Jabra has a long history in the hands free market. In the last few years, they have faced increasing competition from companies that are making a push to break into the top echelon of this electronics niche. Blueant, Jawbone and others are making headsets that are comfortable and stylish while offering a complete feature set. Jabra’s products such as the Stone headset and Halo headphones are a big part of Jabra’s effort to compete against the best that these companies have to offer.
The Jabra Extreme Bluetooth headset is part of Jabra’s “Smart Series” of Bluetooth headsets, which is aimed squarely at business users looking for a hands free device that fits all of their needs in a professional design. Hit the jump for the full review.
Ease of Use
Jabra has made a number of usability improvements in their headsets recently. Though the Extreme doesn’t have the same LCD panel that can be found on the BT4010, it does offer a multi-colored LED that gives you quick feedback on the status of your Bluetooth connection or battery.
The controls used for the Extreme, while not groundbreaking, are as simple as can be. A power switch is located on the bottom of the headset, while the volume and call buttons are all on the external face of the device. This simplicity allows you to control the headset in an intuitive manner that permits you to concentrate on your call.
Various techniques and gimmicks have been attempted to offer maximum comfort when wearing your headset for an extended period of time. Jabra includes three different eargels, as well as two different ear hooks to allow you to wear your headset in the way that is most comfortable to you.
Sound Quality (Incoming)
The number one reason that I would recommend this product is that it is the LOUDEST headset that I have ever used. You really have to be careful that you don’t leave it cranked up too high because it will produce painful levels of sound.
There are a couple of features that add an extra level of value to the Extreme. The first is A2DP functionality. Because of the sheer volume that the Extreme offers, it makes it the perfect solution for listening to podcasts or other audio while on the go. Additionally, the Extreme offers the ability to pair and use multiple devices. This is especially helpful for corporate users that carry multiple phones on a regular basis.
Sound Quality (Outgoing)
The one downside to the Jabra Extreme is that (in my testing) the noise cancellation was underwhelming, particularly in high noise or wind. The physical location of the Extreme’s dual microphones (both are on the external face of the headset) would be my guess as to the cause. My wife noted on two separate occasions that the external noise was actually amplified to uncomfortable levels when I was using the Extreme.
How well the Extreme fits your needs depends largely on how and what you use your Bluetooth headset for. If your usage is largely in a car, it could potentially be the perfect headset for you. If you are outdoors much of the time, you could potentially have insurmountable issues with sound quality. Either way, Jabra does pack quite a few nice features into the Extreme for the price ($76.95 from the WMExperts store). Definitely give some thought to the Jabra Extreme if you are in the market for a new Bluetooth headset.