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The Jabra STONE2 is undoubtedly a gorgeous looking Bluetooth headset, with a leather finish. And add an equally good-looking charging dock to the package, and you would assume that we have a winner on our hands. However, the very limited battery backup offered by the headset means you will rely on the charger more often than not. Most handsets beat that comfortably on their own, without the separate charging dock. At a price of close to Rs. 8,000, we think you are better of buying the Jabra Wave. And the best part- that one costs about Rs. 3,500 only.
A Bluetooth headset is as much a critical communication device as it is a fashion accessory. And no wonder the focus on making these devices look good. The STONE2 from Jabra walks that same path. However, does it have the necessary functionality and performance? Lets find out.
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Look & Feel
There is no doubt about it- the JabraSTONE2 is one of the best-looking Bluetooth headsets out there. The U shaped design wraps comfortably around the ear, and the Eargels (there are four more of those in the package in different sizes) are comfortable to wear even for long durations. The matte finish on the inner panel complements the leather finish on the front side (also available with a glossy finish on the outer panel). Speaking of which, the call notification and pairing status LEDs are on the inner panel.
The accompanying battery charging dock is a very cute round design to it, and the STONE2 sits nicely in it, giving it a complete pebble look. Maybe this should’ve been called Jabra Pebble!
The new JabraSTONE2 comes with voice guidance feature built-in. what this does is basically give you an audio notification about the battery status, number/name of the incoming call and connectivity status. This, we felt, really helped most of the time. Particularly about the battery status!
The second big feature is the voice command one. This can be used to make a call or answer one. However, as is the case with most voice command implementations, a certain accent is needed in perfect pronunciation to make this work properly. And at most times, a couple of attempts will be needed to get you into the proper accent mode.
The STONE2 comes with its own uniquely designed charging dock, and the headset fits in very snugly to charge. Basically, we really like the idea. We had first seen something like this with the Plantronics Discovery 975, and this one is an even sleeker package.
Pairing this phone is a very simple process, and the voice updates keep you posted on connectivity, battery and call status. Switch it on anytime after the one time pairing process and it immediately connects with the phone, no issues.
[RELATED_ARTICLE]The call quality offered by the STONE2 is a mixed bag. In a non-noisy (mostly indoors or while walking down a deserted road) environment, this headset works very well – both for the audio at your end, and at the other end. However, the moment you attempt to use this in a noisy or windy place, the person at the other end of the call will undoubtedly complain of the sheer disturbance and loss of clarity in your voice. Having said that, we were impressed by the volume of the incoming audio. We had to set it to just 10% and still it was on the loud-ish side. The STONE2 has touch based volume control on its outside panel. Using that runs the risk of disconnecting the call if you press too hard. Can be controlled from the phone as well.
The biggest disappointment is the battery life. The JabraSTONE2 offers between 2 hours to 3 hours of battery backup. That really isn't enough if you are on the road for long durations. Jabra assumes that you will carry the charging dick with you all the time. Two problems we see with that. First, it is two things to carry. In other words, means more things to misplace. Secondly, while the charging dock offers 4 full charge cycles for the STONE2, charging it from that every 2 hours means you aren’t really able to use the headset for long durations.
The JabraSTONE2 has excellent looks, and the portable charging dock is a huge value ad. However, the 2-3 hours talk time on a single charge kind of defeats the purpose of the device. Call quality is good if in a silent environment, but suffers in noisy or windy surroundings. At this price, this really isn't the looks plus performance Bluetooth headset you may have expected it to be. We suggest buying the Jabra Wave instead. It costs a fraction of this – Rs 3500 to be precise. And even without the external charging case, offers about 10 hours of talk time on a single charge.
Price: Rs 7999
Bluetooth headset, Voice control to receive and end calls, voice updates about status, dock and charging unit