Product: Jawbone 2 Bluetooth HeadsetManufacturer:
]Lowest Historical Price: $98 HistoryIntroduction
Our current top picks for Bluetooth headsets are the NextLink AX2 and the original Jawbone. With the California cell phone law in effect since July 1st (and our offices being in San Francisco), we decided to test the latest Jawbone 2 to see if it is a worthy upgrade from the highly rated original Jawbone. Click through to see the results of our testing.Setup
If you've ever bought the original Jawbone from Aliph, you'd know that they love to put their headsets in snazzy packages. The Jawbone 2 is packaged no different, with the headset perched on a stand in a clear case like a museum piece. Inside you'll find a box with several earpiece sizes, the wall/USB charger, and a quick-start guide. Design
The headset itself appears to be about half the size of the original - a major plus. The original Jawbone was huge and bulky, making it difficult to just shove in your pocket when you're finished with it. Another nice improvement is how the buttons are laid out on the device. The two buttons are â€˜hidden' under the fascia, and they depend on flexure of the plastic much like many current Logitech mice. The positions of the buttons are the same as the original Jawbone, but it is much easier to press them. One issue I had was that the main talk button is creaky. The flex action causes some plastic parts to rub in a stick-slip fashion, and you can hear the creak because it is right next to your ear.
Because there are only two buttons, they each sport multiple functions depending on when they are used and the duration of the press. The rear button controls Noise Assassin (long press) and cycles through volume (short presses) while you are in-call. The talk button is used to connect and disconnect with your phone (long press), and to answer/dial calls (short press).
A cool feature of the Jawbone 2 is that the LED indicator is very well hidden. It is integrated with the main outside bezel on the ridge of one of the diamond scales, such that you can't even see it if the LED isn't on.Fitment
The Jawbone 2 has a good fit. I was able to use the default earbud and earloop with no problems. However, since it is such a snug fit, it was diffcult to wear any sort of glasses or sunglasses with it. Perhaps Oakley will come up with a solution to this. The reason you need such a snug fit is because the noise suppression technology, or "Noise Assassin" as they like to call it, requires that the clear plastic piece at the end of the Jawbone 2 touch your face. If you leave Noise Assassin on and that piece isn't touching your face, your voice will cut in and out for listener, leading to probable miscommunications and overall annoyance. If you can't achieve that snug fit, you can turn off Noise Assassin with a simple press of a button, but that defeats the primary purpose of buying a Jawbone 2.Noise Assassin
Noise Assassin is probably one of the best noise suppression technologies I've ever tested on a Bluetooth device. I went from sitting in a quiet room to sitting next to the A/C while using the Jawbone 2 and the caller couldn't even tell the difference. I was also able to hear the caller clearly in spite of the AC drone. The one thing Noise Assassin still cannot defeat is the wind. I drove my car on the freeway with the windows down and all the other person could hear was wind noise. However, when I rolled the windows up, the other person could not even tell that I was driving.
And of course, I did my obligatory test using the Jawbone 2 as a mono headphone with the AT&T Tilt. It produced the same result as with all the other mono bluetooth headsets I'ved tested: It works, but doesn't sound all that great.Conclusion
This is definitely a high-end contender for those shopping for a Bluetooth headset. It's hard to fork over $100+ for the Jawbone 2 when you buy something else that can somewhat get the job done for less than $20. But in terms of sound quality, it's the best I've ever used so far. I didn't have any trouble using it in noisy environments, and both parties could hear each other clearly. It is very light-weight and compact, making it easy to put away when you're finished using it. The fit is snug, but as I mentioned, that makes it difficult to don eyewear while using the Jawbone 2. The NextLink AX2 doesn't have an earloop to clash with eyewear, so the AX2 still wins in that department. Although it is unfortunate that this headset succumbed to the wind, I do not know of any current headsets which can handle the wind while having the sound quality of the Jawbone 2. Overall, I have high praise for the Aliph Jawbone 2, so consider it if you can stomach its premium price tag. Image Gallery Price History