These days, plainly wi-fi Bluetooth headsets are a dime a dozen, however Aliph’s Jawbone stands aside from the pack resulting from its distinctive look and a few significantly superb noise canceling know-how.
Originally developed for DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to create a communication headset that may decide up voice in hostile environments, the Jawbone gives a few of the greatest readability from a Bluetooth headset we have skilled. This model is available in black, however it’s additionally obtainable in purple and grey.
The very first thing you discover about this headset is its relatively chunky measurement and cheese grater-like texturing on the outside. Designed by Yves Behar, an award-winning industrial designer who additionally contributed to the design of the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child, aka the $100 Laptop), the Jawbone definitely has that iconic trendy look that will probably be copied for years to return.
It’s additionally a bit giant on the face (because of the embedded know-how and speech sensor), which reminded us of Lando Calrissian’s assistant, Lobot. But then there isn’t any straightforward approach to disguise a Bluetooth headset, and it is in all probability a bonus as passersby will not assume you are simply muttering crazily to your self.
The Jawbone may be worn on both ear, and it comes with 4 earloops of various sizes to suit your lobe. Made of strong metallic with a rubber cowl, they’re pretty snug across the ear.
The trick, nevertheless, is getting it on over the ear, and that is the Jawbone’s largest disappointment. Because it is so stiff, you actually have to make use of each arms to attempt to slip it on over your ear. And since we do not put on our headset always, we missed a number of calls whereas performing this dance. Also, the metallic body does bend (as we discovered after carrying it in our pocket), which might be seen as an annoyance or as a feature–enabling you to form-fit the body to your ear.
It additionally comes with 5 ear pads of various sizes and shapes, and we tried one of many teardrop formed pads to safe the Jawbone inside our ear sans metallic frame–it was snug and labored for awhile, however is not an answer for those who’re shifting round lots.
As with Steve Jobs, Behar isn’t a fan of protruding buttons. Thus, the Jawbone’s two controls are hidden inside the headset, requiring you to press both the entrance or again of the unit to reply calls, regulate quantity, or activate/off the noise cancellation perform. While we have learn some critiques that complained about these hidden controls, we had no drawback in accessing them and appreciated their tactile response. The Jawbone additionally comes with a custom-fit recharging cable that may both plug right into a PC’s USB port or into the included wall jack. We loved the pliability of the USB charging, however wished the cable might have been a extra commonplace USB mini-jack (for these occasions once you overlook to deliver the cable alongside).
But the true check of the Jawbone is how its “noise shield” carried out. First, just a little about this know-how. The Jawbone has a small piece of rubbery plastic that protrudes from the bulbous microphone and sits flush towards your face, and this sensor tells the Jawbone whether or not or not you are talking and may take away background noise out of your ongoing speech sign. It also can dynamically modify the quantity of the incoming audio out of your name.
We tried the Jawbone in quite a few totally different conditions, and for probably the most half it labored flawlessly. Sitting at our desk with the stereo quantity cranked up whereas enjoying The Chemical Brothers, our name associate was none the wiser. She did not hear any of the music coming by means of, and our voice got here via robust on her finish. While standing on a road nook, the undulations of visitors noise by no means made it via to our caller, whereas we observed an uptick in quantity with a rise in visitors noise.
However, the Jawbone wasn’t good, because it does not do an awesome job in windy conditions. Still, for the great majority of conditions you will end up in–from busy airports to talk-heavy coffeehouses to traffic-laden metropolis streets–the Jawbone ought to carry out very nicely, masking the environment to enhance constancy for you name companion as properly adapting your ear quantity to the encompassing setting. We simply want the ear body was a bit extra versatile.