State-of-the-art hands-free headsets

GLENDALE In California, using cell phones while driving is as commonplace as sushi bars. But come July, motorists will have to put down the chopsticks -- or at least their cell phones -- and get their hands back on the steering wheel, unless they're using some sort of hands-free device.

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Joni Blecher, editorial director of, brought us four hands-free devices that use Bluetooth technology and have very different features.

One very interesting headset is this one from Cardo Systems. As you can see, it's very small to begin with, and it fits comfortably in the ear. But it's best feature is that it works very well if you have two phones.

"A lot of people today have a work phone and a personal cell phone, and they want to pair it with both, and they get calls simultaneously from both," said Blecher. "So what you can do with this headset is you just press twice on top and you can switch it between cell phones."

The Cardo S800 runs about $90.

Now I really like this Bluetooth headset. It's from Samsung. What I like about it is that it's designed by Bang and Olufsen -- it's very cool-looking. And it fits nicely over the ear. And one of its features is the slide-out mouthpiece.

"With the slide-out feature, what that means is when you slide it out -- you're talking on the phone, when you slide it shut, the call ends. So you never have to worry that you're still on the phone," said Blecher.

The Samsung WEP-420 ranges in price from $90 to $130.

Now take a look at this Bluetooth headset. It is so small. It's from Sound ID. Even though it's small, it has really big sound. In fact, it's recommended for people who drive convertibles.

"It has super high-end audio features, but it also has environment control," said Blecher. "So if you're in a windy environment, it adjusts for the wind so you can hear more clearly the person you're talking to and they can hear you back just as clearly."

The Sound ID SM100 retails for $130.

This next Bluetooth headset isn't a headset at all. In fact, it fits on your visor. It's from Motorola and is loaded with features.

"You can use this device to take your calls through your stereo system, or if you don't want to use your in-car stereo, you can just take it through the device," said Blecher. "It will also give you the phone number of who's calling -- it reads it to you in this lovely English-lady accent, it's lovely. You can also stream your music from your cell phone through your car stereo."

The Motorola MOTOROKR T505 goes from car to car and costs anywhere from $100 TO $170.

Remember, come July, no more holding a phone while driving.


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