Aliph Jawbone Prime Bluetooth headset review

The third iteration of Aliph's Jawbone headset - the Prime - is undeniably pretty. The company, as we've previously said, is clearly targeting the fashion end of the spectrum, but claims to have the technology to back it up, too.

Since the Jawbone 2, it seems that Aliph has been working primarily on that technology, because the look of the device is almost identical to its predecessor.

Focusing primarily on wind noise, the Jawbone Prime claims that it can now handle 10mph winds. Wind is a little more tricky to deal with than regular noise because it's not constant - it swirls around. In our testing, callers reported that this works to an extent. A hairdryer held next to the ear muffled sound completely, but when held at arms length, voice was still distinct and audible.

Aliph has also tweaked the voice activity sensor, which detects when you're talking. This takes the form of a little plastic nubbin that sits on your cheek and detects vibrations.

Previous products had an issue where if this came away from your face then callers wouldn't be able to hear you. That's now fixed in the new version, which reverts to the functionality of a standard headset when it comes away from the cheek - rather than cutting out completely.

Several earbud options are offered, as well as an optional ear hook. A new modification to the earbuds is a little plastic flap that pushes the unit into your cheek slightly, as well as helping to keep it in your ear. While using this, no amount of flailing about wildly could dislodge the Jawbone from our ear.

The Jawbone Prime includes multipoint functionality, so you can connect to up to eight devices at once, and two simultaneously - useful if you have a work and a home phone. If either device rings, picking it up is as simple as pressing the side of the device - it'll automatically send you to the right one.

The Prime comes in a wide variety of colours, all with silly names. "Frankly Scarlet" (red), "Yello!" (yellow), "Drop Me A Lime" (green) and "Lilac You Mean It" (purple) have been added to the matt black, satin brown and platinum options that were previously available.

The sound quality is reasonable, with one caller that we tested it with only mentioning a slight tinny quality to the sound - something common to many headsets. The fit is comfortable, though if you're not used to Bluetooth headsets then wearing it for long periods might become a little painful.

It's a little costly at £89. Sure, it's pretty and all, and the tech is great, but not all users will need the noise-cancelling functionality that it provides.

Verdict

The Jawbone Prime is a great-looking headset that's very capable of blocking out noise in a variety of situations. If you spend a lot of time in noisy places, you'll be pleased. However, if you don't wear a headset on a regular basis, or call in quieter locations a lot, then there's no reason to buy this model over a cheaper headset.