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Old 06-23-2021, 09:10 PM   #1
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Hands Free Phone Calls....what do you use?

I'm thinking about how I'm going to do hands free calling while driving the bus.

I'm sure there are some that might put in a visor microphone and use Bluetooth through a head unit and speakers, but I'm not that ambitious.

Things that have helped me narrow down to a stereo headset:

I have to say that I'm pretty impressed how quiet my bus is. My friend and I can have a normal level conversation with one of us driving and the other sitting over one of the front wheel wells.

Yet, my hearing isn't great, especially with background noise (window open), so I'm thinking stereo headset. I'm also thinking using them for watching YouTube videos and music, hence the stereo.

I can't use the ear buds because they irritate my inner ear.

I'm looking at these: BlueParrott S450-XT Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headset https://www.amazon.com/BlueParrott-S...tionBtfSection

What have you used, how does your solution work for you?

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Old 06-24-2021, 12:35 AM   #2
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While I'm not always successful at being responsible enough to not take calls while driving or pulling over to do so I really do get frustrated seeing people driving with headphones or ear buds on. Firstly the reduction in ability to hear and respond to emergency vehicles and situations should be enough to relize it might not be a good idea but more importantly(at least to me) is hearing my own vehicle. That few critical seconds when something is off and being able to hear or sense it may make the difference between a minor setback or an engine loss.
Not trying to rag on you, just my opinion, I also get really pissed at the old guys with the damn dog driving in their lap. Lol
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:26 AM   #3
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My sporty car is too loud so I just pull over or call back, my truck is fairly quiet and I have Bluetooth through the sound system. The bus, well, I'm just not available
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Old 06-24-2021, 05:34 AM   #4
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I have a blue parrot trucker headset.. has a boom mike and isd the best thing ever.. in my red bus I actually have a real head unit with a navi-style screen like in my cars and I can use apple carplay through it with the headset to select numbers. . but people cant hear me. . on the parrott i even sit on those conf bridges for I.T. work and people are fine.. i use voice dial to dial out.. its easy to press the button on the side then say "call richard mobile".. to answer I hit a single button on the side. putting it on or off when it rings isnt too bad I keep it hanging on my door handle in the DEV and on a magnet hook in my redbyrd.. its battery seems to last forever
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
While I'm not always successful at being responsible enough to not take calls while driving or pulling over to do so I really do get frustrated seeing people driving with headphones or ear buds on. Firstly the reduction in ability to hear and respond to emergency vehicles and situations should be enough to relize it might not be a good idea but more importantly(at least to me) is hearing my own vehicle. That few critical seconds when something is off and being able to hear or sense it may make the difference between a minor setback or an engine loss.
Not trying to rag on you, just my opinion, I also get really pissed at the old guys with the damn dog driving in their lap. Lol
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OSCAR:
I completely understand the safety concerns. Being a school bus driver, I fully get being distracted and being aware of my surroundings.

The reason for the stereo, as previously mentioned is to watch YouTube and listen to music when not driving. When driving, I'd, for the most part, have only one ear covered.

Per mechanical issues....yes, hearing is important, but so is feel. I think I get more information from my bus from the feel of how it's driving than by hearing...mostly because the bus itself is already too loud.

Completely understand you're just stating your opinion. It's all good.
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I have a blue parrot trucker headset.. has a boom mike and isd the best thing ever.. in my red bus I actually have a real head unit with a navi-style screen like in my cars and I can use apple carplay through it with the headset to select numbers. . but people cant hear me. . on the parrott i even sit on those conf bridges for I.T. work and people are fine.. i use voice dial to dial out.. its easy to press the button on the side then say "call richard mobile".. to answer I hit a single button on the side. putting it on or off when it rings isnt too bad I keep it hanging on my door handle in the DEV and on a magnet hook in my redbyrd.. its battery seems to last forever
Yeah, the one's I linked to are a Blue Parrott brand. I'm leaning pretty hard that way.
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:42 AM   #7
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Yeah, the one's I linked to are a Blue Parrott brand. I'm leaning pretty hard that way.
Hey Steve, you know what I'm using...and I love it, but I would never have bought one for bus use. If I were shopping for something, I'd also be looking at one of the BlueParrott models. I've heard great things about them.
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Old 06-24-2021, 12:56 PM   #8
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I started with a blue parrot 250 and now I have a 450 .. the only i thing I like about the 250 better is the on ear vs over-ear design.. I dont like 2 ear models anyway as I like to hear the surroundings along with my music when im driving. . the 450 kills one ear but of course its easiest to hear my call.. if im on and off the phone alot ill keep the parrott on my head and just off my ear.. the 250 i can wear all the time and still hear my music and the bus drivetrain / sirens etc.. people I call say my 450 sounds like im in an office with virtually no noise.. the 250 they say they can hear a little whirr like im in a regular quiet car.. both of my headsets are single-ear..
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:19 PM   #9
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Pilots' mantra:
Aviate, navigate, communicate - in that order.

Nothing is so important that I need to use a cellphone while driving, ever. When I'm driving, I drive, focused 100% on only that. Growing up in Europe, I'm still amazed at what people here do while "driving". Maybe that's one reason (of many) the US has a road fatality rate about three times greater than Western Europe's. As a cyclist I cringe every time I see someone near me engrossed in a phone call - all it takes is one moment of their inattention, and I'll be dead. Just having a phone conversation is in itself distracting, regardless whether the phone is hands-free or not. Multi-tasking is a myth, so let's stop deluding ourselves that we can effectively do several different things at one time - we cannot.

