Jabra STONE3 Bluetooth Headset Review

*This is a product review of a loaned unit from Jabra Malaysia*

What kind of hands-free calls user are you? One who uses speaker phone function? Wired headset for calls and music? Or wireless Bluetooth headset? If you’re the latter, then you should read on about this stylish Jabra STONE3 Bluetooth headset. From the product name, you’d obviously know that this is the 3rd generation of the highly popular, award-winning Jabra STONE series in their Bluetooth headset product range.

Last month, in October 2013, Jabra announced the availability of the latest Jabra STONE3 headset with top-of-the-line audio capabilities and NFC Technology for single-touch pairing to devices.

Here’s a high level overview of the specs of the Jabra STONE3:-

  • Multiuse connection of 2 devices simultaneously (up to 8 paired devices)
  • Operating range : up to 10 metres (33 feet)
  • Standby Time : up to 15 days
  • Charging Time : 3 hours for headset and portable charger
  • Talk Time: up to 10 hours with the STONE3 Charger (2 hours in the headset and up to 8 hours in the charger)
  • Weight : 33 grams (7 grams for headset, 26 grams for portable charger)
  • Connectivity for device pairing : Bluetooth 3.0 or lower, Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology
  • Available in black or white colours

Some of the cool features of the Jabra STONE3 includes:-

  • Stylish form factor – curved design that wraps around your ear with 4 comfort ear gels
  • Power2go portable headset charger and holder – 2 piece headset with up to 10 hours of talktime from 20 minutes of charging with portable charger also serving as headset case when not in use
  • NFC technology for simple device pairing – one touch pairing for easy access to multimedia content like music, podcast and even GPS directions
  • HD Voice control and Jabra Noise Blackout microphone technology – voice control for receiving and making calls and audible Caller ID alerts
  • Touch enabled volume control – slide your finger up and down teh front of the headset to adjust volume while in call
  • Jabra StatusDisplay LED – coloured lights to show battery and Bluetooth connection status
  • Answer calls while playing music – music will pause when there’s an incoming call
  • Smartphone app – a host of Jabra headset apps including Jabra Assist with “Find my Jabra” feature to locate headset at last used location

The Jabra STONE3 is available at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 499 in black or white colour, at authorized retailers such as Machines, Connect Store, Challenger and Radioshack.

For more information on the Jabra STONE3 Bluetooth headset, check out the Jabra product page at http://www.jabra.com/Products/Bluetooth/JABRA_STONE3/Jabra_STONE3_Dark

 

Unboxing Jabra STONE3

Thanks to the PR folks of Jabra Malaysia, I got my hands on the white colour unit of the Jabra STONE3 for review the last couple of weeks.

Jabra STONE3 - Box
Cylindrical packaging of the Jabra STONE3
Jabra STONE3 - Unboxing
Unboxing the Jabra STONE3

As with most Jabra headsets, the cylindrical packaging of the Jabra STONE3 comes with features list and pictorial instructions on how to open the packaging and remove the headset. Inside the package, you’ll find the 2 piece headset and portable charger / dock, 2-pin adapter charger (microUSB), extra eargels, user manuals and warranties.

Jabra STONE 3
2 piece Jabra STONE3 headset and portable charger / dock

The headset comes in 2 pieces – a curved Bluetooth headset that wraps around your right ear, and a portable charger that also doubles as a dock or case for when it’s not in use.

Jabra STONE3 - Hardware 1
Hardware overview of the Jabra STONE3

The small and pocketable pebble-like design of the Jabra STONE3 is very nice. I love the glossy round design of the Bluetooth that looks oh-so-stylish and unlike the traditional thumb drive-looking Bluetooth headset. The headset is made of polycarbonate (read : plastic) but doesn’t feel cheap though. There’s a nice trim of chrome / metal finishing with the Jabra logo, which is also the button press for Power On/Off and for answering /ending calls.

The headset docks nicely in the groove of the portable charger with connection points that will automatically charge the headset. A 20 minutes charge is all you need to make use of up to 10 hours of talktime. There’s 2 dots on the dock that will blink in different coloured lights, indicating the status for battery level and Bluetooth connectivity.

