Another day another Bluetooth headset I hear you cry, how many ways it is possible to talk on your mobile phone with a small dongle sticking out your ear lug? We put in the new Jawbone 2 to see if this one stands out from the crowd.
Around half the size of the previous Jawbone, the new headset comes with the same crocodile style back casing and promises noise cancelling tech to make sure calls are crystal clear.
The design is, as these things normally are, simple and smart. Weighing in at 10 grams, 4 grams lighter than the original, the Jawbone 2 is clearly geared towards the fashion set rather than your builder on a budget and comes in black, sliver or blingtastic gold.
Rather than a wired earloop, this one is bound in leather and there are no visible buttons on the device. In the box you get three different sized earloops and two different sized earbuds suggesting you should find one that fits you comfortably.
There is a status light, however this is hidden under the shell and flashes white or red accordingly. Likewise the answer and hang-up button is designed like a mouse click button and is hidden under the shell.
Charging has been improved with a new fast charge battery can juice the Jawbone up to 80% capacity in 30 minutes, but the overall battery life has suffered from the original's capacity, with 4 hours of talk time and 8 days of standby.
In the box you get an AC charger that either plugs into the wall or the option to charge the Jawbone 2 on your laptop via USB and we're really impressed by the size of the charger, it might be geeky to admit it, but its small and ideal for travelling, even the USB charging option complete with its MagSafe-style connector is compact and well designed.
Design is one thing, but what about performance? Although the battery life has been halved due to a reduction in size - its now 4 hours of talk and 8 days standby - you do still get the NoiseAssassin technology which made the first one so good to talk on.
According to the blurb "NoiseAssassin was originally developed for DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which creates new technology for the U.S. military. It was designed to work in tough, battlefield environments, where clear communication is critical".
In practice what this means is that people will be able to hear you in virtually any environment be it the office or the car, something that as you can imagine is handy for a Bluetooth headset.
In our tests only one person out of 20 people we phoned complained about the quality of the audio on the call using the device. Even then that person, one on our phone a friend list for testing Bluetooth headsets, always claims we are in a crisp packet, in a wind tunnel, or basically anywhere other than a phone pressed to our face. To the Jawbone 2, the only criticism was that it sounded like the phone was just further away than normal.
With a stylish design, great voice quality both receiving and making calls and an easy setup there is little to fault with the Aliph Jawbone 2.