The Arrow is kitted out with the bare minimum of controls. There’s just a multifunctional call button at the top, and a sliding switch to turn the headset on and off on the bottom. Unlike most other headset we’ve used the Arrow has no volume control at all. Instead it sets the volume for you automatically, although you can manually adjust this to a degree by using your phone’s volume controls if you really need to.
Pairing the headset with a phone couldn’t be more straightforward as the headset automatically goes into pairing mode the first time you turn it on. Alternatively, you can manually enter pairing mode by pressing and holding the main button for five seconds. Then it’s simply a matter of doing a search for it on your phone and entering the standard 0000 passcode.
As the headset only has a single function button all the main controls are activated via different lengths of pushes or taps on the button. For example, to accept a call you tap it once, to reject a call or activate voice dialling you press and hold it down for a moment and to redial the last dialled number you tap the button twice in quick succession. You can also check the battery level by tapping once on the button when the headset is in idle mode. It will then flash the LED hidden behind the Jabra logo to give you a rough indication of battery life. One flash means it nearly out of charge, while three flashes means it’s full charged. The Arrow’s reliance on a single button for most functions makes it a bit tricky to use to begin with as there are quite a few button pushing combinations to get used to, but after a while you do get the hang of it.
When it comes to call performance the Arrow is a bit of a mixed bag. The auto volume control works reasonably well in most day to day environments such as a busy street or in a coffee shop. However, if you find yourself in a particular noisy place, like a bar that’s pumping out loud music, we found we had to reach for the volume control on our handset as the headset simply wouldn’t automatically adjust to a level loud enough. Nevertheless callers do sound fantastically crisp and clear through the ear piece and when you do pump up the volume it is easily loud enough to handle even the most extreme environments.
However, the noise cancelling technology isn’t as impressive as it could be. Jabra says that it’s been tweaked to work best when used in a car and certainly it does work extremely well in this environment. However, it seems liked the noise cancelling algorithm has been tweaked to be too specific as it doesn’t work any where near as well in other situations such as busier cafes and pubs as those we called under these circumstances reported that it was hard to hear us over the background din.
We like the Arrow’s s small and light design and the automatic volume control feature, although not perfect, does work well under most circumstances. However, it’s not the easiest headset to use, the battery life is so-so and its noise cancelling doesn’t work all that well outside of a car environment.