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Jawbone Review

Best Treo Bluetooth HeadsetI have known about the Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth Headset and its reputation for spectacular sound quality and noise shield capabilities for quite a while but to my detriment I had unfortunately not had a chance to review it until now.

Jawbone headset

Big mistake.  In hindsight I should not have hesitated for a second and purchased one as soon as I found out that such a headset existed – the Jawbone Noise Shield categorically offers the best voice quality and noise reduction of any of the many dozens of wireless headsets that I have had the opportunity to test to date.  It also happens to have been designed by the renowned Yves Behar who created its distinctive perforated shield and body.

Using technology originally developed for the military, the Jawbone is the world’s first “adaptive Bluetooth headset” which the company claims “virtually eliminates all background noise from your call” – a claim that I am happy to support since I found that it cancels or attenuates 90% of all background noise (some reports point to less cancellation with wind noise though).

Treo Jawbone Noise Shield

A proprietary “Voice Activity Sensor” (above) identifies precisely when you are speaking in any noise environments where the Jawbone can easily separate your speech from other sounds nearby.  Using highly directional microphones and powerful digital signal processing algorithms the Jawbone removes background noise from your outgoing speech signal to allow you to be heard clearly in any environment without the need to shout.

The “adaptive” functionality of the Jawbone also seamlessly, dynamically and automatically adjusts the speaker output volume and frequency so you can better hear your caller’s voice.

Treo Jawbone Noise Shield

The Jawbone kit (above) includes a USB charging cable (I would have preferred a miniUSB instead of a proprietary charging tip though) which can be used with the included USB wall charger or directly from a spare USB port on your PC.  Additionally, a total of four earloops (Standard + Large, Left + Right) and five earbuds of various sizes and shapes are provided to match your perfect fit.

Treo JawboneNoise Shield Treo Jawbone Noise Shield

Weighing 19 grams and measuring some 6.3cm long the Jawbone is not the lightest or smallest headset available (compared to the Motorola H700 and Jabra JX10 below) but I nonetheless found it extremely comfortable to wear.  The slightly undulated shape of the Jawbone is designed to curve and match the outline of your face as well as to ensure that the Voice Activity Sensor comes into contact and rests on your cheek (image above right) – this is essential for your voice to be shielded and transmitted properly.

Treo Jawbone Noise Shield

Overall, the Jawbone is an amazing accessory that will immediately appeal to those Treonauts attracted by its unequalled noise reduction capabilities and adaptive technology which delivers a truly remarkable and superior inbound and outbound voice quality.  However, if you primary need is “pocketability” and your budget then either of my other two favourite headsets  – the Motorola H700 and Jabra JX10 – will prove to be excellent alternative choices.

                  Treo Jawbone Comparison Chart

Treonauts always filter out the noise

Posted by Andrew on March 12, 2007 at 11:34 AM

Treo Accessories , Treo Bluetooth Headset

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» New and Improved Headset for Treo from Life and Technology
My wife and I both have Treo 700p's through Sprint PCS. We have been through many Bluetooth headsets and none of them seemed to do the trick. Either they were physically difficult to use or, more to the point, were [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 21, 2007 10:05:38 PM


by Jim R. | Mar 12, 2007 12:23:33 PM

Thanks so much for the great review! I used to use the Palmone headset but would not pair anymore (gave it away.) Now I use the Samsung 200 which is (small) but their ear canal design is not so great. This looks like a must have for DSP purpose mainly! Thanks again!

by landoncube | Mar 12, 2007 12:48:02 PM

I love this headset! Somehow, the larger size is MUCH more comfortable and I would even categorize it as an 'on ear' headset. The ear loop is really nice.

by Vincent Z. | Mar 12, 2007 1:19:40 PM

Why not review the LG 730? This is a great headset at half the cost.

by Rob | Mar 12, 2007 3:27:55 PM

I have one and love it! I couldn't agree more that it would be a lot nicer if the headset took a miniUSB plug instead of their proprietary cable. I was disappointed when the 680 didn't have a miniUSB plug, but charging off the sync cable is a step in the right direction. MiniUSB is the closet thing we have so far to a standard power adapter.

I also wanted to point out that there is no driver required to charge. I can charge my headset from a powered USB hub (PC off), Tivo, & my PS3.

The noise canceling is everything it advertises. Check out the YouTube videos!

by Tony Dehnke | Mar 12, 2007 3:37:07 PM

Can you comment as to how this does with the Treo 650, I have a JX10 and can not use it with my treo from distance of more than 5ft and not at all when I am near or around any kind of Wi-Fi device.

by Steve | Mar 12, 2007 5:06:43 PM

"Can you comment as to how this does with the Treo 650"

I wear carpenter pants with the pocket in the leg just above my knee. With my Palm wireless bluetooth headset I could not store my 650 in my pocket without getting static. With the Jawbone I can.


by Joe Popeye | Mar 12, 2007 7:06:55 PM

Allo, allo, allo… bzz, bzz, bzz…
Vraiment ras le bol de ces tunnels… ;-)

by Ron LaPedis | Mar 12, 2007 8:12:38 PM

I have a Jawbone and no matter which of the 4 ear loops and ear pieces I try it falls off when I walk. It's great standing still though. I am having a custom earmold made and I hope that helps.

by Dan | Mar 14, 2007 6:46:43 AM

Excellent. I love it. It like actually works. This thing is light years ahead of my JX10 which worked 50% of the time and then just literally fell apart. Fits out of the box, great sound. And my JX10 never had 6 hours of talk time. It was 3 if I was lucky. I use it with a 650 & SE K750i.

by Trevor | Mar 14, 2007 11:28:47 AM

I have had this for a while, and broke a couple earloops, anyone know where to get more?

