Appletell Review: Jawbone Bluetooth Headset by Aliph

Sections: Features, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, Reviews

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Product: Aliph Jawbone
Price: $119.99
Rating: 9.0/10.0 (Excellent)
Pros: Noise cancellation, spring-loaded
Cons: A little bulky, earbud takes some getting used to.
Overall: A great choice for business travelers, and folks that live in a busy city due to the excellent noise cancellation technology.

review Jawbone bluetooth headset by aliphWith the recent news that the Jawbone will be sold alongside the Apple iPhone on June 29, what better time to post our review of the headset from Aliph?

Design – 9.0 – My first impression of the Aliph’s Jawbone Bluetooth headset when I took it out of the UPS box a few weeks back was great. You could tell that the company put a lot of effort into making the product look like a luxury item right from the time the customer sees the package, all the way through to using it.

First of all, the Jawbone comes in silver, black, and red. The device it is a little bulkier than I would have liked – measuring in at 1.8 x 2.2 x 0.7 inches – but it’s still sleek and stylish at the same time. Even though you cannot see any buttons on the device, there are two which are located up by the ear piece. One of the buttons is the talk/end/power button, and the other is the “Noise Shield Button.”

On the side that rests on your face, there are a couple of quick things to note. One is the “Voice Activity Sensor” which senses when you are speaking to help alleviate ambient noise, and the other is the earbud.

review Jawbone by aliph

The unit comes with a box of four earloops, and four earbuds, which is especially helpful for finding the best fit. Two of the earloops are for folks that prefer using their left ear, and two for the right ear. Regarding the earbuds, they actually hurt my inner ear a little during the first few days I had with the Jawbone. However once I got used to it, all was well. I especially like the design of the earloops. They are spring loaded so they keep the device close to your face – since we all know how annoying it is having a Bluetooth headset swinging around off of your ear. This is the best earloop mechanism that I’ve seen on any headset to this point.

Features – 9.5 – The most important feature that I will discuss is the noise cancellation – which you activate by using the “Noise Shield Button” I mentioned above. With other headsets, the people on the other end of the phone call are always complaining about ambient noise, whether it is wind, or a lawn-mower, or just the car stereo. When you turn on the “Noise Shield,” it really does cut down on the outside noise.

Also, the noise reduction helps you to hear what the other person is saying loud and clear as well. If not for the style, the Jawbone’s noise reduction is definitely a must have feature if you’re in the market for a new Bluetooth headset.

The unit’s Voice Activity Sensor is another important feature of the Jawbone. Just to let you know how good the noise reduction really is, DARPA has actually approved of the technology. If you’re not familiar with DARPA, or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, they are the U.S. Department of Defense’s independent research branch. Very impressive.

Another thing of note is that the Jawbone does not have volume control buttons. Instead, it relies on its built-in sensors to adjust the volume to the appropriate level. If it gets too loud however (which has happened to me a few times), you can still use the volume keys on your handset to make adjustments.

Performance – 8.5 – In the field, the Jawbone did in fact stand up to tests. In my tests, I used my Palm Treo 755p. When on several business calls and some personal ones as well, I was able to without a problem walk through windy parking lots without too much interference on their end. There were no complaints from the folks I was talking to, but they said that they could hear some interference when I There was really no more noise than if I were sitting at my desk.

Overall, the Jawbone by Aliph is truely best in class. It’s unique design and amazing performance really speak for itself once you get your hands on it.

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  • webjac’d

    I have had mine since Jan2007. I also fell that it is bulky compared to other bluetooths and weights about as much as the small bluetooths (jabra xj10, nextlink bluespoon ax2 and samsung wep200). most people could not tell if i was using a headset, some even said i sound better, thought i got a new phone.

    Best bluetooth i have used to date with the treo 650, some downsides.
    - can not switch ears, have to use different earloop (left or right).
    - not easy to carry around if you don't have shirt pocket. broke my earloop in pants pocket.

    then a month ago it just stopped syncing with my phone.

    nextlink was the best overall i have ever used after i got use to the ear piece, i could run with it. they are also coming out with a jawbone bluetooth end of year. hmmm, can't wait to try it.

    BTW, Treo 650 bluetooth bytes. so for a headset that works great with it is a major plus and this is one of them.

  • Doug Berger


    It is very annoying not being able to switch ears on the fly. If you're going to, you have to remember to bring the opposite earloop with you wherever you are. If you're on long conference calls or what not, you really like the freedom of being able to switch ears in a moments notice.


  • lEE

    This deserves the word SUCKS!!!!!

