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Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth noise canceling headset mini review

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#1
jcostantino

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(This looks like I'm shilling for this headset but trust me, my MasterCard knows better)

I've had a number of headsets and they've all sucked for one reason or another. Take your pick; from bad range to low volume, I've had 'em all. I think I've finally found a headset that I might actually keep until its little non-replacable battery poops out.

This morning, I called up my local Cingular store and asked if they had the Jawbone headset in stock. The guy on the other end said they did. I ran down and gave up my $119.95 plus tax for the grey model - the only color available right now.

Getting back to work I charged and paired it, swapped around the ear hooks and speaker buds, then made a call. Asking the person on the other end of the phone wether they heard the music got a "What music?" answer back. Success!

If you don't know anything about the Jawbone - well, not many do so don't think you missed something. A few years ago Aliph designed and sold a wired headset that had the same noise canceling tech in it but it never really took off due to the cost and bulk of the original design. The new design is 2.25" long, 7/8" tall and between 1/2" and 3/4" thick not including the earbud. It's hefty but doesn't really have a lot of bulk to it. I can't seem to find specs on the weight but it seems similar to my BT250v which is 0.8 oz.

It seemed like it was going to use some sort of bone conduction tech at first. Upon closer inspection, it seems that it uses a combination of anti-noise and bone conduction to do its job. I haven't found any details on how it works but I suspect that it uses anti-noise to remove ambient noise from your location to clear up audio to the earpiece and uses the vibrations from the jaw when you're talking to allow your outgoing voice to be heard. There is a small silicone nipple that touches your skin and that seems to be a sensor to pass certain frequencies only when it detects activity.

In practice your voice sounds hollow but there is almost no extra noise. I've been able to sit 6" away from a speaker with its volume up fairly high and the caller on the other end could hear nothing while I was talking or listening. The noise tech can be turned off by a hidden button under the logo (the case flexes) which works the volume as well. Speaking of volume, it has 4 levels - the loudest which is decently loud. It doesn't have all of the button press combinations that other headsets do but I never used them so I won't miss them. All the main button does is Talk/End and power. Also hidden under the plastic shell except for a raised bump.

The range between the headset and phone is also very good. My BT250v had to be about 2' away from my MDA to get a static-free connection. Great in the car but sucks when on a call in a store where you're still holding your phone in your hand. It's nice to be able to put it on my right ear and keep my phone in my left pocket and use MS Voice Command. By the way, VC works very well with the Jawbone due to the lack of ambient noise!

This is a fantastic headset! My only gripe (and I usually have a ton, TRUST me!) is that it doesn't shut off when set on the charger so if you're like me and like to "hang up" the headset on the charger, you need to change that. Another minor issue is the charger cord is proprietary BUT it at least has a USB plug on the other end so you could use a cigarette lighter plug to USB power adapter for in-car charging.

In closing - if you work or play in a noisy environment or like to talk in the car with the windows down and radio up, this is your headset! Good talk time, decent design, good fit, and AMAZING noise removal! They have a preorder special at jawbone.com where you get free ground shipping to the 48 states in the beginning of the year when they officially start selling them but I'm unsure of what they'll be doing for international sales. Probably hefty shipping from the US until they start selling to distributors overseas.

Hope you found this useful! It's pretty slow at work today so I'm filling time :)

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#2
WearTheFoxHat

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Another vote here for the Jawbone. I bought one for my girlfriend when she was spending a lot of time on a motorway. She would call me from the motorway and I always had to ask where she was as I couldnt hear a thing other than her voice.

Also the headset blanks out background noise and increases the received audio ... so she could also hear me better while driving down a noisy road.

They sell them in the UK at CarphoneWarehouse.

Demo here: http://www.jawbone.com/demo.php

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#3
WearTheFoxHat

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New jawbone has been released now though.

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#4
Mysterious Stranger

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New jawbone has been released now though.


Lots of fakes out there on Fleabay - if in doubt pony up the dough and buy from a UK dealer. They are definatley worth it!

M.S

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#5
WearTheFoxHat

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Lots of fakes out there on Fleabay - if in doubt pony up the dough and buy from a UK dealer. They are definatley worth it!

M.S



Yeah, my g/f loves her Jawbone. It's spot on. I've got a mate working out in the US at the moment, so he'd order one direct from Aliph and post it over to me. Tempted to get the new one, although there was nowt wrong with the old one.

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#6
Mysterious Stranger

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Tempted to get the new one, although there was nowt wrong with the old one.


Yes there is.

Tempted to get the new one, although there was nowt wrong with the old one.


See?

AT&T re-sell them in the US branded free with phones etc. When I was last there ludicrously you could get a pre-pay nokia and AT&T jawbone cheaper than a non AT&T branded one! Bizarre.

M.S

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#7
WearTheFoxHat

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Slightly confused why you have double quoted me there.

Well ... I got the NEW jawbone yesterday in the UK from Carphone Warehouse. I was amazed that they are already stocking them. The new jawbone is smaller and lighter than the old one. But the thing which really sold it to me, was ... the old one I couldn't quite get to fit my ear comfortably, yet my g/f could. However the new one fits like a glove. So damn comfortable. It connects every time with the Kaiser (which the Parrot car kit never did), I don't even have to mess around.

I'm well chuffed with it. Plus for most calls its actually clearer than using the handset.

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#8
Confucious

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He made the word OLD bold - that was what was wrong with it :D

Anyone tried the Blue Ant headset?

Edited by Confucious, 18 June 2008 - 06:18 AM.

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He who asks a question looks foolish for 5 minutes. He who doesn't ask a question remains foolish forever.

#9
WearTheFoxHat

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Aaah ... blonde moment!

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#10
Mysterious Stranger

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Aaah ... blonde moment!


Happens to us all... ;-)

Glad to here it fits a bit better. I snapped 2 of the metal loops trying to get it to fit comfortably! Never could...

Might pick one up at the weekend. How much are they from CPW?

M.S

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#11
WearTheFoxHat

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The "old" one is £69.99, and the "new" one is £79.99.

I did a test yesterday with the "noise assassin" technology ... very scientific it was too. I drove down a dual carriageway and was leaving a message on my other mobile's answerphone. during the drive, I turned off the noise assassin to see how much difference it makes. Crikey ... it is good, it gets rid of most of the background car noise, and pretty much all of the car stereo too. I think my g/f is a bet more sensible when she uses her jawbone, and turns the stereo off, and drives slower to ensure less road noise.

I'd give it two thumbs up though.

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