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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Aliph Jawbone 2

3. Using the device

What's in the Box:

Before we look at what comes in the box - we need to look at the box itself. Aliph is almost unrivaled in their packaging. They are able to really captivate the user - you see this thing and you just say "Wow" - I have to have this.

The first thing you notice is that the Jawbone itself is sort of "suspended" in plastic in the upper part of the box - in a very nice plastic stand. The bottom of the box is in a very nice cardboard cover with a sort of embossing of the new headset. Slide out the hard plastic case and inside are two compartments - one says "Power Up" and included the new, proprietary charger and one says "Customize your Fit" and included a series of earbuds and ear loops.

Each section is beautifully packaged and just speaks of quality and thoughtfulness of design. Inside is a pullout with very easy directions to get started quickly.

Design:

"If it's not beautiful, it doesn't belong on your face," said renowned industrial designer Yves Behar, chief designer of the Jawbone headset. He is right - this thing is beautiful. My test unit was all Black - sleek and nicely designed. Gone is the sort of "Mesh" look of the old Jawbone. The Jawbone2 has a nice diamond pattern on the front.

The Jawbone2 is designed with only two buttons - and they are both "invisible." The main button is the "talk/answer" button which sits in the middle of the headset. A very thin LED is also near that button to show you when you are connected to your phone. "White" means you are paired with your phone - short "Red" flashes mean you are out of range.

Towards the back of the front of the headset is the "Noise Assassin" button. Granted, the name is a bit much - but once you use it - you understand why it is called "Noise Assassin."

On the underside of the headset are the Earbud, Earloop slot and the Voice Activity Sensor. The Jawbone2 ships with three earbuds - small, medium and large and four earloops - two are leather and two are a very thin plastic wire.

As the designer stated and as Aliph makes clear right on the box - this is considered "Earwear" - a new genre of accessory - functional, stylish Earwear.

One noteworthy feature is the charger itself. The charger has a USB cable that can either go into an included AC adapter or into the PC. The proprietary end unit of the charging cable is a brilliant "Magnetic" design. The old Jawbone did take a couple of hits in some reviews because of the complicated way the proprietary charge had to click into place. With the new Jawbone - the strong magnetic attachment is almost automatic and very secure.

Ease of Use:

There is a huge amount of technology inside this little headset. The good news is that you never really know how complicated the device is because everything is automatic and seamless. Once the headset is charged and turned on for the first time, it automatically goes into "Pairing" mode. The Jawbone2 connected to my BlackBerry 8320 flawlessly the first time and then automatically every time afterwards.

Volume adjust automatically because of the sophisticated Voice Activity Sensor - it automatically gets louder in noisier situations. You can adjust the volume manually by pressing the Noise Assassin button as well.

Essentially, you press the "Talk" button to answer calls and end calls and your press the Noise Assassin button when you are in "Standby" mode and you initialize voice dialing on your phone. Hit the Noise Assassin button three times and you redial the last call.

Sound/Call Quality:

This is what ultimately matters the most with Bluetooth Headsets - how do we sound to the caller and how to they sound to us. The Jawbone2 has "hands down" the best call quality I have heard in a bluetooth headset - it is that simple. Callers always sounded very clear to me -now, if they were on a crummy headset - they sounded like they were on a crummy headset - but they were always as clear (if not clearer) than using the phone itself.

The amazing part of this headset is how others could hear me when I was in noisy surroundings. I drove with the windows down, turned the radio up, used the headset at the Beach on a windy day - I threw just about everything at this headset to test it. In each case, listeners on the other end could not identify that I was in a "noisy" environment. I compared this to "lesser" headsets and listeners had great trouble hearing me - the Jawbone2 bested the competition time and time again.




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