If you are fed up with wearing one of those Bluetooth handsfree headsets that make you look like a twerp no matter what, but don’t want to go to the hassle of having an expensive in-car system fitted, then we might just have found the answer in the Movon MK10.
This small’ish (120 x 95 x 18mm) light’ish (175g including battery and visor fixing clip) device not only acts as an in-car hands-free mobile phone speaker with full voice control, but you can bring it into the office or kitchen and continue using it in the same way there.
In-car it clips to the sun visor, hanging firmly on the underside and when you flip open the 60mm, 14 digit display, white text on backlit blue background LCD the unit automatically turns on and pairs up. The backlight going off after a few seconds to save power, coming on again when an incoming call is received. Initial pairing is simple, use is simple, even transferring contact details from your mobile is simple thanks to the device supporting object push transfers.
The DSP provides superb echo cancellation and surrounding noise reduction, consequently the audio quality is far superior to the majority of headsets we have used. This applies equally to the person you are talking to, over the course of a week of testing a number of people remarked on the clarity of our voices. One thing you don’t get on the audio front, although it is on the box front, is the ability to play music via an A/V profile. This function seems to have been removed either just for the European devices or perhaps globally, we are not 100% sure and nobody seems able to confirm this from Movon itself. But that’s not a great problem, nobody would feel like dancing if they listened to the Scissor Sisters through a wireless mobile phone speaker, would they?
We were less than impressed by the fact that the MK10 only comes with a cigarette lighter charger for the car, although an AC adaptor is an optional extra we couldn’t find a single supplier in the UK that sold one. To compound the problem, the USB connection, which should make the charging situation a breeze just adds to it because it is a non-standard mini-micro teensy-weensy smallest USB socket in the world variety. It makes the port on my Motorola RAZR look positively humungous!
That aside, once charged, the battery performance is good enough to get a full day of use, and then some. We would argue that the official battery life times are optimistic as usual, but 11 hours talk-time translates into a real world 8 easily enough, and the claimed 200 hours standby is more like 160 but, again, nothing to complain about.
What else? Well a simple phone book lists the last five calls, a single button lets you redial the last of these although voice dialling is also supported and works really well indeed. Mute, call waiting, call forwarding, 3-way calling are also supported. Our only real concern is the size of the unit which makes it as pocketable as a satnav or PDA, but not if you also have a satnav and PDA to stuff in your pocket. And you wouldn’t want to leave such shiny thief bait in your car, so it’s another gadget that needs hiding away and locking up somewhere.
We’ve never heard of Movon before, but suspect that the MK10 could change all that. If you want good sound in and out of the car, without looking like a delegate at a Sci-Fi convention, this is the handsfree kit for you.