Jawbone Icon Review

Patrick Nosker May 15, 2010 0

The Original Jawbone was an excellent bluetooth device.  It had the ability to effectively cancel noise around you using its jaw sensor.  I decided to not even look at the Jawbone 2 and Prime because I didn't imagine a great improvement worthy of re-review, but with the release of the Jawbone Icon, I decided to take another look at the latest device from Aliph.  

Much like the Bluetrek Crescendo Voice I previously took a look at, the Icon has an "appstore" for upgrading components of the earpiece.  Unfortunately, it isn't compatible with Chrome, but is with Internet Explorer and Safari for Mac.  Other than that, it was a breeze to setup.  Available options include the ability to change the voice (I liked the Rogue, which sounds like a spy from Europe), add 411, speech-to-text, and A2DP, among other programs that will be added in the future.  The headset charges via USB so you can charge on your computer and as a first for Jawbone, has a physical on-off switch.  This made storing it in my pocket less likely to drain the battery, unlike the Crescendo Voice.  The headset also comes with Jawbone's version 2.5 of Noise Assassin.

To test their latest version of Noise Assassin, I again tried to play very loud music.  After maxing out my surround sound system, I made a call.  Surprisingly, I was more clear than in the Crescendo Voice test.  I could not believe it.  I again couldn't hear myself speak, but the recipient could barely hear the music in the background!  I also tested this in a crowded bar and could still be heard easily.  Aliph has remarkably packed more features into such a little device.  Weighing less than its predecessors while packing more features, the Icon is truly a marvel.  It's comfortable, has better sound quality (both hearing and speaking) than its rivals, and the App Store has more features to add.  I think it's as perfect as it could ever get.  Some additions since it originally came out, due to complaints, are the ability to change volume on the device, and A2DP if you ever wanted to hear music on it.  Sound quality is so poor for music that you should skip that, but it's nice to be able to use programs on your phone such as Navigon's GPS app and have the audio go through the earpiece instead of the speaker on the phone.

The only addition I would recommend would be to add the ability to use a set of stereo headphones with the earbud similar to the Bluetrek Duo.  If that happened, this would be the true killer phone accessory.

[Jawbone Icon] – $76.89

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