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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Jabra Stone review:

Jabra Stone

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The Good The Jabra Stone has a one-of-a-kind design that combines a headset with a portable charger. The headset fits easily over the ear and is small enough not to be noticed. Features include multipoint technology and A2DP streaming.

The Bad The Jabra Stone's controls are difficult to use; we wish it had a snugger fit; and the call quality could be improved. It also fits around only the right ear.

The Bottom Line While we love the style, portability, and feature set of the Jabra Stone, it does suffer from a few design and performance issues.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.3 Overall

Not many Bluetooth headsets combine style and performance, and when they do, they stand out. Examples include the Aliph Jawbone Prime, the BlueAnt Q1, and the Plantronics Discovery 975. Jabra, a company that has been in the Bluetooth business a long time, attempts to come up with yet another headset to add to the list, and that is the Jabra Stone. It has a unique, eye-catching style and also boasts features such as multipoint connectivity, A2DP streaming, and its own Noise Blackout noise-canceling technology. However, a few design and performance quibbles prevent it from reaching its full potential. The Jabra Stone is quite expensive, at $129 retail.

True to its name, the Jabra Stone combines a headset and a portable charging unit in a single pebblelike design. Measuring 2.3 inches long by 2 inches wide by 1 inch deep, the Jabra Stone is smooth and black all around, with a hint of silver speckle. It feels really comfortable in the hand, especially since it weighs only 0.25 ounce. Due to its unique shape, we can easily find it when feeling around for it in our bag.

To get the headset out of the charging unit, you simply reach underneath the Stone and push the headset out with your thumb. The headset automatically powers on when you take it out. On its own, the headset is tiny. It is U-shaped and curved almost like a single quotation mark, with a fat end and a skinny end. The headset is so thin and small that it looks very discreet when worn--it can easily disappear into your hair if you have long locks.

Since the headset is smooth all around, you might be wondering where all the controls are. There's actually a multifunction button hidden underneath the Jabra logo. It's hard to tell when we've pressed it, as there is very little tactile feedback--if it didn't beep when pressed, it would be almost imperceptible. The volume control on the headset is invisible as well--you actually swipe your finger up and down along the base to change the volume. The touch sensor works fine for the most part, but we would prefer physical volume controls so we don't accidentally change the volume when we're fiddling around with the headset.

Behind the headset are two LED indicators; one indicates the battery status, and the other is a Bluetooth connection indicator. Beneath that is the earpiece, which is wrapped in a circular ear gel for comfort. The charger pins are located below the earpiece. Though they are hard to see, the microphones are located on both the left and right side of the headset.

There is no muss or fuss when wearing the headset. Just slip it over the ear and the ear piece will settle gently into place. The skinny part of the headset that loops over the ear is made out of a flexible rubber material that can accommodate different-size ears. Since it is so thin, it won't interfere with glasses. We found the headset quite comfortable overall, though we did wish it had a snugger and tighter fit.

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