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Aliph Jawbone Prime Bluetooth Headset - Aliph Jawbone Prime Bluetooth Headset

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Aliph Jawbone Prime Bluetooth Headset

Summary

Our Score:

9

All of the headset's functions are controlled with just two buttons, both hidden towards the rear. One in effect comprising the back curve of the Prime and the other sitting just behind the status LED. A single press of the forward button will answer an incoming call, pressing and holding for two seconds turns the Prime on or off out of a call, or activates the noise reduction function in one (why that's considered useful I don't know; it's too good to want to turn off).

A single rear button press will refuse an incoming call, or cycle through volume levels and a two second hold in standby activates voice dialling on any handset that supports it - which my iPhone annoyingly doesn't.

You may notice from the images that the Jawbone Prime features the same Voice Activity Sensor (VAS) as debuted with the Noise Assassin - that clear rubber blob at the business end of the device. As before, this presses against the wearer's jaw enabling the Prime to sense when its user is talking, so that the microphone is turned off the rest of the time; cutting down on the level of external noise transmitted. The Prime also boasts a number of noise reduction algorithms which purport to further distinguish speech from external interference and just as with the Noise Assassin these work famously.

Certainly neither of the two people I called were any the wiser that I was doing so with a hand free headset in a car. Okay, so 40mph in a Fiat Panda isn't exactly going to stress any noise reduction circuitry, but I'm entirely confident that I could have been in a McLaren F1 or a Ferrari 430 Scuderia and had concluded my conversations just as unhindered. Importantly clarity at the Prime's end is also great, although the volume seems to have an annoying tendency to reset itself to the minimum occasionally - I'm inclined to blame my iPhone 3G for such issues though. If only so I have yet another reason for needing to upgrade to an S.

The Jawbone Prime also touts great wind reduction and winding down the window in my car confirmed that, yes, it does indeed work pretty well. It is, I am reliably informed, effective enough that speech is still perfectly clear, although wind noise isn't eliminated, simply reduced - not that I'd expect anything else.

Verdict

The Jawbone Prime is, like its predecessors, fairly expensive especially when Bluetooth headsets are considered something of a commodity item. However, it looks great, works fabulously and emanates an air of desirability that's hard to resist. If you can afford one, get one.

Overall Score

9

stuart 13

August 1, 2010, 9:13 pm

I've been using Motorola bluetooth headsets only and kind of believes only Motorola can produce the best until... I came across Plantronics and Jawbone while surfing the net. I was using the Motorola H710, H375, H12 and then H790. The H790's performance met about 70% of my personal expectations on a good all-round performance bluetooth unit. H790 did outperformed the H12 on speaker volume and Crystaltalk (noise "reduction" technology). I was happy with it and kind of wanted to look for a better unit. Did quite a bit of reading on Plantronics and Jawbone, based on my research, decided to buy the Plantronics 975. It was an ultimate sounding bluetooth unit, really, and I mean really clear sounding bluetooth unit, the best so far that I've tried. Returned the Plantronics 975 due to clear background noise (no background noise cancellation) eventhough it was the clearest sounding bluetooth I've ever owned... todate. Got the 2nd unit, the same thing persisted, talked to the local Plantronics distributor and they are willing to refund me since I'm not happy with it. Purchased this Jawbone Prime, this time I tested it while I was at the store, the 1st brand new unit I tested sounded badly. Opened up another brand new unit, this time it was good, did my testing by calling several of my friends.





My conclusion, the Plantronics 975 has the best audio quality for both outgoing and incoming, it was unfortunate that the background noise cancellation is poor. At noisy environment, I did call my friends to test out on its quality, they all said the same, they heard me really clear and I sounded like I was calling from landline but they all heard the background too. Now Jawbone Prime did not sound as great as Plantronics 975 in terms of audio quality but J.Prime edge P.975 on Noise cancelling by a big margin. So it boils down to individual's preference and my priority is on background noise cancelling quality. J.Prime's audio quality is not great and I would say it's OK but I need my clients or friends to hear me comfortably without background disturbances so I opted for Jawbone Prime. So which one you choose is depending on what you are looking for. Clarity, go for Plantronics, noise cancelling, go for Jawbone. Comfort level, both are about the same for me. Plantronics 975 might have the charging case, all I need is additional Jawbone cable in my car when I need it so it's not a big deal for me too. Had the Jawbone Prime possesses the clarity of Plantronics 975, I would rate it as a perfect bluetooth headset.

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