Those delightful coves at Jabra and Wildfire PR have kindly sent me a Jabra Clipper review unit. Could this be the BlueTooth headset to replace my beloved Jabra BT3030 which had an unfortunate encounter with a washing machine last week?
How does it stack up against my wishlist?
- Micro-USB charger. Yup – it uses the same port as the Nexus One. Although it comes with a charger – the lead on it is really short. The port is located under a rubber flap which I’m sure I’ll manage to break off.
- Stereo. Yup. Fully A2DP.
- Control of music and calls. Yes – the controls are a little trickier than the BT3030 – but I’m sure I’ll get used to them.
- Pocket sized. It’s minuscule. I look forward to looking for it all over the place before I remember that I left it in my pocket. Indeed, there aren’t many gadgets I have which are smaller than their plug!
All looks good so far…
Jabra knows that Apple users don’t like to be lumped in to with the Hoi Poloi – so they’ve thoughtfully included a separate instruction manual for the fragile darlings.
The headphone leads are really short.
However – given this is meant to be worn close to the mouth, it makes perfect sense. Less to get tangled. Because they’re standard 3.5mm sized, you can plug in your favourite pair of cans.
The charging cable is short.
Again, you can buy long micro-USB leads for a couple of quid, so it’s not the end of the world.
No one wants to faff around with loads of buttons. My old headset had six – play/pause, ff, rw, Vol+, Vol-, answer/hangup. The Clipper has three. Vol+, Vol-, Multi function.
Want to skip a track? Hold down Vol+. Want to switch the device on or off? Hold down the middle button. But not for too long, because that will put it into pairing mode. And don’t hold it down for too little time or you’ll answer the phone.
Confusing? Yup. There’s also no way to fast-forward from within a song. Nor, as far as I can tell, use voice activated dialling.
I’m sure that there wasn’t anyone thinking about user-friendly operation when the BlueTooth specification was designed. Jabra have made it relatively painless to pair. Take a look at this video.
If you’re the sort of audiophile who insists on oxygen-free, gold plated, magnetically aligned cables…. just fuck off.
For the rest of us, sound quality is as good as any BlueTooth headset I’ve used. There are the usual crackles and drop outs if you wander to far away from your phone, or near a microwave. The supplied headphones are fine – if you’re really picky, you can plug in anything with a 3.5mm jack.
Phone call quality is very good – take a listen to this AudioBoo.
Range is about normal. Obviously the further you are from the phone, the more interference there will be. Especially if your environment has lots of WiFi, or other BlueTooth headsets broadcasting at full blast.
At less than £30, the Jabra Clipper Bluetooth Stereo Headset is a great piece of kit and fantastic value for money.
While the UI is a mite confusing – I think it will become less so with use.
The lack of voice activated dialling is a minor weakness.
Overall? Highly recommended. Just remember not to put it though the washing machine…