Jawbone Prime Bluetooth HeadsetManufacturer:
$130Lowest Historical Price: $64 HistoryIntroduction
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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 improvedâ€¦ 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