Friday, February 8, 2013

Single. And unattached.

Here's a review of something not usually associated with running, a single-earpiece bluetooth headset.
The JABRA Stone 2 (above photos are mine. Here is the LINK to more photos on google)
I've been using stereo headset since I started running, either to listen to music / podcasts / audiobooks. As I run almost exclusively outdoors, I've come close to a couple of incidents, because stereo headsets didn't allow me to be fully aware of my surroundings.

Ever since these close-calls with danger, I've used wired single-ear headsets = one ear with tunes/podcasts/audiobooks for "entertainment," and the other ear free to be aware of my surroundings/talk to people.

The Jabra Stone 2 bluetooth earpiece caught my eye, because it doesn't look like a "telephony tool" (with microphone sticking out). And, of course, no dangling cables!

I've now used it for 7 runs, and so far, it's working wonderfully.

2 out of the 7 runs have been for 10 km, and battery was still "medium" after these 1-hour usage.

COMFORT = the unit comes with 4 different ear-plugs, and the one that worked for me was with "the tail" (pictured). It's not an "immersive" in-ear fit, but it stays there and doesn't dangle around (which is what I was looking for). If you need completely in-ear fit, I'm not sure you'll get it with this. The earhook secured the whole thing nicely around your right ear. In terms of overall comfort, I almost can't feel it being on my right ear, which is a good thing. In fact, the unit fell to the ground once, because I forgot that it was on my ear, and the earpiece got pulled when I took off my shirt after a run. Fortunately, the earpiece still works after the ground impact. By the way, it's important to note, this thing is designed for Right Ear use ONLY.

SOUND QUALITY = I didn't have high expectation in this department, so I wasn't disappointed. If you are looking for high fidelity, look somewhere else. The sound is a bit thin, but not shrilly. Ironically, I haven't used this for phone calls so I can't report about the microphone (other reviews indicate it works quite well).

SET UP = very practical and easy. Just turn on my iPhone's bluetooth, and press the headset, Voila! Once paired, the next time you use it, you only need to turn on the bluetooth on your iPhone and select "jabra stone." The headset would say "connected" and you are ready to go (I believe it should work the same with Android or other smartphones).

DESIGN/FUNCTION = very sleek, almost pretty. And the earpiece comes with its own portable charging unit (pictured, I call it the "cocoon"). There is no button. To turn volume up and down, you just slide your finger upward / downward on the earpiece.

CONCLUSION = if you are looking for a single-ear, wireless, headset for running, the Jabra Stone 2, knowing all its limitations and plus points mentioned, is worth considering.

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