The Aliph Jawbone Era (2014) is the smallest and most stylish Bluetooth headset available. It builds on the legacy of the original Jawbone Era (2011) and the Jawbone Icon by providing good sound quality and a powerful app, along with a new voice interface that works with Siri on iPhones and Google Now on Android devices. At less than a quarter ounce, the Era 2014 is for people who want to discreetly and stylishly use a headset.
Latest NoiseAssassin software.Reports indicate that, although the sound quality of the latest version of the Aliph Jawbone Era isn't the best there is, it's still "very solid" and a top performer. The audio quality is clean with natural sounds and the music playback has "a bit more oomph on the low end." The noise cancellation is excellent, with the Era 2014 using Noise Assassin 4.0, a continuation of the software introduced in the Jawbone Icon and the original Era. One tester used the Era 2014 in a parking lot in between a municipal airport and an active recycling plant, and callers couldn't tell that he wasn't calling from inside his car. Wind buffeting was a problem in some tests though.
The smallest Bluetooth headset.The latest version of the Aliph Jawbone Era continues its predecessor's reign as the smallest Bluetooth headset. It weighs just 0.21 ounces and fits unobtrusively in the ear. There's only one way to place the earbuds in your ear and reviewers found the fit to be secure. If you wear the headset in your left ear, however, you won't have a choice of earbuds, with only a medium size one included with the headset, compared to a choice of three sizes designed to fit the right ear.
Just one button.The Aliph Jawbone Era (2014) has one button that does it all -- answer or end a call, voice dial, control music, volume control, and checking the battery status. This draws mixed reviews, especially with the lack of a dedicated volume control. As an alternative, Era 2014 users can interact with Siri on their iPhones or Google Now on their Android phones and all the usual commands, such as having emails read or getting driving directions, are available. Setup is very easy with automatic pairing on first use. The Jawbone Era has the app that provides a selection of voices and gets two new features: a headset finder function and a calendar app. However, the new Era lacks the accelerometer of the original so you can't issue commands through gestures anymore. The headset comes with a standard micro USB charging cable. An optional charging cradle, about the size of a key fob, also has a built-in battery that adds another six hours of charge.
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With a rating of Excellent and a coveted Editors' Choice award, the 2014 version of the Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset tops the list at PCMag.com. Kim says this version is "refined" and "shrunken down," and is "wonderfully inconspicuous." The new Era matches the original in-call quality and is still the best-looking Bluetooth headset on the market.
Review: Era by Jawbone, Eugene Kim, Feb. 13, 2014
The "astonishingly small, light, and comfortable to wear" Jawbone Era 2014 has an Excellent rating at CNET. The only downside that Bennett identifies is its short battery life, though he does also say that those with big hands might have trouble with the small button and power switch. He is very impressed by the Era's performance, especially outdoors.
Review: Jawbone Era (2014) Review, Brian Bennett, March 13, 2014
The Jawbone Era makes reviewer McEvoy "feel like less of a dork than normal" when wearing a Bluetooth headset. She calls the latest version of the Era "positively petite compared to the previous blockier version and found it very comfortable to wear, even with glasses. The Era handled outside noise well, including a nearby major freeway recycling plant and a local airport. McEvoy also had great success using the Google Now and Siri features in her office space.
Review: Gear On Your Ear: Six Premium Bluetooth Headsets Reviewed, Aoife M. McEvoy, March 13, 2014
ComputerWorld's Krasnoff is impressed by the fit of the Jawbone Era as well as its great sound quality. She successfully used the Era in New York's exceptionally noisy Pennsylvania Station and one caller didn't even know Krasnoff was calling through a headset. The absence of a dedicated volume button is a hassle though.
Review: Review: The Era By Jawbone Raises The Bar For Consumer Headsets, Barbara Krasnoff, Feb. 4, 2014
Davies points out that the design of the new Jawbone Era doesn't have the "cheese-grater" façade of the original, but is now more sleek and subtle. This headset is comfortable and "clings tenaciously" all day, even through frantic head movements. The Era boasts the latest version, 4.0, of the Noise Assassin noise suppression software, which Davies reports is one of the key aspects of the three-year-long redesign time of the Era.
Review: Jawbone ERA Review (2014), Chris Davies, Jan 16, 2014
6. Time magazine
McCracken reports that the new Jawbone Era uses Noise Assassin 4.0 to cancel outside noise and to aid the speech recognition for Apple's Siri and Google's Google Now voice-recognition voice assistants. He also reports Aliph intends to replace its existing Era and Icon Bluetooth headsets with this new Era model. McCracken misses the ability, found in the original model, to control the headset by tapping it.
Review: New Jawbone Era Bluetooth Headset: Small and (Mostly) Sweet, Harry McCracken, Jan. 16, 2014
Stating that Bluetooth headsets have become less relevant in the three years since the original Jawbone Era was released, Guy says this latest version is a compromise. While it has most of the features he likes and they're in a smaller, more attractive package, he misses improvements in the audio quality and battery life.
Review: Review: Jawbone Era Bluetooth Headset (2014), Nick Guy, Jan. 28, 2014