The latest and second iteration of the Yves Behar designed Jawbone, a mobile Bluetooth-enabled headset, delivers the superior sound quality and noise-canceling technology it's known for in a unit that's 50% of the size of the original. As a form factor, the subtle geometric texture on the diminutive curved earpiece makes it an object that doesn't offend the eye either. In use, we've found it to be about the only way to hear a conversation on an iPhone in a loud area (though like everyone else we have high hopes for next week's 3G release).
Using proprietary "NoiseAssassin" technology (originally developed for military purposes) that cancels noise up to 15 times more than others, the Jawbone is ideal for use in busy streets and restaurants, driving with the top down or any other loud area. The device also constantly monitors the user's voice, adjusting to filter out ambient noise.
Behar's invisible buttons lend the Jawbone a sleek aesthetic (the only visible indicator is a red or white light indicating whether the device is in use or not), but I've found that their placement can take some familiarity. They sometimes get accidentally pressed when in a bag or pocket (perhaps a small travel case is in order?) and I was initially disconnecting calls when trying to put the device in my ear.
A selection of ear buds and ear loops (some covered in leather) ensure a proper fit and the quality materials make for a sturdy look and feel. Other details, like the acrylic box it comes in and the updated USB charger (it also comes with a wall adapter and attaches to the device magnetically) make the overall experience just the kind of product we can get behind.
In fact, we have three Jawbones to give away to three readers with the idea that they'd make a great Father's Day gift. Just follow the contact link at the bottom of the page, select "Jawbone Giveaway" from the pull-down menu and tell us why your dad deserves one (and be sure to include your address) by Monday, 9 June 2008, 11:59am EST.
You can also pick one up for yourself from Jawbone for $130.