Jawbone Icon HD + The Nerd (Denim) review:

Jawbone Icon HD + The Nerd (Denim)

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Jawbone Icon HD + The Nerd (Denim)

(Part #: JBG06BLV-HD)
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars 2 user reviews

The Good The Jawbone Icon HD + The Nerd bundle lets you use the headset with any PC or Mac without a tedious Bluetooth pairing process. The Icon HD has a new high-definition wideband speaker, simultaneous A2DP multipoint capabilities, the ability to play and pause music, voice announcements, and other features.

The Bad The Jawbone Icon HD is currently available only as part of the Nerd bundle, which is rather pricey.

The Bottom Line The Jawbone Icon HD is perfect for those who want an easy-to-pair headset that will work on any Bluetooth-enabled PC or phone.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0

While Bluetooth headsets are usually paired with mobile phones, many people also use them with their PCs. You can use the headset for VoIP calls, or for listening to music if it supports A2DP audio streaming. Unfortunately, the Bluetooth pairing process for PCs can be cumbersome, especially for those who are not technologically inclined.

Jawbone has decided to solve that problem with a headset bundle it calls "Jawbone Icon HD + the Nerd." It's essentially a package that combines an improved version of its Jawbone Icon headset along with a tiny USB audio adapter the company calls the Nerd. After an initial pairing between the headset and the adapter, you should be able to plug the Nerd in to any PC or Mac and be ready to use the headset automatically. We admittedly think the Nerd is kind of a silly name for what is just an audio adapter, but we do think the concept is a good one.

Of course, you can also use the Icon HD with any Bluetooth-enabled phone thanks to multipoint connectivity, which is the ability to connect with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. The headset is smart enough to switch between the Nerd and the phone whenever a new call comes in.

The Jawbone Icon HD has essentially the same design and feature set as the original Icon, but with the added benefit of a dynamic wideband speaker that offers high-definition, 16KHz audio quality. This is the same speaker that is in the Jawbone Era, Jawbone's top-of-the-line headset. The Icon HD also has simultaneous A2DP multipoint, which is a first for Jawbone. This means you can use the Icon HD's A2DP audio streaming with two connected Bluetooth devices at the same time. Additional features include the ability to play or pause the music player by pressing the Talk button, and voice announcements.

Aside from these improvements, the Jawbone Icon HD is not much different from the original Icon. Those expecting the same specs as on the Era--motion controls, accelerometer, and serial flash--will be disappointed. Still, it's compatible with Jawbone's MyTalk Web site, where you can download firmware updates as well as different audio and dial applications, and it offers the same earbud options as before. As it's very similar, we'll direct you to our review of the Jawbone Icon for additional design and performance details. We should note, though, that since the original review Jawbone has added A2DP functionality to the headset.

The Nerd, as we mentioned, is a small wire-free USB audio adapter. It's styled similarly to the included headset. On the front of the adapter is a hidden LED ring that flashes and pulses when the adapter is in use. On the other end of the Nerd is a large, easy-to-push button that is used to pair the Nerd with the Icon HD.

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