on February 26, 2014
I used the old 'three hump' Jawbone ERA for years. In fact, it was the only piece of my personal technology inventory that didn't turn over in 3 years! The thing was bullet proof. Decent sound. Decent battery life.
I purchased the new ERA last month directly from Jawbone. It was quite exciting as they had almost 3 years to perfect their old ERA that I currently owned. But they didn't.
There are a lot of reviews on this already, so I'll cut to the chase. There are two showstopper issues:
o The battery life, at best, is three hours. It is less than ⅓ of that of my iPhone. Really? The thing is so small that they could have made it a bit bigger and stuffed in some decent battery life! 3 hours just doesn't cut it. I shouldn't have to worry about the battery life on my bluetooth headset amongst everything else's battery life.
o Inbound callers CONSISTENTLY complain that they can't hear me well. When I call them back, they hear me loud and clear. Nothing else changes, my location, my phone remain the same. My other/older BT headsets work fine. There is a software/firmware bug.
I really, really, really wanted to like this thing. My old ERA was a brute and just performed well. I had hoped that this did the same...but it didn't. I returned the new ERA and got a replacement and the same problem exists where inbound callers can't hear me well. It wasn't limited to my one headset; it appears to be systematic.
My recommendation. Don't purchase this product.
An addendum: June 24 2014.
Jawbone released a new firmware version a few weeks ago. It does fix many of the quality problems to a partial extent, but not all. It also introduces some issues, such as voice 'pixilation' on calls, white noise during quite conversations, and it seems to reset the ringer volume on the iPhone when the Era device is turned on...strange. Once again, my old '3 hump' jawbone sounds and performs better than this latest release ERA with the latest firmware. Many of the issues probably have to do with physical design; something a firmware update can't compensate for completely. The device is very, very small. Making it difficult for it to connect with the cheek well so that the 'noise assassin' can do its job. So, my recommendation (if one can call it that) remains: Don't purchase this product.
on April 23, 2014
This is my third Jawbone headset and have owned 8 BT headsets over the past few years. By far my favorite are Jawbone, Plantronics and Bluant. My review is based on my ongoing experience between those three brands. Due to work I wear BT headsets all day long.
The new ERA is compact and almost unnoticeable. Fitment has always been an issue with Jawbone. I was always required to get custom molded earpieces from Averysound. The ear jells is the best it has ever been. No more falling out of my ear and no more ear hooks.
Resistance to wind was a low point for Jawbone. Even the slightest breeze was picked up by the microphones. The new ERA is much improved and doesn't make me want to start using my Plantronics Voyager Pro again.
I knew before buying the ERA that battery life was going to be an issue, but I thought I still give it a go. If all you are doing is making voice calls this will last all day, assuming the device your paired with had Bluetooth 4.0. But as soon as you start streaming audio, it falls flat on its face.
Caller ID has been a joke since its introduction. You need to program the numbers in the device via the computer and it only holds 20. Bluant and plantronics can read name and numbers directly from your phone book.
Wind resistance, Audio quality, noise cancellation, comfort.
Battery life, easy to loose, caller ID limit.
Use daily with Samsung Note 3
July 2014 *Update*
There has been a recent update to fix some issues that other have been dealing with. I have never experienced any of these issues and after the update the devices work just the same.
on March 15, 2014
So.... this is the classic example of fixing something that wasn't broken - and breaking it. I had the original Era. LOVED that headset - the best one I've ever had. I lost it in a snow drift (long frustrating story, don't ask...) Tried to buy a new one........discontinued but NEW AND IMPROVED IS ON THE WAY!!!!!!
So I waited. Finally - here is THE NEW AND IMPROVED ERA BY JAWBONE!!!!!!!
