Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headset

Manufacturer Description

Exercise with wireless music and calls. Jabra SPORT Bluetooth Stereo Headset provides wireless freedom and is the perfect companion to your workout routine.

Features

  • Bluetooth 3.0 Wireless Technology
  • You can control your music from this device when it’s streaming from another device, such as your mobile phone
  • Auto Pairing
  • Device can stream music from a source, such as a Smartphone, Bluetooth enabled laptop, tablet, or MP3 player
  • Speakers with a hifi frequency
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
  • Omni Directional/noise filter Microphone
  • Standard (STD) variation microphone sensitivity
  • Talk Time Up to 4.5 hours
  • Standby Time Up to 96 hours
  • Music streaming time 4 hours
  • USB Charging
  • A battery status indicator
  • Ear hook / Over the ear Style
  • Size
    • Length – 64 mm (2.5 in)
    • Width – 12 mm (0.5 in)
    • Depth – 43 mm (1.7 in)
    • Weight – 25 g (0.9 oz)
  • Available in Small and Medium sized ear gels
  • Retail – $100

YMMV Review

Since I do a lot of running I also spend a lot of time listening to music. This led me to the Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headset. I was intrigued with the Bluetooth connection as I have been using my iPhone more and more for my runs and even some rides. Up to this point I had not heard of Jabra until I noticed they were a sponsor of Craig Alexander. Turns out Jabra is a large maker of headsets and speakerphone solutions. With that background I contacted them and they sent me out a sample to do a review of.

Front View of them On

Testing

I tested the headset mainly with my iPhone. I used it on runs and some rides. I also used it around the house and y itself in radio mode.

Design ★★★☆☆

Appearance (20%) ★★☆☆☆

Construction (35%) ★★★½☆

Features (35%) ★★★½☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★★☆☆

The Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headset is made to pair to you phone, computer, audio device or any other Bluetooth device. It uses the newest Bluetooth 3.0 technology for wireless connectivity. This allows you to keep your device in your pocket or bag and still use the cordless headset to listen to your music or make a call. When using your phone you can use the phone with a built-in microphone. With Bluetooth’s technology, you can even control your music or calls from the headset. There are four buttons on the right earpiece that control everything. There is the main button that is used for powering the headset on and off, answering and hanging up on calls, and starting and stopping music. In the back, there is also a FM button that is used to turn on the radio mode. The last set of buttons is the volume up and down buttons. These also can be used to change tracks by pushing them down for longer.

For those not familiar with Bluetooth technology there are some important thing to know. Before testing these headphones I did not know this and I think it caused me to have unrealistic expectations of the device. Bluetooth is a low power radio signal. When indoors this signal is able to bounce off ceilings and walls and therefore have a much longer range.  One thing that these signals get blocked by is water. This is important as your body is made up of 80% water and therefore is difficult for the signals to pass through. It is a good idea to know where your Bluetooth Antenna is located and keep your device in a location that will be in the line of sight of the device for best usage.

Back View of them On

The headset is rechargeable with a mini usb jack and the included plug in adapter. Fully charged Jabra states that the headset should get about 96 hours of standby time, 4 ½ hours of talk time, and four hours of music time. There is a battery indicator light to help you know how much time is left. These are an over the ear style headset with a rubberized wire that sits on the neck and connects the two earpieces. The headset comes with two gel earpieces to adjust the fit to your ears. The headset is grey with yellow accents, which looks good except is on the larger side. It may or may not look funny on you depending on your head and ear size. Of course, it is function over style so that was my primary focus. The speakers have a hifi frequency and digital signal processing. These both increase the performance and sound quality. The headset pairs automatically with your device once it is set up, just turn it on, and it is ready to go.

Jabra does not give much information about the materials used in the making of this headset. In their about page they do discuss the environmental impact. They say they use biodegradable materials and try to reduce their footprint and waste. Though many details are not given, I like how they have addressed the issue, and I hope they are truly doing what they say. One thing that is great about these is the fact that they are rechargeable. It is great to be able to save batteries.

