updated 10:55 am EDT, Tue August 30, 2011
Jawbone Icon HD and Nerd tackle headsets again
Jawbone returned to its core Bluetooth headset business Tuesday through the Icon HD and a companion, the Nerd. The headset itself is a subtle upgrade to the Icon with a bigger and more refined speaker that improves audio clarity, especially in noisy environments. The Nerd is its key, Jawbone says: the USB adapter automatically treats the headset as an audio output on a Mac or PC without having to pair up or disrupting the link to a cellphone.
Its adapter is proprietary but can still juggle the multiple audio sources.
As before, the Icon HD can take in third-party apps for basic tasks. iPhone owners get the best treatment with headset battery life indicated on the smartphone's own status bar; Android and BlackBerry owners need an on-device app. Jawbone's defining feature remains its namesake noise cancellation, which reacts to vibrations from the jaw while speaking to better gauge what outside noise gets cancelled.
The headset with the Nerd bundled inside should be available now for $139. Android users get an app later today for conference call management, and the BlackBerry will have its own equivalent.