Jabra EXTREME2 BT Headset

Jabra EXTREME2 BT Headset:  An almost-perfect bluetooth headset.

The Jabra EXTREME2 builds on the success and technology of its predecessor, the Jabra EXTREME, by offering the same high quality headset but now with a more advanced set of features. With Noise Blackout 3.0 technology it blocks out an astonishing amount of background noise, ensuring you enjoy your conversations without disruption. Sound quality is more robust with the inclusion of HD Voice technology. This enhancement allows you to hear the other person’s voice with unbelievable clarity, so that you can enjoy extremely clear hands-free conversations – anywhere and anytime. Automatic Volume control instantly adjusts the headset volume to best suit your environment and various styles of Ultimate Comfort Eargels provides a superb fit that sits comfortably and securely on your ear for all day comfort.

I compared this to my current go-to Bluetooth headset, which is the Plantronics Voyager PRO (PV Pro) Bluetooth Headset.  I’ve made some direct comparisons between the two.

Overall, I recommend it.  For more information, please read the full article.

I found this headset to be “very good” to “excellent” with some caveats.  Pairing is as easy as can be, thanks to the EXTREME2 Voice Guidance feature, which guides you through the initial pairing, tells you when it is powered on and connected to your phone and if you need to recharge it, and gives an audio prompt of the name of the caller (if the caller is in your contacts list).  You can even pair the Jabra EXTREME2 with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously–use it at work, on-foot or in the car.

The major limiting factor is its inability to work well with Siri on the iPhone 4S.  I would give it a strong 4.5 stars (out of 5), but because of some of the limitations, I cannot give it a 5-star rating.

Exteme Noise Cancellation

Jabra’s Noise Blackout 3.0 technology blocks out an astonishing amount of background noise, to ensure you can enjoy your conversations without disruptions. To create the clearest call possible, the headset’s dual microphones capture sound while intelligently filtering out background noise. This eliminates ambient noise even in the loudest environments, enhancing the call clarity and ensuring a natural sounding voice.

Sound quality is taken even higher with the inclusion of HD Voice technology, which allows you to hear the other person’s voice with unbelievable clarity so that you can enjoy extremely clear hands-free conversations–anywhere and anytime. Automatic Volume control instantly adjusts the headset’s volume to best suit your environment.

Pros

-The voice guidance was a great help during setup and pairing. (Not available on the PV PRO)

-Compact size and design. Significantly smaller than many other Bluetooth headsets I own. (PV Pro seems like a huge contraption compared to this)

-Pressing the middle button once tells if the headset is connected. Keeping it pressed for a while will activate voice commands on the phone (voice dialing, check battery level, etc.).

-Very good/excellent sound quality; I didn’t fine the sound too muffled, but that is personal preference. I found the PV Pro is a touch better in voice quality and clarity.

-noise cancellation is very good when driving or in a noisy office environment, though not the best I’ve heard (PV Pro wins this)

-the switch to turn the headset on/off is a slider, which reduces the chances of accidentally turning on the headset (unlike my Jawbone Prime, which turns on if kept in my pocket)

-audible prompt that tells me “Power On” when I turn the headset on, “Connected” when the Bluetooth connection is established, and “Power Off” when I turn off. When I press the button on the opposite side of the power switch, it tells me “Batter level is High.”

-Communication between phone and headset; Jabra Extreme2 tells me who is calling, if the caller is on my contacts list. It also tells me “Call ended”

-Talk time and standby time is amazing! I’ve gotten over 5 hours of talk time on a single charge (rated at 5.5 hours). I’ve left it alone for a week and a half, and powered it up with “Battery level is High” prompt. However, the PV Pro seems to have a longer talk-time, but at a cost of having a larger battery and making the unit bulkier.

-Transmits music and audio from my blackberry and iPhone.

-Battery indicator is visible on iPhone 4S (but not my Blackberry)

Cons

-Jabra EXTREME2 activates Siri on iPhone 4S, but Siri cannot “hear” me:  Voice command does not propagate from the headset to the iPhone.  On the other hand, the EXTREME2 works perfectly fine with voice activation and commands with a Blackberry Bold, Storm, or Torch.  Also, the Plantronics Voyager Pro activates Siri, and recognizes voice prompts, and works perfectly on any Blackberry device.

-The noise cancellation sometimes chops up my voice on the other end if it is windy outside.  This feature is supposed to be the unit’s primary selling feature, but absolutely failed in a moderate outdoor setting (walking through Golden Gate Park) where the caller could not hear me at all.  It is supposed to have HD voice technology, which is supposed to give the caller’s voice with “unbelievable clarity” which I found to be just ok.  The voice was clear, but it also sounded somewhat artificial.  This may be why some described the voice to sound “muffled.” According to the manufacturer:

“Extreme Noise Cancellation for Any Environment: Jabra’s Noise Blackout 3.0 technology blocks out an astonishing amount of background noise, to ensure you can enjoy your conversations without disruptions. To create the clearest call possible, the headset’s dual microphones capture sound while intelligently filtering out background noise. This eliminates ambient noise even in the loudest environments, enhancing the call clarity and ensuring a natural sounding voice.”

-The earloop does not always give a proper fit in my ear. The earbud occasionally comes out of my earlobe and the headset just hangs from my ear.  It just needs the proper angle and configuration, and once it is there try not to move the head too suddenly.  I do not have this problem with the Plantronics Voyager Pro.

-The audio is not as loud as the Plantronics Voyager Pro or the Jawbone Prime. Again, not a major limitation but it is there.

-When I watch a YouTube video on a Blackberry while paired with this headset, the video is sometimes blacked out.  This does not happen with any of my other Bluetooth headsets.  This may be a safety feature, where if paired with the phone it is supposed to keep the user from watching a video while driving, but this is just a speculation.  However, I do not have this problem with the iPhone 4S.

-It does not give a battery indicator on my Blackberry, although the Plantronics Voyager Pro BT headset does.  However, the EXTREME2 gives a battery indicator on my iPhone 4S.

Product Features:

Mono Bluetooth headset with optimized noise cancellation for reduced background noise and excellent call clarity under any environtment

Noise Blackout 3.0 technology; HD Voice ready technology; spoken Caller ID, battery and connection status with Voice Guidance

A2DP audio streaming capabilities; connects to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously

Includes two ear hooks, two Ultimate Comfort Eargels, and car charger

Up to 5.5 hours of talk time and 10.5 days of standby time

Includes USB, car and wall chargers

Multiuse – connect up to two active Bluetooth® devices at the same time

Transmits music, podcasts and GPS directions with A2DP technology

Up to 5.5 hours talk time and up to 10.5 days standby time

Voice Guidance talks you through setup, pairing, battery and connection status

Dimensions:

Size (LWH): 3.22 inches, 1.41 inches, 7.24 inches

Weight: 2.56 ounces

Jabra EXTREME2 Retail Package

What’s in the Box

Jabra EXTREME2 headset

Two Ultimate Comfort Eargels

Two ear hooks (S, L)

AC charger, USB charger, car charger

quick start guide

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About Ask Conrad
I am a University Professor. A Neuroscientist by trade, and a technophile/geek on the side. My work and research is heavily dependent on computers and state-of-the-art technology. I like Jazz and Bossa Nova. I play the piano, guitar, and ukulele.

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