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Jawbone Icon Review
Jawbone Icon 4 Star Rating: Cheapism Good Pick

The Jawbone Icon (starting at $43, Amazon) comes in several designs, each with a different name and each with a unique look. All are small and rectangular with a beveled appearance. They are also lightweight, at just 8 grams. The Icon comes with both a hook and several types of earbud covers, so you can use either or both for a secure fit. Some users who have posted Jawbone Icon reviews at CNET complain that the loop doesn't hold the device well enough. It tends to slide downward, they say, and doesn't stay snugly against the jaw. Because fit varies from person to person, it's impossible to tell without trying this device whether it will work for you.

Jawbone boasts that its NoiseAssassin technology was originally developed for use in helicopters and tanks and effectively eliminates background noise. While users who have posted Jawbone Icon reviews on Amazon agree that it works well, several others comment on a Jawbone forum that they've had to reset the feature to get it to work. A Voice Activity Sensor, a little rubber piece that rests against the user's cheek, is supposed to detect the vibration of the user's voice. This helps the device determine which sounds to transmit and which to cancel out. In a Jawbone Icon review, the editor of WebOS Nation reports that even with windows open and radio blaring, people on the other end of the phone could hear the speaker perfectly well. Because of this feature, the Jawbone Icon has no volume control.

The stated battery life is 4.5 hours of talk time, which is short compared with our other picks, but the device is light and small, so there's not much room for a larger battery. The upside of this is that the Icon charges quickly, in about 15 minutes. It provides audio alerts for battery life, caller ID, and connection status. IPhone and BlackBerry users can also see the remaining battery charge on their phones.

The Jawbone Icon uses A2DP (advanced audio distribution profile) to stream music and podcasts and pairs with multiple devices simultaneously. Jawbone Icon reviews declare that pairing is a cinch, though performance can vary depending on the device. According to users posting on a Jawbone forum, the range of the Icon, which is supposed to be 33 feet, is impaired when it's synced with an iPhone.

by Michael Sweet (Google+ Profile) – March 26, 2014
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