Like the JX10, earloops are... fragile.

by chad | Mar 15, 2007 7:28:34 AM

I've never used an earpiece for any cell phone. I have a Treo 680 currently. Can this also be used for music and/or audible book playback or only phone calls? thanks for helping a BT newbie, Chad

by Craig | Mar 15, 2007 11:54:48 AM

I purchased one of these, and my only question is this: WHY HAVEN'T PEOPLE BEEN CALLING TO THE HEAVENS HOW WONDERFUL THIS THING IS?!?!

For as long as I've been using headsets (and trust me, there have been MANY headsets that didn't make the cut.) my only wish was to have one that was as good as talking on the handset. Well, this one is unequivocally better. I have been searching for the perfect headset for years, and THIS IS IT!!! (No, I'm not astroturfing for Aliph)

Well, almost perfect. 2 minor complaints:
1) This is in no way pocketable. Someone needs to design and sell a belt holster of some kind for this. I have to wear it on my ear all day because there's no other place to keep it. That being said, it's very comfortable in the ear, no problems wearing it all day, and it doesn't block my ability to hear other things.

2) No 3rd parties making accessories for this thing, and the charger is HIGHLY proprietary. It is not even similar to anything on the market. The only place I found one is on eBay for $55, which is highway robbery. I would imagine if these things get more popular, you'll see chargers popping up from 3rd party vendors. That being said, the battery seems much better than my Samsung WEP200. I've never had it run out on me.

Bottom line: 10 out of 10. If I could give it 11, I would, but I can't.

by Craig | Mar 15, 2007 12:00:21 PM

Response to #11

I have a Palm 700p, and sadly, unless Palm has made major changes to the OS, you can't use it for anything but phone calls. (There is a rumor of a ROM patch that may or may not address this deficiency, but no promises.) You can't even use a BT headset for voice dialing. Phone calls only.

by Steve | Mar 15, 2007 12:21:31 PM

According to an email response from Aliph they are working on accessories including a car charger and carrying case. And as of today you are supposed to be able to order replacement ear gels, hooks and wall chargers on their site. I haven't checked yet though.


by Jeff | Mar 15, 2007 6:27:34 PM

Can this be used without the earloop?

by Dan | Mar 16, 2007 9:20:29 PM

No Steve, I don't think you can. The earloop is spring loaded and causes the tip of the boom to constantly be in contact with your cheek. The little rubber tip at the end of the boom detects vibrations when you're speaking and helps with the noise canceling.

by Chris | Mar 17, 2007 1:34:53 AM

This looks like sideburns or a beard might block contact needed with the cheek or cause noise in a mike

by L | Mar 17, 2007 11:49:58 AM

This is my first headset.....I've been holding out for two years because I didn't want to deal with anything that would make me want to grab my phone out of frustration....I have friends that have headsets and you can tell when they are on them. anyway...I'm so glad i waited this thing is AWESOME!!!!! My friends don't even know I'm on it!!!!!!

by Brian | Mar 19, 2007 8:59:09 PM

I can only echo Craig's comments. The Jawbone is my fourth Bluetooth headset (Palm Treo headset, Motorola H300, Jabra BT800). All the others had squirrelly connections and horrible sound quality. The Jawbone actually WORKS. It connects with my 700p every time. The voice quality on my end is equal to the handset, and on the other end the noise-cancelling really works as claimed. Battery life is excellent. Range is 10-12 feet, which, while far short of what everyone claims for Bluetooth, is twice the range of my previous earpieces. Don't know how Trevor managed to break 2 earloops. They appear to be made from chromed steel. It's so comfortable I almost don't know it's there. Buy this earpiece!

by Dan | Mar 19, 2007 10:33:11 PM

Chris, I've got a full beard and the thing works like a charm!

by Dave | Mar 21, 2007 1:16:44 AM

In response to #11 and #13

Has anyone tried to listen to music on a palm 700p with the 'Softick Audio Gateway' software or any other bluetooth software? If you have and it worked or did not work- i would love to here from you. I check this blog alot and would love to here from someone on this matter. Thanks in Advance.

by Dave | Mar 21, 2007 10:16:53 AM

...(with the jawbone headset)

by Paul | Mar 23, 2007 11:55:32 PM

Does any one know how do you know whether noise cancellation has been turned off? (Is there an indicated LED?)

I press and hold the noise cancellation for 3 secs while the phone is on, but there is nothing confirming whether the headset is in that mode or not.


by Craig | Mar 24, 2007 4:38:58 PM

#23 - You should be able to tell by the tones in the earpiece whether you are turning the noise shield on or off. As I recall, the tones go up when it is activated and go down when deactivated. (Don't have mine handy right this moment.)

If you're tone deaf, I think you're out of luck. ;)

by Victor | Mar 28, 2007 11:07:36 AM

I walked into a phone store and asked for a bluetooth headset that no one's ever returned before.

He pointed out the Jawbone.

IT'S AWESOME, it actually works, this is my 3rd bluetooth set and this one is crystal clear not to mention super kewl looking.

Thanks Jawbone.

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