Review: Jabra JX10 Series II Bluetooth Headset

By David Boyd on 13 Sep 2007 12:07 pm
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Jabra JX Series II Bluetooth Headset

Small, Stylish, and Sophisticated
I have been looking for a new Bluetooth headset for quite sometime, and I decided to see if the Jabra JX10 Series II for $79.95 would fit the bill. It arrived in a sleek black and yellow box, with a round window opening that displayed the exciting new toy I was about to test out. I was pleasantly surprised with the Jabra’s compact size. The color could be described as black or dark grey ash which is perfect! 

Jabra JX10 Series II - box front
Jabra JX10 Series II

Headset Features and Design
The Jabra JX10 Series II was designed by the world renowned European Design House of Jacob Jensen. The upgrades to the Series II include adding Bluetooth 2.0 compatibility and Multipoint Software technology. The Multipoint Software upgrade could prove to be an invaluable benefit to business users who are required to carry multiple cell phones. The Multipoint Software allows the user to connect the headset to two separate devices at once. Now you can use your Jabra JX10 Series II to answer calls on your BlackBerry as well as another mobile phone. With the addition of the soon to be released Jabra JX10 Bluetooth hub, you will have the ability to use the Series II as a headset with your BlackBerry and your office phone.

The Series II comes in weighing less than 10 grams. It has an amazing 6 hours of talk time, with approximately 200 hours of standby time. It also boasts a 33 foot wireless range.

Jabra JX10 - close up
Amazingly Small and Lightweight

Unboxing
Like a kid at Christmas waiting to tear into that new toy, I could not wait to rip into the box and see what all it had to offer me. The front of the box had a flap secured by a little spot of Velcro that opened up to another sneak peak of what was yet to come. It displayed another round window showing the home charger for the headset. I was happy to see that there was something more than just a floppy power cord supplied to charge the headset. I will talk more in depth on ways to charge the JX10 headset later.

Once I broke the seal on the box, and pulled out the plastic tray that housed the headset and accessories, I found that the box contained the following:

  • Jabra JX10 Series II Headset
  • Desktop Charger and power cord
  • USB charging cable
  • Car Charger
  • Getting Started brochure and the standard Instruction Manual

I was immediately pleased with the size of the headset. It was quite a bit smaller in comparison to my current Jabra BT250V. I removed the headset to find that the front and back were covered with a protective plastic sheeting to prevent any scratching while in transport. The JX10 has a standard setup for right ear wear. However, there is also a lightweight plastic ear hook, which can be easily be repositioned for left ear wear, or removed entirely for cleaning.

The desktop charger is sleekly designed with sharp lines and black piano finish. It will add style to any desktop. You connect a proprietary power cable to the desktop charger, and then plug it in the wall. You may also choose to charge your new headset by the included USB power cable attached to your PC. The charging method I liked the best, was the included car charger. It is a simple DC power plug on one end, and the other end has a flexible elbow where the JX10 attaches.

Jabra JX10 - in the box
Lots of Goodies in the Box!

Jabra JX10 - desktop charger
The Desktop Charger Looks Great!

Jabra JX10 - car charger
Nicely Designed Car Charger has a Flexible Elbow

Pairing with my Blackberry Curve
As with many other Bluetooth headsets I have used, pairing the JX10 with my Blackberry Curve was about as simple as it can get. First just turn on the JX10 by pressing and holding the Talk/End button until the blue LED begins to flash. Next, I put my BlackBerry in pairing mode, and then pressed and held the pairing button on the JX10 until the LED turned solid blue. That’s it. The BlackBerry found the headset with no problem, and after entering the generic pass code of 0000, I was all set to start using the JX10!

Putting the JX10 into Action
Putting the JX10 onto my ear was easy. It almost just slips into place, which is more than I can say for my BT250V. It was very comfortable, and it was so lightweight, I barely even noticed it was there.

I turned on the headset and was prompted by my BlackBerry to accept the connection. I allowed the connection, and directed it to always accept the connection. The blue LED on both the headset and my BlackBerry were now flashing eagerly awaiting me to make my first call.

Naturally, the first call had to go to my wife. I called her on my way to work to see what she thought about the sound quality. I immediately noticed that the call was crisp and clear, but the volume seemed too low for me to hear while traveling down the road. I tried raising the volume using the headset volume control, but did not notice any difference. I then reverted to the main volume control on my BlackBerry and found that it was also already maxed out. The volume was as high as it was going to get, and for me, it was hard to hear a conversation while driving. My wife informed me that she could easily hear me, but there was a lot of background noise. I did not have the radio or anything else on in the car. She described it as wind or road noise. All the windows were up. I’m guessing that the microphone is picking up the road noise as I traveled down the highway. I was disappointed with this. The JX10 advertises that it has automatic volume control, which is supposed to elevate sound level and quality to match your environment. It also features DSP (Digital Signal Processing) technology to reduce background noises. Neither of which seemed to be holding up to highway driving.

