JABRA, a Copenhagen based company,
has been making hands free products for the mobile communications
market since 1993. JABRA’s hands free headsets, especially
the Bluetooth wireless headsets, took over the retail shelves
and made appearances in hit TV shows. The JABRA FreeSpeak BT250
is their second generation Bluetooth wireless headset which
has support for both Hands free and Headset profiles. The Jabra
BT250V adds a vibrate feature but is otherwise identical.
While many Bluetooth headsets we’ve seen
use the real estate in front of your ear, the JABRA takes
a different approach and uses the space behind your ear.
The headset looks very elegant and stylish, and thanks to
its ergonomic design and light weight (0.8 oz), it’s
also very comfortable to wear. The BT250 headset is contoured
to fit nicely behind your ear with a bendable, soft rubber
ear bud arm on the top and a microphone boom extended toward
your mouth at the bottom. The part of the headset that resets
next to your ear is made of a soft, sound-absorbing soft
plastic material that reduces distortion. The outer area
hosts the LED, the multi-function button, volume up and down
controls as well as the charging port. The buttons are well
laid out with enough space in between so that you won’t
accidentally push the wrong buttons during a call.
Instead of just using a round ear bud, the
JABRA adds a soft ear gel piece that goes into the ear canal
on top of the ear bud. This design proves to be very effective
as it both blocks ambient noise and channels the earphone
sound directly into your ear. The ear gel feels very soft
and comfortable and can be easily flipped to fit either left
or right ear. Very convenient! JABRA provides many sizes
of EarGels so that users can find size that fit their ears
Pairing the JABRA with other devices is fairly
easy, though there is a small difference in pairing with
dual profiles. Unlike other Bluetooth wireless headsets such
as the Logitech or Cardo
allways headsets, the JABRA uses different pairing mode
for the headset profile than it does for the hands-free profile.
The pairing works quite smoothly on the handsets we tested
with either profile (Nokia 3650 for
the hands-free profile; Sony
Ericsson P800 and Orange
SPV E200 for the headset profile). The JABRA also works
with PDAs with headset profiles as well, and it worked flawlessly
on the iPAQ 5555 for both systems
sounds and voice recordings.
The voice quality is extremely good on incoming
voice and only decent on outgoing voice. The volume through
the ear bud and EarGel is so loud and clear that I often
need to turn down the volume. There are usually no breakups
or noises coming through the headset for incoming voice.
The boom and the mic work in a less perfect way, however.
The headset produces occasional crackles and break-ups through
the mic and boom in both quiet and windy conditions. The
range of the JABRA wasn’t very long either in our tests.
It didn’t get the 30-feet range before it started breaking
connections between the phone and the headset.
The JABRA supports voice dialing and simple
voice commands. The voice dialing works well even if you’ve
recorded your voice tags and commands on the phone instead
of through the headset. The headset also supports call waiting
and swapping calls with the Function button. There is no
mute function on the headset.
The BT250 has a rechargeable lithium polymer
battery and comes with a charging cradle and an A/C adapter.
Plug the headset into the cradle to charge. It takes about
a couple of hours to fully charge the headset, and the blue
LED will turn off when the headset is charged. We got about
5-6 hours talk time and over a week standby time in our tests.