Jawbone

January 27th, 2008

While headsets have become very common over the years, I feel they haven’t really reached a point where you aren’t sacrificing something by using them. Typically, the sacrifice you make is sound quality.
The Jawbone headset claims to be “the best rated headset ever”. Is it? Read on.

Make sure you check the gallery here.

Fit

The reason the Jawbone headset is named “Jawbone headset” is because it makes contact with your face

Compared with some of it’s competitors, the Jawbone is on the large size. Personally I don’t mind that the Jawbone isn’t super small because it has a nice look to it – it looks more expensive than most headsets.

There are actually 2 buttons located on the side of the headset that faces out. One is underneath the word Jawbone, the other is close to it on the mesh side. There are no dedicated volume buttons.

It’s a little confusing to have 2 buttons so close to each other. You’ll probably need to read the manual and get used to them.

Included in the box is a charger with a USB port on it and a USB to AC adapter. This is nice, if you travel a lot you can charge the Jawbone using the USB port on your laptop and if you’re at home a lot then you can use your wall.

As far as fit goes, I wasn’t crazy about the Jawbone. I found it slightly loose fitting. It won’t fall off your ear but does move around if you move quickly. On the bright side, the Jawbone is relatively comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

The design of the Jawbone is such that it needs part of the front of the headset to touch your face. As such, the earhook is designed to make it so that the headset is arched against your face. It’s the reason why the Jawbone feels slightly loose

The earhook is made from metal (i think) and covered by soft rubber. The part of the earhook that makes contact with the back of your ear is made of rubber that is suspended there. As opposed to the rest of the hook which is metal coated with rubber. This makes the hook more comfortable to wear. Check the gallery out to see what I mean.

You get an assortment of ear hooks and ear pieces. I didn’t find that any of the earpieces that are designed to fit in your ear improve the fit – I preferred the flat one.

The charger is an awkward shape which is good since it means the Jawbone doesn’t have an awkward charging port on it. It plugs into the back of the Jawbone.

Performance

The big thing about the Jawbone is its built-in noise cancellation. If implemented properly, it will usually cut out noise that is constant like noise at a mall, inside a train, etc.

I tested the Jawbone with my Motorola ROKR Z6.

Both incoming and outgoing voice quality is a little on the harsh side but it’s good over all. I find most noise canceling headsets alter people’s voices a lot so the Jawbone is good in this regard.

What’s amazing is the noise cancellation for outgoing sound quality. If you’re using the Jawbone in a noisy environment it does an awesome job of eliminating background noise. Maximum ear piece volume was decent. I felt that the Jawbone was limited by the earpiece’s maximum volume rather than it’s ability to cancel noise. To explain further, if you’re in a loud environment you won’t be able to hear the person on the other end before they are able to hear you. Then again you can always ask the person on the other end to yell…

Conclusion

I own maybe 20 Bluetooth headsets and don’t really like any of them. Some have bad sound quality, some are uncomfortable, some are too quiet, etc. Because of this, I tend to only use headsets when I’m at home and have to take a long call.

While the fit could use some work, the Jawbone’s the first headset that I’d seriously consider wearing out of the house. It’s just that good. I’d give it 4.5 Howies out of a possible 5.

Discuss this review at HowardForums.com | See the gallery here
Written by Howard Chui 01.28.2008
This article may not be reproduced without the the author’s permission.

Entry Filed under: Phones

22 Comments Add your own

    Tom  |  January 28th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I have been using the Jawbone since it came out its OK. Recently I purchased the Motorola H12 and I feel it decimates over the Jawbone. Incoming and outgoing sound quality is excellent even in a noisy area. Uses dual michophones to cancel out noises. Small light and looks good!

    Andy  |  February 12th, 2008 at 1:09 am

    I recently purchase the jawbone and the calls are good.
    However, the disadvantage are the ear hooks, it is so flimsy, I have broke three already. It got broken by accident and it was due to light contact.

