Nailing down the design and functionality of a bluetooth headset seems like it’d be a fairly easy task. Yet if you’ve ever been in the market for a new headset, you’ve probably noticed that their aren’t many models out there that offer great design and functionality at a fair price. Jabra’s Extreme Headset ($79) is here to the rescue to provide a great experience at a reasonable price.
Ease of use is one of the top things I want from an electronics product, and Jabra’s Extreme Headset received flying colors straight out of the box. I’ve actually never used a Bluetooth headset before because I’ve felt like they looked a little bit ridiculous, and I’m not important enough to need a Star Trek tool attached to my ear. That being said, When I got the Jabra Extreme I was a bit leery of using it. Yet the device was so simple to set up it was great. There was no messy voice walk-through, or contact synching. Users just have to flip the dedicated power switch on, and go to their iPhone’s bluetooth settings to sync it up.
The design of the headset isn’t the best on the block, but for $79 it’s pretty good. Its industrial look is fairly basic and appears like a headset should. No extra flourish to decorate the frame with weird geometric patterns, the headset is all about no fusses. It’s there to be a piece of art like some other headsets on the market.
Call quality on the Jabra Extreme was excellent, especially for its price. Jabra’s Noise Blackout Extreme technology did a great job of killing the ambient noise in a room so that I was able to hear the person on the other line better than I would if I used the iPhone’s speakers. Voice quality was also very good. No one I spoke to on the phone knew I was on a bluetooth headset until I told them towards the end of the call.
Other nice features on the headset include A2DP capabilities. I don’t talk on the phone much, but being able to stream music to the bluetooth while I’m not on the phone was great. Also, the Multi-Point Technology is pretty neat, in that the Jabra Extreme Headset can be connected to two devices – that way you can pick up Dwight K. Schrute’s phone calls without missing any of your own.
Comfort isn’t a real strong suit of this headset. The earpiece felt a bit large for me and its hard plastic made it more uncomfortable than a lot of hard earphones I’ve used in the past. Jabra claims that the earpiece is supposed to mold to your ear with repetitive use, but going 45 minutes with the headset in place felt like a bit of challenge for my ears.
Having dedicated volume buttons on the Jabra Extreme is a nice feature, but they’re a bit too small. A few times I meant to raise the volume of my music but accidentally lowered it. My girlfriend’s dainty lady hands performed a bit better using the volume buttons though so maybe it was just my clumsiness that attributed to the frustration.
The Jabra Extreme Headset is no beauty queen, but does its job very well at a price that is really affordable. Discomfort aside, if you’re looking for a solid, no frills bluetooth that will treat you right, the Jabra Extreme is worth your coin.
[xrr rating = 70%]
This is Primo Bluetooth Headset Week, and we’ll be test driving all the high-end Bluetooth headsets we can lay our hands on.