Our Smartphone Stores.  Buy Accessories For Your... Blackberry Android Moto Q iPhone Centro Treo

New Jawbone or Original Jawbone?

Following my review of the New Jawbone last week, this best-in-class noise cancellation headset from Aliph quickly shot up to the #1 bestselling position for Bluetooth accessories in both our Treo Store and Centro Store (demand has in fact been so high that we temporarily ran out of stock).

At the same time, a lot of people wrote to me asking for recommendations as to which Bluetooth headset to get: the New Jawbone, the original Jawbone or another model altogether?  Why?  Putting this answer together proved to be considerably more difficult than I originally thought – particularly as everyone has different needs and budgets.

New Jawbone Headset

Do you need a Bluetooth headset at all?
If you spend hours every day speaking on your smartphone – at work, home, in the car or on the go – there is no doubt that for me having a Bluetooth headset makes a world of difference as it allows me to speak completely handsfree and able to do other things with both hands while talking. 

I personally will always have a headset by my side and nearly all the friends I have ever given a headset to (particularly a Jawbone) are still thanking me today…

You need a Bluetooth headset but which one to get?
With nearly 50 models in our store it’s understandable that choosing the right Bluetooth headset can be a bit of a struggle and you may spend literally hours trying to figure out which particular one to get. 

I have the unfair advantage to have tested every single headset in our store so you should have the confidence to know that when I highly recommend a model or make it my Editor’s Choice I am not making this decision lightly.  At the same time I think that you can generally follow the “wisdom of crowds” seeing that the bestselling headsets are not only the most popular but also typically the best.

To make it easier, I believe that the entire selection of Bluetooth headsets available can be divided into three simple categories:

  1. Great: New Jawbone, Original Jawbone
  2. Good: Motorola H700, Jabra JX10 II, Palm Ultralight Headset
  3. Value: Motorola H700 (B-Stock), Jabra BT2020, Discovery 645

The reason that the Jawbone are the only headsets that currently make it into my “Great” category is fairly simple: while they are not the smallest, lightest or even necessarily prettiest they do one thing better than any other headset – they deliver truly superior noise cancellation technology.

To illustrate this today, I have for the first time perfomed a “live test” and actually recorded my call under both ultra-quiet and ultra-loud noise conditions using just my Centro microphone as well as a number of select Bluetooth headsets in all three categories:

Centro Smartphone with no Bluetooth Headset

Palm Centro 

Motorola H700 Refurbished (Great Value) – $39.95

Motorola H700 

Jabra JX10 II (Good) – $74.95

Jabra JX10 II 

UPDATE: A number of people have asked me to also compare the BlueAnt Z9i – a BT headset which claims to offer the same level of noise cancellation as the Jawbone.  However, as you can appreciate from the audio test below I have found that this isn’t quite the case.

BlueAnt Z9i (Very Good) – $74.95

BlueAnt Z9i 

Original Jawbone (Great) – $79.95


New Jawbone (Greatest) – $129.95

New Jawbone 

Overall, I hope that this post and call tests will have helped you to make a more informed decision about your Bluetooth headset choice.  The bottom line is that if you plan to use your headset principally in quiet environments then you’ll find plenty of very good and value choices (such as the JX10 and H700) but if like me you know that you’re likely to frequently be in loud environments then you’ll quickly discover that there is no better choice than a Jawbone.

In this respect, given the fact that aside from their size and weight both Jawbone headsets are essentially the same I would simply recommend the original Jawbone for those looking for great value while the lighter and smaller New Jawbone will undoubtedly continue to appeal to those who have no trouble affording the very best that technology has to offer.

