Jabra STONE Review

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Introduction and Design
Introduction and Design:

One of the inescapable conclusions you can arrive at by as much as taking a glimpse at the high-end hands-free devices of major manufacturers is they are all like two peas in a pod in terms of specifications and offer similar battery life for calls, can be connected to two cell phones at the same time, etc. Their price tags are not that dissimilar either and most can be had for $90 to $150. So, how do they differ from one another? What are their distinguishing features if any? First and foremost, it’s all about design. And this is the personal trait that makes the Jabra STONE a unique Bluetooth headset that stands out from the crowd.

The first thing to grab our attention was… the box that is actually a cylinder with semi-transparent upper part, with the gadget with smoothly rounded shape that does look like a pebble nestled inside. This is what the headset looks like when put onto the charging cradle and hence its name. By the way, unpacking the Jabra STONE can be a feat on its own merit… unless you have read the instructions printed onto the box first.

Since we have already mentioned the charger stand, let’s turn our undivided attention to it and take a closer look. It will actually allow you to charge the device on the run. Without it, the Jabra STONE offers about 2 hrs of continuous talk time on a single charge, but you can use the stand to bring the gadget back to life three more times and extend the value to almost eight hours in total. You charge the cradle via microUSB port and there is a small LED light next to it that indicates the remaining charge. It’s cool that the set includes a clip, meaning you wear the stand on your belt.



The headset features an extremely simple design and we quite like that. It’s made to be worn on the right ear only and gets attached to it by a small hook that slightly bends under strain. The gadget also comes boxed with two extra earpiece tips. 


The Jabra STONE is equipped with a single hardware button that you use to power on the gadget, pair it with a cell phone and re-dial numbers. So, how do you control the volume then? Via a touch-sensitive band, of course. Cool, we love innovations like this. Unfortunately the overall chance of getting it to work is roughly equal to making the right guess on what the weather would be like tomorrow morning. All told, we wish it had been better made.

Jabra is proud of the unique design of the STONE and for a reason. This is an offbeat device that stands out from the crowd and will certainly give you an extra-futuristic look. Traditionalists will probably not like it at the least, but hey, that’s life, there is no accounting for taste.




Performance:

The specific form of the Jabra STONE makes the headset extremely comfortable to wear, but you better avoid moving your head much, because you always get the feeling the gadget is about to fall off. And the reason is the earpiece does not fit snugly to your ear. It’s a cool thing the device is really light-weighted and will not get you tired even if you use it for a whole day. The disadvantage of the design is the Jabra STONE is best suited for a normal to large sized ears (the hook can be easily extended, but cannot be bent inwards any further), so people with smaller ears might find it somewhat uncomfortable to wear.


The in-call quality is quite nice as well, although not nearly as good as what the Plantronics Discovery 925 delivers. Our callers sounded relatively realistic, but there was constant, unobtrusive white noise. During our tests people on the other end complained we sounded slightly muffled. On the other hand, using the Jabra STONE while walking down a busy street proved to be a great experience and the gadget came off with flying colors, managing to isolate environmental din almost entirely, thanks to the integrated Noise Blackout Extreme technology that is, however, powerless against strong gusts of wind.

Conclusion:

The Jabra STONE comes with unique overall design that we believe will appeal to high-tech fans. The headset is exceptionally comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time and offers all modern extra features like simultaneous connectivity to two cell phones, A2DP for listening to music, etc.

It’s not a perfect device either. Its price tag of $129.99 makes us wish the gadget delivered better in-call quality and properly implemented touch-sensitive control band. Due to the specific overall shape, we would rather advise you to try the Jabra STONE before actually buying it, since you are almost out of options if you need to adjust the hook to get it to fit your ear perfectly.

We need to point out it’s just seems the gadget is incompatible with certain ear types and that’s that. People who don’t find the Jabra STONE comfortable to wear might consider the new Jabra ARROW or the Plantronics Discovery 925.



Pros

  • Unique design
  • Comfortable to wear for a long time
  • Cradle that charges the gadget

Cons

  • In-call quality could have been better
  • Rather unhandy volume controls

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

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