For the zealous, multi-tasking dude on the go: we review the the Jawbone Icon HD and The Nerd
In the age of smart phones, multi-tasking is a normal thing to do now. We often start work as soon as we’re awake, checking emails and making phone calls. The Jawbone Icon HD + The Nerd kit fits well into the hectic schedule.
Put the Jawbone Icon HD bluetooth headset on before you drive, and make the calls you need. Arrive at work, grab a coffee and plug the Jawbone The Nerd into your computer. This then links up to the Icon HD headset, and allows all the alert sounds your PC or Mac makes to go directly to the headset, plus you’re able to play music through it too – great to avoid the wrath of angry colleagues who don’t like your taste in music – or BING noises from your computer going off every minute, and it’ll pause the music when a call comes through too. Let’s have a closer look at this Jawbone kit though, to see what else it does.
Design and build
It’s hard finding a wireless headset to look anything near cool, as they’re not exactly a style-icon now, are they. Jawbone has, at least put in the effort with the Icon, and it’s a lot better than most. They sell better-looking ones than the Icon HD though, and it is a little boring, truth be told. At least it’s not some blingy piece of crap that stands out a mile – that would be worse.
The Jawbone Icon HD is a very lightweight piece of kit, and weighs a mere 8 grams. This is an absolute plus if you’re someone who’ll use it all day. Although light, the build is solid, and clearly high-quality. The Nerd is small, and only as long again as the section that plugs into your computer, a softly-pulsating LED the only real giveaway that there’s something plugged into the USB port on your computer.
Features and Usability
A feature on the Icon HD that interested us immediately was NoiseAssassin. What does it do? In brief; it’ll save your callers headache and earache. If you’ve ever been on the phone to someone, and an emergency vehicle drives past at their end, you’ll know just how irritating it is, as the noise is piercing to you. Same again with any loud noise from construction, a car exhaust or even someone simply rooting through a plastic shopping bag while they’re chatting to you.
NoiseAssassin cuts the background noise out from their end, allowing a quiet call. Does it work? Yes! Driving a large digger/excavator machine on a construction site where there were also other noisy machines, I was able to make calls without the person at the other end telling me the noise was blowing their eardrums out. A super-handy feature then.
The Jawbone Icon HD has a larger speaker than the standard Icon, and the sound comes from a 10mm speaker. It gives good sound if you take into consideration that it’s ‘only’ a headset, instead of a pair of dedicated earphones.
It has a nice tone for music and there’s a decent mix of treble, with respectable bass for an earpiece. You could even get away with using it for watching a movie if you’ve left your normal set of earphones at home. We also tested it for talking while gaming, and it works excellently there too.
Whereas some bluetooth devices take a while to pair, the Icon HD connects quickly to whatever you’re wirelessly hooking it up to, which is a bonus if you get a call and you want to pair it with your phone on the move. What’s included in the Jawbone Icon HD + The Nerd box? You’ll be getting 7 different types and sizes of earbud, so there’s no problem in getting a comfortable fit, even if you’re Spock. You also get plastic ear-loop to clip on the Icon HD for a more secure fit. In the bottom of the box is an in-car charger and USB cable, so you can charge it from your vehicle, computer, or home should you have a plug that’ll take the USB wire.
How easy is it to use the Icon HD? Super. That’s how easy. One button for turning the headset on and off, and another multifunctional one for answering or switching between calls, pausing your music, and to tell you audibly how much battery power is left. Simplicity at its best.
The Icon HD gives its claimed 4.5 hours of constant use. Rather than boring friends for all that time by talking their ears off, we simply used it for gaming on a PS3. A good excuse to have down-time, while ‘working’.
At $139.99, the Jawbone Icon HD + The Nerd kit is not a cheap option. However, you get what you pay for here. Both products are very high quality, both in a design, material and build sense. Yes, it’s much more than you’d normally pay for an average headset, but then this Jawbone kit is not average either.
If you won’t use The Nerd, then you’ve got the option of buying the Icon HD separately for $99.00.
Our Verdict & Final Score
We really liked this kit. It features some excellent ideas, and is genuinely useful for both the office and outdoors. Should you be on a noisy construction site, or walking down a busy city avenue, the NoiseAssassin will save your important caller from hanging up on you, while The Nerd will keep work colleagues from hurling office-equipment at you while you listen to music they hate.
If you’ve got good money and want a quality bluetooth headset and a genuinely-useful tool like The Nerd, then this Jawbone kit is worth it.
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