    Now i fear that I would drop this headset.
    If they remake the earhook, then this would be one of the best bluetooth headset.

    ivwshane  |  February 14th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I have the h12 and I think its horrible. Call quality coming in is bad and people say I sound like crap. I do however love it’s looks, the shirt clip and the two base stations it comes with.

    I tried the jawbone but it didn’t work for me because I couldn’t get a comfortable fit that made it touch my face which eliminated the noise cancellation feature.

    Patrick Allmond  |  February 15th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Howard is dead on on this one. I like the sound quality but I am constantly pushing the damn thing back closer to my face because it always feels like it is going to fall off.

    Shneadz  |  February 16th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I’ve been using a Jawbone for some time now. To get the snug fit you want, all you have to do is bend the metal ear loop a little. I often forget I have it on.

    My one complaint is that there is about a 1.5 sec delay between answering and the caller being able to hear me. (BB8700)

    Stevie  |  February 17th, 2008 at 5:29 am

    In order to get Jawbone to fit properly, I highly recommend you get the Jabra Eargels. After I get them (I superglued it on), it fits perfectly! Trust me on this one. I know it’ll be tough to superglue on such a nice device, but it’s really worth it. Make sure you align the sound hole to the gel hole to the ear canal. Hope that helps. It’s by far the best bluetooth earset on the market. Not perfect, but darn close.

    Mike on Software&hellip  |  February 19th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Noise, what noise? Introducing the Jawbone Bluetooth Headset

    It was time this month to look for a noise cancelling headset that would allow me to continue to hold productive business conversations while driving, walking near traffic, near construction/building sites, near noisy air conditioning units and while l…

    4phun  |  February 27th, 2008 at 4:02 am

    The jawbone earloop can be bent to fit more snugly to your face. If you drop it in a pocket it may get bent by error and you must be prepared to carefully realign it. It works best in putting it on to place it next to your ear and rotate the whole thing counter clockwise like you are screwing a bottle cap on a bottle . This allows the fear loop to gracefully move arund your ear without trying to bnd it into place.

    Pulling at the ear piece in cold weather while taking it off can break the wire ear loop ;.>(

    Be gentle to make it last. We love these with the new iPhone. Several of us have bought these jawbones for use while driving diesel trucks.

    LoCN4Life  |  March 1st, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Alternatively, you can gently bend the earloop so that it fits snugger around your ear. Please make sure when you are bending it that you are holding only the earloop and not the earloop and the Jawbone. If you have no counter pressure on the earloop and are pushing back on the actual Jawbone, you may break the ear barrel of the Jawbone.

    Song Huang  |  March 3rd, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Anyone want to buy a Jawbone? I have the same problem Howard described. People hear me just fine, but I can’t hear them. The Jawbone’s volme doesn’t go high enough and I am not going to ask the other person to shout. I have found the best thing in a noisy environment is ….. SMS.

    James  |  March 7th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    I bought my jawbone and was having volume problems too. My grandfather suggested i take it to a hearing aid company and get a impression of my ear. They made a piece to fit the jawbone and i can hear great. In fact i have the volume at about half and its still nice and loud.

    Merlyn_3D  |  March 8th, 2008 at 3:00 am

    If you don’t like the Jawbone, try the next best headset, the Blueant Z9. To me, I hate the size and fit of the Jawbone, but the Z9 is tiny. It’s about the size of the Jabra JX-10, but the noise cancellation this Z9 does is second only to the jawbone.

    AlphaTeam  |  March 8th, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Had the Jawbone. As a headset it is very good in performance. However, the same can’t be said for it’s quality. After just a few days of usage, the metal earpiece hook-part tarnished into this rough and dull looking color and feel.

    For a $1xx headset, this shouldn’t happen.

    felix  |  May 22nd, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I had the Jawbome about six weeks. It came apart at the barrel end while I was removing the earloop. I called Jawbone they did an exchange for me. Overall I like their product, it’s good quality. The have excellent customer service.

