Jawbone Prime review: Jawbone Prime

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Typical Price: $159.00

Jawbone Prime

(Part #: CNETJawbone Prime)
5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Range of designer colours. Good noise reduction.

The Bad Custom charger required. Large for a headset. Volume controls are a touch fiddly.

The Bottom Line The Jawbone Prime's ability to filter out nearby sounds is astonishingly good. We suspect black magic is at work here.

9.3 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Dec '09

Design

AliphCom's Jawbone Prime Bluetooth headset certainly isn't a shrinking violet. The company differentiates its Jawbone lines essentially on colour grounds, with the ordinary Jawbone available in black, brown or platinum and the Earcandy variants in rather more striking hues of red, yellow, green or purple, with very silly product names to match.

Earcandy coloured Jawbone headset
Costume jewellery's got nothing on the hot colours of Jawbone's .(Credit: AliphCom)

Our review sample was the purple variant, and we're certain that it would be almost impossible to lose. Partly due to the rather bright hue, and partly due to the Jawbone's rather large size. If you're easily embarrassed wearing a Bluetooth headset, the Jawbone Prime probably isn't for you, as it's rather large and has a design that works best when gently resting on your cheek, making it very obvious that you're wearing it. Mind you, one female tester of the Jawbone did comment that it looked rather like a large purple earring, so you might be able to fake your way out of feeling self-conscious.

Controls on the Jawbone Prime are very minimalistic, with only two buttons covering off all of the unit's functions. The Talk button handles power, accepting and hanging up calls, while the secondary "NoiseAssassin" button handles call rejection, volume and voice dialling duties. There's a trend in Bluetooth headset design towards the small and unobtrusive, as many users struggle to wear larger headsets due to either sheer size or public embarrassment.

The Jawbone charges either via USB or AC power, but it's not quite as simple as having a straight USB connection. There's a custom plug on the end of the Jawbone Prime's AC adapter and USB cable, which is a minor annoyance. Lose both, and you'll have no way to easily charge your headset.

Features

Funky colours and two-button interfaces aside, the major selling point for the Jawbone Prime is what AliphCom calls its "NoiseAssassin" technology. This is a voice filtering feature that picks up on the pitch and tone of the user's voice, analyses it against all other noise sources and then filters the outgoing signal down to just the user's voice. AliphCom claims that NoiseAssasin is military-grade technology in a consumer product. Part of how it works is via a small button that rests on the opposite side of the headset. It's designed to rest against your cheek when the Jawbone Prime is worn and detect when you're speaking based on the movement of your skin. When you talk, it starts its noise filtering to make sure you're clearly heard on the other end with all other extraneous noise washed out of the signal.

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