Jabra STONE3 in hand
Jabra STONE3 in my hand

I love that the docked headset and portable charger combo is so pocketable. The Jabra STONE3 looks just like a big pebble… err… stone… just as the product’s named. But minus the weight of an actual stone, weighing only a mere 33 grams.

Jabra STONE3 with NFC pairing
One touch NFC pairing

At the bottom of the portable charger, you’ll see the arrow with indication for NFC pairing. If your smartphone is NFC enabled, all you need to do is just tap your phone to the docked headset and you’re paired! Easy peasy!

Of course, this is, after all, a Bluetooth headset. You can still pair the headset to your phone using Bluetooth – anything with Bluetooth 3.o or lower is supported.

 

Features and Performance

Jabra STONE3

Did I mention how much I love the form factor and design of this Jabra STONE3. Although I am not much of a Bluetooth headset type of person (I prefer wired headsets), this one is so stylish, it almost looks like an jewelry.

Jabra STONE3 in ear
Jabra STONE3 in ear

The first few times trying to put the headset on was a little bit tricky for me. After a few times, I finally got the fit right to be able to “wear” it nicely around my ear. The Jabra STONE3 fits nicely in my right ear, with several eargel sizes provided in the packaging to find one that suits your ear. It’s a snug fit and the curved headset bends and wraps nicely around the back of your ear.

As you can see in the picture above, it kinda looks like I’m wearing an earring or earcuff something, right?

From a hardware and design perspective, it’s kinda disappointing that the STONE3 is only built to be worn over the right ear only. Yes, I tried wearing it upside down on my left ear. It doesn’t work. 🙁

Jabra STONE3 eargel
Jabra STONE3 eargel

The inside of the headset blinks blue to show your Bluetooth connectivity is on, and the battery indicator blinks green when it’s charged and red when it’s low on battery juice.

The eargel and ergonomics of the headset provides good and clear audio for calls and music. Because there’s also voice control, the Jabra headset includes audio notifications and alert. Other than the usual beeps, there’s a female “Jabra lady” voice alert notifications – for power on or off, voice command activation, remaining talktime (battery level) status and more. Me likey!

When I’m wearing the headset and power it on, the voice alert comes on with the ‘Jabra lady’ telling me, “Your remaining talktime is XX hours XX minutes”.

To answer an incoming call, you can either press the inner chrome “Jabra” logo button or use voice commands like “Answer” or “Ignore”. The Jabra STONE3 features Rubidium speech recognition technology for answering and rejecting calls by voice commands, in addition to spoken setup instructions, battery level indication, and text-to-speech-based Caller ID announcements.

When in a call, you can slide your finger on the outside of the headset, almost like stroking your ear, to toggle the volume up and down.

See Also : Jabra HALO2 Bluetooth Headset Review

Jabra STONE3 battery level on paired iPhone
Jabra STONE3 battery level on paired iPhone

Hubby loaned the Jabra STONE3 for testing, while I had the headset with me. He truly liked the headset and almost didn’t want to return it to me.

When paired with your smartphone, as Hubby paired it with his iPhone in the photo above, the Bluetooth icon also shows the battery level of the headset on the notification bar! Hubby also mentioned that the headset’s voice commands also work with Siri voice commands, which is a big plus point if you’re an iPhone user.

In conclusion, we both really liked the Jabra STONE3. From the stylish design to the portable charger combo to the voice activated command feature, this is one Bluetooth headset that you might want to check out.

For the price tag of RM499 though, it might be on the pricey side for a Bluetooth headset though. The form factor with the portable charger serving as additional battery power and case for your headset though, this function definitely adds longer battery life for your headset, which is a much needed feature indeed.

If you want to find out more about this award winning Bluetooth and NFC enabled headset, please check out the Jabra STONE3 Product Page at http://www.jabra.com/Products/Bluetooth/JABRA_STONE3/Jabra_STONE3_Dark

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