Summary: The new Jawbone Era is by far the most subtle and powerful Bluetooth headset we’ve used. If you work the phones all day, or have to make a lot of call from the car, it seems like the ideal companion to help you Get Things Done. But until these accessories actually become invisible, the stigma remains: we’d still rather pop on a pair of headphones with a mic wired in for day to day use and the commute.
Excerpt: Jawbone’s marquee Bluetooth telephone earpiece has been redesigned. It’s been greatly simplified, and the sound quality improved. And while the Jawbone is as ever unmistakably a Bluetooth earpiece — the mobile accessory that has come to signify self-importance and douchery of the highest order — it’s less geeky simply because it’s smaller. The last Era, which came out in 2011 , was built around some fancy sensor technology.
Pros: Super tiny and light. Simpler design is a welcome change. Excellent audio quality from the speaker. Superior noise cancellation. Cool feature: If you lose it in your tuck-and-roll, use the Jawbone app to make the headset beep so you can find it. Works with the $50 Nerd Bluetooth dongle for Skype or FaceTime calls.
Cons: Four hours of battery life is weak — to get more, you have to stash it in the charging case ($30 extra) when not in use. Looser fit than an in-ear headphone, so while it stays put, volume suffers. Still too nerdy to pass the cool-kid test, but getting much better.
Gear on your ear: Six premium Bluetooth headsets reviewed
11 January 2013
Summary: The Era offers great audio quality, and it handles background noise with aplomb. The company's companion smartphone apps make the most of Google Now and Siri. If you can get past its chunky design and protruding mic, this headset packs in the features: voice commands, intelligent behavior, smartphone apps, and reliable call quality.
Summary: Outside of short battery life, the small and comfortable Jawbone Era delivers the full package of an affordable price, excellent sound quality, and a powerful companion app.
Pros: The Jawbone Era is astonishingly small, light, and comfortable to wear. The headset boasts excellent noise-cancellation and clean audio quality. The companion mobile app offers helpful and fun extras.
Cons: The Jawbone Era’s base model has short battery life and lacks a volume button. The Era's small size is tough on large hands.
Summary: The basics Jawbone may have moved into the fitness space in recent years, but it’s not forgotten its roots. In fact, it’s returning to them with the new Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset out today. This is no mere update to the 2011 model - at 42 percent smaller, it’s a complete change up. It’s also been designed with 2014’s huge display smartphones in mind, with Siri and Google Now hands free activation at the tap of a button.
Pros: Well hello there. We still can’t bring ourselves to call any earpiece attractive, but this is as close as they come. Barely an inch long, with its slightly ridged edges, it looks a little bit like a Quality Street chocolate, in muted colour (red, black, bronze or silver are your options). Three sizes of earbud cover mean it can comfortably fit for most people, and as importantly stay comfortable, since it loads some of the weight to your body. Despite its small profil...
Cons: Of course, with a smaller profile comes less space to fit a battery. That 10 hour battery life Jawbone is claiming is legit, but split between the headset itself (four hours) and the small charging carry case, which you could attach to a keyring, or if you were really keen, your belt. That’s not a huge issue, but do be aware that extra charge time will cost you extra: the Jawbone Era solo costs £79, and £109 with the charger. There’s also one other problem. Let’s be h...