New? - yes. Improved? - well let's see
Old Era - 5 hours talk time - after a 40 minute conversation? "about four hours talk time remaining"
New Era - 4 hours talk time (I'm not sticking that stupid box on my head) - after a 40 minute conversation "about 2 hours talk time remaining"
Old Era - Standby time: powered on and in standby - all day no problem
New Era - about 4 hours when powered on and in standby - no joke. If I forget to turn it off before I go to bed, it will be dead dead dead in the morning.
Range. Seriously - If I am walking around on a call, I have to hold the phone in my right hand or the connection will drop. if this thing is more than 4 feet from my phone, breakups and digital artifacts overcome the conversation.
Audio quality - as long as the phone is within 4 feet and I'm holding it by the edges - audio quality is great. Or if I'm sitting at my desk with the phone in line of sight then it works pretty good too.
Noise Assassin - Well... I must say, that still works pretty well.
tl;dr: better: size. same: noise reduction. worse: Every thing else.
The old era was the best bluetooth headset I've ever used.
The new era is hands down the worst piece of junk I've ever owned
on February 7, 2014
Update 5/30/14 - I just received an email from Jawbone letting me know a firmware update is now available. Well folks.. (Jawbone) That took way to darn long to take care of. This will be my last Jawbone purchase ever... But I will give Jawbone the "Asleep at the wheel" award for dragging their feet. Nice job there.. I've also dropped my review from 2 stars to 1 for negligence on Jawbone's part.
..a copy of the email Jawbone sent today...
"An even better ERA(tm) experience
Over the past few months, we've learned a lot about how and where our customers are using ERA, and about how ERA is performing in these varied situations. Through consumer feedback, we discovered an issue that may weaken the NoiseAssassin feature on some headsets, and we've come up with a fix through a software update. We're pleased to be able to improve your experience, and we hope you'll let us know how ERA is working for you.
To get the update, connect ERA to your computer using your USB charging cable."
Hopefully it's fixed now..
UPDATE 3/7/14 - I've been sitting on my RMA back to Jawbone for a month now hoping that Jawbone would release a firmware update for the headset. Nothing.. Nada.. Will be shipped back to Jawbone this weekend. I completely regret buying from Jawbone also as I have to pay them to send it back to get a refund. I *WONT* make that mistake again.. Stick a fork in this one..
I'm pretty disappointed. I returned a Plantronics Legend because of the STUPID proprietary charging connector (see my review on Amazon) and bought this straight from Jawbone as it was not available from Amazon yet.
UPDATE - Apparently Jawbone has issues with these headsets. There's also a small thread on Reddit about it, my guess is we'll be hearing more soon. When on the phone with Jawbone to return it they basically admitted it. I'd stand down for a bit and see how this dust settles. 2/7/14
My issues with this headset:
1. My discriminating callers complain about the audio. It isn't as good as the old ERA and nowhere near as good as the Plantronics Legend. The Legend had the best, most natural audio my discriminating callers have ever heard from a headset. (I miss that - again see my review on that headset for context)
2. NoiseAssassin 4.0 doesn't work well for me. With my old ERA people were unaware of road noise when I was in the car. They hear it with the new version. They also hear more ambient sound around me than I believe they should.
3. My old ERA (pre 2014 version) would adjust the sound level in my ear to match ambient noise. When in my car it would turn the sound up for me. The 2014 ERA does not.. If anything it reduced the volume several times when I preferred it hadn't.
4. The new C Type earpiece is uncomfortable for me. The Jawbone help video for this headset shows the position of the headset being inline with your jawbone but because of the position of the spout on the ear gel for this headset to sit in this position it's uncomfortable I'm my ear. If I move the the C type earpiece so it's comfortable, the headset jawbone sensor no longer fully touches my face hanging in the 7 o'clock position versus the 8-9 o'clock position. On this headset they fixed the old issue of the earpiece rotating by using adding a tip to the headset earpiece base that fits in a slot in the ear gel. Great idea, but to fix my issue the slot in the ear gel needs to be in a different spot.
