Headset Review: The Jawbone 2 Bluetooth Headset

Just off of the reviewing the original Jawbone bluetooth headset comes its sequel: The Jawbone...2. This headset takes what made the original so great and takes it to the next level in terms of size. Does this headset live up to its older brother? Or will its smaller size make it less competitive? What makes this bluetooth headset so great its the noise canceling technology; it is truly remarkable. Let's start off with the basics though, shall we?


What's in the box:

I really enjoy the Jawbone packaging. Black mixed with clear plastic. It not only looks good, but professional and very trendy. Be warned however, once disassembled, it is near impossible to reassemble. You are then left with many small compartments that once housed the phone. I am still trying to determine what to do with all of the sub-components... but I digress. 

The headset has three molded ear pieces. This is a couple less than the previous model, but these are actually way more comfortable and are simple circles of varying sizes and thickness. You also receive four ear rungs to place over your ear. There is nothing in the instruction book, but I think these are optional, more on that later. The AC adapter for the Jawbone is very compact and it allows for the 2 prongs to recess into the adapter body, saving you some potential space. 

Size and build:

This headset is slightly smaller than your average bluetooth headset and is crafted with great build quality. This headset feels just as sturdy as the previous model, but smaller. One of my complaints with the previous model was that, though efficient, it was rather large. You no longer have to worry about people staring at you as you walk done the street with this headset on your ear. 

The plastic is solid, molded into two halves to form the headset. There is still the clear plastic sensor towards the mouthpiece that must rest against your cheek.

Feel in the ear, fit:

The Jawbone is very light and is snug in your ear. The three ear molds do an excellent job of fitting in your ear. The additional ear rungs also allow you to adjust the fit accordingly. Interesting to note that two of the ear rungs are wrapped in leather and two are not. I happen to like the leather wrappings, it makes the ear rung thicker and more comfortable. 

I do not have any problems with the headset staying in my ear as I did with the previous model. The combination of the redesigned ear pieces and ear rungs make for a snug fit that I do not feel will fall off my ear and is comfortable. So comfortable in fact, I removed the ear rung to see if it was possible to use it without. Sure enough, it is! This way, it is held in place by placing the headset in your ear a-la the Apple bluetooth headset. Having said this however, There were a couple of times where the headset has popped out. The same thing happens with the Apple device, just be careful.

The only issue I had with this device from a "fit" perspective is this; I was laying in bed on my back looking at the ceiling, calling a friend of mine. My friend kept saying he could not hear me. This is odd because the noise cancellation is where this headset excels. I thought about it for a second and I realized that the instruction book specifically says that the clear plastic sensor must be touching your cheek at all times. Lying on my back, the headset had drifted away from my cheek. So, unlike a traditional bluetooth headset, you have to make sure the Jawbone is touching your cheek. Though not annoying or uncomfortable, it is limiting the means in which you can talk. 

Sound quality:

Exceptional. The technology used is called "Noise Assassin" as Jawbone has coined it. This is how it works: 

The device has a sensor that rests against your cheek. This tells the headset what your voice is. When it sends the voice signal to the phone to get processed, in essence, anything that is NOT your voice gets filtered out. Pretty amazing stuff, huh. I have driven with the window down and even tried calling a friend with the lawnmower going. People on the other end hear just a little background noise... just a little, but nothing to tip them off that you are driving or mowing the lawn. The only real issue is for you, the wearer. You see, there comes a point when the noise is too loud for you to hear anything... the Jawbone does a great job of automatically increasing the volume, but there does come a point where it is frivolous. Just be aware of this and use some common sense in noisy areas. 

Battery Life & Charging:

The Jawbone gets over 4 hours of talk time and almost 10 days of standby time. That may seem like a lot, but they are the extremes. For most phones, the 4 hours of talk time might even eclipse the talk time of their phones. I am packing an iPhone and that only covers about half of the time I need. Realistically, I don't talk that long on a daily basis on my phone, so this is a minor gripe since I charge the headset almost daily when I am using it. 

Conclusion:

This is one awesome headset. Not the smallest out there, but not the biggest either, it sure looks good though. But it also does what few other headsets can do; eliminate background noise. I think your next headset purchase might have just been made.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Size and build: 4
  • Feel and fit: 5
  • Outgoing sound quality: 5
  • Incoming sound quality: 5
  • Battery life: 4

Overall: 4.6

Pros:

  • Amazing audio quality
  • Looks cool, you even have a bling gold color option too
  • Plenty of sizing options
  • Comfortable
  • Great battery life

Cons:

  • Not ideal to where in all situations

Chad Garrett

Software trainer, blogger and mobile technology enthusiast living in the suburban Midwest.

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There are 20 comments. Add yours.

john says:

I have the original jawbone and maybe the other people can hear you great but the sound quality in my ear was crap. Sounded very tiny and hollow. Any word on if the new one sounds better for the wearer ?

