Since there are a million bluetooth headsets out there – I very rarely bother even trying more than one ever couple of months. If they look nice, chances are they don’t work well. If they work well, it’s likely uncomfortable to wear. If it’s comfortable to wear, they usually aren’t even very good. I won’t even get into price, some of which border on the absurd. So when Jabra announced their STONE bluetooth headset, I didn’t pay it a moments attention. A few friends of mine got them with their new HTC Aria’s and raved about them. My curiosity raised – but not enough to grab one. Then, Jabra announced a STONE white, and it reminded me I wanted to try one.
The STONE is a well thought out, slick piece of tech. The headset looks nice on the ear and on the dock. When docked, the STONE fits in the palm of your hand, and disappears in your pocket it’s so light, though it also has a belt clip should you decide you don’t want it in your pocket. The dock is supposed to travel with you – as a secondary power source to the headset when you are out and about. As a device, it makes the headset easier and cleaner to store and travel with. The box comes with ear gels for just about every kind of ear and style. Personally I am not a fan of earpieces being shoved all the way to my eardrum, and Jabra accommodated nicely.
I am extremely picky when it comes to audio quality, which is likely one of the big reasons I do not like most bluetooth devices. The price doesn’t determine the audio quality either, proven by the Stone’s ability to deliver superior audio quality than it’s $200 brothers. Paired to my Nexus one, it delivered an audio experience better than holding the phone up to your ear, in both making calls and listening to music. Although there is no mic boom, or even a jawbone mic or anything, the mic present on the STONE was very capable in terms of ambient noise reduction and the ability to deliver my voice to the recipient. Currently, I am at 4 hours of talk time since I got the device, and every single person I have spoken to has reported a quality experience in listening to me, both in a restaurant and in the car.
As a rule, if you sell another battery to your device, whatever it may be, you are kind of selling the fact that your device doesn’t get very good battery life. Not the case with the Stone. In a single charge, I was able to listen to music for an hour, talk to verizon on the phone for 45 minutes, and catch AGTNFTW. After the podcast, however, the device died and I needed to put it on the stone. The charge time is about 2 hours from dead to full, and I got just over 4 hours of active use from it. The next day, I used it the way Jabra intended. The headset stayed docked unless I was in a car or around town, and the headset lasted more than 14 hours.
While the ability to make calls and listen to things is the headset’s primary job, the features the device comes with cannot be ignored. The device is amazingly easy to pair with multiple devices. It stayed connected to my laptop and my phone during AGTNFTW and handled both very well. There are no buttons on the device. The entire bottom of the device depresses to answer the phone or to activate voice dialing (2.2 only), and it works very well. Volume control is handled by touch controls. A simple glide of the finger up the side of the headset raies the volume, and gliding down will lower it. The headset has two lights on the inside of the headset’s curve, one to signify battery life and the other for connection status. A brief glance at the manual showed me the definitions for the various blinks, making it very easy to use.
For $75 online, this headset is my favorite accessory right now. The STONE comes in either white or black, and while it is non-adjustable (right ear only) it’s very close to one size fits all. Keep up the good work Jabra!