*Jawbone Prime, the third iteration of Aliph's Bluetooth headset with noise-canceling technology, was released seven months ago, while the second iteration was released last year, and the first a year prior to that, so at this point, Prime is likely to become the older version in five months, making its "new" status somewhat dubious.
There are several reasons why I decided to retire my Jawbone I.
- The ear loop kept on breaking. Now, because the original Jawbone I bought broke on the first day and Aliph sent me a replacement, I had twice as many sets of ear loops as one would normally have. But even those supplies are running low.
- The noise-canceling functions of the replacement doesn't seem to work as well as the original I bought. This was most likely a quality control issue, but based on my phone conversations with other people on both headsets, it seems most people still heard the noise in the background with the replacement unit, whereas with the original I bought, most background noise were not audible.
- The Bluetooth connection between JB1 and my phone has recently been dropping and reconnecting. Although infrequent, it has still happened enough times for me to take notice, and each time the phone was less than a quarter inch away from the headset.
- The price of the Jawbone Prime has been lowered enough online that it's within a range that I can accept. There's no way I would spend the full price of $130 (+possible shipping and/or tax) for a Bluetooth headset.
More importantly, Aliph has added the function of reducing wind noise to the unit, something sorely missing in the first two versions (though I hear that foam windscreens work much better). One also hopes that they've improved upon their noise-canceling technology, and reviews I've read suggest that while it wasn't true of JB2, it is with Prime.
Having learned their lesson regarding the charger being too tight and causing damage to many Jawbone units, the new proprietary charger uses magnets, and retains the ability to connect to an USB port for charging purposes. Still, many people suggest that a standard USB to mini-USB cable would have been much better and more convenient.
Prime now gives you many more ear gel options than JB1 (don't know how it compares to JB2), and the new ear gels are much softer, and thus more capable to providing a more comfortable fit. My ears are somewhat sensitive, and still itches slightly after prolonged wear, so your mileage may vary on this particular front.
Aliph claims to have an 8-day standby time battery life, and since I only just received the new unit in the mail on Thursday afternoon, I'll have to wait a few more days to see if it lives up to that claim.
Edit: Well, that was quick. I just noticed at around 1:00PM today that the battery indicator was now blinking red, and that was the first time I checked it after waking up. Who knows how long it had been doing that? At any rate, that means the standby time is actually less than 3 days... and I'm a very light phone user. I guess I shouldn't have expected much from a smaller headset when the much larger Jawbone could only be on standby for less than 5 days...
Edit 2: I did a bit of searching regarding Jawbone Prime's typical battery life, and found Aliph's tech saying that if it's using multipoint (meaning if it's paired to multiple devices--Jawbone Prime can be paired with up to 8 to switch between, and active on 2 simultaneously), and you accidentally press the "talk" button, you may cause it to look for other paired devices, which would drain the battery. I did try to pair it with other things (my laptop, the PS3), just to test out that function, so as per their recommendation, I performed a reset on the Jawbone Prime, and this time the battery lasted about 5 days, with some very light usage. Much better.