5. It will not announce the name of the caller by default. It will simply read the phone number of the inbound call. For this functionality you have to import caller names and it can only accept up to 20 (like the old ERA). I never used the caller ID functionally on the 2 previous ERA's I've owned because I found the way it's implemented to be antiquated. I have 300+ contacts and 20 - just isn't enough. The Plantronics Legend would announce names no problem. 2014 Model? Really? Feels so 2010 -
6. Talk time is less than the old one.. This has become mildly frustrating already after having it 3 days. I could probably look over this if the headset didn't have other usability issues mentioned above.
What I like
1. It's so light.
2. The earpiece speaker has the best audio I've ever heard from a headset. It even has bass - amazing.
3. Micro USB charging port (THANK YOU!!!)
[buzzer sound effect] - This one is going back too.. ugh.....
on February 15, 2014
I am extremely disappointed. This is my first headset of any brand. I had read many fabulous reviews of the Jawbone line, particularly the ERA model. I charged the headset up fully, and the battery was depleted in 4 hours, with maybe 10 or so 1 minutes calls. No streaming music, nothing to drain it down. I recharged the headset, was advised to do a "hard reset" and again pair it to the Motorola Razr Maxx. I did so, and left the headset paired but unused. It lost and hour of talk time, about every hour and a quarter, simply being paired to the phone, on standby with absolutely no use. In 4 hours, it was dead again. I posted a message on the Jawbone Community Forum, but have received no responses. I think this item will be going back on Monday, when I can get it repackaged, request the return authorization and get it over to UPS. Truly amazing and disappointing after all the favorable reviews.
I contacted Jawbone Customer Service by email and arranged a telephone consultation. The Customer Service Advocate, Andrew, was very polite. After I pointed out that I had gone through all the suggested resets and re-pairings, he arranged to have a Warranty Replacement headset delivered by Fedex Overnight. I received the new headset a couple of days later.
I knew things were different the moment I turned the new one on. I immediately got the voice telling me that the headset was now in pairing mode, something that had never happened with the original one. I then logged in to my Jawbone software account where I was again prompted to download the Jawbone software. I did so, there was also a firmware download. (all of this occurred with the original headset also.) I charged up the new headset, and then put it to use. The new headset is still reporting 4 hours of talk time, after being charged and on for 14 hours, although with minimal use. Unlike the original, the new headset seems to be having no issues connecting with my Droid Razr Maxx. I think it is safe to say that the first headset was a dud, the bane of all early adopters with the introduction of a new product. It may be too early to tell, since I'm in the early stages of using the new headset, but thus far, it seems to be living up to the Jawbone reputation of good quality products that I had previously read about. I am increasing my rating from 1 star to 4 stars. I do not feel that I can go 5 stars at this point, due to the aggravation and frustration of having to deal with what was obviously a defective example of the headset.
I do not know how many others may have purchased a defective copy. Mine was purchased directly from Amazon, not a third-party seller on Amazon, and arrived in what appeared to be factory new condition, identical to its successor, so it does not appear that the first was some counterfeit knockoff that got into the commerce stream. Just a word of warning, it is my understanding that Jawbone will not honor a Warranty claim on any product not purchased through an authorized dealer. You can check their website for a list of authorized dealers. Amazon is an authorized dealer, but some of the third parties selling on Amazon may not be. Be sure that you are buying from Amazon, and not an unauthorized third party vendor selling through Amazon. As my situation has demonstrated, that warranty protection could prove critical. Grabbing up a copy at a "great price" may prove to be quite costly, if the seller turns out not to be an authorized dealer.
on November 7, 2015
I purchased the headset and case/charger package. Although I haven't owned the Era long enough to judge battery life, most reviews I've read say it's fairly poor compared to other headsets on the market. The case not only holds the headset but charges it as well. There is a little strap with a button closure that you can use to fasten the case to whatever it is you'd like: belt loop, purse strap, etc. Also, having a place to securely hold the Era while out and about or in my car is awesome. I must admit there is a very satisfying spring-loaded "click" every time you load the headset into the case.
