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Aliph Jawbone Icon

*Est. $50
Reviewed
September 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Aliph Jawbone Icon

Best Bluetooth headset

Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Highly customizable features
  • Stylish, with a variety of designs
Cons
  • No volume rocker switch
  • Ear-hook somewhat uncomfortable
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Sound Quality

Military-grade noise cancellation. The Aliph Jawbone Icon is a mono Bluetooth headset that introduced groundbreaking technology and functionality to the headset arena. Its innovative use of highly customizable software and its military-grade Noise Assassin system work together to provide clear sound and an enjoyable experience. The Icon touches the cheek and follows the vibration of the jaw to block out noise.

The Jawbone Icon appears in many evaluations, and reviewers agree about its excellent sound quality and noise suppression. They say this is the headset that most successfully combines functionality and style. The Jawbone Icon's sound quality and noise cancellation system are held up as the standard to which other Bluetooth headsets should aspire, with editors at TopTenReviews.com calling its sound quality "nearly unrivaled." While the Icon doesn't eliminate all background noise, its Noise Assassin 2.5 technology keeps callers' voices clear and natural.

Comfort

Some users experience "ear fatigue." The Jawbone Icon comes with several ear-fit options, including two buds with attached ear-hooks and three ear buds without. Some experts say the ear-hook option isn't very comfortable, while others prefer it. Users are similarly divided, with a few reporting "ear fatigue" after wearing the Icon for a few hours. Reviewers add that although the Jawbone Icon is considerably more stylish than the Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus headset, it's not as comfortable.

Usability

Increased functionality through MyTalk apps. The Jawbone Icon's real breakthrough is an internal chip that can be programmed using apps from Aliph's MyTalk website to alter the headset's functionality. Users can choose from five different apps like voice dialing, as well as six different voices ranging from a deep baritone to a sultry bombshell, and six languages. Reviewers like the dedicated on-off switch, finding it easy to locate and use. However, the lack of a volume switch draws some complaints, even though volume can be controlled from a smartphone; some owners also report problems with the Icon's auto adjust volume. Roughly half of the more than 600 or so user reviews give the headset 4 or 5 stars out of 5, calling it more streamlined than the Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus, and with an easy-to-find on/off switch.

Appearance

Beyond stylish to avant-garde design. Reviewers call the Aliph Jawbone Icon the "best-designed and potentially the most flexible Bluetooth headset on the market." One says its fashion-forward styling makes it look "like a piece of costume jewelry." Indeed, the variety of designs available draws praise from both professional reviewers and users. Choices include models such as Thinker, with a surface that appears quilted, or Cashmere, whose surface mimics fine wool. In keeping with its sleek design, the Icon's charging socket is small and discreet, yet easy to find.

The bottom line

The Aliph Jawbone Icon remains one of the top Bluetooth headsets in each review we examine, providing excellent sound quality and noise suppression in a fashion-forward, "avant-garde" design. Its Noise Assassin 3.0 noise-cancellation technology is military-grade, and free apps available from Aliph's MyTalk website allow users to customize their headsets' functionality. However, the Jawbone Icon's main competitor may be the Jawbone Era (*Est. $60), now available at a similar price.

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Jawbone ICON-Series Hero Bluetooth Headset (Black)

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Buy new: $99.99 $52.99   28 Used & new from $14.99

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

 
Featured StoresStore RatingNotesTotal Price
eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$97.99
 

Our Sources

1. CNET

Excellent The Aliph Jawbone Icon receives an Editors' Choice award from CNET. Nicole Lee calls it "attractive and affordable with great call quality," and its customizable voice-activated features receive special mention. Of the more than 50 user reviews here, about half give the headset 5 stars out of 5. While its noise reduction and ease of use garner praise, its short battery life and uncomfortable ear buds get low marks.

Review: Jawbone Icon-Series Catch, Nicole Lee, Jan. 17, 2010

2. PCMag.com

Very Good Jamie Lendino recognizes the Aliph Jawbone Icon as the first Bluetooth headset with mobile apps. It "looks great, sounds great and is uniquely extensible," with excellent sound quality. Its "stellar all-round performance" earns it a spot in PCMag.com's list of 10 best Bluetooth headsets.

Review: Aliph Jawbone Icon, Jamie Lendino, Jan. 19, 2010

3. TopTenReviews.com

Good The editors of TopTenReviews.com give the Aliph Jawbone Icon a Silver Award in their review of the top 10 Bluetooth headsets, behind the Plantronics Savor M1100. It also receives a 2012 Excellence Award. Reviewers highly recommend the Icon for its sleek style, sound quality and available voice-activated features. It's one of the "flashiest, most avant-garde Bluetooth headsets" they've evaluated. However, this roundup contains some models -- such the BlueAnt Q1 -- that are no longer manufactured.

Review: Jawbone Icon, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, As of Sept. 2012

4. Amazon.com

Good More than 600 users give the Aliph Jawbone Icon 3.7 out of 5 stars here. Calling it the best Bluetooth headset yet, many reviewers praise its noise-cancellation feature as well as its sound quality. Some, however, find its fit uncomfortable.

Review: Jawbone Icon-Series Thinker Bluetooth Headset, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Sept. 2012

5. About.com

Good Calling the Aliph Jawbone Icon her top pick of Bluetooth headsets, former About.com guide Cassavoy praises the headset, saying it's "the smartest, most comfortable and smallest Jawbone ever created." Her only complaint about the excellent sound quality is the occasional lack of volume. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)

Review: Jawbone Icon Bluetooth Headset Is Smarter, Smaller and Cheaper, Liane Cassavoy, As of Sept. 2012

6. Pocket-lint.com

Good The Aliph Jawbone Icon earns praise from Stuart Miles; it "ticks so many boxes it's hard not to recommend." He says it looks and sounds great, and works well, despite the noisiness of the environment he was in. He especially likes the battery meter that shows up when connected to an iPhone.

Review: Jawbone Icon Bluetooth Headset Review, Stuart Miles, May 3, 2010

7. MobileTechReview.com

Fair Editors of MobileTechReview.com give an Editor's Choice award to the Aliph Jawbone Icon. Senior editor Tong Zhang's "what's hot" list includes its "very stylish design" and strong voice quality. Editors are also impressed with the six stylish cover designs.

Review: Jawbone Icon, Tong Zhang, March 2010

8. ArtOfTheiPhone.com

Fair In this brief review, "Alan" puts the Aliph Jawbone Icon in the top spot on his list of the 10 best Bluetooth headsets. He highlights its "best-in-class" audio, as well as its six stylish designs and the MyTalk website apps. He doesn't explain his testing methods, if any, or the Jawbone Icon's performance.

Review: Top 10 iPhone Bluetooth Headsets, "Alan", June 7, 2012

Bluetooth Headsets Runners Up:

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BlueAnt Q2 *Est. $50

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Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus *Est. $60

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Motorola Finiti *Est. $60

1 pick including: CNET, PCMag.com…

Plantronics Savor M1100 *Est. $75

1 pick including: Amazon.com, TopTenReviews.com…

Samsung Modus HM6450 *Est. $45

1 pick by top review sites.

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