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Jabra BT530 Review

Very Impressive New Jabra BT530 Offers Stunning Array of Features, Performance & Audio Quality With “Noise Blackout” Technology

Best Bluetooth Headset Under $100I have to admit that before getting my hands on the stunning new Jabra BT530 (pictured below) there had been few if any other Bluetooth headsets that had recently truly managed to impress me in any significant way (my preferred New Jawbone being an exception).

Jabra BT530

At first the Jabra BT530 may look a little plain and the silver accents at the front are a bit Gothic but once you’re past this first impression you quickly proceed to see the very cool features and solid build that it actually offers in that “normal” body.

Jabra BT530 - Profile

For starters the Jabra BT530 offers a very small (only 48mm/1.9in long – 12.5mm/0.5in thick) and ultralight (only 10 grams) body coated in an elegant matt black finish which feels great in your hands and looks pretty good on your ear.

 Jabra BT530 - USB connector Jabra BT530 - Power Button

More important is the fact that it uses a convenient microUSB charging connector (above left) that will prove ideal for Treo 800w and future Treo Pro owners since they share the same microUSB charger.  Additionally, the Jabra BT530 is one of the _very_ few Bluetooth headsets that offers a built-in On/Off Power slide switch (detail above right) which makes it extremely quick and convenient to save precious battery life while on the go.

 Jabra BT530 - Ear Gel Jabra BT530 - Ear Hook slot

There are also Jabra’s popular 3rd generation ear gels (8 different types and sizes are included in the box) which attach solidly to the base of the headset (detail above left) as well as the simple slot built into the base which allows you to quickly insert the ear hook.  Moreover, thanks to some of the larger ear gels you can choose to use the Jabra BT530 headset with or without the ear hook (ideal for people with glasses) and switching the ear hook position allows you to wear the headset on either your right or left ear.

Jabra BT530 - Front

In terms of hardware I also like the fact that the Volume Up/Down buttons are not only clearly visible at the front of the headset but also easily accessible during a call while the Call Answer/End button at the center (stamped with the Jabra logo) is equally within quick reach.


Aside from the hardware there is naturally the matter of overall audio performance and in this respect the Jabra BT530 again does not disappoint (please listen to my sample above) as it provides very, very impressive call quality.  For starters you get Jabra’s new “Noise Blackout” technology with dual noise cancellation microphones as well as an advanced DSP (Digital Signal Processing) chipset for further “crystal clear” sound and loud inboud and outbound volume.  Additionally, you get a healthy 5.5 hours of talk time and up to 250 hours standby.

Jabra BT530 - Kit

Finally, I like the fact that the Jabra BT530 offers a very complete accessory kit that includes both a micro USB wall charger, micro USB charging cable, 8 spare ear gels and two ear hooks (which both provide excellent wearing comfort).

Jabra BT530 - OnEar

Overall I have to admit that the new Jabra BT530 has been a complete surprise.  I was not at all expecting to find at Bluetooth headset at this price range delivering such superior call quality and excellent noise cancellation nor to find it in such a small body with the added convenience of a On/Off Power slider, micro USB connector and terrific accessory kit.  In fact, the Jabra BT530 has so impressed me that I’m having a hard time deciding if I’ll keep using my New Jawbone

Treonauts are always impressive

Posted by Andrew on September 5, 2008 at 10:10 AM

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by Jack | Sep 5, 2008 12:30:08 PM


Any idea if the ear gels can be purchased separately? I use the first gen eargels with my Jawbone 2 as I find them more comfortable for me. However, these new ones look like they may work even better.

by Audra Koerber | Sep 5, 2008 1:07:19 PM

Thanks for the review, Andrew. I am wondering if this headset will work with Softick's Audio Gateway software, which allows you to listen to mp3s through your Bluetooth headset.

Audio Gateway did not work with my Jawbone headset, but since my Jawbone has broken (right after the one year, too), I am in need of a new headset but would like to get one that will work with Audio Gateway.

Any info on this would be helpful -- thanks....

by Andrew | Sep 5, 2008 1:20:18 PM

Jack - yes you can purchase the ear gels separately but unfortunately not in our store. Having said this, as you point out I much prefer this 3rd generation model as they're much softer and more comfortable.

Audra - you cannot use a standard Bluetooth headset with Softick Audio Gateway. This software only works with Bluetooth Stereo Headphones such as the Motorola S9 (see link below).


I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by Cheker | Sep 5, 2008 6:09:14 PM

By Andrew:

"Audra - you cannot use a standard Bluetooth headset with Softick Audio Gateway. This software only works with Bluetooth Stereo Headphones such as the Motorola S9 (see link below)."

COME ON Andrew! ... How fast can you forget your own previous reviews?!!! How about the Jabra BT8040?

Just take a look at this:

by Audra Koerber | Sep 5, 2008 6:16:32 PM

Ooooh, thanks Cheker!

Ok, Andrew, how about it -- does the BT8040 come close to the BT530 in terms of sound quality?

p.s. It is really wonderful to have such a great site and site administrator to help figure all this stuff out....

by Cheker | Sep 5, 2008 6:19:32 PM

The "standard Bluetooth headset" BT8040 not only "offers A2DP music streaming support" (and works fine with SAG) but it's even smaller and better looking than this new one.