The call clarity is great. The noise assassin tech is more than just a gimmicky name that's for sure. The way the earbud sticks in your ear is awesome. It's so light, that sometimes you forget you even have it on, and I've even reached up to grab it when it wasn't in my ear! I tried shaking my head around while the Era is in my ear and it just doesn't budge. The fact it only comes with 1 left side ear bud is pretty crummy, but you can always order more. The way the bud fastens to the Era is pretty solid and secure. I don't see it falling off at all in the future.
The integration with Siri is pretty standard. Hold the button down for a couple seconds, wait another second, and then there's the beep. There is no feature for voice answering, you have to just press the button on the unit to answer. You single tap the button to check battery life, and double tap it to redial the last number you called. When reaching for the headset, I accidentally redialed someone. Something to look out for.
Overall the unit itself is comfortable, the volume level is good, and the ease of use is nice to have compared to some other headsets out there. There are a few major downsides to the Era that I've noticed:
-Everywhere you look online, there is a Jawbone App advertised. Through this app you can customize the unit, and be able to locate the unit remotely if you can't find it. Well, this app does not exist! I contacted customer service and they told me that not enough customers were using it so the discontinued the app. The really should take it off there website! Definitely a bummer, as I was looking forward to being able to locate the unit.
-There is no feature to assign Names to incoming phone numbers, nor does the unit read from your contact list. I've had $40 headsets that do this. Previously, Jawbone had this feature on it's website. Customer service told me again that not enough people were using this feature so they did away with it... I think that's a giant load of you know what. Who wouldn't use that feature? For every call, the Era just announces the number digit by digit.
-There is a feature on Jawbone's website called 'MyTalk", which they advertise is where you log in and customize the Era... The only customization you can do is to download different voices for the Era to use. They have many different languages as well as some funny gimmick's like "The Mobster" and "The Rogue". I would've traded the gimmicky voices for the ability for caller id reading. I was a bit disappointed that this is the only level of customization available.
All in all, I do not think this device is worth the $130 price tag (w/ case). The reasoning for three stars comes down to the lack of customization and the fact that Jawbone is advertising services that don't exist anymore, and won't exist in the future. I got a pretty hefty deal on the unit, and if I had paid full MSRP, I would've returned the unit in a heart beat. For now, it serves the purpose I need it to serve.
on December 9, 2015
Hmmm......I just got this Jawbone ERA and so far I love it!
My only previous bluetooth headset was a Jawbone Icon which worked just fine until I lost it. The headset, the power block, and the USB cable all went missing at the same time. My guess is that I left it plugged into the wall at a hotel or something. Damn!
So, I wanted another Jawbone device because I was really happy with the noise assassin 2.5 performance with background noise and wind. I was just going to order another Icon but it appears all Jawbone headsets are out of production except for this new ERA. After reading some of the reviews here on Amazon, I almost didn't order one. That would have been a huge mistake. I don't understand what people are complaining about.
1.) Damn this thing is tiny!
2.) The charge case is probably a good idea if only to add some bulk so you don't lose it in a backpack or briefcase.
3.) Earpiece fits me much better than the Icon. Much more secure fit.
4.) Lightweight and comfortable. You don't feel it at all.
So let me address some of the chronic complaints I saw in other reviews.
1.) Battery life - this may be the one legitimate gripe for the ERA. Battery life is only rated at 4 hours of talk time. If you live on a bluetooth headset I can see where this may be a problem for you. I don't live on a headset. I use these things for a 5 minute call and then shut it off and put it away. Four hours is fine for me. The fact that I can put another 6 hours of charge into the device using the case without having to find a USB port works great for me.
