Un-Boned

I purchased my first bluetooth headset, a Motorola HS810, quite a few years ago now. I sometimes had problems pairing it with various devices, but otherwise it worked great for me. Unfortunately it went to headset-heaven a couple weeks ago.

On the prowl for a replacement (I almost went insane the 2-3 days I was without a bluetooth headset), I asked a bunch of friend-geeks what they recommended. The Jawbone kept coming up like a bad penny. I wasn’t sold on it a priori due to (a) its substantial size and (b) the slightly mechanical hue it seems to give voices speaking into it.

I visited the nice people at the Cingular AT&T Wireless store to get their advice. They pushed the Jawbone pretty hard. I gave in and decided to give it a whirl. I bought at retail to make sure I had a liberal return policy, since I knew I might be treading unfamiliar ground.

I tried for a week to make the Jawbone work, but ultimately returned it. I had three fundamental problems with the device.

  1. It’s big. It won’t fit conveniently in your pocket. I used to toss the HS810 into my jeans’ pocket all the time when I was out and about, without any incident. Even putting the Jawbone into your shirt pocket is non-trivial (the ear loop “sticks out” quite a bit).
  2. The mic/boom end of the Jawbone has to be touching your face in order for it to do its signal processing properly. This didn’t bother me per se, but what I found was that if I had any material beard growth (I’m not a huge fan of shaving 🙂 ), the occasional movement of the Jawbone against my cheek caused insane noise on the other end. Folks would stop and say “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!?!” if I adjusted the Jawbone.
  3. Continuing that last thought, I was unable to configure the Jawbone so that it stayed in/on my ear. I tried the standard and long loops, and all the ear buds. I could get it nicely stable/solid for a few minutes, but it would inevitably ‘dislodge’ (and cf. my prior comment on adjusting when you’re not clean-shaven!). No combination of loop size and ear bud ultimately worked.

So I’m back to Motorola, having traded in the Jawbone for an H700. The H700 works exactly like my HS810 worked. It’s super-tiny and fits in any pocket with ease. Finally, it’s so small that it sits quite unobtrusively and solidly on my ear. I can’t have a conversation in the car with the top down, the kids screaming, and the radio blasting, but I’ll manage (well, maybe everything except the screaming kids!).

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2 comments

  1. Pingback: Jawbone: Second Time’s A Charm « Myriad Missives

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