What the Jawbone Bluetooth headset needs to be perfect.


In honor of Jawbone releasing a new version, I thought that I’d finally post my thoughts on my favorite blue tooth headset ever.

As was noted last year by Christoph, I love my Jawbone Bluetooth Headset, it is quite possibly the best headset in the world! Seriously, it’s fantastic. The first time I tried it I was driving down the freeway with the AC on full and all of the windows rolled down. My wife couldn’t tell if I was in the car or not… “Have you left yet?”. Awesome. That’s a great headset.

Like most things, it could be better. Here is my list of 3 features that I would love to see in a future version of the Jawbone.

Jawbone 1. Real Volume Control. One of the “features” of the Jawbone is it’s simple form factor. For all of the functions (On / Off / Bluetooth Paring / Enable-Disable Noise suppression / Volume Up/Down) are completed with only 2 buttons. Well isn’t that special? Not really, it’s frustrating. There is no volume down control. That’s right. The volume “automatically” goes up if you are in a loud area and you can also manually turn the volume up as well. You turn the volume up by pushing the main button once. There are 6 levels up up, and then you cycle back around to the lowest volume. (like the way you would adjust a ceiling fan speed – without the pull chain). I happen to have pretty good hearing (for now) and more often than not I’m trying to turn that volume down – not up. It’s very frustrating.

TreoJawboneNoiseShield052. Can you say “standard” mini-USB connection for charging? If I have to carry around just 1 more stupid cable for recharging one more thing I think that I’m going to puke (I’m talking to you Zune and iPod). Props to the Jawbone team for giving me a USB cable on one end, but come on! Would it be that hard to give me a standard cable on the other end?!

3. A better sound to turn you on. When you turn the Jawbone on you get a long beep in your ear (that kills my ear btw), and when you turn it off you get a short beep. Or maybe that’s backwards. I always forget which is which… which makes the whole beep pretty much useless. I’m no longer wearing my Jawbone when I turn it on/off. I hold it so that I can see the light flash (white = on; red = off).

SamsungWeb410The fine people over at Jawbone should go try out the Samsung WEP 410 Bluetooth headset (It would be my favorite headset.. if anyone could ever hear me on it.).

The Samsung has this nice rising chime when you turn it on, and a lowering chime when you turn it off. It’s elegant and obvious… and doesn’t hurt my ears to use it.

Ok. I think that’s it. Fix those three things, and the Jawbone will be truly perfect!

Now that I said all that, go check out the new Jawbone! It’s sleeker, lighter, and looks like a nicer ear piece (leather covered?).  That being said it still looks like a proprietary charger, minimal buttons… and probably the same turn on/off tones. Let me know if you’ve tried it!

Did I miss anything? What’s your favorite headset? Let me know in the comments!

About Caleb Jenkins

Caleb Jenkins is an international speaker, author and 6 time Microsoft MVP award recipient, he currently works for Solera as a Director of Software Development. An entertaining and informative speaker who approaches software from a fresh perspective that spans UX, agile practices and technologies for enterprise customers from across the globe. Leading UX product design teams, coaching multi-team agile transformations and architecting and mentoring at some of the largest companies in the world, As a long time community leader and former Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Caleb is well known for his engaging speaking style, depth of knowledge and creative energy. Founder and Principal Mentor of Proaction Mentors, former UX Manager and Agile Coach, Senior Architect for Six Flags Corporation, Product Architect on a Cloud Marketing Platform, Caleb has made a career out of empowering others while building products and teams that delight customers and solve business needs. You can follow him on twitter (@calebjenkins) or his blog, DevelopingUX.com and if you're still reading this, then you could also subscribe to his blog RSS feed or sign up to receive updates by email