Updated Review – Rating Demoted from 4 Stars

***** Update to the Original Review: November 7th 2011 ****

After just two weeks of use this headset started acting up. The indicator light turned purple, and for a while I was unable to completely turn it on. (For some reason the FM radio still worked fine). Eventually I get it to work and pair up with my iPhone again, but all controls seem to be out of whack and there is no consistent performance at all. I will try to contact the customer service about this, but for the time being I cannot recommend anyone to buy this headset.

***** Original Review *****

I have been a big fan of Bluetooth stereo headsets ever since the first ones appeared several years ago. At the time I had been pairing them with cell phones with mp3 players, which seem to be light years away from today’s smartphones. The Bluetooth headsets are ideal for workouts: compact, unobtrusive, and very functional. I have gone through at least five MOTOROKR S9 and MotoROKR S9-HD headsets all of which shared one common major shortcoming: they were not sweat-proof and inevitably stopped working after less than a year of use. Because of this I have been considering completely swearing off Bluetooth headsets in the gym, but I decided to give these Jabra headphones a chance. My first impression is fairly positive, but for me the true acid test will be how well they deal with sweat over an extended period of time.

I also already own Jabra SPORT corded Stereo Sports Headset, so I am able to compare the corded vs. cordless version of this product. Overall they are fairly similar, with the corded ones having a slightly better sound quality and the Bluetooth one having a better fit.

**** Sound Quality ****

Unfortunately the sound quality is one of the weaker aspects of this headset. The sound is very tinny and hissy, especially with the high notes. I am not exactly an audiophile, but I was extremely disappointed with the sound quality of this headset. It is passable (barely) for the workout use, but I would definitely not use these headphones to listen to the music on other occasions.

**** Design ****

Unlike the sound quality, I was very impressed with the design of this headset. It is fairly minimalistic with the “functional” area of the headset confined to the immediate vicinity of the ears, and with a very thin and unobtrusive cord that connects the two halves. I do wish that the cord had a different color (yellow is not exactly the epitome of coolness), but this is not a major issue. Thanks to the kind of design that these headphones utilize it is possible to fold them and put them in almost any pocket or a bag. I just wish that the headset came with a carrying case like its corded cousin.

**** Fit ****

Fit is another feature that left me pleasantly surprised. Most cordless mono headsets are fairly loose on your ear, so I was expecting something akin to that experience with what are essentially two mono headsets connected with a cable. The actual experience couldn’t have been further from my expectation. These headphones accomplish an almost impossible task: they fit very snuggly without either pinching your ears or putting too much pressure on your head. It could be that the size and shape of my ears makes them particularly suitable for this headset, but my guess is that most people would find them a fairly good fit.

**** Wireless Range ****

This is one of the weakest characteristics of all Bluetooth sport stereo headsets. The range is fairly good – if you are indoors and/or have a direct line of sight with the headset. I’ve been able to use them under such conditions across a decent sized room. However, if you are outdoors and put your mp3 player in pants pocket opposite to the side of your antenna (that would be the right hand side), then your reception will be intermittent at best. I usually use this headset in the gym, so this is not so much of an issue for me, but when I go out I try to put the mp3 player in a shirt or jacket pocket. That usually works just fine.

**** Telephony ****

I’ve used them to make several phone calls, across the regular phone lines and via VOIP, and in all situations this headset performed quite well. If you are listening to music when you receive a phone call it will automatically switch to the phone.

**** FM Radio ****

This is a really neat and unique feature of these headphones, and I have gotten to use it quite a bit. The reception is fairly good, especially if you are outdoors. If you want to go for a run or a walk and don’t necessarily want to bring your mp3 player/smartphone along, then this feature will allow you to still enjoy some music. However, you will be unable to manually choose your radio station without the headset going through all of the available ones first.

**** Audio Prompts ****

Unlike the other Bluetooth headsets that I’ve used, this headset gives you voice prompts when you do all major function changes, such as turning it on/off, or switching between phone and mp3 player. This is very useful because you will be able to clearly know when any one of these events takes place.

**** Battery Life ****

I’ve been able to use these headphones for well over three hours, mostly listening to music but also making a brief phone call. This again is on par with other wireless headphones that I’ve used. Before the battery runs out you will hear repeated warnings of “low battery”. At first I appreciated being told what is going on better than if I had to deal with an annoying beeping sounds, but after a while the incessant repetition (that only got more frequent as the battery kept losing its charge) really got to me. In a way this might be a good thing if you are procrastinating about charging the headphones, but if you just want to use them for as long as possible before you have to recharge then you’ll definitely feel annoyed. On my iPhone I also get a small headphones power level icon next to the Bluetooth icon, and this helps you gauge how much battery power you have left. If you go to the gym three times a week for an hour or so, then you can get away with charging these headphones once a week. For a more frequent gym attendee, or for someone who uses these headphones for some other daily routine, then I would recommend charging them more or less each day.

**** The Charger ****

This is one of the most frustrating and disappointing features of these headphones. The headphones are charged using a micro-USB cord, but the charger’s cord is extremely short (about five inches). This means that unless you have a power strip on your desk you will need to charge the headphones by essentially putting them on the ground. Fortunately I’ve discovered that Kindle’s charger also works with these headphones, so I’ve been using that one instead.

**** The Packaging ****

These headphones come in a cool and sophisticated looking oval package. The package resembles a can more than a box, and conveys a very modern and dynamic look. However, the packaging is was not very intuitive to open, but once I figured it out it was extremely easy to do.

**** For iPhone 4S Users ****

I’ve managed to launch Siri directly from this headset by pressing and holding the play button slightly longer than fro the play function, but not as long as for the on/off function. This is a neat feature that will let you use Siri even when your iPhone is slightly out of reach.

**** Conclusion ****

Overall, I am fairly pleased with this headset despite its few serious shortcomings. I hope that the headset is truly sweat-proof, and that the future versions will address some of the above issues.


Bojan Tunguz

Bojan Tunguz was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which he and his family fled during the civil war for the neighboring Croatia. Over the past two decades he has studied, lived and worked in the United States. He is a theoretical physicist with degrees from Stanford and University of Illinois. Tunguz has taught physics at several prominent liberal arts colleges and has been writing about physics, science and technology for more than a decade. He also has a wide spectrum of interests, and reads and writes about current events, society, culture, religion and politics. Over the years he has reviewed many of the books that he has read, and posted his reviews on various online outlets. In 2011 he had become a top 10 reviewer on Amazon.com, where he continues to be very active. Aside from reading and writing, Tunguz enjoys traveling, digital photography, hiking, and fitness. He resides with his wife in Indiana. You can follow my review updates on the following pages as well: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tunguzreview Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tunguzreviews Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104312842297641697463/posts

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