The New Jawbone aka Jawbone 2 Reviewed

The New Jawbone aka Jawbone 2 Reviewed


The original Jawbone from Aliph was one
of the most highly regarded Bluetooth headsets released. Recently,
Aliph released the successor to the Jawbone, aptly named the New
Jawbone. Aliph refers to it as the New Jawbone on their website
while others call it the Jawbone 2. Today we will look at what
differentiates the Jawbone 2 from all other Bluetoooth headsets and
whether it should be the only headset paired with your cell phone.

The reputation of the Jawbone is one of
superior sound quality and stylishness. Aliph took the original
version and slimmed it down while keeping many of the features of the
original. It still includes the military grade noise reduction
technology known as NoiseAssassin. Plus, it keeps its minimalistic
stylish appearance, which looks more like some fashion item for your
ear than a blinking blue LED lit piece of plastic.

So let’s take a closer look at
whether the New Jawbone is worth the investment.




The New Jawbone aka Jawbone 2 Reviewed

Reviewed by: Tomas Ratas



Tech Specs,Features or the
Basic Info:

New Jawbone aka Jawbone 2


Jawbone eliminates real world noise
better than any other headset because it is the only headset that can
accurately separate speech from ambient noise.

mobile phone is the prevailing communication tool for business and
personal productivity, and people expect to be able to use their
phones in all environments without sacrificing audio quality.
Jawbone’s patented NoiseAssassin™ technology is unique in its
ability to separate speech from ambient noise with remarkable
precision. Jawbone’s NoiseAssassin is able to achieve this while
other headsets cannot due to:


Jawbone’s Voice Activity Sensor
(VAS) is able to detect very accurately when the person is talking
and capture the frequencies of his or her speech even in the presence
of noise.

DSP Algorithms:

The NoiseAssassin
algorithms were developed over a number of years for the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). These required powerful
noise suppression algorithms for use in the most extreme acoustic
noise environments including battlefields and helicopters. The
algorithms use Jawbone’s two microphones and the VAS to accurately
model the noise environment.

Jawbone detects
when and how a person is speaking, models the noise, and aggressively
eliminates it.

Conventional “noise
eliminating” headsets do not have the VAS and can only estimate
when speech is occurring with software-based Voice Activation
Detection (VAD) systems. For these systems to work, the speech must
be significantly louder or spectrally different from the noise. These
systems fail in loud environments or in the presence of other
people’s speech. Furthermore, because they can’t accurately identify
the speech signals, they distort the speech in the process of
attempting to eliminate the noise. The result of this distortion is a
significant degradation in intelligibility and quality in order to
achieve a perceptual reduction in noise.


The New Jawbone is the next step in
the integration of best in class noise elimination technology with
personal design that is both humanistic and minimal.

In the tradition of bringing
together beauty and science, the new Jawbone is a miracle of
miniaturization and 50% smaller than the original award-winning
Jawbone. Every effort has been made to contain best in class noise
elimination technology in the most unassuming, yet richly detailed

No Visible

The “invisible button”
policy at Jawbone accomplishes a clutter-free look. Touch-surface
technology allows the user to operate switches by lightly pressing
the outside shield.


Constructed with ultra-smooth
medical-grade plastic, the new Jawbone also comes with optional fine
leather earloops.


Comprised of an outer shield
and inner surface, the new Jawbone experience is two-fold. The outer
shield, curved and rectilinear to follow the face, is lightly
textured in a sound-reflective progressive relief, a
three-dimensional texture visually representative of noise abatement
surfaces. This unique surface becomes animated as light creates
highlights and shadows when worn. The inner surface, the one touching
the face and creating contact with the Voice Activity Sensor, is
gently curved to be ergonomic and comfortable on the skin.

Technical Specs:
-Bluetooth v2.0
supported: Hands-free and Headset

-Claimed talk
time: Over 4 hours

-Claimed standby time: 8

-Headset size: 2.2 x 0.5 x 1 inches
weight: 0.35 oz. (10 grams)


-AC adapter: 100-240V

A Better Look at Things


First thing one notices about the
Jawbone is the packaging. Very few companies have packaging this
elegant. Apple is one company that comes to mind. Aliph’s box
design is reminiscent of box from a fine jeweler. Prominently
displayed on the top of the box in clear plastic is the Jawbone
headset. Surrounding this plastic case is a jet black cardboard

On the front of this sleeve is the
Jawbone name with the words – Earwear beneath it. The slogan –
Eliminates Noise is embossed in black just below the Jawbone name.
Finally, the logos for Bluetooth and NoiseAssassin are at the bottom
of this panel. The back of the box has an embossed image of the
headset, a description of the NoiseAssassin technology and the
Product Specifications.

The New Jawbone truly looks like a
museum display case with the Jawbone 2 suspended in mid air by a
plastic clip.

Once this cardboard sleeve is removed,
there is a quick start guide for getting started. Flipping the front
of the plastic case upward, allows access to the contents of the box.
The actual headset comes out by sliding the plastic stand and base
forward. The instructions are attached to the quickstart guide and
rest just below the plastic stand for the Jawbone 2.

The instructions are folded under the
quickstart guide.

Once the instructions are removed,
there are two cardboard boxes found beneath. The top box says
“Customize Your Fit” and the other says “Power Up”.

Customize Your Fit is the box
containing two spare earbuds and three spare ear loops. Two of the
ear loops are leather while the other two sizes are “slim” for
people who wear eyeglasses. The Power Up box contains the USB/AC
enabled charger.