2.) Volume - Are you people deaf? I positioned the earpiece properly and then adjusted the volume by holding down the call button while I was on a call with someone. Holy cow, it gets loud enough that it's borderline uncomfortable. If you need something louder than this, you may want to move away from the rear of the aircraft engine you're standing behind. Seriously, at some point too much volume is not safe for your hearing and you might want to consider getting away from the noise source rather than cranking up the volume of a headset.
3.) Pairing - I paired my ERA with an iPhone 6 and while it took longer than I thought it should, once paired, it seems to stay paired and it reconnects very quickly when I turn it on. I don't generally walk around at the limit of the 33 foot bluetooth standard range so I can't really comment. I use these things walking down the street, or in a car, or in an airport while my phone is in my pocket or backpack. So, I don't know if the connection drops at say 10 feet or 20 feet. But I don't really care either.
Update 12/12/2015 : I wore this around my apartment the other night as I answered a couple of calls while cooking dinner. I left the iPhone charging on the kitchen counter as I cooked, ate, and wandered around the apartment while carrying on a conversation. No problems whatsoever. I was probably 20-25 feet away from my phone at times. The Bluetooth signal had to go through a wall at times. It never dropped and the call quality was the same throughout maybe and hour and a half of calls. I'm not seeing any problem with maintaining a good connection.
4.) Sound quality - It's fine for me. Incoming call quality for me is very clear and crisp. It's much better than my iPhone 6 held up against my ear. And people on the other end say it sounds very natural to them. I guess I can't ask for much more out of any headset.
Update 12/12/2015 : I've now used the ERA on a run of about an hour. It was great leaving my iPhone in my pocket and not having to worry about wires from a set of headphones. The music streaming was incredibly easy to use. The mono sound quality while not up to par with a good set of stereo earbuds was good enough for me on a run. And I like that one ear is unobstructed for safety reasons. I can hear traffic approaching behind me much better. This works for me as a music device for running outside on the streets.
So what do I like best about this headset? The size and weight are great, you can't even feel it once it's in place. And it's not as noticeable as some other earpieces. I still feel like a geek with one of these things stuck in my ear. So smaller is better for me. Come to think of it, the one "improvement" I'd love to see is for these things to be molded in different skin tone colored plastic rather than silver and black. It would be great if the thing was camouflaged. Give us 5 shades of skin tone rather than designer colors. The medium earpiece is a perfect fit for me. Much more secure and comfortable than my Icon. And the noise assassin 4.0 seems to do a really good job of keeping background noise to a minimum.
Overall, I'm very satisfied. I don't know if I managed to buy one after a firmware update that fixed some of the issues but I'm simply not experiencing the problems other people have described.
Edit Update 1/7/2016: I tried to download the Jawbone "updater" today. It's an app that sits on a Windows or Mac computer that allows you to update the firmware and change the voice / personality of the prompts on the ERA. I tried it on a new Windows 10 laptop and an older MacBook Pro. It doesn't work with either OS. It also corrupted my Chrome browser consistently. Easily fixed by restarting the browser. I contacted customer support and received an 11 step email instruction on how to get the thing working. I must have downloaded / installed / uninstalled the stupid thing a dozen times. It never worked. For a while the ERA wouldn't even power up. The it wouldn't pair with my iPhone 6. I've wasted hours on this today. Finally deleted the device on my iPhone then rebooted the phone then re-paired the two devices. I never did get the simple update I was looking for. I still love the ERA but please don't even attempt to use Jawbone's absolutely horrible "Updater" app. That thing should never have been released. It doesn't work.
on June 4, 2014
I've gone through many headsets, mainly due to carelessness. What I'm saying is: I've been around the block. I know what to expect out of these.
My prior generation ERA was great. Very few complaints, I'd give it 4 stars. I did my typical thing and lost it (but I had it for 2 years, which is a record for me). First thought was, let's go get another one.
They didn't have another one. Instead, they had this new ERA. Second thought was: Oh! Shiny new! Must be better, right?