Jack says:

You should included a picture of it in use. I always see it resting in people's hands! When you shop for a shirt, they don't photograph it as it's draped over the model's feet. I need to imagine how cool I'd look wearing it.

Greg says:

The side to side picture is what I'd really like to see. I have the original Jawbone (that I use with my BB and in about 4 days to start using with iPhone 3G), and plan to get a new Jawbone for my wife (to use with her iPhone 2G). Side by Side picture would really help to put the new model in prespective...

Stacy says:

I am a Jawbone 1 user and am still amazed that an electronic device used primarily in a car does not have a car charger.

Muero says:

@Stacy: Just get a cheap adapter that is a generic USB charger, and plug in the Jawbone's USB cord. It should cost about $5, and should work with other USB devices, like iPods, GPS devices, and even the iPhone.

Stacy says:

Thanks Nathan, will do!

Bill says:

I also have a Jawbone and paid a good sum to get it to Canada. I found the ear piece to have a poor fit. I also found the whole thing to be large and heavy after a few hrs. on the road. The noise canceling feature is not an issue, think about it. If someone is working around loud equipment neither party will be able to have a conversation I also find the unit now breaks apart as I try to remove it. It does go back together , but what a pain. Calling the support desk gets a response that one living in Canada could expect. You live where? Funny they have no problem sending it to me when I first purchased it. I've gone back to holding my blackberry. My next purchase wont be driven by a slick AD...Cheers!

Martyn says:

Agree with Bill. Just got one and am sending it straight back. Just will NOT sit on my face right, ear 'fit' is completely lacking, and without a reliable fit to hold the sensor against your cheek, it 'noise cancels' you - as described in the review. It did this about 30% of the time I used it making it a danger on the roads - I was concentrating more on getting it to sit than driving! Hopeless....

Ashutosh says:

"Not ideal to where in all situations "
I think that's not correct. You can disable the "Noise Assassin" as I saw in the demo. In that case the "Voice Activity Sensor" need not to be touching your jaw.

MaxBlu says:

Yes this is a very nice piece- the smaller size though makes you be careful to active the functions- fat fingers dont work! (smile) The only complaint is the EARBUD style needs to be updated to regress to something like the first model as it will "pop" out very easliy the new wire ones needs improvement- they are not as functional as whats needed in my view- everything else is great!

a1beachbum says:

I tested the Jawbone 2 against the Gennum nx6000. Jawbone blew it away. 1 complaint, the inbound sound is too low. I just received my custom earpiece from averysound.com (best $61 I ever spent)and it is an incredible combo. My buddy said that even his end sounded better.

Dunn says:

I am using the iPhone 3G and the Jawbone 2 headset. I have been having problems with incoming calls, i'm only able to answer them from the phone itself. If I try and answer it from the headset then you get no sound on either the headset or the phone. A friend who has the orignal iPhone has had the same issue. Anyone else?

James Martin Moore says:

Just got one today. My entire review:
Sound quality: not acceptable.
It's going back to Amazon. I could hear just fine, but the person on the other end wasn't willing to talk to me on this headset. Switched back and forth to the iphone and sound quality improved right away, so it wasn't just a bad cellphone connection.

eddie says:

i recently purchase the jawbone it'and i hope I can exchange it for something else.I can't answer calls from the headset and it's noise elimination doesn't work ?? I'm not happy at all with this one.

Akinori says:

We are distributors in Japan.
We want Jawbone2.
There will be an expectation that the purchase amount increases in the future.
Please have dealings by 80% of the sales price.
I right now want pink and blue at once.
Can you correspond?

John says:

Jawbone 2 is a great headset. The only negative side to it is it doesn't include a car charger in the box. I had to purchase one separately. Bought one from here http://www.msgdigital.com/productdetail.asp?productid=47963

Joel Plimmer says:

I own an iPhone 3GS.
I just bought a Jawbone 2 and:
Incoming calls will sometimes route through the iPhone. (not the speaker)
Scratchy.
Paired very easily.
When Jawbone & iPhone are too far apart and it looses the connection, I have to MANUALLY re-connect each time they are together by pressing the talk button on the Jawbone until the light turns white. They it connects.
Very unstable all around. I am so disappointed. I thought I was buying the best (and pretty expensive!) headset for noise ... there is a compatibility issue that I am hoping Apple & Jawbone are working on. I would imagine they would be - Jawbone headsets are for sale @ Apple Stores.

Paul says:

Glad to hear that others have found a problem connecting with the iPhone also. I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out what I was doing wrong!!! Not a great combination.

Jeremy says:

I have the Jawbone 2. I also have an iPhone. I do not have any problems pairing the two. However, I have gotten much better battery life out of cheaper devices. The sound and fit of the jawbone are great but I would like to at least get twice the amount of time from battery life. My phone battery also lasts longer than the Bluetooth. It's the only downfall.