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Product: Jawbone Prime Bluetooth Headset
Manufacturer: Aliph
MSRP: $130
Lowest Historical Price: $64 History

Introduction
The original Jawbone Bluetooth headset from Aliph was a high-end device that enjoyed mass appeal due to its amazing Noise Assassin technology, and the Jawbone 2 managed to improve upon it by offering everything in a smaller sleeker package. Now we have the Jawbone Prime, which is the third iteration of this series of Bluetooth headsets and touts improved Noise Assassin technology – specifically in the area of wind noise. Like its predecessors, the Prime is a high-end headset with a price tag to match. Click through to see if the high price is justified.

Setup
A Jawbone just wouldn't be a Jawbone if it didn't come in an overly ostentatious package, and the Prime does not disappoint in that department. The Prime sits atop a holder much like how a statue or work of art may appear in a museum, and in fact the entire case almost seems like a glass museum display in miniature. Inside, you'll find a USB charger with a wall adapter, several ear loops, ear buds, and the usual instruction booklets.


Design
The design of the Jawbone Prime is highly reminiscent of the Jawbone 2. It's so reminiscent of the Jawbone 2 it looks exactly the same as the Jawbone 2 but with a slightly different cover and color options (Black, Green, Yellow, Red, and Violet). The Jawbone Prime has the same exact dimensions as the Jawbone 2 and even uses the same ear piece system as the Jawbone 2.

The few changes that were made to the headset include the pattern on the cover, the vertical line indentation that marks where the main talk button is, and the introduction of a new ear bud that eliminates the need for an ear loop. The buttons are again hidden under the fascia but now the line indent lets you know exactly where the talk button is, so there isn't much trouble finding that. All the button actions remain unchanged from the Jawbone 2, so the talk button is still used to connect/disconnect from the phone and pick up/hang up calls. Meanwhile, the rear button is used to enable/disable Noise Assassin and scroll through volume options.


Fitment
Fitment is one thing that Aliph definitely improved upon with the Prime; unfortunately, the change had nothing to do with the headset itself. The Jawbone Prime comes with a new redesigned ear bud that eliminates the need for any ear loop and is backwards compatible with the JB2. In my review of the JB2, I complained about the ear loop being troublesome for those who wear glasses, but with the redesigned ear bud, that is no longer an issue. So really, the only thing that makes fitment on the Prime better than the Jawbone 2 is an ear bud that can be purchased directly from Aliph for $3.


Noise Assassin
Aliph has touted much improved Noise Assassin technology with the Prime – especially in the area of wind noise. Unfortunately, testing revealed that wind noise still defeats the Prime. I tested the Prime's wind noise cancellation on the freeway at 60mph with the windows down and the wind noise was being canceled out only when I wasn't talking. The minute I started talking, the person on the other line could only hear the wind. So sure, wind cancellation has improved… when you're not talking.

In normal use, Noise Assassin is perfectly fine and does eliminate most ambient noise. I did several tests in loud locations including walking on a busy city street, inside a car with music blaring, stop and go traffic, and a quiet office. In those tests, the Prime performed just fine, though deep bass does manage to creep by Noise Assassin. For instance, one of my test callers was able to easily identify what song was playing in the background purely on bass alone.


Conclusion
If you're in the market for a Jawbone headset after hearing so much about these Bluetooth headsets, do yourself a favor and get a Jawbone 2 instead. It's hard to justify the Prime's higher price when the only worthwhile change to it is the addition of an ear bud that can be bought separately. The changes to the Prime just aren't big enough to warrant getting it over the 2, and perhaps Aliph already knew that fact and decided to not call it the Jawbone 3 for that very reason.

Price History [History]

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    TRB Ben's cred: 33
    Posted 3:57 pm PST 12/2/09

    whhhhaa?

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    bakerzdosen Ben's cred: 56
    Posted 4:05 pm PST 12/2/09

    I've still found that the only headset I can use in my convertible with the top down is an Ety-com with a HUGE wind screen over the microphone. And even then, it ain't perfect. My JB2 works well enough with no wind though.

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    thematrix Ben's cred: 20
    Posted 4:09 pm PST 12/2/09

    are they giving away?

