In the world of Bluetooth (BT) headsets, the choices and options are wide and varied. Quite a contrast from the early days when Motorola was the first and only BT headset that was widely available nearly 9 years ago. In my position, employees often ask for advice about BT headsets and BT ear pieces. When the CLIPPER was announced by Jabra, I placed an order for one to see what I thought of it. I was so pleased with the headset that I continued to use it long after my opinion had been formed. In this review, I will highlight some of the features of the Jabra CLIPPER Headset, a stereo BT headset that I have been using for nearly a year, shortly after it became available.
The folks from Jabra describe the clipper as —
Jabra CLIPPER is the newest addition to Jabra’s Stereo Headset range providing users with wireless stereo music and calls in one cool little Bluetooth® clip.
Jabra CLIPPER’s in-ear headphones block external noise which enhance its clear, vibrant music and calling quality – leaving you to get lost in your music rather than the outside rumble. However, to make sure you’re still connected to the outside world, Jabra CLIPPER automatically switches between your music and incoming calls to your phone. Plus, to prevent you from dropping out of range or leaving your phone behind Jabra CLIPPER cleverly features a mobile distance alert (within 10 m).
The Jabra CLIPPER is compatible with any device with Bluetooth technology and has the ability to connect to two different devices at the same time. It also comes with a 3.5mm plug so that you can use your own favorite headphones.
From the looks of it, the controls of the Jabra CLIPPER are very minimalistic, much like the BT earpieces that are available. The biggest difference is that you can actually see the controls when trying to press a button instead of fumbling with an earpiece. The CLIPPER attaches to your clothing by the means of a “clip” that shaped so that the ends of the clip come together, but not via a spring, just simply the shape of the CLIPPER. The collar or neckline of a shirt is ideal for the CLIPPER’s placement, also due to the fact that the CLIPPER comes with ear buds with a very short cord. The cord is designed to be placed behind the head to allow the ear buds to dangle from the neck when not placed inside the ear. Which is great considering that I have had many ear buds ripped from my ears while the long cords get caught on something I am carrying or a stray doorknob.
There are essentially three different buttons on the CLIPPER, used for different functions depending on what operation is being performed. In the center is a large button that serves as the Power/Talk/End Call/Play/Pause button. The other two buttons serve as the Volume Up/Fast Forward and Volume Down/Reverse buttons. If paired with a device that allows for music playback control via BT, it is possible to control the device while entirely inside your pocket. The controls are underneath a membrane, but are raised enough such that they give when pressed.
With the in-ear-canal ear buds that are supplied with the CLIPPER from Jabra, the buds provide adequate volume, provided you have the buds placed far enough in your ear canals to help block out background noises with the form-fitting rubber tips. Which makes the CLIPPER a great headset, but not ideal for using while driving unless you use just the one ear bud. And the microphone works very well, perhaps too well as many who I am on the phone with ask me to turn down my radio, when in actuality, the radio’s volume is seemingly low, but all the other caller can hear. There is only a single microphone and in a windy setting, the CLIPPER suffers the same problems other BT headsets and earpieces suffer.
The CLIPPER has one LED indicator which blinks with two different colors to indicate various states, from being powered on, incoming call, depleted battery, and charging battery. The indicator is bright and can be easily seen in all lighting conditions given the colors it uses. The frequency it blinks often can lead the user to an incorrect conclusion; however, such as thinking the CLIPPER is off when it is simply between “blinks”.
The battery life is what you might expect from a BT headset. One drawback is that as it is a stereo headset, it is more often likely than not,used to listen to music when not making phone calls, while a BT earpiece would be simply idle. As such, the battery drain is more frequent and requires charging via the micro-USB port with the charger supplied or any computer’s USB port. Also, as the battery is approaching the depleted condition, an audio tone can be heard via the headset as well as indicated by the LED.
As the CLIPPER has been on the market for some time, its current price puts is between the entry-level BT earpieces and the slightly higher BT earpieces that offer some of the more advanced features or lighter weight. Surprisingly, the cost has not decreased significantly since its initial offering. While it may be difficult to find the CLIPPER in retail stores, a few on-line retailers offer the CLIPPER for less than what Jabra’s own web store.
All in all, I would recommend the CLIPPER to anyone who was looking for a stereo BT headset for listening to music that may occasionally make phone calls while driving. It’s small and lightweight body make it easy to wear and keep on the entire day without giving it much consideration. While certainly not going to stun anyone with its audio quality or performance, it provides a good mix between the utility of a BT earpiece for phone calls and a BT stereo headset for listening to music.
What I like: Stereo BT support for great stereo sound; form-fitting ear buds to help block out outside sounds; great microphone
What Needs Improvement: More frequent battery recharges when used to listen to music and make phone calls; more costly than single-ear BT units; single microphone doesn’t allow for noise cancellation