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Aliph New Jawbone Bluetooth Headset

The Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth headset, introduced way back in December 2006, set a new standard in noise reduction with its adaptive "Noise Shield" technology (see previous post). For example, I tested the Jawbone while standing between cars on a train barreling into New York, and it just cut away the background train noise to let my voice come through clearly (see previous post).

The special feature of the Jawbone is a small nub on the back that rests against your cheek, so the device can sense the vibrations when you are talking to help separate your voice from the background noise. As a result, the headset is larger (and thicker) than others, but it has a clean and elegant design.



The (now "Original") Jawbone stood up well for over a year an a half, but now Aliph is back with the New Jawbone, about 50% smaller than the original (half as wide) -- and still with a clean design and great noise reduction. Both use "invisible touch" controls -- there are no visible buttons, just press on the outside shield to activate the two controls.

The New Jawbone, introduced in May, now features "military-grade Noise Assassin technology," that blows away background noise while still keeping voices sounding natural and not computer-enhanced. I've tested it on New York streets, in the suburbs with a lawnmower, and in the car driving with the radio on and with windows wide open. The Jawbone does a great job, though you can overload it in situations like wind noise in the car at over 40 to 50 MPH, or with the radio blasting.

See video demos of the New Jawbone in action.

Because of its design, getting a good fit is especially important with the Jawbone. Not only does the earpiece need to be snug in the ear canal for you to best hear the caller, but the unit itself needs to be resting snugly against the cheek for the voice sensor. The Original Jawbone included a choice of 6 ear buds and 4 ear loops of different sizes, and the earloops had a distinctive suspension design. The New Jawbone comes with 3 earbud sizes and two sets of simpler earloops, one pair in soft leather and the other plain slim metal (especially for use with eyewear). You then should experiment with the fit, bending the earloops as needed for the correct spacing to the earpiece, and choosing the best fitting earpiece to keep the unit snug but not too tight.

The New Jawbone is available for $129, in snazzy black, silver, and rose gold. It also has a new fast-charge battery for an 80% charge in 35 minutes, and full charge in 50 minutes. However, it does require a special cable with a custom charging adapter, that can be charged though a USB port, or with the included USB wall-charger adapter. It's speced for talk time over 4 hours, standby over 8 days.

See my Audio Accessories Gallery for details and related products

    Find the Aliph New Jawbone headset on Amazon.com

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This entry posted on August 25, 2008.

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