You know how there can be certain products that you see people using all of the time, or that maybe you’ve even used yourself for a while, but you just don’t really “get” them? Well that’s been my relationship with Bluetooth headsets, or “ear roaches” as Kerry calls them. Sure, I have used and reviewed many of the best models available, and some of them worked so well, fit so comfortably, filtered out background noise so wondrously, or looked so tiny that I thought I might have actually found one I could live with. But in the end, I have always found myself drifting right back to the speakerphone feature on whatever mobile I was using.
Nine times out of ten, I have had a person in mind who I would give the review unit to when I was done, just because I knew the headset would end up in the bottom of my gadget drawer otherwise. It’s not that there has ever been anything necessarily wrong with any of the headsets I’ve reviewed, it’s more that my mindset just wasn’t such that I would decide to sport the borg look on purpose; I just couldn’t be compelled to actually charge yet another gadget nightly, much less pull it out and use it when needed.
The subject of this review was no exception.
When I was asked to review the new Jabra JX20 PURA Titanium Edition Bluetooth headset, of course I thought it looked nice and somewhat intriguing; it’s made of titanium and it’s pretty darn small, after all. I liked that the headset wasn’t cluttered with a bunch of flashing lights (notice that there are none on the side facing away from the wearer’s face), there weren’t a bunch of buttons all over the device, and it didn’t have so many features that I might be tempted to remove the headset from my ear just to operate the darn thing.
Features & Specifications:
- Up to 6 hours talk time and 200 hours of stand by
- Bluetooth 2.0 & auto-pairing
- Adaptive sound
- Digital sound enhancement via DSP
- A2DP for music
- Mechanical on/off switch on earpiece
- Up to 33 foot range
- 128 Bit encrytion
- 4mm Omnidirectional microphone
Included in the box are the JX20 PURA, two earhooks, two eargels, a desk stand, a USB / microUSB charging cord, and an AC / microUSB charging cord; I like that the PURA can be charged from of my laptop or directly from a wall charger.
The JX20 measures approximately 1.6″ long x 0.75″ wide x 0.75″ deep (including the ear bud); it has volume up and volume down buttons on its butt end. These are tiny and it takes a little bit of practice to get used to rocking them when the earpiece is in place.
That little indention you see near the tip of the headset is the LED battery and status indicator. I can’t stress how much I like the fact that the indicator lights do not shine for all to see; the LED is kept discreetly close to the wearer’s cheek.
A black plastic button on the right side functions for answering or ending calls; the charging socket and microphone are located on the tip of the headset.
The button on the left is a decoy – a nub that looks like the mirror image of the one on the other side, but which does nothing.
With or without the earhook inserted into the receiving hole in the earpiece, rotating the earpiece will either turn the headset on or off. I thought this method of powering the headset was brilliant; rotating the earpiece clockwise turns it on, and rotating it counterclockwise turns it off. I suppose that it wouldn’t be necessary to wear the earhook if the earpiece otherwise perfectly fits in your ear, but I found that I liked the extra security the earhook provided.
The included charging cradle is quite slick, and will look good on the owner’s desk; five LED dots light up in a row on the charger beneath the headset to indicate its battery status,
Pairing with the iPhone was extremely simple; rotating the earpiece to the ON position the first time put it into pairing mode, but subsequent pairings with other devices will require pressing and holding the answer/end button on the side. The JX20 can pair with up to eight devices (two at any given time), including laptops, PDAs, digital music players, and mobile phones.
On the iPhone, no PIN was necessary to complete pairing, and now that its done, this is the message I see showing options regarding how I can make or answer calls.
The JX20 is quite small and light, and once I pinched the smallest earhook in a bit, I found that it fit quite securely. Call quality indoors was excellent, but some wind noise was evident when I made or took calls outside. I did not experience any static or crackling when using the headset indoors or out, which was a huge plus.
I have to admit that I rather like the JX20; it’s small enough that I can wear the headset without feeling like a borg, but it still manages to deliver decent sound and call quality.
I suppose that some might not think that it offers enough bells and whistles, but what I want is a simple headset that looks good and works well; I believe that the JX20 fits that bill.
The JX20 is rated as having up to 6 hours talk time and 200 stand by, and I believe that that is probably true, as I have only charged it twice in the past four weeks; when I first got it and again a few days ago. Will I keep using it? Right now I honestly think so. I love taking calls while working, without holding my phone up to my face. The speakerphone feature on the iPhone is nowhere as loud as the one on my Vertu (which is still gone for repairs) was, so out of necessity I have been holding it to my ear; the JX20 has allowed me to lay the phone down and use both of my hands for…whatever, again.
MSRP: $179, but you can find them for much less by shopping around a bit
What I Like: Elegant, compact and stylish design; comfortable fit; sound quality was very good indoors and passable outside; easy to turn on or off simply by rotating the earpiece
What Needs Improvement: MSRP is expensive! Fortunately they can be found online for more competitive prices