Aliph Jawbone 2

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INTRODUCTION

    As if it
wasn’t hard enough trying to pick among a sea of new
phones, the realm of ever advancing Bluetooth
headsets doesn’t make it any easier. Aliph’s sequel to their wildly successful Jawbone from two years ago is the Jawbone 2. Everyone can be a
supergeek and flood you with specs and terminology
that can all of a sudden make you feel like your 87
yr old grandmother taking on an MP3 player (not a
good feeling). My goal for this review is to make this as easy and
pain free for all of us normal people who simply
want a product that works without all the mumbo
jumbo. Read on for more!

WHAT’S HOT

    The original Jawbone was an award winning piece of art
and functionality. With its minimalist, contemporary
design and cutting edge sound technology, it wasn’t
hard to figure out why so many industry
professionals honored it. But there were some tiny
little issues most people had, myself included.
Mainly the larger-than-average size, the
heavier-than-most weight, and the difficulty of
placing the piece. The Jawbone 2 not only addresses
those issues, but takes all aspects to a whole new
level. Not only is the new jawbone smaller by 50%,
it is also lighter at less than half an ounce.
It’s revamped with a fabulous new diamond pattern face and now comes with an array of lovely ear hooks (two
with genuine stitched leather) and three soft rubber
ear pieces that allow you to customize your perfect
fit. Let’s check it out!

Bluetooth Headset

Our Rating
Talk Time | Standby (hours)

Street Price
Bluetrek Metal
5 | 180
$50
Jabra BT8010
10 | 300
$70
BlueAnt Z9i
5.5 | 200
$70
Aliph Jawbone 2
4 | 192
$119
iqua BHS-303
6 | 150
$35
Gennum nx6000
6 | 75
$110
10 | 300
$75
5 | 150
$80
5.5 | 200
$70
4 | 75
$50
6 | 120
$110
9 | 250
$40
12 | 360
$75
3 | 100
$120
6 | 300
$45
3.5-10 | 80
$80
7 | 180
$50
4 | 250
$40
5 | 120
$60
6 | 300
$80
6 | 300
$60
30 | 700

$40
15 | 300

$80
7 | 300
$80
6 | 300
$55
7 | 100
$115
5 | 250
$40
2 | 100
$250
8 | 1000
$25
unrated
4 | 200
$40

WHAT'S IN THE BOX

    I don’t know about you but the thing I look forward to
most during gift-giving holidays is the opening of my presents. There’s
something special about opening a nicely wrapped gift. Being that kind
of person, I take the same approach to every product I purchase. It’s
that feel good attitude about a product’s packaging that can sometimes
make or break my decision to proceed. Some may say that’s a bit shallow.
I say please, you know you’re like that too. That being said, the
Jawbone 2 definitely put a smile on my face.

(all images link to higher resolution)

The packaging and presentation reminded me of a museum
display.

    It comes housed in a clear acrylic glass box that
showcases the headset in a very exquisite way. The
power adaptors and ear accessories are housed
separately in their own little “gift” boxes which I
found pleasing. Definitely attention to detail I can
appreciate.

Ear accessories are available to suit your fit.

PRODUCT FEATURES

    I found the Jawbone 2 relatively easy to use right out of the box. It doesn’t come with a thick product manual. Instead, it comes with a fold-out quick start guide that’s very easy to follow. I like that. I really do. Pairing was also carefree and painless. I also want to note that the ear piece comes with a peel off sterile sticker, which should appeal to the hygiene conscious. But first is first. Let’s talk about design. Like its predecessor, the Jawbone 2 was designed by celebrated designer Yves Behar. The difference between both headsets is vast. Not only is the new Jawbone half the size, but it’s been reinvented completely. The previous jawbone had a perforated grille, while the new one has a three dimensional diamond pattern. It turns out to be a very minimalist design that actually has a sound reflective purpose! There are no visible buttons anywhere, but a soft press on two different areas of the face and you will feel the buttons cleverly hidden under the outer shield. Pretty neat. There is a multi-function talk “press” which is located on the middle of the headset face that allows you to answer, hold, switch, and hang up calls. It also powers the headset on and off.

One thing I also found cool was the LED light. Most every other headset has that red or blue dot that shines like a beacon off the side of your face. The Jawbone 2 has a little sliver of light instead, which glows red or white. From a design aspect, I find that very cool.

Here you can see the noise assassin button that
rests against your face.

    Towards the back end of the headset is the Noise Assassin button which turns the noise shield on and off. Noise Assassin, by the way, is Jawbone’s patented military grade technology which separates your voice from the noises in the environment around you. The Noise Assassin button also functions as a volume control although it doesn’t quite work as well as a conventional volume rocker (more on this later.) The inner part of the Jawbone 2 is ergonomically shaped to better fit the contours of your face. There you will find an opaque rubber button that is the patented Voice Activity Sensor. Now, this is the part of the headset that rests against your face. Its purpose is to detect and amplify your voice through the vibrations on your face! How cool is that? Of course, to properly make this work, the button has to be touching your cheek at all times. So the proper fit is muy important. Therefore, Aliph provides you with not one but four different sized ear hooks and three different ear pieces. Finding the right fit is just a matter of mixing and matching ‘til you get it just right. You may also wear glasses without any hassle, thanks to the extremely slim hooks. The Noise Assassin and the Voice Activity Sensor work together to provide superb quality audio.

