Wednesday, November 17, 2010

jWin JB-TH130 Bluetooth Headset

IMG00129-20101117-2139So what if I’m putting off homework and writing a review for this headset I got for “free” when I bought my last phone? Whatever.

If you’re familiar with the Aliph Jawbone headsets, you’ll immediately notice that it looks almost identical to them, albeit a little smaller. I think this intentional, and my suspicions are supported by the model number, which has “JB” as the first two characters. Unfortunately, while Jawbones are a premium headset brand, this guy is not.

This headset is a little guy. It hardly weighs anything. In fact, it’s so light that I forget that it’s on my head when I wear it. This is unlike my other headset, a Jabra BT8010, which is so heavy and bulky that it's impossible to ignore.

However, the light weight of this headset is a tradeoff. It has no features beyond the ability to pair with a device and raise or lower the volume. For what most of what people do with BT headsets that’s just fine, but I listen to A2DP audio regularly on my other headset, so the lack of that functionality is kind of a bummer. Oh, I forgot to mention another feature: It can turn on and off. Sounds great, eh?

Did I mention that this thing feels really cheap and fragile? No? Well, it does.

Another drawback of the extremely light weight and small size is battery life. I get only two or three hours of battery life out of this sucker. Strangely, from what I’ve seen I get the same battery life regardless of whether I’m talking on the phone or not. That’s a real bummer if you’re the type that likes to leave the headset on all the time, waiting for a call.

The battery life problem is likely because the battery is extremely small. I haven’t pried the thing open, nor do I intend to, so I can’t verify this without an unpleasantly large amount of snooping around. The upside to a battery that is as miniscule as one like this is charge time. It takes hardly any time at all to charge the thing to full. Maybe 20 minutes or so.

Speaking of the charger, it doesn’t have one, per se. It has a USB cable that goes directly into a small round power plug, like what you’d see on older electronics.

Overall, it’s not too bad for a freebie pack in, but if you’re considering buying a headset (i.e. actually spending money), don’t get this one. You’ll be constantly disappointed by the battery life and cheap feel.

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