What is a Car Speakerphone?

Jacob Queen

A car speakerphone is basically a cell phone installed in a vehicle with a speaker loud enough to hear all over the car. These phones also have microphones that can pick up someone’s voice from a distance so that anybody in the car can speak and be heard by the person on the other end. This allows for several people to conference call within a vehicle at the same time, and the phones also usually allow for hands-free operation.

Car speakerphones are considered much more safe during driving than holding a cell phone.
Car speakerphones are considered much more safe during driving than holding a cell phone.

There are two main modes that separate different car speakerphone models. These two modes are known as half duplex and full duplex. In half-duplex phones, when one person is speaking, the person on the other end cannot he heard, and this can lead to difficulty in conversations. A full-duplex car speakerphone allows for both sides of the conversation to be audible at all times, and these are generally more desirable.

A car speakerphone may help inexperienced drivers safely operate a vehicle.
A car speakerphone may help inexperienced drivers safely operate a vehicle.

Most car speakerphone models can also be used as regular hand-held phones as well. This is important, because speakerphones don’t allow for private conversations. For most models, the speakerphone mode is turned on with a button, or the phone can be put in speakerphone mode with voice commands.

Some people think that a car speakerphone is much safer when driving than a regular cell phone. In theory, speaking into a car speakerphone could be less distracting to the driver, and it leaves both hands free so that the driver can easily operate the vehicle. The car speakerphone models with total hands-free operation are especially recommended for this purpose.

There are some experts that don’t think car speakerphone models are especially safe. Some studies have shown that cell phone use is dangerous because the conversation distracts people, not because the hands are being used. If that is the case, then car speakerphones wouldn’t be any safer than regular cell phones. Some people even think they’re worse because they might encourage people to use cell phones more often in their vehicles. Both sides generally dispute the issue, and more research will probably be needed to definitively prove which view is right.

The speakerphone is also popular for use outside of vehicles. Many businesses use speakerphones for conferencing with multiple employees at the same time. This kind of functionality is also a big part of videoconferencing technology. The ability to hold meetings with many people all over the world interacting at the same time has generally had a revolutionary impact on the business world. Car speakerphones are also sometimes popular in this context, because they allow multiple employees traveling together to interact with those in the office at the same time.

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Discussion Comments


Cars and phones can, and have lead to many accidents, but I would much rather my daughters have their phones when they are driving than not have them. A phone can be a lifesaver if the girls run into any type of trouble while they are out and driving. It is their responsibility to use the phones responsibly, and I trust them to do that.


@Sporkasia - I couldn't agree more with what you said about cell phones of any kind being dangerous when you are driving. When I get into my car and start driving, I have no intentions of using my phone. However, sometimes I don't stick to the plan.

If I am in the car and my phone rings then I automatically check to see who is calling. Once I have the phone in my hand, I figure I might as well answer the call. So even though I didn't intend to, I am talking and driving.

Also, when I am driving, I sometimes need to call and let someone know that I am stuck in traffic or running late for some reason. Or I simply remember that I forget to get in touch with someone. What I am saying is that no matter how much I try to avoid talking on the phone while I am driving, I do it anyway. And I'll admit this happens quite often.

For this reason, I have decided that I should buy a hands free car speakerphone. I think this is much safer than holding a phone in one hand while driving.


I agree with the people who say that these phones are dangerous to talk on when you are driving. A car speakerphone may not be as distracting as a hand help phone, but this does not mean the speakerphone is anywhere near safe to operate while you are driving.

Not to pick on young people, but can you imagine what the environment would be like with a car of teenagers talking on a speaker phone? The thought of this scares me, especially since in not too many years I will have teenagers who will be driving.

In my opinion, the only safe phone in a car is the one that is not being used and is turned off so that it will not become a distraction at any time while the car is moving.

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