Review: Jawbone Aliph

When the original Jawbone hit the market at the end of 2006, it was the best sounding Bluetooth headset in the world, with noise-cancellation that made all our calls clearer and easier to understand. Unfortunately, many folks (uh, like me) couldn’t get the bulky unit to fit quite right, even with the myriad ear pieces and loops included.

The new version of the Jawbone eliminates those fit issues – for me at least. Within two minutes, I had the right size ear piece, and the correct over-ear loop to keep it locked to my cheek – a requirement for the proper function of the noise-cancellation. One big help is that the Jawbone has shed a ton of weight and size, now tipping the scales at just 10 grams heavy and 50% smaller than the first version.

Call quality is still as good as it gets with a Bluetooth headset, which is to say good but not great. The noise cancellation is supposedly upgraded, but people on the other end of our calls couldn’t tell a difference between the two models. The industrial design is once again handled by Yves Behar, but we were split on our opinions – some of us thought that it was sleeker and a little more elegant, but others found it a little cheesy looking.

Overall, though, this is truly an upgrade. Aliph has taken the best-performing headset on the market, and made it smaller and easier to wear. Which is pretty much all you can ask for.

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