The Jawbone 2 fits very well once you choose the
right earpieces.

Here's you see the Jawbone 2 compared to the
Plantronics Discovery 655 and Blueant Z9.

    For pairing, I tested the Jawbone 2 with my HTC Mogul work phone, Samsung Armani evening phone, Motorokr Z6m workout phone, and a friend’s Blackberry Pearl. In my tests, a simple press on the Noise Assassin button made a striking difference to the person on the other line. I tested the Jawbone while walking across Herald Square, shopping at the Westchester Mall, and driving across the George Washington Bridge with the music blaring. When the Noise assassin was activated, most people were surprised to know I was at a busy intersection rather than sitting at home. Also, you can choose to disable the Noise Assassin if you want the other person to hear what’s going on around you (Like when my boss wanted to know if I was really on my way to work. Yeah, I showed her!). Mostly all calls came through clear on both ends, with the exception of some people who reported a clicking noise at times, which may just be outside interference. I won’t bore you with the complex science involved. Rather, from personal experience, I can say that the Jawbone 2 worked for me when I needed it to work. And that’s all that really matters to me. So is it hot? Oh yes.

    In addition to all that jazz. The Jawbone 2 comes with a standard Jawbone AC adapter and a USB wire for convenient charging via PC. The charger attaches to the headset magnetically so that’s pretty neat. A typical charge takes anywhere from 35-50 mins, depending on how low the battery is. It’s pretty decent, and so is the talk time at 4 hrs, with standby time reported at 8 days. In my test, average talk time was more like 3 hrs. But it’s not bad considering what it offers. Plus it charges fairly fast.

HELP SUPPORT

    This item carries a 1-year limited warranty. Support info such as an FAQ, warranty, User Guide and contact info can be found on their support page.

BUGS AND WISHES

    Although I was mostly impressed by the Jawbone 2’s performance and overall look, I do have a few very minor gripes about it.

    First, because the Jawbone technology relies on the Voice Activity Sensor to be firmly touching ones face, there were quite a few times I got “say that again” on the other line. I found that I sometimes had to check to see if the headset was placed properly, not just in my ear but on my face. That leads me to the next gripe…

    The Jawbone 2’s extremely touch sensitive outer shield is exactly that. Touch sensitive. Every time I went to adjust the headset, there was always a 50-50 chance that I would press the talk button accidentally and hang up on the call. Also, if you put the headset in your pocket, don’t be surprised if it turns on and drains the battery. A few people I have spoken to about the Jawbone 2 also have the same problem. Personally, I can live with it, but I can see how that would annoy most people.

    Then there’s the volume adjustment. The Jawbone 2 automatically adjusts the volume based on the environment you‘re in, so the only way to raise or lower the volume is to press on the Noise Assassin Button a few times to go through different volume levels. Figuring out the numerous beeps, tones and click-combinations requires quite a bit of a learning curve (as with most advanced Bluetooth headsets.) That being said, I would have preferred volume buttons, although I understand this was eliminated as a design aspect.

    Lastly, At a retail price of $120, even I would consider this a pricey piece of work. But how is that any different from those $1,300 Jimmy Choo shoes some of us just purchased last month? Or that $400 BOSE portable speaker you wanted? I guess if you want the best, If you have an open understanding and patience to see how things work, and if you can afford it, then the Jawbone 2 is well worth the money as far as Bluetooth headsets are concerned.

PURCHASING

    The Jawbone 2 can be bought from Amazon.com for about $119.


PROS


  • Gorgeous design (Looove it!)


  • Military-grade noise elimination technology


  • Lovely packaging and accessories

CONS


  • Overly-sensitive outside shield


  • No real volume rocker


  • Pricey

Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean
?

OVERALL IMPRESSION

    The previous Jawbone was a great departure from a sea of similar-looking headsets. The advanced Noise Shield technology and the
ingenious design made it stand out from the rest of the pack and made it a best selling, multi-award winning product. The Jawbone 2 takes the same
ingenious concept and completely reinvents a good product to an amazing one, as long as you’re willing to pay the price (many other headsets are half the price of the Jawbone 2). From the exquisite museum-like display packaging to the genuine leather ear hooks. From the stunning minimalist design to the amazing technological feat, Aliph has managed to bring once again a product that’s not only useful and technologically superior, but worthy of jewelry status. So back to Christmas and holidays. Sometimes, no matter how nicely something is packaged, it doesn’t always translate to a great gift. Like tube socks for example. Or that gift from your grandma you thought was a music box that turned out to be a box of roasted peanuts. I hate you grandma. Well, the Jawbone 2…is definitely no box of nuts. This is Jenna reporting for pocketnow.com. Until next time. Adios!

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About The Author
JennaGonzalez