Jawbone ERA Bluetooth headset
Jawbone ERA review: The Jawbone ERA introduces an accelerometer to allow shaking to pair, and tapping to answer calls
- Stylish design
- Built-in motion controls
- Ease of use and sound quality
- Can be tough to find a comfortable ear bud
- A little expensive
- No AC adapter included for charging
AliphCom's Jawbone ERA combines appealing style with excellent noise-cancelling capabilities, and its motion based controls work well. This is without doubt one of the best Bluetooth headsets available on the market.
Price$ 149.95 (AUD)
Bluetooth headsets aren't the most exciting tech products in the world, but Jawbone is well known for attempting to add spice to the category by producing stylish devices with unique features. Its latest release, the Jawbone ERA, introduces an accelerometer to allow shaking to pair, and tapping to answer calls.
The AliphCom Jawbone ERA Bluetooth headset is both attractive and comfortable. Its curved, angled design is highlighted by a stylish, etched pattern on the front, with coloured plastic underneath creating a layered look. The design is distinctive, and the headset's build quality feels superb despite its plastic construction.
The Jawbone ERA ships with eight ear buds: four regular buds with an optional ear loop, and four hooked ear buds — both sets come in small, medium, large and extra large sizes. AliphCom claims the included ear loop is optional but we struggled to achieve a comfortable fit without one when using the non-hooked, regular ear buds. Comfort will obviously depend on finding a bud size that will fit your ear, but once fitted correctly, the Jawbone ERA is comfortable to wear for long periods. We particularly like the fact that its curved design sits neatly on the side of your face.
The Jawbone ERA Bluetooth headset has just a single talk button on the top. Depending on the function required, you tap, press or hold the button. Although this button is easily accessible, the volume is annoying to adjust with just a single button. AliphCom claims the built-in automatic volume control negates the need to adjust the volume manually — while most of the time this worked well enough, there was still a few instances where we preferred to adjust the volume manually. To do so, you need to press and hold the talk button, and release it when the desired volume is heard; when the button is held, the volume level cycles up and down.
AliphCom says the use of "MotionX" technology enables motion controls to be used with the Jawbone ERA. Although this is simply a fancy name for a built-in accelerometer, the basic functions work very well. Users can double tap the side of the Jawbone ERA to answer a call, and shake the headset to put it in pairing mode. Both are easier and more accessible than feeling for tiny buttons like most other Bluetooth headsets require. Further, when paired with an Apple iPhone or a BlackBerry smartphone, a handy battery meter for the Jawbone ERA will be displayed on your phone next to the battery icon.
The Jawbone ERA Bluetooth headset has excellent sound quality, and does a good job of minimising background noise. On an outdoor balcony on the 21st floor of a high rise office building, we were able to hold a clear conversation. Our voice did sound a little softer with wind noise, but the ERA was still an effective communication tool. Incoming audio quality is clear and also free of distortion, and volume is more than loud enough at its highest setting.
AliphCom rates the Jawbone ERA at 5.5 hours of talk time and up to 10 days of standby time. A short USB cable and an in car-adapter are both included in the sales package, though there is no AC adapter in the box. The Jawbone ERA can also be syncronised with the company's MyTalk platform for further customisation, including the ability to access third-part apps.
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