It’s not a huge thing. In fact, it’s very, very small. And completely in the wrong place.
With the onslaught of hands-free laws in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, I have loved having test cars that come equipped with Bluetooth. All you do is sync your phone, make a call, and then talk through the speakers of your car.
Some automakers do this better than others. Kia, with their new 2011 Sorento, is not tops on my list.
The speaker mic is the right size. It’s just absolutely in the wrong place. Most manufacturers place the mic on the roof at the right, somewhere near the rearview mirror. This is great placement because it picks up your voice easily when your head is straight forward. As it should be when you’re, you know, driving.
The Sorento, however, has the mic on the left near the sun visor. I found this to be the worst place ever to have a mic. Not only is it near the window (absolutely no window-down driving while you’re talking on the phone), but it’s not in the right place to pick up your voice naturally. So, I found while I was diving that I had to turn my head to the left for people to be able to hear me.
The other problem with this placement: It doesn’t pick up the voice of someone in the passenger seat. My sister and I have been spending a lot of time in the car together lately, which is a prime opportunity for us to call our parents together. But with the placement of the mic in the Sorento, only the driver’s voice gets picked up.
Not a fan. Which is really unfortunate. Because I otherwise LOVED this vehicle. Great gas mileage for a 7-passenger SUV. Comfortable. Nice ride. Excellent whistles and bells that included leather seats and navigation. And, and affordable price for a well-stocked car: $34K.
Now if only they could fix that Bluetooth mic …