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Review of Jabra Stone 2 Bluetooth Headset
In the box:
On our website you can find the review of the first model, so feel free to read it as many things are the same.
Jabra has several iconic products, which brought the company fame and money. The first one is Jabra JX-10, which was a brave experiment with the form and content. The model was successful on many markets. Unfortunately, the next product in the line - Jabra JX-20 failed to ignite similar reverence among consumers.
Then came the efforts to reinvent JX-10 by updating the inside components and leaving the design unchanged, which was quite logical. We should mention Jabra HALO, as it is still unrivalled in terms of design, sound and other characteristics despite some quality issues. It is too fragile, but has no analogues.
Some have forgotten BT3030, which looked like a token, but cost little and enjoyed popularity. With that model the company returned to its winning ways and offered a feature rich and beautiful gadget. The emergence of Jabra Stone was timely as the sales started before Christmas vacations and the demand was high. Once again the manufacturer turned out to be innovative regarding the positioning of the product. On the one hand the Stone is attractive, while the battery is hidden inside. Several birds were killed with one stone. Nice design is coupled with impressive operation time and good sound quality. Let's look at the model more closely.
I will not remind you of Motorola PEBL and other gadgets playing with the topic of nature and pebbles. You can read the review of the original Stone as all my ideas are already there. The company attempted to come up with several additions without compromising on the previous success. Now the cradle and headset are trimmed with leather like plastic. It feels soft and looks like a piece of eye candy. At the bottom of the headset there is a metal looking plastic element, which actually features plastic only. The name of the company can be seen from afar. In general the product looks more expensive and intriguing. If the first incarnation could only impress with the whimsical shape the second Stone makes you keep it in hands for hours. The packaging was altered as well. Instead of a weird case, which made it difficult to get the headset outside we receive a simple box to decorate the shelves of any shop. At the same time the company style is evident.
On the cradle there is a microUSB for charging and three indicators nearby. The top has a strap hole, while in the box you can find a clip to connect the Stone to a belt. This approach did not seem reliable for me. The headset is easy to insert into the cradle and to take it out you just have to push it from behind.
Mode of Operation
You will not be able to carry the headset on the left ear due to its characteristics. Certain sacrifices had to be made for the sake of looks. As you can see Jabra Stone is made upside down. Other similar headsets have all electronic components hidden in the loop. In our case we only have a loop, while all machinery is located near the speaker. Place the Stone on your ear. It is convenient, but to my mind the speaker size is not ideal and during the operation ears get irritated, but it is possible to get accustomed though. Nevertheless, check everything yourself before the purchase. The headset is fastened properly and can be advised for the use in gyms and fitness centers. Stone is hardly inconspicuous, but you will not look like a Terminator with the gadget on unlike in Plantronics Voyager Pro or Jawbone Prime.
Buttons are not easy to spot and the multifunctional key is located near the Jabra logo. It allows answering and ending the call, switching between active conversations, dialling the latest number or activating voice dialling. Above there is a sensor area where you can move he finger up and down and control the volume (automated adjustment is available too). There are no complaints as to the controls, which can be operated even by children. The multifunctional key looks a bit messy and requires hard pressing with the minimal way.
On the outside we see a couple of light indicators. The first one gives information about the battery, while the second informs users about connections, pairing mode, etc. Thankfully, the indicators were moved back, but they look flashy.
Similarly to numerous mono headsets from Jabra here we get A2DP and directly from the phone you can listen to the music in stereo quality, but n one ear only. I have already mentioned the reasons for this feature to exist. We tested the option with iPhone 3Gs. It works well, but the playback cannot be controlled. In certain instances this option allows you listening to the music without attracting attention, let's say, in an office environment.
As in any other modern Jabra headset you can connect it to a couple of devices at a time. In the press release the technology is labelled Multiuse. I successfully connected Stone to iPhone 4 and SE W995. There were no issues with the reliability and the connection has not been broken in either phones.
The manufacturer claims up to 10 hours of talktime with the same figure valid for the cradle and headset. Independently, the headset can work for slightly more than 2 hours. Then you install it into the cradle, charge and use again. You can do it three times and the charging time is 20 minutes. If you leave the cradle at home you will have to return as it is the only way to charge it. In real life you can get up to 8 hours of talktime with the cradle and the charging will require at least 40 minutes.
This is where the novelties begin. There are voice tips and the nice voice will tell you about the low battery level, help to pair devices and provide information about the caller's number and the source of the call among other things. On the screen of iPhone 4 we see a charging icon. To answer the call you have to utter "Answer" or "Ignore" if you wish otherwise. The multilingual User Guide says that Stone 2 can use other languages as well. Say "yes" in Russian to receive the call or "no" to avoid it. It looks well in the User Guide, but in our tests with iPhone 4 and Blackberry 9780 voice controls for calls did not work and the number of the caller was not pronounced. Interestingly, Stone 2 has software to disable all voice features and it can be found on the support web page.
Connection with the Phone and Sound Quality
We tested the headset with iPhone 4. Pairing was a piece of cake and after the initial connection Stone was ready to be detected and you have to find it from the phone and connect. Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR does not require the password. I liked the speech reproduction quality from iPhone and despite the fragile body interlocutors will hear you well and the volume is decent enough. In the car or in the street the sound quality is good courtesy of proprietary Jabra boosters. Despite the minute size and weight there is enough space for Jabra Noise Blackout Extreme with two microphones and the sound "clearance" system. If it is too windy near you it will still be necessary to cover Stone with the hand.
The average price of the gadget is $160 and it is not available everywhere, while the first Stone still fetches $120. Is it worth paying more for additional features? I think it deserves waiting until prices go down and pay attention to Stone 2 if you had not purchased the first model. Interesting design is complemented with the convenience of operation, simultaneous work with two phones, A2DP and effective noise reduction system with a special cradle into the bargain to boost the operation time. On the downside we can mention the impossibility of using it on the left ear, flashy indicators, the absence of the charger jack on the body and the package would have benefited from the strap or case instead of the clip. Sadly, voice controls do not work with iPhone 4 and BB 9780. In other respects Jabra Stone 2 is pleasant to deal with and I can honestly recommend it.
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Published — 18 May 2010
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