    I am appalled by the deception here and i dont work for another headset company. I am positive that positive reviews are written by Jawbone lackeys, all over the internet. I know I am correct because I bought into the hype and the demo on the Jawbone website.When it arrived I was stunned by this over engineered packaging design, it was so ridiculous. Trying to hype a brand image by wasteful ridiculous design of a package will not cover for deception. A box for the head set a box for the ear buds that snuggly fit in a huge clear plastic box with a plastic rack for the headset. Uughh so stupid. Well, the engineer of the box must have designed the headset. This thing is ridiculous. First the design is over extended pushing too far sacrificing ergonomics for true funtionality. The buttons are actually hidden, well wait it has no discernable buttons. You have to locate it like braille, its a little tiny bump.
    {If there was hair thare you may find it better.} This resides opposite of the ear bud. Right where you need to push the unit into your ear constantly because you cant get a snug fit even with the box of 4 earbuds and four earloops. So as your costantly pushing the headset in because it feels like your 100.00 headset will fall in the mud or be lost on the train. The point where you need to press in your ear to secure it into the ear actually triggers the genius design of the talk button. So as you talk to someone and secure the unit in your ear to actually hear someone it is bouncing back to your phone. To top it off even worse
    the natural instinct is to just hold the unit deeper in your ear to finish the conversation however the genius designer decided to use the same button to end the call. So if this same button is depressed for 3 seconds ( as you are pushing it into your ear) you SHUT THE HEADSET OFF!!!!! I am blown away……………This is just the begining. The "Noise Shield" is a lie!!!!! I dont jump to this conclusion. I purchased the unit and thought I was doing something wrong, i tested it in everyway. I calle the support which has no support they tell you to turn the noise shield off and back on.To know if its on, they say, did youe hear an ascending tone or descending? What stupidity!!!!!So its on and the support cant deny it doesnt work, so they claim it defective. I wanted this technology to work. So I got it replaced!!! The unit wasnt defective they are all defective!!!! This is a class action or major recall waiting to happen. This time support said oh the music is "more muted" when the noise cancel is on its working. I bought "noise cancel" not "background noise more garbled and fainter by 1%" The demo on the website is not a true representation.This is a review for the people, dont buy this trust me, i swear its so bad, I wish it worked I truly do. I need this technology. Theres so many flaws, the charger gets stuck on the unit. the charger port on the unit has a plastic santoprene cap, it falls off the first time you adjust the headset. If you cant figure out the tones in your ear, it has lights so you have to take it off constantly to see if its on. The earbuds are horribly designed for old men ears. The thing is giant on your face too. It hangs on the ear uncomfortably no snugness.
    majorly disapointed!!!!!! The 20.00 box has "Noise is nothing" this thing is full of noise, and listeners will tell you. I cant beleive anyone says that this thing is any good it must be liars too. The new name for this product is "JAWBURDEN"

  • Doug Berger

    @IEE – First, let me say that I do NOT work for Jawbone, and have no ties to the company whatsoever. With that… I'm still using the Jawbone, and while some of the things you mention are true, the noise cancellation is very good in my honest opinion.

    The other day, I was sitting outside at a Starbucks that is in a busy intersection with cars and people going by. I had the noise cancellation cranked up (at the highest tone when pressing the 2nd button), and the person on the other side said it sounded like I was sitting inside.

    Sorry to hear you've had a different experience.


    Editor |

  • lee

    How do you crank up the Noise cancelling? I didnt know you could do that, support never mentioned it or manual.Are you talking about the volume adjustment?

    If you can look us all in the eye and tell us you are getting the same results as the Jawbone website demo, I would have to say you are a false witness or reviewer, not that I want to accuse you of anything but fair is fair.

    I missed the disclaimer that said the unit only works at a weed wacker and leafblower convention.I can stand by a radio and it does not work like the example they show of the windows down the ac on and the radio blasting on the demo video. You can be heard talking over the background noise but a phone does the same thing if you talk into the mic you hear voice.

    The majority will speak. Like I said I want it to work, I went through alot to get this technology, I have had 2 units.

    Seriously, call someone and take a piss and flush with the headset tell me if it cancels it out. I just tested it it didnt even cut it out when I was talking, the piss and the flush was more enhanced than a regular phone.

  • Raj

    This headset indeed has a crucial problem. The cap on the end could get stuck in the charger and wouldn't come out. I ran into this problem the very first day I used. :-( The headset became unusable now.

    The problem is that the end of the headset, where the charger connects, is glued to the rest of the headset. And the glue is not powerful enough to hold on against the pressure of removing the charger. Seems like a usability and/or durability flaw. I hope that the company will return or replace it. Else, it is a wastage of $119. Stay away from it.

  • joe

    Hate to say this I paid the $100+ for this thing and all the earbuds do not work for me. I hear there is different models of Jabra I can buy. my question is why should i have to go spend even more money for different equipment?? I wish if you paid for the product that the piece should fit since it did give different options. Also people can hear me ok but the noise cancellation works fair not great not even good, but listening to friends talk to me is where i am truly disappointed. its very hard to hear someone talking to me i rather just hold the phone up to my ear or press the speak button on my phone & I am using a LG voyager which is a newer phone model. I thought the jawbone would be a break through in technology. To say it came from a military technology is really a let down. This is not the only forum that has said something bad about the jawbone. there is quite a few forums now with more opinions stating that this equipment is not made well.

  • Doug Berger

    @lee – I can't say I've tried the "piss test", but I haven't had too many issues with the Jawbone to date. The one thing that keeps happening is the ear bud falling off. I've since had to switch to a new ear bud since the original one became so loose that I lost it.

    @Raj – The charge is cheaply made, and gets stuck occasionally. I have to agree with you there.

    @joe – I have to agree. It does become hard to hear others when you're in noisy surroundings.

    Thanks for the comments guys. Best of luck to you finding your Bluetooth headset of choice!

  • Doug Berger

    Oh, and IEE – It turns out I'm wrong about being able to "crank up" the noise cancellation. I was just adjusting the volume and my ears were playing tricks on me. Sorry for the confusion.

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