Ever since it became illegal in the UK to drive while holding a mobile phone the popularity of Bluetooth headsets has, not surprisingly, rocketed and it’s now a pretty common site to see them being worn by drivers. People even walk round with them when they pop out the car, as it’s easier than taking them on and off all the time.
It’s a sign that the market has matured when manufacturers are not just selling on specification, performance and price but on design. This type of an approach is a departure for Jabra, which is well known for decently performing but frankly slightly unsightly bulky headsets.
Even from the box it’s clear that the JX10 is a design focused product. The box features a cut out circle with the headset dramatically enclosed. With its blacks and greys, curves and angles, at first glance I could immediately tell that the designers of the JX-10 had taken their design cues from Bang and Olufson, the well know Danish AV manufacturer. I was proved right as on the box is states, ‘Design by Jacob Jenson’, who actually designs B&O gear and Gaggenau kitchen appliances in case you’re interested.
Wider at one end and tapering at the other, to my mind the JX10 looks like an angular fish with the microphone giving the appearance of a mouth. The distinguishing feature is a stripe running down the middle featuring the Jabra logo. Whether the headset actually looked good split opinion in the office. Personally I like the delicate, stylised look, but it does look like it’s going after say, the BMW or Porsche driver – I can’t see it really suiting white-van man.
At one end is a small light that glows red when charging, blue when in pairing mode. It flashes blue slowly when connected to a phone via Bluetooth and fast when in conversation. It also flashes red when it needs charging, which is the one feature I wish my own Motorola HS-850 has. At the rear of the device when you’re wearing it are the volume buttons, labelled plus and minus. Right next to this is a small charging port. This is quite delicate and the supplied charging cable has a large yellow label attached warning users to take care when hooking it up otherwise damage could occur.
The ear hook is thin and flexible and can easily be popped off and turned round so that you can use it on your left ear if you’re so inclined. If you have it this way round though, the Jabra logo will appear upside down – a flaw in those perfect design values. On a more practical note the hook kept the headset attached firmly without any movement.
A button for accepting or ending calls sits on one side in the headset. This will be on the underside if worn on the right and on top if worn on the left ear. Hold it down to dial the last dialled number and to transfer to an incoming cal within a conversation.