BlueAnt S4 True HandsFree

You might think you have a handsfree car speakerphone … but is it really? The folks at BlueAnt would argue not – pointing to the number of buttons you have to interact with at some stage in using it – and the subsequently point to their new BlueAnt S4 True HandsFree and proudly stating “Look Mom No Hands!”


“Really hands free?” you might wonder? Yes really, due to the slightly odd trigger phrase “BlueAnt Speak to Me”, which is admittedly easy to remember and unlikely to come up in casual conversation. The trigger phrase primes the S4 for a range of activities. So for examples saying “Phone Commands” will activate your phone voice dialling features. Like the S3, the S4 has a reasonable degree of slur and mumble tolerance built in and seemed to work ok with my limited range of regional accents. Again, like the S3, the S4 will read out the name of number of whoever is calling and allow you to answer or ignore the call – simply by saying “Answer” or “Ignore”.

There’s a lot of Android and Blackberry love going on at BlueAnt towers and the S4 integrates with with Vlingo SafeReader, which automatically reads aloud incoming text messages (this obviously depends on your handset and OS). Or if you’re on Android there is a dedicated BlueAnt app that does the same thing – as well as help and support for your S4 (although it’s pretty easy to use and will talk you through set up).

It wouldn’t be a BlueAnt device if they didn’t make a point of “booming audio” and true to their promises, the S4’s full duplex, high volume speaker and all the wind, road and background noise technology crammed into the little device makes the sound quality reasonably robust.

The BlueAnt S4 True Handsfree is out now from

Review: Parrot ASTEROID car receiver


Parrot, the so-called ‘King of the Bluetooth’, seems to be living up to its name with the Parrot Asteroid, a hands-free telephony system that, via Google Android, facilitates web connectivity, fabricating a purported “new generation of in-car technology”. This glossy and good-looking stereo system, which is likely to enhance even the most suave of car dashboards, comes equipped with a GPS dongle, which, once connected to the car receiver, enables users to enjoy several on-line services previously unattainable with less technologically refined car stereo systems.

One such urbane feature includes Parrot Maps, a cartography service which, not only locates a vehicle’s location and identifies the names of nearby streets and businesses, but also enables drivers to plan an itinerary and to dial – hands-free – related numbers – Great for delivery drivers unable to locate a business on a labyrinth-like industrial estate!


The Parrot Asteroid’s geo-localisation technology will also alert drivers of the nearest petrol stations and car parks, as well as being informed of real-time traffic updates.

This multi-compatible car stereo enables drivers to cruise along to their favourite tunes from various sources, including a USB Key, MP3 player, iPhone, iPod, SD card, and, thanks to a 3G card, which incidentally is not provided with the product and has to be bought separately, online radio stations.

Stuck on a five-mile tailback on the M3 and itching for somebody to talk to? Rectify the situation by talking to your Parrot Asteroid!  A singular Parrot Asteroid button enables drivers to counteract the galling effects long-distance solo driving can have on drivers, as users can tell their Parrot Asteroid the name of an artist or album they want on, and this highly innovative device, will immediately locate and play the artist of choice. What’s more, if an artist or album is unable to be located in the peripherals connected to the Asteroid, if a 3G Key is attached to the car stereo system, a search will automatically begin on online musical libraries – Exemplifying the crux of hands-free telephony.

Find out more at