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Appeared on: Friday, May 04, 2007
The Best Bluetooth Headset I have ever Used


1. Introduction
Untitled Document

The Best Bluetooth Headset I have ever Used

Usually I like to keep a little suspense with my reviews. With this product, however, there is no need for suspense. It is so revolutionary and ground breaking in the world of similar headsets that you will simply be amazed at what a difference this technology brings to the table.

To see just how amazing this headset is, read on for the full review.

About Aliph

Aliph was founded in 1999 by Alex Asseily and Hosain Rahman, two young engineering entrepreneurs who met as Stanford undergrads. The pair shared a belief that voice would be the dominant interface for mobile devices and that creating a noise-free environment was critical to delivering an improved mobile communications experience. Aliph is committed to ensuring that mobile users have the best possible experience anywhere, anytime. Since 2002, Aliph's technology has been optimized for DARPA to maximize communications clarity in the most hostile conditions. Aliph's first consumer product, the Jawbone headset, debuted in 2004 to critical acclaim for its marriage of performance, design and comfort. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., Aliph is funded by private investors and the Mayfield fund. For more information about Jawbone, please go to www.jawbone.com.

Aliph is a leading developer of mobile audio products that deliver the best user experience in any environment. Aliph was founded in 1999. The Jawbone is the first adaptive bluetooth headset designed for mobile phones. Its revolutionary Noise Shield Technology combines the latest innovations in acoustics, audio processing and product design to produce a quantum leap in headset performance.

Jawbone's intelligent system of sensors, software and ergonomic features allows you to use your mobile phone in any environment without shouting or straining to hear. Jawbone identifies your speech, eliminates noise and automatically enhances incoming audio.

The Jawbone Bluetooth headset with Noise Shield technology uses an advanced, military-grade noise-canceling system that continuously adapts to users' changing environments to deliver unparalleled audio quality.

The Noise Shield technology was originally developed by Aliph for DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to enhance communications in the most hostile and rugged environments. This technology includes an intelligent system of sensors and software, which continuously adjusts—at a rate of 500 times per second—to improve audio quality based on what it knows about the environment. In doing this, the Jawbone headset will:

  1. Identify and isolate your speech: Jawbone is the only headset that has a proprietary voice activity sensor. Its ability to determine precisely when you are speaking is what drives the headset's superior sound quality. Unlike other headsets, Jawbone can easily separate your speech from other sounds nearby.
  2. Subtract the unwanted noise: Jawbone's proprietary software continuously samples the sounds in your environment, and then subtracts those sounds from your speech signal. This allows you to speak normally in any environment while still being heard clearly when placing calls.
  3. Automatically enhance your audio: Jawbone constantly adapts, allowing you to hear your caller better by boosting the frequencies that increase voice intelligibility to stand out over your environment.

Jawbone's audio performance is further enhanced by an award-winning design by internationally acclaimed product designer Yves Béhar, which maximizes comfort and functional simplicity.


Features:

  • Voice activity sensor identifies and isolates your speech and subtracts the unwanted background noise to allow you to speak normally in any environment
  • Allows you to hear your caller better by boosting the frequencies that increase voice intelligibility
  • Weighs only 14 grams
  • Comes with multiple sized & shaped earloops to ensure a customized comfortable fit
  • Up to 6 hours talk time and 200 hours standby time
  • Package includes wall charger & USB cable
  • Compatible with any Bluetooth equipped device

Well, enough of the PR, let's get on to the review:

 


2. Design - Conclusion

The Jawbone is, ostensibly, a typical over-the-ear Bluetooth headset. It is actually slightly bigger and heavier than many of the newer designs coming out these days. It is not "large" by any means. There are no visible buttons. The main Multi-Function button actually sits beneath the main faceplate. There is a convenient "notch" which reminds you where to push to access the button. The second button turns on and off the Noise Shield and controls the volume. This button is under the rear quarter of the front side.

The Jawbone is designed with very well made ear loops that connect to a sprig loaded holder which "tightens" the ear loop around your year. It is also designed with interchangeable ear buds that ingeniously twist and lock.

On the inside of the Jawbone is the Voice Activity Sensor. This little sensor sits against your cheek or "Jaw" and picks up the vibrations of your speech.

The entire headset is housed in a very heavy "Military Grade" plastic which is incredibly well built and sturdy. There is almost a "mesh" look to the front with a gentle curve that ergonomically hugs your face. A single LED flashes White when the Jawbone is on and Red when charging.

The Jawbone can be charged via a proprietary connection on the rear of the device that connects to either an AC adapter or the USB port of the computer.

Comfort:

The well thought out design makes this the most comfortable headset I have ever worn. Most headsets either pop out of my ear or the ear loop doesn't stay connected or the entire headset feels like it might not stay in place. Not so with the Jawbone.

The contour of the headset hugs the side of the face. Aliph thoughtfully includes four different ear loops and five different ear buds so that the perfect combination can be found. i was skeptical of the little "tear drop" ear buds, but found that for my ears, they fit perfectly. I wore this headset for hours on end with no discomfort at all. The fit was tight, secure and extremely comfortable.

Sound Quality:

I can't talk about the sound quality of this device without talking a little about the technology. I have used other headsets with DSP technology and some have worked very well. Nothing worked like the Noise Shield on the Jawbone - nothing. I watched the video demos on their website (which I would recommend to everyone - go to: www.jawbone.com and click on the demos at the bottom of the page.) and I was skeptical that anything could work that well. In one video, a guy is talking with lawn mowers in the background and puts on the noise shield and the background sound just goes away.

Understand that the Noise Shield is always on by default, but the user can turn it off (I don't know why you would want to, though.) I made calls from my house with music blasting in the background and turned the noise shield on and off. Callers on the other end could not believe their ears. The Noise Shield did just as advertised. I tried it in the car, outside and in lots of noise places. All calls were incredibly clear on my end and all noise was effectively blocked out on the other end.

The only exception was really not a fair test. I live on an Island, so driving to the ocean is no big deal. I waited for a nice swell in the tide and went on a day with lots of wind. While the Noise Shield did a great job, it did not block out all the wind noise. Now, I can't envision making too many calls with the wind screaming behind me at the ocean - but that was the only way to even challenge the Noise Shield technology.

The other incredibly cool piece of technology in here is that the volume is adjusted automatically to fit the environment. If the Jawbone senses a lot of noise, it will raise the volume. You can adjust the volume, but I never really needed to.

Overall Impressions:

This is just an amazing device. To say that it is the best Bluetooth Headset does not do it justice. Recently, the website CNET, an other sites named it their best Bluetooth headset ever. This is the new benchmark in Bluetooth Headsets. It is comfortable, very cool and stylish and it does an amazing job of filtering out background noise and amplifying the caller. It looks good, it feels good and it does just what it says it will do - can you ask for anything more? at $119.99 this is not an inexpensive headset, but it is by means not the most expensive. I paired it with two different phone with equally impressive results. If you are in the market for the best Bluetooth Headset - look no further.

Pros:

Cons:

The Jawbone is available for US$119.99 at www.jawbone.com and at most Cingular/ATT&T stores and at a few other retailers if you can find them in stock.



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