Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The New Jawbone Prime Rocks!

I just love to solve problems. There is nothing more satisfying to me than to have something resolved in a positive and constructive manner!

I talk a lot on the phone, and I often talk when I'm driving. Long before Washington state passed their law requiring drivers to use hands free devices (which I whole heartedly support), I was using headsets with my cell phone while on the road. I learned early in my car phone days that holding a phone while driving was not a good combination. As a master multitasker, I'll happily debate those who say that talking on the phone while driving is dangerous under any circumstances. I believe it's the same as anything else. Some people can do it and other people can't. It depends on the person. Some people can't safely talk to a passenger in the car while they are driving. Others can. At any rate, I have realized for a long time that it is a lot safer for me to not hold a phone to my ear while I drive, and hence have been a hands free practitioner!

Initially, I used the corded earbuds. I still prefer 'physical wires' for my electronic devices. I have not yet adopted wireless mice or keyboards. I prefer a cable for my home Internet connection, even though I have a wireless network in my home as well. I'm a 'slow adopter' of technology sometimes!

I was forced to make the jump to a 'bluetooth' wireless headset by one of my Windows based smartphones (that synchronizes with Microsoft Outlook) that made it very difficult to use a corded earbud. I reluctantly made the switch. I tried several bluetooth headsets and hated them all. I couldn't hear my callers and they couldn't hear me!

Then I found the Jawbone headset. It's original release was a couple years ago, and I simply LOVED IT! It had sophisticated noise cancelling technology, so that my callers could hear me clearly, even if I was in a noisy environment. All they could hear was me!

The ear loop was a little awkward on the first generation Jawbones, but I got used to it. The noise cancelling technology requires that the headset make contact with your jaw (hence the name) so the positioning of the device is critically important. The odd ear loop helped with that.

When Jawbone II came out last spring, I was really excited. It had a smaller profile, a newly designed ear loop and was supposed to improve upon the noise cancelling technology. I immediately went and bought the Jawbone II, with a plan of giving a friend my original Jawbones (I had two).

All I can say is that Jawbone II was a huge disappointment to me. The incoming sound was far inferior to that of the original Jawbone. I could barely hear the incoming callers, even with my volume set to the highest level. The incoming sound was also not totally clear. The voices of my callers were sort of 'raspy.'

Also, on Jawbone II, it was almost impossible for me to keep the device in contact with my face - which rendered it useless! My callers would tell me often that I was 'warbling' and they could no longer understand me. If I moved my head at all, people couldn't understand me.

Friends of mine who used the Jawbone II device experienced the same problems. I was so disappointed! I was never able to use my new Jawbone II devices. I stuck with the original Jawbone because it frankly was superior!

Over the past year, I lost one of my original Jawbones, and my remaining device broke so that I had to put it back together every day when I removed it from the charger.

Last week, I was so frustrated that I decided it was time to look for a replacement. From time to time over the past year, I had looked at the Jawbone website, to see if they were issuing any fixes for the problems with Jawbone II, or if they were coming out with a new version. They had designed a new earbud (which I believe did address the 'fit' problem and hence the outgoing 'warping' of the user's voice), but I never tried it because the low sound level of the incoming callers voice was still a big problem for me.

Last week, however, I was stunned to see that Jawbone was coming out with a new device (the Jawbone Prime) on May 2nd! That was less than a week away. They claimed to have improved on a number of issues from Jawbone II, but didn't elaborate on any of the specific problems I had experienced. Still, I was beyond excited! My one remaining original Jawbone was almost unusable at this point, and I needed a new solution.

I preordered a new Jawbone Prime in a snazzy new color - PURPLE (my favorite)! I also planned to head to my local AT&T store on May 2nd and buy a brown or black one so I could start using it immediately!

Well, I am delighted to report that the Jawbone Prime is the solution to ALL my previous complaints about the original Jawbone and the Jawbone II! This device is really really good!

The incoming sound level is more than adequate, and the quality of the incoming sound is just as good (if not better) than the original Jawbone.

The fit is comfortable, and the new earbud shape positions the device securely on the face, so the 'coming loose' issue seems to be a thing of the past.

Evidently, the designers have also put in a fail safe feature so that if the device comes off your face, the callers can still hear you, just without some of the more sophisticated noise cancelling. That was a brilliant idea!

They fixed some other usability problems that were a nuisance in the past devices... and all in all I couldn't be happier!

This is one of those situations where a little patience really paid off. I'm delighted that I happened to check 'one more time' to see if and when Aliph was going to produce a new version of this device. They really nailed it - in terms of focusing on customer needs and complaints. This version 3, the Jawbone Prime is all that us bluetooth headset users could ask for!

I was also grateful that once I made the decision that I HAD TO replace my original Jawbone, I had less than a week to wait before the release of this new version! What a nice reminder that when we need something, the universe can lovingly provide it for us!!

I wanted to share this story for two reasons.

One is that I highly recommend the Jawbone Prime! If you need a wireless headset this is a great solution! If you drive and use a cell phone - please do it with a headset and keep your hands on the wheel!

Jawbone Prime Website

The second reason I share this story is that it really is a reminder about having patience and persevering in working to solve a problem. I was truly amazed that the solution to my problem appeared EXACTLY when I needed it most! I was prepared to do whatever it took to find a new headset, but in the end, I got exactly what I wanted - with no hassles! Life can sometimes be easy!

Don't give up and never lose faith! The answer is out there! Even for a wireless headset solution! :)

My new Purple Jawbone Prime :)