Review – Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headset

This is a short term review – read on to find out why.

I was grateful to have won a set of these as part of a giveaway contest in late October 2012. I collected them and eagerly wanted to put them thru their paces.

Busted Jabras

My regular earphones are Sennheiser Adidas MX 680’s. I’ve had them a year, and rinse them under running water after each workout.

Bluetooth sound quality from the Jabra’s was OK but not as good as my wired pair of earphones. I didn’t get a lot of use out of the FM radio – reception always seemed dodgy both on trail and on road. Integration to Endomondo was good – I could get workout info without looking at the phone. I always wiped the headphones off with a damp cloth after each workout.

Battery life wasn’t great. 3 hours is a good long workout, but I’ve found that the battery life does deteriorate; and the lady reminding you that you’re running out of tunes every 5 minutes doesn’t help.

By far, my biggest peeve was that this thing only worked well with my phone strapped to my right arm. The documentation says that although Bluetooth has a 10m working radius, that applies only to indoors use. Outdoors and on the move – it’s more like 1m.

I regularly run with a Nathan Hydration Belt, and my phone is naturally in it. This setup forced me to run the belt AND an arm-band. If I didn’t – the music would cut out every time I turned my head to check for traffic – and that pissed me off. Making it all worse – I was testing this during the rainy season. I had a Lifeproof case for my iPhone and that fit snugly into the pocket of the running belt – but try as I might I couldn’t find an arm-band large enough (for cheap enough).

And then one day some time in January, it gave up the ghost. It would charge but not turn on. I noticed that the left side pod had split open.  It sat on my desk for a month while I was bungling around doing other stuff. I brought it to the Jabra Service Centre last weekend.

I explained that I had won this pair, that it no longer works, and I noticed that the left pod had split open presumably where the batteries are.

The first question the guy asked me was if I charged it. Doh. Then he turned to his colleague and ostentatiously asked her opinion on a warranty replacement. The duo exchanged looks, turned around to me and explained that “there are 2 types of damage – manufacturing and user – and in this case, damage was caused by the user.”

So… these guys think I pried open the pod and am trying to claim for it. OK. I wasn’t up for an argument – after all – I could glue the pod back but the fact was that it still wouldn’t operate. I raised my eyebrows at them while they were expressing their deepest apologies (and shooing me out of their shop so they could get back to doing nothing) – and left.

So yeah – short term review. Endomondo says I had covered 200km between Nov 2012 and Feb 2013. And I’m proud to say I broke something US Mil Spec. Hehehe.

Prolly good for the gym. Not for me. I’ll stick to my wired pair – or explore Plantronics.

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