Finally, it is worthwhile noting that Aliph has apparently made the (rather stupid in my opinion) decision to discontinue the Original Jawbone which means that those people wanting to get their hands on one should do so quickly before they completely disappear…

Treonauts always pursue the greatest 

Posted by Andrew on June 25, 2008 at 03:01 PM

Treo Bluetooth

| Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference New Jawbone or Original Jawbone?:


by Jack | Jun 25, 2008 4:16:40 PM

"...nearly all the friends I have ever given a headset to (particularly a Jawbone) are still thanking me today…"

Andrew, can I be your friend? ;-)

Thanks for the comparisons here, and the warning about the soon-to-be scarce original Jawbone. I may have to get one now, instead of putting it off. I currenly use the Moto H700, but find that it is starting to get buggy, with the calls received starting to fade out where I can't hear them.

by Todd | Jun 25, 2008 4:30:48 PM

What about the BT products bt Blue Ant? They supposedly offer comparable noise cancelling to the Jawbone at a lower price. I have no experience with either, BTW.



by Shawn | Jun 25, 2008 4:43:32 PM


It might be just me, but I think the original Jawbone is better than the new in both the quiet environment and during noise cancellation when you cranked up the background noise.

by Joe | Jun 25, 2008 6:14:28 PM

@ Shawn

I thought the same thing!

by Juraj | Jun 25, 2008 6:19:55 PM

Hi everybody,

I'd like to ask a question that most of you will consider extremely basic, so forgive me in advance. Here it comes, I'll explain it a bit further.

What's the best way to use the BT headset?

Explanation: I am now an owner of a rather sizable phone (HTC Universal). It would be extremely convenient to use BT headset to place and receive calls but there are some things I am not yet clear about:
Scenario: The phone is heavy, hence it is in the bag/backpack/briefcase. BT handsfree is in the pocket. The phone rings.
Possibility 1:
With one swift motion I put the BT handsfree on my ear, push the button to pick up the call, and guess by the voice who's calling. (can be remedied by having a HF with LCD display, negates the "swift motion". During the LCD analysis the party might hang up).
Possibility 2:
With one swift motion I take the phone from the backpack, pick up the call, say "Hi, a moment please", second swift motion with the BT handsfree, call transfer etc. Not too convenient.
Possibility 3:
I am expecting a call from someone particular, hence BT HF already on ear or at hand. Ideal, but not too convenient.
Possibility 4:
Since phone in the backpack, I don't hear the ringtone and miss the call.

I love the concept of BT handsfree, and I have Jabra BT250v that performs well, but so far to my experience they don't seem very practical, at least not in unexpected calls scenario, or while driving etc. So far the closest to the solution seems to be the discontinued LG Style-i (unsure of exact spelling). The question is simple: How exactly do you manage to use them on a daily basis?

Sorry for the long post!


by Andrew | Jun 25, 2008 8:03:11 PM

Jack - all Treonauts and Centronauts are my friends! ;-)

Todd - I have not found the BlueAnt products such as the Z9i to be anywhere near as good as the Jawbone and will post a full review soon.

Shawn - I still absolutely love the original Jawbone as well - it delivers not only great quality but also value. The New Jawbone has slightly different sound qualities and also delivers slightly better overall noise cancellation.

Juraj - under your various scenarios I reckon that the only way that you could use a BT headset is to have it permanently on your ear... ;-) Alternatively you could also purchase a less bulky smartphone such as the Centro...

Cheers, A.

by Chuck Darwin | Jun 25, 2008 8:03:32 PM

It's really too bad that Aliph has discontinued the old Jawbone. After owning the original for a year, I bought the new one the first week it was out...only to find that the new model just doesn't fit my face. No matter which earpiece I tried--including the ones from the original Jawbone, which do fit--I could not get it to stay on securely. And if the little sensor nub on the underside of a Jawbone isn't touching your face, the cool "military-spec" noise-canceling technology has no way to differentiate your voice from "noise", which means it will try to cancel your voice. IOW, it doesn't work well if it doesn't fit. I gave my new Jawbone to my girlfriend and went back to the original, but if it ever breaks or gets lost, I guess I'll be out of luck.

by Andy Espo | Jun 25, 2008 11:50:10 PM

Thanks for the terrific comparison… it's such a simple thing to do, but no one has done it until now! Could you consider adding this comparison to all of your BT accessories as they're released? I've been using the JX-10 for over a year now, first with my Treo and now with my iPhone, and while the audio quality is good, the durability has been awful. Jabra support has been outstanding and has replaced several of them for me at no charge.

by Andrew | Jun 26, 2008 8:13:08 AM

Chuck - I completely agree. I also think that it's a huge mistake that Aliph has discontinued the original Jawbone as at this price point it could very effectively have competed against other headsets in this price category instead of only focusing at the upper end of the market. To be honest I just don't understand their decision - it doesn't make sense from a business or strategic perspective.

