"Very pleasant surprise; great sound"4.0 starson by jlt3
Pros: Great sound quality, Finally Jawbone earbuds that fit!, accelerometer functions are nice, good volume, excellent platform for improvements in the future
Cons: Website to use for updates is a bit clunky. You seem to have to use the web interface, and a computer, to be able to access all of the functions on the device...can't make all changes simply via the device.
Summary: I'm a gadget guy and have owned several, high end bluetooth headsets. My most recent headsets were the Jawbones (Original and Prime, didn't do Icon), Motorola HX1, BlueAnt Q2, Plantronics Pro, and now the Jawbone ERA. I was thinking about the Motorola Finity, but I have an iPhone4, and there are known (and yet unresolved) issues with that headset and the iPhone4.
I liked the original Jawbone and thought that each subsequent iteration got worse in fit and quality...so much so that I left the Jawbone line and went to the newer headsets. The BlueAnt Q2 was great, had a great voice interaction system, but was kind of flimsy and wasn't loud enough. The Motorola HX1 had only average sound quality and the bone conduction technology wasn't ready for prime time (I sounded garbled and muddy to the other folks on the calls). The Plantronics Pro was the biggest form factor, but was also the most comfortable and had the best sound quality...until now.
I decided to give the Jawbones another try, and the Era was just being reviewed. The devices shipped on Jan23 to retail stores, and I picked mine up from a local Best Buy on Jan24...so any reviews by consumers (and not media/press) was pretty much speculation up to now.
The sound quality is very good! Previously i have had trouble getting loud, clear sound from BT headsets. This one sounds plenty loud and clear in my ear. Also, I like the secure fit of the in-ear/hook-less setup. There were a ton of other earbuds and an ear hook in the package, but using the big, in-ear earbud fits very securely for me. This is the first time, from all of the other headsets that i've tried, where the headset can fit snugly without the ear loop.
The accelerometer functions (TapTap, specifically), works nicely. Although I feel like I'm tapping my Star Trek communicator, it is a very cool feature, and one that works well. Oh yeah, you can't activate that function until you connect your headset to a computer and manage the options via on-device software. It's nice that there is a platform where you can enhance/fix functionality, but I don't like that some of the functions seem to only be available via a web interface and your connected headset. I'd rather be able to manipulate all of the functions of the device without HAVING to use a computer.
My tests so far have gone very well. While driving over coarse road, where people on the phone have noted that they could hear the roadnoise in the background (with my most recent Plantronics Pro), could not hear anything and noted that I sounded crystal clear with the Jawbone Era. I've also had positive comments about just sounding crystal clear in general in other phone tests.
So far, so good. Of course there will be more tests upcoming, but I'm very pleased with the purchase so far.