Thinking that maybe I just had a bad connection, I called one of my CrackBerry friends for his opinion on the call quality. He informed me of the exact same thing. It was clear on my end no static, but he could hear a lot of road noise. Now to be fair, I was traveling 70 mph down a freeway at the time of both calls.

Since highway quality wasn’t the best, I tried city driving next. I called my wife again and this time was told that the call sounded much better. I was still driving in the car, but now at much lower speeds, only about 25-40MPH.

Lastly, I tested the quality calling a few different people while out in public on foot. My first test was while at dinner at Outback Steakhouse. By the way, that was an excellent steak! J With a noisy restaurant as the background, the call was clear and crisp, and the receiver of the call had no issues… other than I didn’t invite them to dinner. Next I took a call outside, and received the same results.

I had been wearing the JX10 for approximately 3 hours now. What started off as a comfortable earpiece was now starting to hurt a little bit. I suppose like anything else, if you wear it long enough, it will start to bother you sooner or later. I had only kept it on this long, just to test it, and see how it would work. Normally I take off my earpiece when I’m done using it.

What to do With the Headset When NOT in Use
In the past when I was done using my BT250V, I’d toss it into the cup holder of my car to be stored until I needed it again. Now with the JX10, it is far more expensive, and too good looking to be just merely tossed around. You have a couple of options for carrying the JX10. There is the standard method of putting it in your pocket, but that could lead to damage of the headset from other things in your pocket rubbing up against it. You could also clip the earpiece to your shirt or pants pocket and let it hang there. Although, I’d be afraid it would fall off and I’d lose it. Now the method that makes the most sense, and gives you the most protection is to put it in a case.

Enter the Smartphone Experts JX10 leather case. This leather case is designed to keep your JX10 protected at all times when not in use. The case retails for $12.95 and is well worth the money. The only downside to the case was that it did not come with any instructions. It’s not like there is that much to it, but there are a few different ways you could attempt to put the JX10 in the case, and it would’ve been nice to at least have a diagram of the preferred method.

Smartphone Experts Leather Case for Jabra JXII
Smartphone Experts' Leather Case Protects Your Bluetooth Investment

Smartphone Experts - Leather Case Jabra JX11
The Right Way to Place the Jabra JX10 into the Case

Conclusion
The design of the JX10 is far superior to that of previous Jabra headsets I have used and is well worth the price. I think it will be very competitive to the other new small designed headsets on the market like the Nokia BH800 and the Aliph Jawbone.

The instruction manual covers all the basics that you need to know, and of course, being a man, I didn’t even read it at first and was still successful at setting up the headset.

As previously stated, I was somewhat disappointed with the volume level and noise reduction features while driving at highway speeds. This is something that I think could be improved in future versions.

All in all, I think this is a good headset that will work for most users. It’s small and sleek and is bound to impress your friends with its stylish design.

JXII Review Summary:
Jabra JX10 Series II BlueTooth Headset
Ratings

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Multiple charging options
  • Looks great!

Cons:

  • Low volume during highway driving conditions
  • Expected better noise reduction during highway driving
Discussion & Photos:
View more photos and discuss the Jabra JX10 II in the CrackBerry Forums. Go to the Forums >>

Buy Now: $79.95
Purchase the Jabra JX10 Series II in the CrackBerry.com Store.

Purchase the Jabra JX10 Leather Case - $12.95

12 comments

carrera#CB

I think 4.5 rating is a bit misleading. What is most important is the sound quality with all the DSP/Noise reduction and auto volume control features that it comes with. Unfortunately performance is not satisfactory. I have been using it for two days now with my BB 8800 and I am not happy. The design and what comes in the box is really nice but cannot really help with the sound quality!!

Anonymous

Great review, not such a great product.

mxz700

I guess that's the tricky thing about ratings. I can't say that I disagree with any of the individual ratings... I'd actually give it a 5/5 on all of the factors except sound quality, which at 3.5/5 is probably fair (maybe would go as high as 3.75).

The ratings given do average 4.5...but yeah, 4/5 might be a better way to look at this headset. Jabra still has room to improve. I have a Jawbone too...which I loved (good sound quality most of the time), and now with time love a bit less....too heavy on the ear and the controls are a pain. It seems to me that every headset has a tradeoff.

