Review: Jabra Stone
Available from: AT&T Stores
Summary: The Jabra stone is one of the slickest and stylish headsets I have ever used. Yet, at times the slickness takes away from the functionality of the headset itself.
- This is the first headset without a boom–the piece that extends from the ear to the mouth–giving it a more natural look. Instead of the meat of the headset being located behind the ear, or horizontally extending from the ear to the mouth in a boom, the Stone keeps all the circuitry in the earpiece that is curved and extends vertically up the ear and behind the lobe–making the whole unit seem smaller than usual.
- The hook that goes behind the ear is part of the solid unit itself and is not removable or modifiable. Thus, while the headset looks awesome because it is fashioned out of a single piece of plastic, the headset can’t be switched from the right ear (only version it comes in) to the left ear. So if your ear hurts after hours of talking, there is no way to balance out the pain by switching ears–which for some people can be a crucial point. Another point about the single piece construction is that you can’t adjust the ear fastener. So while the headset is comfortable to wear, if you wear it while walking you will start to feel it lose grip on your ear.
- Controls: The headset utilizes a single push button to answer and end calls and touch controls for volume. The button works fine, but like the Jabra Halo I found the touch sensitive controls to be a bit fritzy–working when they wanted to.
- Power: When not in use the headset is stored in a portable base (aka “the stone”), which charges it when on the go. When in the stone, the headset charges via the stone’s internal battery and goes into a standby-like mode. In the standby mode the headset de-pairs from the phone, yet can re-pair with the phone within a little over a second after being removed from the stone so that you don’t miss a call while pulling the headset form the stone base. By charging the headset in the stone your stone can be used for about 8 hours before needing a wall powered recharge. I found this extremely useful as I use the headset often and don’t like to be constantly worried about battery life on a crucial accessory.
- Noise cancellation: Because the stone headset doesn’t have a boom that extends towards the mouth, the headset relies on dual microphones–one pointing in each direction–to cancel out background noise so that the listener only hears the speaker. I tried the headset in multiple places and I got great reviews on the audio quality. However, when walking down Broadway on a windy night I received a lot of complaints. While this is normal, my friend Dan L. pointed out that it might become a bigger issue because the headset can only be worn on the right ear. So if you use the headset in a country where the driver sits on the right side of the car, an open window will become a big problem.
Side note: The stone headset also supports A2DP, which was a nice feature when its all you have on you and want to listen to music. However, the speaker on the headset is quite large and doesn’t go deep into your ear. So when you move around and the speaker becomes dislodged from your ear canal because of the unibody ear hook, you wind up losing a lot of the audio because of the outside noise.
Final note: The coolness of the stone headset along with the A2DP has me longing for a day where I can have two of these–one for each ear–and listen to music on the go without looking like a tool. But until then, this is the most fashionable single ear headset I have ever used and is possibly even worth $129.