When I drive my bus I don't even have the radio on. I'm always listening to the engine, the tires, everything that could signal a potential problem. The bus is talking to you, so you'd better be listening to it!

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Old 06-24-2021, 08:28 PM   #10
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If I drove without the radio on or that hands free call sometimes.. I woulda fell asleep and killed someone long ago..

Reality is this is 2021 and people listen to music and talk on the phone while driving.. best to do it the safest rather than hold a phone to your ear..

Headsets seem to be the best way to achieve as a good headset is non existent on your head or in your field of view and takes voice commands for dialing.

It’s a known fact that most ce phone accidents occur not when someone is talking on a hands free device but when they are dialing or trying to look up a number.

And of course texting which is just plain dangerous unless you do it 100% voice (not reading the. Off the screen)
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Old 06-26-2021, 09:07 PM   #11
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As a school bus driver, driving 40' bus in city traffic with a load of kids on Friday afternoon and communicating on the radio holding the microphone and steering with one hand....I get distracted driving.

School buses, as we know, do not have as much visibility as most would think, so we "rock-n-roll" looking left and right.

My first vehicle I operated was a Cessna 150, at 10 years old. My Dad made me do the pre-flight with him, and as I grew older and more experienced, I took on more tasks. I drive like I fly, scanning left to right then back across the dash.

And, like CK, my brain gets numb and sleepy without something to shake up my brain a bit.

My hearing is also pretty lousy, so if someone is in the car and talking to me, I feel more distracted trying to listen to them than if I had a headset on and could clearly hear them.

I get the point about distracted driving, and it's a valid concern, yet, considering the above, for me to talk with a Bluetooth (no wires like the spring loaded bus microphones) headset while cruising down a highway...I'm probably more safe than most drivers.

Speaking of, apparently some Blue Parrott models allow you to set two pairs to a walkie-talkie mode. Man, that would be cool!
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Old 06-26-2021, 09:24 PM   #12
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Wow wallkie talkie mode I need to learn about that. I was looking into getting aviation headsets as my dude is starting to get into riding the bus but he doesn’t talk very loud .. would be cool to have intercom headsets. Would cost lots less than aviation sets!

That bus scan and roll! Hell yes!! You should never ever lose someone in a blind spot in a bus.. plus I keep all my mirrors.. even the school mirror above the windshield and the fish eye mirrors up front..

Use all available tools when driving.. mirrors, all your windows and mirrors and move your body!

I do admit I probably have it easy since my busses are stock with all their windows and no bulkheads added.
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Old 06-26-2021, 09:30 PM   #13
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Wow wallkie talkie mode I need to learn about that. I was looking into getting aviation headsets as my dude is starting to get into riding the bus but he doesnít talk very loud .. would be cool to have intercom headsets. Would cost lots less than aviation sets!
I use an aviation headset, because the noise cancelling is fantastic and I can make calls...and people can hear me!...while I'm driving. I wouldn't have spent the money for one, but I had it from our plane...which we sold last year (and turned into buses!). But it works great. I can still hear the engine and I heard the blowout I had, last week, on a towed vehicle. But it attenuates the sound enough that driving isn't as fatiguing for me.
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Old 06-26-2021, 09:31 PM   #14
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Ooops, not walkie talkie like I was thinking....

The Teams Walkie Talkie feature turns smartphones and tablets into a walkie talkie that works over cellular or WiFi networks, allowing team members to talk instantly across geographic locations without standard radio range restrictions, according to the company.

https://www.truckersnews.com/gear/pr...talkie-feature

RossV has a set of Bose aviation headsets he used when flying. Might want to talk to him about those.

UPDATE: Ha, crossed over Ross' post just after he posted. Funny.
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Old 06-26-2021, 09:39 PM   #15
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I use an aviation headset, because the noise cancelling is fantastic and I can make calls...and people can hear me!...while I'm driving. I wouldn't have spent the money for one, but I had it from our plane...which we sold last year (and turned into buses!). But it works great. I can still hear the engine and I heard the blowout I had, last week, on a towed vehicle. But it attenuates the sound enough that driving isn't as fatiguing for me.
I like the Bose because they have VOX as well as PTT. Which model do you have ?
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Old 06-26-2021, 10:10 PM   #16
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I like the Bose because they have VOX as well as PTT. Which model do you have ?
The A20. Kara had a Lightspeed that was very nice, too.
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Old 06-30-2021, 03:21 PM   #17
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Old 06-30-2021, 04:50 PM   #18
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I think you will find "headphones" are illegal to wear while driving just about everywhere. Bluetooth headsets and earpods are okay in some places. In Calif. nothing can be on both ears.
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Old 06-30-2021, 04:51 PM   #19
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Noise cancelling BlueParrott headsets
Great sound quality very comfortable longer then you can drive battery life
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Old 06-30-2021, 05:45 PM   #20
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I use my Kenwood car (bus) stereo. I didnít know it did that till my phone started ringing thru my speakers. I was already Bluetooth connected of course.

My iPhone XR doesnít pick up a lot of extra noise. Ppl say they canít tell Iím on speaker.

Peace
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