bluetooth speaker phone that announces name?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by psywzrd, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. psywzrd macrumors 68030

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #1
    Have any of you guys found a bluetooth speakerphone that announces the name of the person that is calling you as long as that person is in your address book? My Motorola T505 is supposed to do that but it does not. The only thing it will do is announce the phone number of an incoming call as long as that phone number IS NOT in my contacts (kind of useless). I'm not sure if there's just a limitation in the bluetooth stack of the iphone 4 or if it's my T505 that's the problem. From what I understand the iphone 4 has the proper profile, which is PBAP (Phone Book Access Profile) so I don't understand why it doesn't work.

    Anyone?
     
  2. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #2
    My 1 year old Blueant st3 does that. It will voice dial as well remarkably accurately with iP4 without any additional training or voice tagging. It's under $50 on Amazon and is the best bt speaker phone I have tried by far.
     
  3. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    So if your girlfriend or whoever calls you, it will announce her name over the speakerphone? I don't understand why it won't work like on my T505 - it's supposed to. Did you have to do anything extra to get it to work or was it as simple as pairing the two devices?
     
  4. draz macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #4
    The Blueant models will actually copy the entire phone book over to the speaker phone so it will announce the name that is in the phone book. But if you were to change any info on the phone you have to force the Blueant to update or else it won't reflect any changes.

    If the number isn't in your contacts then it will just say the number, even if you have Name Display service in your country.

    Otherwise I like the Blueant ST3.
     
  5. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #5
    It has text to speech built in to read out the name in your contacts. The first time you pair your phone, it upload all the contacts in your phone to itself to be stored in the speaker phone. The operation is simple and doesn't require any additional work on your part and took about a few minutes for a few hundred contacts, and it tell you the progress verbally.

    I was blown away by the fact that voice dial worked extremely well when I got my iP4 without doing anything to the unit. I think it's a steal at $50. Some cases cost more than that. I have posted a review in this forum, so search for it if you want more information.
     
  6. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #6
    The Blueant sounds pretty nice - I'll look into it The T505 is great too. It also doesn't require any setup for voice dialing and it works great - it's just this caller id thing that has me baffled. I even just called Motorola about it and they told me that it should work (iphone 4 is listed as compatible). Announcing the number of the person that's calling me is useless, especially since it's only announcing the number of someone who isn't even in my contacts. I need the name announced anyway - even the number of someone who is in my contacts isn't good enough since I don't even bother remembering phone numbers anymore.

    Hopefully some other T505 owners will chime in as well so I know that I'm not the only one having this problem.
     
  7. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Where did you find this thing for $50? I just did a google search and I found one place that sells it and it's $119.98.
     
  8. meistervu macrumors 65816

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  9. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Ah - S3 is the same thing as ST3 then huh? Maybe I should have been googling s3 instead of st3. I can get the S4 for $45 though. Maybe I should just get that one if I can get my t505 working. The t505 has fm capabilities and it sounds like voice dialing is easier with it as well (just tap the call button and say "call John Smith mobile").

    What is the process for you if you want to make the same call with the blueant?
     
  10. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I am not aware of a Blueant S3, only ST3 which stands for "Supertooth". There is however the newest model is Blueant S4 which is the only model that shows up on Blueant website currently. The best price I have seen so far for it is about $70.

    To voice dial, hold down the call button on the speakerphone for 1 second, then say the name + home or cell.
     
  11. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Oh. You don't have to say "Blueant speak to me" or anything like that? It sounds like it works the same as the t505 then. Only thing it seems to be missing is FM, but I don't really use that. Would be nice to have though. For $45, it sounds like a great deal.
     
  12. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    #12
    No you don't. Just say the name. On their website you can find the manual in PDF form (look under manual for old products). Ignore the part about having to record at least one voice tag. I never had to do anything when I moved from my iPhone 3G to iP4 and it just worked!

    The new S4 listed as having longer talk time but shorter stand by (29 days versus 33 days). I recharge mine about once a month. It will tell me if the battery is low every time I enter my car and it reconnects. Pretty low maintenance.
     
  13. Sportcat macrumors member

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    Anderson, SC
    #13
    BlueAnt S4

    I just got mine yesterday from Amazon for $75. Upgraded the firmware to 1.6 and it works great with my 3GS.
     
  14. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Just wanted to let you guys know that I got my S4 today and it sounds like it's actually a step back. In order to voice dial, you have to say "Blueant speak to me", wait for it to reply with "say a command", then you have to say "Phone commands" and then you can finally say "Call John Smith Mobile" or whatever. That's absolutely ridiculous. I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to make a phone call with this thing. I want to be able to tap a button and then say "call John Smith mobile" and it sounds like I can do that with the S3 but not with the S4. Just goes to show you that sometimes you're better off with older technology. It's a shame too because it's a nice-looking unit and I got it so cheap.
     
  15. Sportcat macrumors member

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    #15
    You could just leave it in battery save mode (I do), then just tap the center button and say "phone commands."

    That will cut out one step.
     
  16. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #16
    I don't even want to do that (call me lazy:D). I'm just going to send it back and get the S3. It sounds like the s3 does everything I need it do anyway and I just want something simple. If I had known the s4 was going to have that problem, I wouldn't have ordered it.
     