Side View of them On

Fit ★★★☆☆

Adjustability (25%) ★★★½☆

Comfort Around Ear (40%) ★★½☆☆

Strap Comfort (35%) ★★½☆☆

The Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headset fits over the ears with a hook-like fit. The earpiece goes in the ear, and the rest of the unit goes over the top and around the back of the ear. Jabra has included to earpieces that can be used. I like the small fit better and found that I would call them small-medium and medium-large as they seem a bit on the bigger side. They fit in my ear well and for the most part, went unnoticed. The hook part of the headset is also on the large side, especially behind the ears. This may or may not be a big deal for you. On my head, it makes my ears stick out further because they are bigger than the amount of room back there. I found them comfortable when running but when I did use them on the bike, my helmet straps and the headset combined to bother my ears after a while.

The earpieces are connected via a rubberized strap that hangs down on the top of the neck. The strap is great when dry or with a collared shirt but a bit annoying when hot and sweaty. The problem is the rubber strap sticks to my sweaty neck on hot days and will tug on my ears when I turn my head to the right or the left. It was enough to even pull the earpiece of my ear on occasion, but this was rare; it was normally just an annoyance.

Earpiece and USB Plug In

Performance ★★½☆☆

Battery Life (25%) ★½☆☆☆

Connectivity (25%) ★★½☆☆

Durability (15%) ★★★☆☆

Ease of Use/Setup (15%) ★★★½☆

Sound Quality (20%) ★★½☆☆

The performance of the headset was good and bad. The headset is easy to set up and pair with your device. Jabra sport gives good solid and simple directions and even has video online if you need more assistance. I found this was really easy to do and since then my headset has paired automatically. The button configuration on the right ear is uncomplicated to use once you figure out what each one is for. The headset gives audio feedback when each of the buttons is pushed, which helps you know what you are doing. The sound quality is also good. I cannot say that it seemed above or below average. I did not find it to be anything other than what I expected. It does occasionally get interrupted, but that is for another reason. The headset has thus far been very durable and had no issues with light rain or sweaty runs. I have not had to worry about it yet.

Buttons on the Back

I used the Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headphones both inside and outside. What a difference. Inside I could be 30-40 feet away from my phone and still have a good connection and stream my music. As I mentioned above the signal can bounce indoors and this is what led to such good reception. On the other hand, when outside I could not even get a good reception with the phone in my pants pocket. I would need to find a higher location as it seemed like my arm must have been blocking the signal. This was very disappointing. I know Bluetooth has some limitations but there should be a way to have it in my pocket and have it still work.  I did try to put it on the same side as the antenna to help. When I had my phone in my jersey pock, chest pocket, or armband it worked better, but I think I should not need to do this. The other thing that was REALLY annoying was the battery. The device charges easily, and the battery indicator light works as expected. My issue comes from the audio alert that says, “low battery.” This alert is said by a woman after about three hours of use. It begins with n alert every 5 minutes and as the battery gets lower it starts to alert you every 30 seconds. I am not kidding here either. This makes the last 1+ hour of battery life nearly useless as at that point I was tempted to throw my headset in the river. Once you have heard the alert 30+ times you would think that would be enough. I think this is a big miss on this product as it essentially shortens the battery life and makes the customer angry. Both bad things, it should have been more along the lines of a “low battery 20%” and then again, at 10% and maybe 5%. That is three messages, which is MUCH better.

Main Button on the Side

Overall ★★½☆☆

Overall, while I was really excited about these, I have been a little disappointed after testing them. The Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headset has good audio quality and I really like the fact that they have a radio built in. The fit was a little large for me as my ears sit relatively close to my head. This will be different for each individual.  The buttons are also well set up and work well. Now the thing that really disappointed me was the Bluetooth Connectivity. It was great indoors but poor when outside unless they were really close together. I could not even have my phone in my pocket and get good reception outside. The other puzzling aspect of these was the battery notification that was way too often when the power got low. I estimate that it wastes about an hour of battery life as I was not going to listen to this 20+ times. The Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headset still has many things going for it but needs some updates. It retails for $100. I personally like it for some activities, as always your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Great indoor connectivity
  • Radio mode is a nice option
  • Durable and well made

Cons                                               

  • Poor outdoor connectivity
  • Rubber wire grabs a sweaty neck
  • Constant low battery warning are way overboard

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About the author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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