Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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Cool Gadget: Jawbone Era

Jawbone Era
Ever since I purchased this little device, people have been asking me about it.  So, I figured it was time to do a review on it.  This post is all about the Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset.

In the past, I owned the Jawbone 2 and the Jawbone Icon.  Now I use the Jawbone Era, and honestly it is the best Jawbone headset yet.  The call quality and the built in accelerometer (that's right, it has a built in accelerometer) clearly make it stand above any Bluetooth headset I have ever used.

Unlike many Bluetooth headsets, it is easy to toggle the Jawbone Era between pairing and non-pairing modes.  Thanks to the built in accelerometer, all you have to do in order to put the Era into pairing mode is wave it up and down.  Shortly after executing this gesture, the receiver alternates white and red lighting to let you know that the device is in pairing mode.  How's that for simple?

So far, I've successfully paired my Jawbone Era to my iPhone, my iPad, my Macbook Pro and my Ubuntu Linux HP EliteBook.  I had no problem pairing the Era with any of those devices.  And there was no additional software that I had to install or drivers that I needed to update to make it work.

Call Quality
Jawbone is known for its noise reduction technology.  And the Era is no exception.  Whether I am inside or outside, the Era seems to deliver.  And although I haven't tested it, I am told that it does well in windy conditions too.

When using the Era on calls, I have no complaints from callers on the other end and voices sound very crisp.  Volume is also excellent; much better than most single ear headsets that I have used with my iPhone.  I never have an issue where I am wanting for more volume.  However, the only way I have found to effectively adjust the volume is by actually adjusting it through the phone.

Making phone calls is easy with the Era thanks to it's support of voice commands.  With my iPhone, I just hold the button on the back of the Era and it prompts me for a voice command which I can use to make a call or play music (more about playing music later).  To answer a call, I just tap on the outside of the Era twice or push the button on the rear of the Era.  Hanging up calls works the same way.

Playing Music
The Era supports A2DP for streaming music from your phone (or other A2DP enabled device) to your Jawbone Era.  It's a nice feature that I find I don't really use that much.  But it is supported and most newer smart  phones are enabled with A2DP.  Sound quality of music is good for only coming through one ear.

Unlike some past Jawbone headsets (e.g. Jawbone 2), the Era charges from a standard micro-USB port on the headset.  And powering on the era is as simple as flipping the power switch on the underside of the headset.  Normally I wouldn't bother discussing charging and powering on a device.  But previous Jawbone devices were somewhat painful to both power on and charge.  That is certainly not the case with the Era.

Bottom Line
With excellent call quality, A2DP music streaming support, voice command integration and a built in accelerometer, there is a lot to love about the Jawbone Era.  The $120.00 price tag is a little hard to swallow at first.  But once you start using it, you'll appreciate the quality and the features enough to justify the investment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just got my hands on the Jawbone Prime actually (my first dabble into bluetooth headsets!). There aren't too many places that sell them in the UK anymore so I went through these guys. I have to say it’s a pretty nice piece of kit. The design is pretty classy and I love the noise cancellation.

I might upgrade to the Era at some point though, as my daughter has her eye on this one lol... I’m wondering if it really is a step up from the Prime or if I should just stick to what I know...

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