Best Bluetooth headsets: Jawbone ERA vs Plantronics Voyager PRO HD vs Jabra Supreme vs Jabra Extreme2
Jabra Supreme and the Plantronics Voyager PRO HD deliver outstanding audio quality with clear, natural voice tones at more that sufficiently loud volume levels. And that goes for both sides of the line. Bear in mind, however, that while using the latter, a weird choppiness interrupted one of our calls. After further testing with several devices, we were unable to reproduce the glitch, but a bit of digging on the web showed that others have experienced it too.
The Jabra Extreme2 sounds good for the most part and successfully blocks most of the surrounding noise, but there is an audible hint of digitizing during calls, and voices, albeit being easy to understand, sound a bit boomy. The microphone, on the other hand, did a good job at picking up distinct voice tones, but a wind-like noise was present from time to time on the other side of the line.
Undeniably, the Jawbone ERA was the most disappointing Bluetooth headset in the bunch. While we cannot complain much about the performance of its microphone, the in-call audio delivered by its earpiece was of poor quality when compared to the other three. We tried switching smartphones, but the results were identical.
It is always nice knowing that your Bluetooth headset (or any other gizmo, for that matter) has a few tricks up its sleeve. For example, all of the headsets that we are reviewing will work with your phone's music or video app, YouTube client, and even Skype or other VoIP application. Additionally, every single one in the bunch can tell you the caller's name when a call is inbound, and if their number is not present in your phone's contacts list, it will be spoken out digit by digit.
However, only the Plantronics Voyager PRO HD, Jabra Supreme and the Jawbone ERA can speak out how much juice they have left in their batteries. And instead of giving you a meaningless percentage, they will actually give you an estimated remaining talk time in hours. Pretty handy feature, don't you think?
If you are into voice commands, the Plantronics Voyager PRO HD would be the headset to go with. It offers a whole bunch of voice-activated functions thanks to its Vocalyst feature. For example, it can read your emails and text messages, but it will also allow you to send a reply by using your voice only. Posting to social networks is also possible. The Jabra Supreme supports voice commands as well. When a call is inbound, the user can simply say “answer” to pick up, or “ignore” to (d'oh) ignore the call, which, when combined with the headset's remaining voice commands, results in a very satisfying hands-free experience.
Overall, all of the four Bluetooth headsets have their pros and cons. If for some reason you need a headset that would serve mostly as a fashion accessory, yet won't be actually used much, the Jawbone ERA would be the one to pick. If you need a more affordable, yet comfortable headset that can be worn comfortably all day long, the Jabra Extreme2 is the one that we would recommend. Professionals will be very satisfied with both the Jabra Supreme and the Plantronics Voyager PRO HD as they offer outstanding in-call audio quality and are much more comfortable than they actually look.
Best Bluetooth headsets: Jawbone ERA, Plantronics Voyager PRO Video Comparison:
The Jawbone ERA was kindly provided to us by MobileFun.co.uk.
1. Mad_Dog_Sauce (Posts: 7; Member since: 25 Aug 2010)
What about Moto's new Elite Flip headset. I own it and it's great. I have a Voyager Pro, if comfort is key, then that's the one to get. The Jawbone isn't anything to write home about... And who wants anything from Jabra? Everything they make is garbage.
2. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)
I went from a Jawbone ERA to a Plantronics M1100 and, honestly, the M1100 seems to work a little better. Everything is voice command on it which is both a blessing and curse (more blessing when driving though), but if you're just using it in the car it does an amazing job with noise reduction and voice clarity. I can't speak for multimedia or anything like that...
3. daywalker (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)
im a construction worker and im outside with noise all day. i have tried all that is mentioned here and i can honestly say none of these holds a candle to the bose series 2. call quailty blows all of these out of the water. i tried so hard to make myself like the jawbone but if i was close to any noise the volume would go so low that i couldnt hear the thing. but the bose no matter what im doing or piece of machinery im running i never had trouble hearing or being heard. also the comfort and ease of use is second to none. the most comfortable earpiece out there and i have tried them all. the only downside is the price for some ($149.00) but for me after trying a ton of bluetooths this was well worth it.
4. Immolate (Posts: 270; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)
I've had an ERA for a year and the only problem I have with the comfort is that I sometimes forget it's there. It never falls out. I don't use the ear loop. It sounds great. It does DNLA. It's noise cancellation is hands-down better than the other high-end headsets. Five hours of talk time. Programmable voice (I use "bombshell").
I accidentally washed the first one I bought and found it in the dryer afterward. It stopped working about a month later, so I had to replace it. I bought another exactly like it. Highly recommended.
I use a Plantronics headset in my home office day in and day out. It's much larger and heavier, but it's another best-of-breed product. I probably spend thirty hours a week on one or the other, so I don't skimp on my phone accessories.
5. dmbfan42 (Posts: 7; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)
I have used Jawbone for about 2 years ICON first and now the Era. I went through 4 headsets in a week and half and out of the other types of headsets i tried (Moto Elite Silver, BlueAnt Rugged, Bose 2 and Jabra Extreme2) i went back with the Era as the winner. I work for the a cable company and drive a van with a lot of parts and equipment that move around on bumpy roads. With the other BT everyone said i either sounded robotic or could hear all the noise in the van rattling around. But with the Era it has all gone away and every can hear me and like it they cant hear the noise.
Yes the jawbone can uncomfortable but with a purchase of other ear buds (jabra eargels) and a little modification i dont even know its there!!
6. SailFree (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Apr 2012)
1) Bought Jawbone, noise cancellation was lousy, if outdoors or any wind, wife couldn't understand me at all.
2) Bought second Jawbone, thinking first was just defective, and had same problems. Tried more or less pressure of the white nub against cheek--could make the sound worse, but never better.
3) Hard to keep in ear.
4) Plantronics M1100 solved wind and noise problem, but still hard to get ANY bluetooth to stay in my ears without a loop. And none of the devices with non-adjustable loops fit well at all.
5) No, I don't have weird ears.
7. daywalker (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)
Sailfree I tried them all but hands downs the Bose series 2 is the best. It's pricey at $150 but you will not have to get another.
8. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
This is how a real comparison should be done.
Ray S, take notes!
9. Pope1944 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Sep 2012)
Been a heavy user for years and tried every brand (except Bose). Have had several Jawbones and swear by them. Solved the ear bud/hook problem by getting a custom made earpiece (Avery.com) that I have moved to three different Jawbones. No connection to the company but I highly recommend one if you have an uncomfortable fit. Makes the sound so good that you have to lower the volume. I have driven down the highway at 70mph with the window open and have no problems on either end of the call.
10. alfalf (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Dec 2012)
noise cancellation is a big sale point
it's a pity that the comparison is not included
11. alfalf (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Dec 2012)
noise cancellation is a big selling point
it's a pity that the comparison is not included
12. Puripong (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)
I have tried both Jawbone and Platronics and if only these two are my choices I must say Plantronics is far much better over Jawbone. The "noise cancellation" is the key factor why Plantronics is the real winner to me. This function is important for the use at real work environment and noise cancellation by Jawbone was only a hype. It is totally useless and I cannot make a proper call under heavy condition such as strong wind or standing near a construction site. I wonder if peoples might consider buying them because of the design over functions.
But anyway apart from driving a car you may not want to wear Plantronics headset in public because it will only make you look funny. It is very confort but not charming at all no matter how handsome or pretty and beauty you are.
Sorry if my English may not good. This is just a comment from an Asian guy. :)