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Jawbone Prime

New Aliph Jawbone Prime Bluetooth Headset Claims “Orders Of Magnitude Better Noise Suppression” But Also $129.99 Price Tag


Following the success of Aliph’s previous “New Jawbone” headset (see my review) the company has now announced the forthcoming release of its latest generation Jawbone Prime – a headset that boasts to be “the best ever created”.


The main new technology features of the Jawbone PRIME include:

Superior NoiseAssasin 2.0
The Jawbone Prime claims to offer even better noise elimination than the previous generations.  Version 2.0 of its patented military-grade technology apparently delivers “an order of magnitude” improvement in the noisiest environments – extracting even more ambient noise while keeping the user’s voice output as natural as possible.

Acoustic Voice Activity Detector (AVAD)
The new AVAD technology provides a provides a fail-safe mechanism when the Voice Activity Sensor (VAS) [the little clear button at the tip of the headset pictured above] doesn't touch your face. When the VAS is not touching the face, Jawbone PRIME performs as good as or better than any other noise cancelling headset. When the VAS touches the face, you get the turbo-boost to the NoiseAssassin performance.

Better Wind Performance
Considering how much the previous New Jawbone suffered in windy conditions Aliph focused its engineers on the task of completely eliminating the impact wind has on speech.  By leveraging some innovative DSP techniques and Jawbone's proprietary Voice Activity Sensor (VAS) Aliph has implemented a wind solution that maintains award-winning design without having to apply a visually disruptive wind-sock or baffle to physically block the wind.


Aside from technology, Aliph clearly also continues to focus intently on great product design and the Jawbone PRIME is a great example of this.  This latest headset introduces a unique undulating texture (detail above), crafted with high precision in 3-D to reflect the light, and give a sense of movement to the exterior surfaces.

Additionally, the design has also been enhanced by a slight indication in the shield's texture, a small tactile crease that indicates where the switch is located. The inside contours of the product follow the face in a perfectly comfortable manner, while new ergonomic earbuds have been refined to keep the Jawbone in place without an earloop for most wearers (an earloop is however provided in the box for those who prefer to use one + Wall Charger, USB Cable, 3 Earbuds, 3 New Fit Earbuds).

The Jawbone PRIME is offered in three basic colors (Black, Platinum, Coffee) as well as four EARCANDY Edition colors (Scarlet, Lilac, Lime and Yellow)


Overall, while I absolutely loved the 1st Generation Jawbone and was somewhat disappointed by the 2nd Generation New Jawbone (pictured above center) I have to say that this 3rd Generation Jawbone PRIME appears to answer many of the complaints that people had with the previous models:

  • Even better noise cancellation
  • Noise cancellation works even when VAS is not touching your jaw
  • Performs extremely well under windy conditions
  • Small, light & comfortable
  • No need to wear earloop
  • Improved tactile response for buttons
  • Funky colors
  • Stunning industrial design

Having said this, the three main drawbacks of the Jawbone Prime are that 1) its stated Talk Time is only 4.5 hours; 2) its MSRP is a rather rich $129.99 and 3) it uses a proprietary charger that drives me nuts.  This means that I’ll have to think carefully before deciding to upgrade from my existing Jabra BT530 (see review) which offers a more solid 5.5 hours of Talk Time, a standard microUSB charging connector, excellent noise cancellation and costs just half as much as the Jawbone Prime.

Finally, since I haven’t yet had the opportunity to demo this headset properly here is a link where you’ll find a couple of rather impressive video demonstrations from Aliph that were recorded using a standard Bluetooth mobile phone over a national network (wihout any modifications to the original recorded sound quality).


Please note that the Jawbone PRIME will work with virtually all Bluetooth smartphones including the Treo, Centro, iPhone, BlackBerry and G1.  Also, the official launch date of this headset is May 2nd priced at $129.99 but you can now find the Jawbone Prime in all our stores priced at only $119.95.

Separately, please take a moment to share your views on the use of Bluetooth headsets with your fellow Treonauts below: 

Bluetooth Poll
Do you typically use a Bluetooth Headset to wirelessly make and receive calls with your smartphone?

  Yes - Always
  Yes - Mostly
  Yes - Occasionally
  No - Never

Treonauts are always in their prime

Posted by Andrew on April 28, 2009 at 08:51 AM

Treo Bluetooth Headset

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by Stu | Apr 28, 2009 10:49:02 AM

The biggest complaint I've heard regarding the Jawbones is that they won't work with Palm OS phones. They advertise as being compatible, but I've heard many complaints across several forums of people stating that they bought one and either couldn't get it to pair with their device or couldn't get it to stay paired. Not sure what that is all about, but I was curious whether the Prime does any better job in that regard.

by John | Apr 28, 2009 12:26:05 PM

Original Jawbone worked fine with my Sprint Treo 650. Biggest problem was the voice activity detector depended on the little nub touching my face. It didn't with the earloop. Like many, I used Jabra ear gels to solve that problem and threw the earloops away. Looks like Jawbone went with a similar solution for this model. Too bad it is so expensive.

by G | Apr 29, 2009 12:46:28 AM

Glad to see that they give the option to ditch the ear loop. I have owned both previous models and love the noise cancellation technology. My big complaint with both previous models was the ear loop. I like others used Jabra gels (glued them to the original plastic or rubber earbud) and this gives me better in the ear sound quality and keeps it tight to my face allowing the Voice Activity Sensor to make good contact to my face/jaw. I personally can't wait to take the new version on a test drive. For me they have been worth every penny. Nice to see the company continues to adapt and improve their headsets.

by Jack | Apr 29, 2009 10:56:59 AM

Hey Andrew, do you know if Aliph is going to make these new ear pieces available for the older Jawbones? I too have the Jawbone 2, and I use the Jabra eargels which makes it comfortable enough to wear all day long. I can't stand their ear loops though.

by RichC | Apr 30, 2009 9:34:15 PM

Since I had such great success with my previous gen 1 Jawbone and my Treo 700p, I'm looking forward to adding this gen 3 to my eventual Palm Pre. ;-)

by RedR | May 8, 2009 10:07:28 AM

If you want a good earpiece for the Jawbone (or any other bluetooth phone), try a custom earpiece. I use one from this company for my gen 2 Jawbone and it makes a big difference - no earloop needed and have to turn volume down on the phone. www.averysound.com

by Liberty For ALL! | May 11, 2009 1:28:16 PM

They need to add an A2DP model that works either for stereo or just as a single unit. Also, I would love to see a nice deep blue offering...

by Bluetooth | Mar 10, 2011 2:05:37 PM

Great article Andrew,
The Jawbone prime was a great device but the Era is even better in my opinion.
If you are looking for a great deal they can be found at http://www.globaldistribution.ca

by Sarah | Feb 9, 2012 11:09:28 AM

The jawbone prime is a decent bit of kit. They've gone all out to make it look classy. The box it comes in is pretty flash too.

by Sarah T | Feb 9, 2012 11:10:29 AM

You can get a great deal on the jawbone prime at http://www.mobi-city.co.uk

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