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Jaybird JB-200 review

Ben Pitt
30 Jan 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
79
inc VAT

For athletes more than audiophiles. Great design, not so great sound quality.

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If you use your mobile phone as an MP3 player, a stereo Bluetooth headset makes a lot of sense in the gym and during other kinds of exercise, when wires can get in the way.

Jaybird have got wise to this, and their JB-200 Bluetooth headset is designed with athletes in mind. It's water and sweat-proof, and the two earpieces hook over the ears comfortably and extremely securely - no amount of leaping or head-banging will shift them. The cable that joins them runs around the back of your head, so there's no risk of it snagging on anything.

Like Sennheiser's MM 200, the JB-200 requires a phone or other device that's A2DP enabled for stereo music streaming. Initial setup was easy, but we often had to connect to the headset manually in the phone's Bluetooth settings each time we wanted to use it, unlike with the Sennheiser. The three buttons on the right earpiece were fiddly and required a lot of force to press. With a quoted battery life of five and a half hours, this headset will probably run out of juice before your phone does, and its charger looks like a miniature throne: fine for the desktop, but unnecessarily bulky if you need to carry it with you. The two hour charging time means you'll have to remember to leave it on the mains overnight, as there won't be time in the morning to get it fully charged before heading off to work.

Call quality was reasonable, but we were unconvinced about the benefit of routing calls only to the left earpiece, and the microphone's position inside the right earpiece made our voice a little muffled for the other caller. Music quality was poor at first, but after following the manual's instruction to experiment with the orientation of the rubber earbuds, bass response improved dramatically. However, it was still weak compared to the Sennheiser headset, and upper frequencies sounded a little harsh. Overall, sound quality was roughly on a par with the iPod's standard headphones, which many people will be happy with, but it doesn't compare well with wired headphones at a fraction the price.

That's disappointing, but this headset is still a tempting prospect for fitness fanatics who don't necessarily require high fidelity sound.

Details

Price£79
Rating***

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