BTW, I don't have neither of them. Just saying (for Audra mostly).

by Audra Koerber | Sep 5, 2008 7:28:33 PM

Thanks, Cheker!

by Andrew | Sep 6, 2008 6:48:09 AM

Cheker - thanks for helping with my ageing and evidently failing memory... ;-)

Audra - while the BT8040 is undoubtedly a very beautiful headset the new "Noise Blackout" technology that the BT530 offers for audio quality is in my opinion significantly superior (albeit it does not offer A2DP).

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by Dan | Sep 6, 2008 11:59:47 AM

I had the JX10 and was seriously disappointed. I have the Jawbone and it is really great for sound quality, but big and won't pair with my lenovo X61. Has anyone tried pairing and using with a PC for something like Skype?

by Peter Moller Jakobsen | Sep 8, 2008 3:06:48 AM


I have tried the BT530 with my HTC touch, and it shows a stereo device. So it does offer A2DP.

by Kasper Bundgaard Soerensen | Sep 9, 2008 6:56:47 AM

The BT530 does feature A2DP - it bundles the stereo channels into one mono channel since it only has one speaker.

Another feature that was missed in the review is the fact the BT530 has multipoint enabling it to be connected to two devices at the same time. This means you can, for example, have it connected to your laptop (Skype and other VoIP) and your cell phone at the same time.

by Kasper Bundgaard Soerensen | Sep 9, 2008 6:59:26 AM

To answer # 9. I have used my BT530 with Skype and used it as a headphone to listen to music and watch movies on my Dell latitude X1 laptop and with a computer using Jabra's own A320 USB dongle.

by Andrew | Sep 9, 2008 7:07:17 AM

Ooops... I guess there is one more thing to like about the Jabra BT530 as it _does_ after all offer A2DP (albeit naturally not stereo) and it seems to work perfectly well.

Cheers, A.

by Kasper Bundgaard Soerensen | Sep 9, 2008 7:25:49 AM

Here's a link to Jabra's online product demonstration - go to "Connect 2 devices" to confirm A2DP and multipoint features.


by Dan | Sep 9, 2008 4:21:48 PM

Waz up with the loops on the extra ear pieces? Do they have some functional use?

by Kasper Bundgaard Soerensen | Sep 10, 2008 3:44:18 AM

The "loops" on the eargels make it possible for you to securely wear the BT530 without the earhook on. The loop is soft and flexible so it will fit to the shape of your ear while holding the headset in place. For some people (we all have differently shaped ears) this is more comfortable and makes it possible to wear glasses at the same time (as mentioned in the review).

by Kasper Bundgaard Soerensen | Sep 10, 2008 4:45:52 AM

Here's a picture of how the eargel looks and works in the ear from the BT8040 review mentioned above: http://blog.treonauts.com/JabraBT8040_2D05.jpg

by Dan | Sep 10, 2008 7:04:06 AM

Thanks Kasper. I think I will try and forget that my JX10 literally fell apart after one year of use and that most conversations were, "...I'm sorry Dan, I cannot hear you, can you repeat?", or that I was spending a small fortune replacing broken ear loops.

This puppy looks like it might be my Jawbone replacement. ;~)

by Stanley Cooper | Sep 12, 2008 9:13:04 AM


Have you had a chance to review the new BlueAnt V1 and how does this new headset compare to New Jawbone and the Jabra BT530? I am also in the market for a new headset and the features of the V1 are very appealing.

by Gary Hunter | Oct 6, 2008 10:04:12 AM

What about bright flashing lights?? I am after something without the built in geek factor of constantly flashing lights

by Emilio | Oct 27, 2008 6:00:59 AM

It works fine with my Nokia E51 mobile phone though I still have to test it under normal circumstances (in a moving car or outside).

However, I tried to have it recognized by my PC as an audio device (headset) but no luck. It is seen as "Jabra BT530 Headset" but in the Sound settings only my onboard audio and my USB headset appear listed, not the Jabra headset.

When I look at the "services" offered by the Jabra device on the properties window, it shows no services. I use a SiteCom CN-500 bluetooth dongle.

by Kasper Bundgaard Soerensen | Oct 29, 2008 7:48:51 AM

I've used the BT530 with a Jabra Bluetooth dongle on my dell Latitude D600 laptop and on both my Dell Latitude X1 and Latitude D630 laptops using their built in Toshiba bluetooth chipsets. In all instances I've added the BT530 both as a headset and a Stereo-headset and it works like a charm both with Skype and listening to music.

by fred Vigdor | Nov 5, 2008 10:04:17 PM

Can someone shed a little light on the proper way to attach and adjust the third gen eargels? There's nothing in the manual that came with the BT530 (or on the website) and I want to make sure I'm doing this the right way.

by george | Nov 10, 2008 2:12:51 PM

there is a firmware upgrade available(1-6-0) at jabra's ofiicial site for BT530!(i didn't even know that BT530 is upgradeable)...Does anybody knows what it "fixes"?I didn't manage to fid any release notes...

by Josh | Dec 21, 2008 10:46:54 PM

I just purchased this badboy today. Wow, it was a great buy and for nearly half the cost of the Jawbone its to good to pass up! I highly recommend this product. Also note that it works great with PS3 and Blackberry Curve.

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