    Billy Bob  |  June 3rd, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    I did not like the jawbone but will now try the motorola. We use the headpiece 8 to 10 hours a day in our business marketing high deductible health plans over the net.

    Jim  |  June 24th, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I have trouble getting any earbud style device to stay in my ear. I had a Jabra BT550 and using the longer ear gel worked very well because it stuck way into my ear. I just purchased the Jawbone 2 and even with the smallest gel it feels like it will fall out. I’ve seen the suggestion to use the Jabra gels on the Jawbone, but I don’t understand how that would work because the Jabra gels are made for a right angle mount vs. the Jawbone shooting straight into the ear.

    G Harrison  |  August 2nd, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I love my new Jawbone…the larger one is the one that I have…but, I have already broken both of the ear loops and I had give the two for my other ear to my son, who highly recommends Jawbone, and he had broken his as well. How do I find a solution for this problem?
    I do recommend the Jawbone to all of my business
    associates…but now embarrassed because of the broken earpieces…and, they are hard to get on and off for me…..Any suggestions?
    Thank you so much!

    jmbrownsr  |  September 23rd, 2008 at 10:29 am

    I have three ear hooks to break. So I made an emergency ear hook out of a large paper clip. I bent the paper clip wire to match the original ear hook. I removed the rubber from the Jawbone ear hook and placed it over the paper clip. Then installed it to the head set. I had to bend and clip the wire at the bottom, coming out of the head set. But it works until I can get new ear hook.

    gus  |  December 8th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    The ear loop is defective, plain and simple. I just broke another one (that’s 3 in four or five months; I think I have one more). The bluetooth device is great but the loop is a joke. Fortunately, they can be bent to fit whether they’re labeled R or L. Personally, I won’t buy a replacement until Jawbone comes up with a better solution. It’s a waste of money.

    Steve  |  February 2nd, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I loved the Jawbone Original until I needed to replace the Earloops
    With the effort I’ve put through in order to try and find them, I’ll never buy another product from them again.

    Mark  |  February 7th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I have an original Jawbone and the last of the 3 extra metal earloops that I purchased finally broke (I tend to carry the JB in my pocket when not use) and they are no longer available. I bought some of the cheesy plastic earloops but found they were very difficult to insert into the D-hole and the Jawbone dangled precariously, falling off the ear too easily.

    I found that I could fashion a replacement earloop that works way better than anything else. Using black 14GA solid copper wire (black matches the JB just fine), cut the wire to about 5″, then remove about 1/2″ of insulation from one end with a stripper. Try not to nick the copper, otherwise that will become a failure point. Using a file or sandpaper (I used a sanding disk in my drill press), sand flat a portion of the bare copper from the end to where the insulation starts to fit the D-hole. You’ll have to use trial and error by alternating between sanding and fitting to make sure it goes into the D-hole.

    Depending on if you use it in your left or right ear, insert the wire so it sticks straight up when the JB is in you rear, then insert the JB snugly into your ear. While pressing the wire firmly against the side of your head, rotate the wire slightly to the maximum of the tension spring. While holding the wire in this position and against the side of your head, gently bend it around to form it around your earlobe.

    Once “fitted”, simply trim the excess wire. I like mine to go almost all the way down to the bottom of the earlobe as it seems to help keep it in place.. You’ll also need to make some final adjustments by bending the wire slightly, but you’ll find the copper wire easy to form. Adjust it so that the wire loop applies pressure to the back of you earlobe. That way the JB will always be snug in your ear. Also, I bought a few of the newer plain round earbuds which works very well with this configuration. I made 3-4 of these and I have to say it is as comfortable as the original wire loops and keeps the nicely JB in place.

    Stu  |  March 30th, 2010 at 9:50 am

    new wire earloops aren’t expensive here.

    http://top-iphone-ipod.ecrater.com/category.php?cid=588151

    $ 10.00 for 4 of them

    Adapt the wire ones to the newer headsets for a great fit.

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