- Great noise and wind cancellation
- HD audio speaker
- Voice announcements
- Motion sensor – responds to taps and shakes
- Long talk time battery
- MyTALK platform
- No dedicated volume control
The Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset is so far the most sophisticated one around. What comes out of the box is the headset itself, 4 spout earbuds, 4 round earbuds, a binaural earloop, the micro USB cable, an A/C wall adapter and a carrying case. The headset is 2 inches long and weighs 10 grams.
It comes with voice and wind cancellation intelligence that works together with an automatic volume control engine that sets your volume high and low depending on the noise from the environment. For example, if you are walking in a busy and noisy street, the volume is automatically raised, to be lowered again once the noise decreases. This feature has seemingly kicked out a manual volume control from the designers’ minds. A volume control would be nice.
The headset comes with the Shakeshake feature which reacts to shaking motions. For example, you shake it twice in your hand to take a call, and shake it four times to put it automatically in pairing mode. It responds to tapping as well. Tap twice to redial and hold your finger down to activate voice dialing. This is due to the built-in accelerometer.
Automatic voice announcements give you information about the headset. Once you wear it and press the talk button, you are advised on the amount of time you are left for talking, giving an idea of the battery juice in stock.
Speaking about the battery, it holds for five and a half hours of talking, which is quite a lot, and can remain in standby for ten days. It has a Li-ion so you don’t have to worry about the memory effect. You do have a switch to save battery power whenever you are not using the device. Charging the battery can be done via the micro USB connector interface. It takes around 30 minutes to charge fully.
Being a Bluetooth headset, you can’t expect a huge operating distance, but the theoretical 10 meters (33 feet) it claims to cover is quite good.
The headset is compatible with Windows, Mac OS and is open to MyTALK applications. MyTALK is a platform, a bit like the Android market or the Apple App Store, allowing users of Jawbone products to access and update software, customize voice profiles and manage other information and settings related to their devices. An interesting feature offered by MyTALK is the synchronization with your address book that can identify the caller of a call through their voice. You can visit MyTALK at mytalk.jawbone.com.
The Jawbone Era also allows you to listen to streaming music, but the quality is not what you want for music. What would suffice as voice quality for voice isn’t good enough for music. But still, it has the feature.
The Jawbone Era is an expensive headset, but given its quality and being a Bluetooth headset, it is value for money. It is one of these products that set the pace for future models, and is surely a tool for enriching VoIP communications.