Upon inspection of the Jawbone headset,
the device is light weight coming in at around 10 grams and measuring
two inches in length and 0.5 inches in width and thickness. It comes
in three different colors – black, gray and red. For our review, we
will be looking at the black unit.

The Jawbone 2 is composed of a medical
grade plastic. On the outer portion there is a diamond shaped
pattern composed of a matte black plastic. The inner aspect is a
shiny black plastic where the ear piece can be found along with the
voice activation sensor, which is a white button that rests against
ones cheek.

From the top aspect is the ear loop
which is part plastic, part malleable metal with or without leather
depending on which loop you employ. The ear buds and the ear loops
are easily removed and can be replaced by one of the different sized
ones included with the headset.

The Jawbone 2 features two buttons,
which are concealed by the external housing of the device. The
button of the side of the device is the Talk button and the one
towards the rear of the Jawbone 2 is the NoiseAssassin button. The
rear portion just behind the ear piece holds the charging strip.

The charger is gray with the Jawbone
name on the top of the AC plug component. There is a USB slot here
for plugging in the proprietary cable. At the end of this USB cable
is magnetic charging clip which connects to the Jawbone 2 quickly and
easily. This concept is similar to the MagSafe magnetic power cord
seen on MacBooks.

Now the NoiseAssassin technology is not
just a cool name, it actually works to eliminate external ambient
background noise by combining the patented Voice Activity Sensor
(VAS) and proprietary Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms.
The VAS detects the vibrations from ones jaw while speaking and the
DSP filters out the surrounding noise from the conversation. This is
based on DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) technology
which is used by the military.

{mospagebreak title=Installation and Testing}

Installation, and Testing :

To start using the Jawbone 2, you will
need to charge it for 50 minutes. While the device is charging, the
LED indicator on the side will glow red. The talk time is rated at
four hours, while the standby time is eight days.


Once this LED turns white, then you are
ready to start using the Jawbone 2. To turn on the headset, press
the talk button for two seconds. The Jawbone 2 goes into pairing
mode the first time you turn it on. Next, pair your phone. For this
review, I paired it with the iPhone 3G which took all of ten seconds
to complete the process. The passcode for the Jawbone is the
ubiquitous 0000. One can also manually place the Jawbone 2 into
pairing mode by holding down the Talk and NoiseAssassin buttons at
the same time from the unpowered state for two seconds. The LED will
flash red and white indicating one is in pairing mode.

Now to properly use the Jawbone 2, it
is important to get the proper fit. The default packaging has the
medium ear loop and medium earbud. I found this variation
uncomfortable and was able to find a better fit with the XL ear loop
and a small earbud. It is important the the VAS is touching your
face; otherwise, the NoiseAssassin technology will not function
properly. There is the option to turn off NoiseAssassin by holding
the NoiseAssassin Button pressed in for two seconds. It can be
restarted the same way, by default, NoiseAssassin is always on.

Picking up a call involves pressing the
talk button, while rejecting a call is done by pressing the
NoiseAssassin button. The volume is controlled by pressing the
NoiseAssassin button while on a call, this cycles the volume from
loudest to lowest and back again with each subsequent press. To
redial, triple tap the NoiseAssassin button. If you have Voice
Dialing enable on your phone, then press the Noise Assassin button
for two seconds while in the Standby mode and speak a command.

If you prefer to walk around without
any LEDs showing, press the Talk button five times while in Standby
mode. Normally, the LED will blink white while it is on.

Now, the first thing anyone notices
about the Jawbone 2 is the appearance. It looks stylish and sexy
compared to other headsets out on the market. The Jawbone 2 is a
Bluetooth headset that almost anyone would be proud to wear around

Functionally the Jawbone 2 is not much
different than most Bluetooth headsets. What sets it apart is the
NoiseAssassin technology. The Jawbone 2 uses a directional
microphone to help localize speech from other sounds. In combination
with the VAS and DSP technology, conversations in noisy environments
are now a reality.

In the past, using a Bluetooth in noisy
environments made it a futile endeavor. With the Jawbone 2, I was
able to have a conversation in a crowded store and outside of an
arena without any difficulty. Plus the other person on the other end
barely realized where I was.

One of the first things noticed by the
people on the other end of my phone calls and myself was the volume
of my calls was much louder and clearer. Apparently, my previous
Bluetooth headset’s output volume was so low, that I ended up
speaking very loudly when using it. Now I can have a normal
conversation with someone while using the Jawbone 2.

In terms of comfort, the Jawbone 2 is
an in the ear headset. Generally, I find prolonged wearing of these
types of headphones/headsets becomes uncomfortable. However, the
clarity and audibility of the calls is so much better with an in ear
earpiece, that it is worth the mild discomfort. Plus, switching to a
smaller earbud did make a large difference in terms of comfort.

Summary and Comments

Now the Jawbone 2 is not a cheap
investment, but the saying is you get what you pay for, and with the
Jawbone 2, you get a lot!

The quality, presentation and style are
top of the line.

It is the best sounding Bluetooth
headset that I have encountered.

DragonSteelMods gives the New JawBone a
4.5 out of 5 score.


-Elegant Design

-Excellent sound quality

-NoiseAssassin audio processing

-Custom fit



I would like to thank Aliph for the chance to review the New JawBone and for their support of DSM.