Andy - Thanks for the kind words. I will definitely add audio/sound reviews to all BT headsets in the future and we're also looking at adding these to the stores for existing products.

Cheers, A.

by Jeff Foland | Jun 26, 2008 8:43:33 AM

How does the Blue Ant Z9 compare? I have one and it seems to work great! Is the Jawbone that much better? I love the small size of the Z9, and the noise cancellation works super.
Thanks for your reviews. We trust your opinions!

by chris | Jun 27, 2008 12:24:33 AM

I have had the z9 for a yr now and the noise cancelation works awesome. I have a work van with a lot of stuff in the back banging around. I use my blueant z9 everyday for every call I make (usually with the windows down as well) and nobody ever complains. I can't say enough positive things about the z9. the size is awesome. and you can always upgrade the firmare whenever they release ne ones from your laptop. in my opinion it is the best I have ever owned and I have owned about 12.

by Jberger | Jun 27, 2008 9:38:15 AM

Brilliant review! Using the Grand Central embedded voicemail was simply fantastic.

I'm looking for a headset that will work well in a convertible. All of the jawbone reviews I've read mention that wind really impacts performance. Any ideas how well either the new or older model jawbone works when exposed to wind?
I'm not looking to hang my head out the window while driving, but just to answer important calls when I'm enjoying a nice afternoon drive.

by Andrew | Jun 27, 2008 9:46:32 AM

Jberger - thanks for the kind words. My experience is that the Jawbone only suffers from wind noise when the wind is blowing _directly_ on the headset (for example when walking on a windy street). You should therefore have only minimal impact in a convertible car.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by Todd | Jun 27, 2008 1:49:50 PM

Wow! Thanks for posting the BlueAnt audio sample. That's very awesome of you.


by Michael Ducker | Jun 28, 2008 3:22:56 AM

Fantastic article Andrew, really cool to finally hear some of these differences. It's interesting to notice the time delay on the jawbone's noise cancelling, as well as the absolutely amazing quality the new one has compared to any other headset.

by JIm | Jun 30, 2008 1:42:54 PM

Thank you for taking the time to post such a remarkable review. I started to navigate away from your site, but figured I should compliment you for a job extremely well done before leaving. I wish other reviews were more comprehensive, or even as close as comprehensive as this one was.

Thank you.

by Mike | Jul 1, 2008 11:43:11 PM

What about the Plantronics Voyager 520? Where would that fit in with the good/better/best category? Thanks!

by Keith | Jul 9, 2008 6:21:11 PM


Could you post a noise sample with the old BlueAnt z9?



by jim janikowksi | Mar 6, 2009 3:37:41 PM

dude. update this stuff. Motorola makes two headsets H780 and H15 that outperform jawbone as far as not only noise reduction but fit also. I own both and they kick ass over the jawbones which are uncomfortable and ear hooks breaking.

by Kris R | May 4, 2009 8:39:51 PM

Yes I own an original jawbone and i never really knew what kind of difference it made. But i honestly performed the same experiment with the static and my jawbone and it worked amazingly. It only filters the background noise when i talk though. really great gift.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Footer graphic
©2006 Treonauts.com | Subscribe to the Treonauts Blog RSS Feed


Treo Blog
Treo Forum
Treo Accessories Store
Treo Software Store


iPhone Blog
iPhone Accessories Guide
iPhone Accessories Store
iPhone Software Store


Centro Forum
Centro Accessories Guide
Centro Accessories Store
Centro Software Store