TreoCentral's James Hromadka reviews the Jabra JX-10 bluetooth headset.
Read on for the full review.
I'm going to make a small confession. I love reviewing headsets, even though I am usually let down by them. Christmas for me comes every week or two when I open the box from UPS and see something new and shiny to try out. Some of them are real stinkers, and some of them are excellent. With its tiny size and feature list, the Jabra JX10 Bluetooth Headset certainly looks like a winner. But could it overtake the Sony Ericsson HBH-662 and become my favorite headset?
As an Apple user, I have come to appreciate good design in both the product and the box that it comes in. The Jabra JX10 comes in an attractive black box and includes accessories that other headsets charge extra for. You can charge the headset by plugging it directly into an AC adapter, using a very sleek desktop cradle, or even charge it with a USB cable — all of which are included in the box. The USB cable is only about 6" long and is designed for laptop users. A carrying pouch is also included with the JX10.
I have taken to plugging the desktop cradle into the USB cable and then that into a USB hub so I don't have to find room for another power cable behind my desk. Speaking of desks, if you have a bunch of power adapters, the Power Squid is excellent for those power bricks.
The JX10 is the first headset I have used that has a dedicated pairing button. The tiny button is on the back of the device. This makes pairing easier. The manual for the JX10 is simple but clearly explains the pairing process and how to use the JX10.
The action button is on the bottom of the JX10 when wearing it on your right ear. It is very easy to remove the earloop and switch ears. Volume buttons are next to the power plug at the rear of the headset. It is an unusual position for the buttons but works very well. I found that I didn't have to fumble as much when looking to adjust the volume or press the action button.
The JX10 powers on very quickly by pressing the action button for about a second;—hold it for five seconds to power off the device. A tiny blue LED blinks periodically while the JX10 is on. I generally despise blinking headsets, but it is very small and not near as egregious as Motorola, whose headsets make you look like Locutus of Borg with their big, bright blinking lights. While LEDs are necessary in order to know that the device is on, they should be on the back of the device so it doesn't annoy those around you. Nobody looks at someone's headset as a way to see that they are on a call, so why put the LED on the outside?
I must admit that the diminutive size of the JX10 made me wonder how good its audio quality would be, but I was impressed with its audio capabilities. I could always hear the other party clearly and crisply, and most of the time they could hear me just fine. Sometimes I would have to readjust the headset if it was pointing too far away from my face. Some of our readers have experienced hissing noises. It is possible these noises happen for those maxing the JX10's volume, but I didn't notice any hissing noises.
The only real issue that I had with the JX10 is not being able to wear it all day without it hurting my ear. If you hate earbud headphones like the ones that come with the iPod, this headset may bother your ear too much for those long calls. Switching ears and shifting the headset periodically helps.
Battery life is rated at 4-6 hours talk time. The headset autoconnects with the Treo when a call comes in, but it can take several seconds before you hear it ring in the JX10. I was surprised that redial works, considering the Treo 650's paltry Bluetooth support. Hold the action button for about a second until you hear a short tone, then let go to redial. This can be a mixed blessing, as you can accidently redial someone if you don't hold down the button for the full 5 seconds when trying to turn the device off!
The Jabra JX10 Bluetooth Headset is an incredibly lightweight device that provides good audio quality and great usability in a small package. Connections can take several seconds with the Treo, and some users may find the headset uncomfortable in the ear, but the JX10 is a good headset for those that can afford the premium price and want a sleek, attractive device. The jury is still out on whether it replaces the S/E HBH-662 as my favorite headset, but it is definitely near the top of my list.
(First posted at TreoCentral on Jan 10, 2006)
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