It’s very rare that a Bluetooth headset will provoke a pang of lust inside the Stuff team. Actually, make that never. But there’s a first time for everything and the coolly named Jawbone from American outfit Aliph has managed to get our auditory organ burning for some wireless action.
The hype radiating from the Jawbone was felt by Carphone Warehouse, which promptly bagged the exclusive UK right to hawk it in the high streets. One look at the Jawbone and you can see why – its grilled façade, bowed profile and curved under carriage is rather becoming.
But it’s not just its unique design that garnered the overtures – the Jawbone packs special noise cancellation technology devised with the help of the U.S. Military.
License to grill
Jawbone photos may give the impression that its grill is fashioned from metal, but the whole headset is plastic fantastic with the underbelly made from medical-graded material for soft-touch against your skin.
This makes the Jawbone extremely lightweight. Four changeable ear loops of varying sizes and rubber-covered hooks also increase comfort and make it a snug fit – you could do your most violent Bohemian Rhapsody head-bang in the car and this baby wouldn’t dislodge.
Rather than sabotaging the headset’s smooth planed front with buttons, designer Yves Barbier has integrated the talk and ‘Noise Shield’ keys as pressure pads. These two hidden mechanised buttons are all you need to pair, adjust the volume, redial, voice dial and activated/de-activate the Noise Shield feature.
Without any discernible definition it can initially be awkward to quickly pick out these sticky pads, but it soon becomes second nature.
Noise! What noise?
Pairing up with your handset is a cinch and when you make and receive a call, the 'Noise Shield' technology automatically kicks in. When you’re in an incredibly clamorous environment this feature is a complete godsend.
A voice activation sensor (the rubber nub that rest on your cheek) picks up your speech and using special algorithm trickery it analyses ambient noise 500 times a second, separating your voice from the background racket.
We sat with our head next to an old washing machine that sounds like an aircraft taking off and enjoyed a full, clear conversation without shouting or straining to hear. The Noise Shield completely blots out background din. And we mean completely. However, you can deactivate it if chatting in a quiet environment to experience a more tonal call quality.
One thing's for sure – you won’t look like a spanner wearing the Jawbone while hitting the streets (plump for the silver or black model, the red is too brash) and its ace Noise Shield technology will let you converse happily regardless of the commotion unfolding around you.