It's terrible. It's comically bad. It's "did you buy this from a guy on Canal Street who claimed it fell off the back of a truck" bad. It has constant crackling / breakup of audio on calls. People I'm calling tell me I sound like I'm at the other end of a long tunnel, speaking through a robotic voice distorter. It constantly drops connection from my phone (which is never further than my pants pocket.
I won't be supporting this company's products in the future.
on August 17, 2014
Remarkable device. Feather light compared to original ERA. Amazing sound with deeper bass that is surprisingly close to apple EarPods . Reviews claiming horrible battery life are wildly overstated. I have found battery life to be 10-15% less than original ERA. This loss of battery life is minor compared to the benefit of a Bluetooth earpiece that you don't even notice you are wearing after 2-3 minutes. I found myself the first week constantly checking my ear to make sure it was still there. Also the new shape of the rubber ear inserts are sooooooo much better than original ERA. They are larger yet are shaped like the human ear which accomplishes two very important tasks: 1. They seal sound into the ear which improves overall sound and bass response (a helpful analogy would be that the new era vs. the old era is what the Apple EarPods are to the original round apple headphones) 2. They essentially "glue" the new ERA in the correct position with the mic against your face and this ELIMINATES the need for the old "ear loop" apparatus. (I wear my jawbone upwards of 6-8 hours a day so getting rid of the dreaded "ear loop" was especially important to me). Two more features that I will quickly touch on but are invaluable once you try them. 1. Pause what you are listening to with one touch of the talk button, urn pause with three presses. I listen to pandora or podcasts nearly 100% of the time at work (I'm in security so I use my eyes mostly), but when I needed to have silence I was always having to pull out my iPhone and enter my security code and press pause. Imagine controlling what you are listening to without ever pulling out your phone. PURE NIRVANA, and iPhone users will love this feature bc it feels like it did when IOS 7 added the control center so you could adjust settings without having to go down what I call the "iPhone settings rabbit hole." 2. Download the free jawbone app and you can locate your missing earpiece ( imagine an app that finds your misplaced car keys when you are late for something and you will know what I'm talking about). Finally, I took the time to write this lengthy review bc when I was considering upgraded from old era to new era I kept reading review after review and they were all endless complaining. People somehow want a tiny device , unlimited Bluetooth range, 24 hour battery lives, and 100% noise cancellation. These are also the people that go into the woods looking for Bigfoot , NEITHER EXIST!!!!! I used the old era daily for a year and a half and I can honestly say that the new era improves on the old era in every way. And regarding the tiny loss of battery life: just put the 3 inch long charger in your pocket, bag, or purse bc it uses a USB plug in and honestly, how far are you ever away from a USB outlet? My laptop, work computer , car charger, TV at home all have USB outlets. Just plug it in for 30 minutes and you are good to go for another few hours. I just secured my new era charger to my iPhone / iPad charger with a simple zip tie and made a homemade multi device charger I keep on me at all times. So to all you people out there with the bulky Bluetooth devices that wrap around your neck, you may feel "cool" but you look as comical as people wearing google glass. I will take my tiny earpiece anyday and avoid those two large red spots that you get on your neck from those bulky neck bluetooths that make you look like you have two permanent rashes. Hope this review helps anyone "on the fence" about the new ERA. Cheers.
on June 8, 2014
I own a Bose Blue Tooth Earpiece for my cell phone.
Starting a new business, I wanted the best noise cancellation on the market so I bought the ERA by Jawbone with the charging case.
This devise failed miserably.
1st Amazon replaced it. Then Jawbone replaced it, and now I am on my last replacement by Jawbone for "warble" and failed noise cancellation. I did complete trouble shooting by Jawbone including software updates and factory resets.
I even had my iPhone 5s replaced under warranty by Tmobile to trouble shoot the phone as a variable. No success yet. One more try and I give up!
Not a good review from me at this point.
Bob in Miami