  17. Sportcat macrumors member

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    #17
    I miss pressing just one button in my old factory installed system.

    Are you sure the S3 doesn't require you to say something similar to "phone commands?"
     
  18. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Not according to meistervu's post above or blueant tech support. You just press the button and say "call whoever". That's the way my Motorola t505 works as well and that's the way I want it to work.
     
  19. Sportcat macrumors member

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    #19
    Huh... why would they add an extra step to an "upgraded" version???:confused:
     
  20. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #20
    I asked the same question to blueant support when I called them. They told me it's because there are so many menu options on the new device but that doesn't make sense to me. First and foremost this thing is for hands-free calling - if any function should require the least amount of steps it should be making a call. They've added all sorts of other options in the new model but it's stuff that I just don't need.
     
  21. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    #21
    psywzrd: yes, I feel your frustration. I think it is a step back from the ST3. I know because I just ordered the S4 for my wife. I love my ST3, and I thought the S4 would be at least as good, plus new function like bluetooth streaming for my Navigon program. But no, I find it more cumbersome than the ST3 which is just great. Here minuses and plus compare to the S3.

    cons:
    -1. no vibration auto reconnect - on the ST3, when you get back in your car, it feels the vibration, reconnect, then announce "connected to phone." Just brilliant.

    -2. to many steps to voice dial - on the ST3, push one botton, then say "call [name] [home|cell]". On the S4, push one button, say "phone menu", wait for the beep, say "call [name] [home|cell]". Too many steps.

    -3. when on battery saving mode, the thing would announce that voice trigger is off when it is about to be off. I wish there was a way to turn that announcement off. I find it unnecessary.

    -4. touch button is easy to trigger. I find myself accidentally adjust the volume or trigger voice command a lot when I adjust my visor and brush those touch button by accident. On the ST3, they are physical bottons so you are much unlikely do push them by accident.

    pluses:

    +1. slicker looking
    +2. better speaker (I think)
    +3. more voice commands. You can use your voice to check battery level, if you are connected, enter pair mode, call back last caller, redial, etc. You can also ask it to tell you all available commands.
    +4. bluetooth streaming. I was blown away by the speaker quality. The ST3 has a really good speaker, the S4 is even much better. I tested streaming Itune to it and while it's not hifi by any reasonable stretch of imagination, it was pretty good to the point that after a while I forgot that it was a tiny hand free speaker phone. It's loud. I also listened to a few Tales2Go audiobooks on it with a little kid and it sounded great. So, for phone calls and navigation the sound quality is great.

    The S4 I have has firmware 1.5. There is a new 1.6 firmware, but I am doubtful it addresses any of the cons I listed. I will download that any way tomorrow.

    In conclusion, the ST3 is a brilliant piece of engineering. The S4 added more functions, but some are not so well thought out. Other than the vibration sensor which the S4 doesn't have and the sensitive touch buttons on the S4 that easy to activate by accident, I think if BlueAnt wants to they could release the firmware that addresses many of the issues I listed. BlueAnt seems to be one rare company that used to think outside the box and came up with brilliant and simple solutions. I hope they make some changes to the S4 firmware for the better. I am still deciding whether to send it back and get another ST3.

    If you just want a speaker phone, get the ST3.


    pros:
     
  22. Sportcat macrumors member

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    Anderson, SC
    #22
    I'm going to keep my S4. Even with the extra step of saying "phone commands," it still takes less time than pulling out my phone, searching through contacts, and making the call.

    Plus I really like the sleek styling, upgradable firmware (I had to upgrade to 1.6 for it to work with my 3GS running 4.0.1), and the outstanding speaker.
     
  23. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #23
    Thanks for that post meistervu. I have already contacted AT&T and they are sending me a return label for the S4 (I ordered an S3 from Amazon instead). I agree that it should be easy enough for them to fix the issues mentioned with a firmware upgrade but I've learned my lesson about waiting around for companies to do that - it just never seems to happen.

    I love the looks of the S4 and I'm sure it works great otherwise, but I need simplicity for voice dialing. If they could just fix that one simple thing, I would keep it. I can't figure out why they think it's ok to require so many steps for a simple phone call.

    Regarding the bluetooth streaming, are you saying that the S3 doesn't announce your directions when you're using Navigon? Also, I upgraded my S4 to 1.6 when I got it and it doesn't address any of the cons you listed. Bummer.
     
  24. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Another quick update. Just spoke with Blueant support. They told me that there's no way they can make the S4 work like the S3 for making phone calls - it just requires extra commands because of the way it's designed. They also told me that the speakers are exactly the same on both devices so sound quality should be just as good (both incoming and outgoing) on the S3 as it is on the S4. They also told me that the S3 will broadcast your nav program's directions as well so that's not an issue.

    This makes me feel good about my decision to return the S4 and get an S3. For me the only thing the S4 has over the S3 is looks, and I'm not that shallow;).
     
  25. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    #25
    That's odd. I can't get the ST3 to work with Navigon or iTune. Bluetooth output wasn't an option in either of the programs when connected. On the S4, you can switch to either audio source while in iTune. Maybe they updated the ST3. Please report back when you get yours.
     

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