Jawbone Bluetooth headsets have always been known for their NoiseAssassin feature and great device quality. But they now took it a step further. A few weeks ago they released an update for the Jawbone ICON gives it the ability to stream music and other audio files. It now has A2DP which lets users get any audio regardless of the type, such as from navigation apps or Internet radio stations thru the headset. Users can update the firmware from Aliph Jawbones Mytalk page for free. Jawbone users can also change the voice that conveys important info(Caller ID, battery life).
Some key points of the Jawbone ICON and A2DP:
- NoiseAssassin® version 2.5 with wind reduction
- 6 unique designs in new contemporary design to choose from
- Up to 4.5 hours talk time
- Up to 10 days standby time
- Supports Multipoint for two audio gateways including PC
- MicroUSB standard connector interface
- Turn by turn directions and additional apps to choose using A2DP
- Music streaming
There are a lot of Bluetooth headsets on the market now days. Consumers are always looking for new and innovative ways of communicating without having to hold their phone to their head. But it's sometimes tough to choose just by looking at a default picture online. Most users ask, "How does it feel" or "How loud is the speaker". Some of these are key questions any consumers will more likely ask but still unsure when choosing from 25+ brands on the market these days.
Bluetooth headsets have recently over came leaps and bounds. I mean think about it - a few years ago most were bulky and didn't feel right in the ear. As technology improves, so do design and features. With Jawbone's newest addition to the lineup, the Jawbone ICON has a small personality but packs quite a punch with features. These devices are built to be used on tanks and helicopters (and no I am not joking) - That's got to be one tough accessory to put on your ear, doesn't it?
Opening the box you will find the Jawbone ICON and an assortment of ear bud inserts, as well as the "Ear loop" option as well. Find one that might be your ear size and slide it on the ear piece, having the little loop pointed towards charging port of the headset. For the most secure fit Jawbone suggests that you place the Jawbone in your ear pointing down, then twist upwards so it point directly to your mouth. For best performance make sure the Voice Activity Sensor physically touches your cheek.
Pairing the device could not have been any easier. Seems there are two ways of doing it... I just turned the Jawbone on and it said waiting to be connected. So I searched for it from my Bluetooth setup options on my BlackBerry 9630. Once the device was found I confirmed the option to connect to it. No prompt for pass code. Within 1-2 seconds the bleep bloop sound from the headset confirmed the pairing. I like simple - no looking online or manuals looking for key codes or additional setup options.
Charging the device is fairly simple. Once plugged in, the Jawbone LED will illuminate red until charged. Once it reaches a steady white LED you can unplug the device. One great feature I love is that my BlackBerry uses Micro USB and any future devices will as well. But the Jawbone charged using a Micro USB port which makes things even simpler. Whether in the car, at the office I can use my spare BlackBerry charger to top of my headset. Though the Jawbone comes with a mini wall charger and mini USB to use on a PC, I like having these additional charging options.
Once you do a full complete charge you're setup for 10 days of standby time or 4 hours of calls. So if you're a morning person and making calls nonstop, it will get you to about lunch time or so. I did find once I had it in my ear for about an hour I forgot it was there. Scary, but good also! I couldn't feel it at all, my body became used to the feel until a call came in and I started hearing this lady speak to me. But I must say I did change the ear gel once to get the best custom fit possible. Well looks like I found it now. I did try the ear loop add on but found it didn't add much besides an additional sense of security to the Jawbone.
The ICON features on a dedicated on/off switch. Once turned on the device will speak to you. "I'm on and ready to go" The Call/status notify/volume is all one button on the back of the device. One button for everything is great while being "Hand free" and not searching for the right button like most headset have.
The ICON also features Simultaneous Multipoint; this means that your Jawbone ICON can manage two calls from two different phones at the same time. Once paired with both devices you are using the ICON will immediately notify you for any call coming from either device. When listening to some tunes or listening to turn by turn directions I was a bit disappointed at first until I found that the upgrade to A2DP changes the way the volume is handled in the headset. In calls the device is the master for volume control. If you max the volume on the device it will max it out on the headset as well. But with music or other apps you have to hold the talk button down, while doing this you will hear beeps get louder and louder, then lower and lower. Once you find a good setting you will be all set. Once I first set it up I was jamming to music and It was loud but not loud enough, then switched over to CD Podcast app to listen to my guys talk it up and still the audio was low. I could figure out if it was the BlackBerry or the App's until I went to the support page on Jawbones site and found it was noted to users who update the firmware. So it was a bit frustrating at first but once I got it all setup I can now jam to my tunes!
So with all these phone calls, music, and voice app's running you have to check the battery sometime. The ICON features a battery check option. Push the talk button very quick and let go. You will hear a voice telling you the remaining talk hours. This is new to me and is an awesome feature! When making calls you can either redial form the ICON by hitting the call button twice or launch voice dialing by holding in the talk button for about a full second.
As mentioned above with Jawbones ICON software upgrade to now use A2DP you can also customize some additional features. Registering the device and account -Free on Jawbones website you have to download the firmware/sync software to you pc. Once installed on the Mytalk page you just pick and choose what you wish to remove or add. Once you make all your selections hit the sync button and the software does the rest.
With AudioAppsfrom MyTALK, you can change the voice that conveys important information like battery life and Caller ID. There are 6 AudioApps, each with a unique voice and personality. Choose from The HERO, The BOMBSHELL, The CATCH, The ROGUE, The THINKER, or The ACE. If you prefer a different language, MyTALK also offers 3 localized versions: Spanish, French, and German.
MyTALK DialApps let you customize an easy access button that links your Jawbone ICON directly to 411, voice-to-SMS and voice dial services. Some apps even let you use voice to listen and post to Facebook/Twitter. Once you select and sync a DialApp, all you have to do is press your Jawbone ICON's TALK Button for 2 seconds to activate.
After syncing is complete you can unplug the device and pair it to your BlackBerry. * Firmware update removes pre existing pairing.
- Size and weight
- Battery standby time
- Voice assassin upgraded from previous models
- Micro USB charging
- Styles for all users
- A2DP Upgrade and add on Apps
- Carry case would be good to have
- Ear adapters take some time to finding the best fit... May still not be true form fitting
- Talk time, not made for full day of HEAVY usage. But most will get by.
- Unable to adjust volume higher then max setting on BlackBerry(Volume still low) when listening to music, Pod casts, etc... * Update* read on Jawbone Support when playing music, etc user must hold talk button down to increase volume then let go to have set volume stay. Note: Don't just press talk button as it will launch voice dial.
All in all Jawbone has always been held to its own class being considered almost certified Military Spec. device. But I have always been tied down with cords. This is like a new best friend for my BlackBerry. It does everything a first timer using Bluetooth hands free would expect to get and even more. The comfort and ease of use makes this ICON a true paired partner for a BlackBerry device. While there were some drawbacks but only minor I would have to give this a personal rating of 4.5 stars overall.