two roles: to turn on and off the FM transmitter, and when coupled with the volume up key for four second to turn off and lock the speakerphone. The volume rocker both adjusts the volume and changes radio broadcast frequency.

Using the controls is an exercise in patience, as most of the feedback you receive is in the form of robotic Australian lady’s voice. Even turning the speakerphone off can be frustrating, as holding for two seconds will give a beep to indicate that it is ready to call back the last number, whereas holding for four seconds will turn the unit off. More than once I took the beep to mean that the speakerphone was turning off and let go, only to have to deal with somebody calling me back wondering if I’d dropped the call.

BlackBerry VM-605 Blueooth Car Kit

In the Box

The BlackBerry VM-605 Bluetooth Car Kit comes with a preinstalled wire clip that gives a bit too much space for clipping onto a car visor (unless your car has a visor an inch thick), though it can be removed and a gripping pad on the bottom of the unit will let it stick to your dashboard. Also included are a set of instructions in English, French, and Spanish and a 12-volt Micro USB auto charger that does work with the Pre.

BlackBerry VM-605 Blueooth Car Kit

Conclusion

If you can stand the thought having something with the BlackBerry name paired up with your Pre, the BlackBerry VM-605 Bluetooth Car Kit is a good choice for in-car calling and music. With a clear speakerphone and FM transmitter for linking into your car’s stereo, the VM-605 will outperform many car kits and headsets.

The BlackBerry VM-605 Bluetooth Car Kit is available in the PreCentral Store for $85.95, a savings of 15% off the list price of $99.95. It was provided for review by the PreCentral Store.

Pros

Superb speakerphone

Cons

Frustrating controls with spoken confirmations