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    chaboud Ben's cred: 12
    Posted 5:55 pm PST 12/2/09

    #2, try the Plantronics Voyager Pro. I was driving with the top on my car down (at about 55mph), and my dad thought I was at the office. It's not pretty, but it's so amazingly effective, it doesn't matter. I've had both the JB2 and JBPrime. Both sucked by miles compared to the Voyager Pro.

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    cmcf Ben's cred: 22
    Posted 6:08 pm PST 12/2/09

    Wind was indeed one of the very few issues I ever had with a jawbone... the other was that they're kinda ugly Wink

    $130 feels steep. $64 sounds about right if it is really better than it's ancestors.

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    GadgetGeek Ben's cred: 17
    Posted 6:16 pm PST 12/2/09

    Wow, first time I've seen a full on review by Ben. Did he really write that? On the product itself, it is not going to win any slick factor contest, but sounds like it's pretty amazing.

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    WangeR Ben's cred: 14
    Posted 8:34 pm PST 12/2/09

    good review! I was just looking for a worthwhile review of the jawbone prime, this definitely does a really good job sizing it up.

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    sillymackids Ben's cred: 22
    Posted 4:14 am PST 12/3/09

    Good at $64 BS at over a $100 - the Planatronics are more comfortable and work as well. This is mostly marketing hype.

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    hgernhardtjr Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 6:01 am PST 12/3/09

    My wife loves her Prime and much prefers it over other models she has had, feeling the Noise Assassin is extremely good — at least for her uses. However, we did have to get some fitted Jabra eargels for it to stay in her ear without the FLIMSY-AND-EASILY-BREAKABLE earloops. And I did have to get her a multi-color package of iridescent shell covers for $9 off the Bay so she could snap on a different color cover to match her clothing.

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    hennesy80 Ben's cred: 30
    Posted 8:07 am PST 12/3/09

    I have the Jawbone II, not sure how good the Noise Assassin really works, but it does a fair enough job. Wind outside should be killed by the NA, but it's still there. My only complaint with Jawbone is the earloops (earhooks) are the worst design in the world. They break after a few days and cost a lot to replace.

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    southpaw32 Ben's cred: 7
    Posted 9:08 am PST 12/3/09

    Love my Jawbone 1 still! Great headsets!

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    samiya Ben's cred: 1
    Posted 9:57 pm PST 01/31/10

    How do I make my bluetooth visibility last longer on my Razr V3 phone? It only lasts 60 seconds, so I can only transfer and recieve songs via bluetooth one at a time. Is there any way to make the Bluetooth visible for longer than one minute?
    aconbay
    affiliateelite

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    Pleseawlrargy Ben's cred: 1
    Posted 8:42 am PST 02/26/10

    which is the best bluetooth headset
    for my S55? Ive tried the Nokia hdw-2 but
    it has some problems :-
    Thanx a lot

    Maurizio - Italy

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    bradbranch Ben's cred: 37
    Posted 7:35 am PDT 04/16/10

    Threw mine out the window, couldn’t touch to adjust placement in the ear without hanging up. Junk! Adjust the volume, cross your fingers that it doesn’t disconnect the call. Junk.


    I really did through is out the window @ 60 miles and hour. I thought I would kill it first before I had an accident.

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    thepirat3king Ben's cred: 4
    Posted 1:51 pm PST 11/18/10

    Mine works fairly well, not like the advertisement videos... but acceptable for the $30 I paid for it (thanks for that ben, btw).

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    banoun Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 9:35 pm PDT 06/26/11

    Realy was happy for this deal until I received the product and found that I have been lied to. this product is BULK AND NOT RETAIL PACKAGE (2 buy.com rep said it was retail)AND ITS NOT JAWBONE 3(they told me it was. never will buy from them again

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    dave_c Ben's cred: 3427
    Posted 5:32 pm PDT 06/27/11

    #16, this isn't a deal post, if Buy.com sent you the wrong thing you should simply demand the right thing be sent with a prepaid return mailing label to send them the item you received.

    Also, this review was from 2009. If you bought something from a deal posted on the site, it would be more appropriate to post the details in that topic instead of here.

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