Jawbone Bluetooth Headset

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Jawbone is a high-tech Bluetooth headset designed to be used with mobile phones like iPhone. What makes Jawbone so high-tech? According to the manufacturer itis the only "adaptive" headset on the market today. It uses military-grade audio technology that adjusts and optimizes incoming and outgoing sound quality based upon the current audio situation.

Again, according to the manufacturer, there are four key features that differentiate Jawbone from other headsets:

  • A voice activity sensor
  • Two separate microphones
  • Proprietary noise shielding technology for noise subtraction
  • Adapts at 380 times per second

I have no way of proving or disproving any of the manufactureris claims. I repeat them here because theyire almost certainly why I think the Jawbone is a better Bluetooth headset than any of the Jabra, Motorola, or BlueTake headsets Iive tried in the past year or two.

This review is based on extensive testing over a six week period with two different mobile phones -- an iPhone and a Motorola L2. Jawbone worked flawlessly with both phones. Since iPhone doesnit support voice dialing I wasnit able to test that aspect of Jawbone with the iPhone. But I tested the heck out of it with the Motorola L2 and found that voice commands were recognized more consistently than with other headsets Iive used.

My wife knows what I sound like when I call her from the car on a Bluetooth headset. Every time I asked if she could hear me clearly when I was using the Jawbone, she said yes. A couple of times she didnit believe I was even using a headset -- the sound quality was so good she thought I was speaking directly into the microphone on the phone itself.

I walked out to my mailbox on breezy days while talking on the Jawbone. If I did this with other headsets, the person I was talking to would invariably ask if I was walking through a hurricane or a tornado. When I did it with the Jawbone, however, nobody said a word about noise or wind. If I asked them, theyid usually say I sounded fine with little or no wind noise. That wasnit the case with my other headsets.

Finally, I tested it by having a friend strap on the Jawbone and call from my mobile phone to my land line. I listened to him on the land line, allowing me to experience Jawbone on the receiving end. No matter he was -- a moving car, near my mailbox with the wind blowing, or standing at a busy intersection -- I could hear him loud and clear.

In addition to its superior sound quality I also liked the way it looked. Here are photos of Jawboneis front and back:

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As much as I like Jawbone, I have a couple of complaints. First and foremost, I didnit find it particularly comfortable regardless of which of its 6 ear buds or 4 ear loops I used. It wasnit terrible, but while my Jabra headsets donit sound as good and arenit as cool looking, they do fit better and are more comfortable.

My other gripe is that although Jawbone adjusts its volume automatically and I rarely had to use the manual volume controls, there were times when I wished I could make it one or two clicks louder than its maximum volume. It didnit happen very often, but it did happen often enough to mention.

Note: The photos above show the black Jawbone, but itis also available in bright red.

The Bottom Line

Even with my gripes I have to say that Jawbone worked better overall than any other Bluetooth headset I have tried in almost every situation I tried it in. People I talked to heard less background noise with Jawbone than with other headsets and I heard them better most of the time as well. I have 4 or 5 different Bluetooth headsets available, but the one I choose to use every day is the Jawbone.

Product: Jawbone Bluetooth headset

Company: Aliph

List Price: US$119.99

Pros: You sound better to them and they sound better to you (than with other headsets), nice design, state-of-the-art noise cancelling technology.
Cons: Could be more comfortable, occasionally not loud enough.

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