Designed by the renowned Yves Behar, Jawbone takes mobile style to new heights. Jawbone's perforated shield curves to match the outline of your face while the inside surface is made from medical grade plastic to provide a soft and smooth feel on the skin. Jawbone can be worn on either ear, and you can customize your fit by choosing an earloop and earbud from the several shapes and sizes provided. Jawbone's ergonomic design enhances the acoustic performance and keeps the device lightweight, stable and comfortable. How it works- Jawbone measures the ambient noise around you and automatically enhances the incoming audio and adjusts the volume to make every incoming call sound crystal clear. Using adaptive sound technology, the Jawbone uses two microphones and a voice activity sensor. When placed against the cheek, the sensor detects voice vibrations rather than picking up the sound from your mouth. Excellent sound quality, adaptive noise cancellation, catchy design and comfortable fit.
These days, it seems that wireless Bluetooth headsets are a dime a dozen, but Aliph's Jawbone stands apart from the pack not only due to its unique looks but also thanks to some seriously amazing noise canceling technology. Originally developed for DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to create a communication headset that would pick up voice in hostile environments, the Jawbone offers some of the best clarity from a Bluetooth headset we've experienced. This version comes in red, but it's also available in black
Sophisticated modern industrial style meets the next step in audio technology with the Jawbone Bluetooth headset.
It can be worn on either ear, and you can customize your fit by choosing from one of the included earloops and earbuds.
The first thing you notice about this headset is its rather chunky size and cheese grater-like texturing on the exterior. Designed by Yves Behar, an award-winning industrial designer who also contributed to the design of the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child, aka the $100 Laptop), the Jawbone certainly has that iconic modern look that will be copied for years to come. It's also a bit large on the face (due to the embedded technology and speech sensor), which reminded us of Lando Calrissian's assistant, Lobot
. But then there's no easy way to disguise a Bluetooth headset, and it's probably an advantage as passersby won't think you're just muttering crazily to yourself.
The Jawbone can be worn on either ear, and it comes with four earloops of varying sizes to fit your lobe. Made of solid metal with a rubber cover, they're fairly comfortable around the ear. The trick, however, is getting it on over the ear, and this is the Jawbone's biggest disappointment. Because it's so stiff, you literally have to use both hands to try to slip it on over your ear. And since we don't wear our headset constantly, we missed a few calls while performing this dance. Also, the metal frame does bend (as we found after carrying it in our pocket), which can be viewed as an annoyance or as a feature--enabling you to form-fit the frame to your ear. It also comes with five ear pads of varying shapes and sizes, and we tried one of the teardrop shaped pads to secure the Jawbone inside our ear sans metal frame--it was comfortable and worked for awhile, but isn't a solution if you're moving around a lot.
As with Steve Jobs, Behar is not a fan of protruding buttons. Thus, the Jawbone's two controls are hidden within the headset, requiring you to press either the front or back of the unit to answer calls, adjust volume, or turn on/off the noise cancellation function. While we've read some reviews that complained about these hidden controls, we had no problem in accessing them and appreciated their tactile response. The Jawbone also comes with a custom-fit recharging cable that can either plug into a PC's USB port or into the included wall jack. We enjoyed the flexibility of the USB charging, but wished the cable could have been a more standard USB mini-jack (for those times when you forget to bring the cable along).
But the true test of the Jawbone is how its "noise shield" performed. First, a little about this technology. The Jawbone has a small piece of rubbery plastic that protrudes from the bulbous microphone and sits flush against your face, and this sensor tells the Jawbone whether or not you're speaking and can remove background noise from your ongoing speech signal. It can also dynamically adjust the volume of the incoming audio from your call.
We tried the Jawbone in a number of different situations, and for the most part it worked flawlessly. Sitting at our desk with the stereo volume cranked up while playing The Chemical Brothers, our call partner was none the wiser. She didn't hear any of the music coming through, and our voice came through strong on her end. While standing on a street corner, the undulations of traffic noise never made it through to our caller, while we noticed an uptick in volume with an increase in traffic noise.
However, the Jawbone wasn't perfect, as it doesn't do a great job in windy situations. Still, for the good majority of situations you'll find yourself in--from busy airports to talk-heavy coffeehouses to traffic-laden city streets--the Jawbone should perform very well, masking the surroundings to improve fidelity for you call partner as well adapting your ear volume to the surrounding environment. We just wish the ear frame was a bit more flexible.
- Amazing background noise masking capabilities--even when faced with loud, thumping music
- Outstanding adaptive volume as the environment around you changes
- Options for customizing the fit
- Metal earloop frames are hard to quickly put on
- Non-standard USB connection is a bummer if you forget the cable at home