MMB916

Thanks for the excellent detailed review, Kasper. Also, great pics!

Tim Nicholson

I haven't used the series II, but it doesn't sound like the improvements were to sound quality. The thing is absolutely the coolest design ever, but I found the sound quality made it unusable. Granted, I haven't found ANY bluetooth headset or bluetooth speakerphone to actually work well enough to use. I didn't think the sound quality in the car was good enough to even talk to friends, let alone make a sales call with it.

I ended up deciding the Blackberry Pearl is to blame, because I've tried 3 different headsets and they all have the same problem. I figure there is no way that so many people would be running around with BT headsets if they couldn't hear the other person and other person couldn't hear them.

What gives?

Kevin Michaluk

I think you are onto something here. I just came back to Winnipeg from Florida, and during a discussion there with a couple of BlackBerry users the topic of BlackBerry volume came up. The guys in Florida mentioned that they always keep their BlackBerry headset volume CRANKED to the limit, and they still have trouble hearing people on the other end sometimes. I thought they were crazy!!

I had the exact same device (AT&T Curve, except I run it unlocked on Rogers in Canada), and I have to keep my volume only halfway...the thing is sooo loud it if I crank it my ears hurt. I think part of it comes down to carrier quality. In Canada on Rogers, my Curve is very Loud. Not always the case when roaming on other carriers I guess.

If carrier does impact call volume though, and my experience from this week tells me it does, then there's a good chance that will equally impact headset volume/call quality performance.

Anonymous

I Dont think mine is a series two, and it also didnt end up coming with a car charger.

But many of the same complaints. I use mine with a Blackberry 7100 of AT&T (Cingular) and volume is constantly at max on both the Jabra and the phone, and still isnt loud enough.

Background noise while on the road (yes, usually doing 70mph+) is unbearable for most people I speak with.

Overall disappointed, really needs more background noise removal/compensation. At least this second gen seems cheaper....otherwise dont bother with this unit.

Anonymous

I have the original JX10 and generally been satisfied with the sound quality. I spend no less than 3 hrs a day on the phone, usually in my car. What's most important to me is outgoing sound quality. I also have used a few motorolla's (most recent is the H500), the nXZEN 5500, Sony Ericsson, and recently bought a Blackberry 655 (actually a plantronics) when I broke my Jabra earpiece for the third time, this time rendering it un-repairable. None compare to the Jabra outgoing sound quality. So I am surprised at the comments about JX10's sound quality, but here's what I found when I first got it.

GF was complaining of low volume and noise. Then I turned off encryption and echo control and she reported back a huge difference. Since then it's been the best performing headset I've owned. Following very disappointing performance from the blackberry 655 (great incoming sound, very poor outgoing, and fragile earpiece/earhook design) I went to the Jabra web site and found they were shipping replacement earhooks for free. Kudos for that and I'll be back on the Jabra as soon as they arrive.

rt3020

I have the limited 24kt gold one and it works great I can not only use my BB 8830 with it but at the same time my razor. It will auto find which phone is calling and refind both when done with the call. Everyone tells me it is so clear its like I'm on a land line. I would recommend this unit. I have three other type of Jarbas and they all seem to work the best out there for being clear and not sounding like a speaker phone such as my new never used mini moto one just picked up (it sucks)

Boaz Yeger

I got the JX10 series 2 as a replacement to my old Plantronics 510. Had no problems to go via pairing, but was surprised (for the bad) to get very low performances.
The quality people are hearing me is less than low (in average) and only for some time I get an OK feedback. The quality of me hearing other is an OK.

When I looked on how BB handle the 510 vs the JX10 the main issue I see is that the 510 has a small headset logo (within the setting -> bluetooth) while the JX10 has the plan blue bluetooth logo next to it.

I played with encryption on/off but no differences.

Any ideas?

Boaz

p.s. I still need to validate the JX10 with a different phone to make sure the JX10 is not to be blamed.

Anonymous

i have a jabra jx10 series 2 i think it is a really good product ill give it a 5 i use it for my playstation 3 and it works with 2 object so when i get my phone im going to hook it up with it and ill be still able to use it for my ps3, also the make or something is so guy that aso disigned vertu's bluetooth headset they look similar and vertu phones r the worlds most expensive phone and its a really good phone i wish i had it its worth thousands and the monthy bills are crazy so ya w/e i think jabra is a good product and i will recommemed it to anyone.

the_oc_guy

i can't hear the other person when i use the jabra jx10 series II with my blackberry 8830 (verizon). i don't even bother to use it anymore. so after reading many other comments, i have to wonder if the problem is verizon and not the headset or is it the blackberry and not the headset?