30 Jun 2008

a review of the Jawbone 2

You must have seen the original Jawbone around:

It was the first bluetooth headset that really tried to look cool, instead of some E.T. device on your ear. Unfortunately, it was a little big, and very expensive ($129). It was also only bluetooth v1.2 (but so was everything back then).

So, Aliph went back and added bluetooth v2.0 and made it smaller (at the unfortunately expense of decreased battery life). They also made it more comfortable, whilst maintaining the high $129 price.

The only downside from the hardware side is the STUPID idea to use a proprietary charger.

Unlike every other gadget you have (obviously excluding Apple and they over proprietary-ness) most devices now connect to your computer, and get charged through USB, or a derivative. This means, I could share my phone charger with my headset charger. What a novel concept. Does Aliph really think I want to carry around 5 separate chargers with me?

Still, this might not be a huge deal to some people.

Since my job pays for my phone expenses, I figured there was no reason for the price tag to put me off.

So, time for a review:

The improved noise cancellation technology dubbed ‘Noise Assassin’ is very impressive. I walked outside, and stood next to sprinklers, and the person on the other end couldn’t tell. Impressive right? You’d think that would be the most important part of a headset right?

Well, technically, yes, but only if the rest of the stuff is at least up to par.

The problem? It’s somewhat surprising, but I couldn’t really hear them!

The speaker on the Jawbone is downright awful (and trust me, I’ve not got it configured incorrectly, and I know how to turn up the volume). The Jawbone’s interface of just two buttons is stupid, and causes it not to have its own volume interface. Increasing the volume on the Jawbone only increases the volume on your phone (volume is shared). Even the max volume setting required me to be in a silent environment. So, lets get this straight Aliph:

You have amazing noise elimination technology so that they can here me in a thunderstorm, but, I can’t hear them if I have the AC on in my car.

one word: Ridiculous.

It really would be like designing a car with a 500bhp V10 engine only to put a speed limiter on it for 50Mph. What’s the point Aliph?

No, seriously, I’d really like to know. It’s a wonder how things like this manage to get through testing, and QA.