Despite the ridiculousness of the headset laws in California, I have bigger fights to fight, and condone to use a headset while driving. Until a week ago my headset of choice was the SoundID 100. I love how easily it slips into my ear and the sound quality is great. My three complaints were unimpressive battery life, a not-so-great pairing with my phone (which I don’t blame on SoundID, but it simply didn’t sound good with my Samsung phone), and a tendency to occasionally make screeching noises directly into my eardrum. The latter probably being the biggest detriment to the headset.
Now loathe I am to replace a working product, when I had the opportunity to try out the newest Jawbone Primes, I was intrigued. After all, while I’ve never had a great experience in the past (I think it was a facial hair thing), everyone else seems to love them. I decided to try the bright yellow model (in the office it’s affectionately referred to as a banana on my head). The pink and red ones were a little too… pink and red. The black, silver, and brown ones were all too drab. Leavining banana yellow as just right! Plus it adds that touch of panache that I could only otherwise pull off by accumulating a collection of very interesting hats. Here’s a quick vid of it:
The Jawbone Prime is the third generation of headsets from Aliph, and this time I think they’ve got a real winner. Others have looked good, and they’ve generally been accepted as the premium headset (I’d once have said the Cadillac of Headsets, but really, in today’s world does anyone actually want the Cadillac of Anything???), but I’ve felt they’ve lacked on performance. Not anymore. The unit pairs extremely well with my phone (your mileage may vary), and the sound quality is excellent. These are obviously the top factors in considering any headset, but I’ll continue with more.
My favorite physical improvement to the Jawbone is the in-ear loops, which function quite similarly to the SoundID unit. No more trying to wrap weird things around my ears (which I never do well and makes me feel even more uncoordinated than I am). I haven’t yet given it the “can I leave it in my ear all day” test, but it’s definitely not uncomfortable. My only issue is I feel I’m somewhere between the medium and large earbuds.
I have no real comment yet on the battery life. The specs claim 4.5 hrs talk time, 8 days standby, I haven’t yet had the battery die, so I would guess it’s probably slightly lower (since I’ve *never* seen an accurate battery life assessment from a company) – regardless, I keep the USB charging cable in my laptop bag now. The packaging for the unit is truly beautiful, possibly the best-designed I’ve ever seen. And now for the zinger – but I wish they weren’t using so much plastic and other unsustainable materials to accomplish such beauty.
Finally, my only real product complaints – the buttons. While putting the unit in my ear, I tend to push the button that disconnects a call (while the phone is ringing). Further, there are so many button combinations (push one of them 5 times in a row to activate a feature) that as a result I can’t remember any of them. Now there’s an obvious, necessitated tradeoff between incorporating so much functionality and only having two buttons, but I have to think there is a better way to handle it. That said, since I am definitely adopting the Jawbone Prime as my default headset, this is more in the “annoyance” category than anything else.
So there you have it. Definite thumbs-up for the Jawbone Prime. Get your own not-so-mellow Yello here at Amazon for $129.