Jabra Storm Bluetooth Earpiece Hardware Review

Jabra Storm Bluetooth Earpiece Hardware Review

Dec 26, 2014

At this point, it just makes sense to have a wireless earpiece. There are a bunch of reasons, but if just for the ability to do things in a handsfree manner from one’s smartphone and other devices and gadgets with bluetooth functionality.

When it comes to audio accessories, few companies have the chops that Jabra does; that’s why checking it out its budget offering Storm Bluetooth Earpiece.

At first glance, from a bit of a distance, one might be partially forgiven for assuming the unit is a twisted wire of sorts; the interesting atypical design is tapered, and looks somewhat like a cursive lower case “D” under closer inspection. It is mostly black, with a silver finish on the “outside” of the frame, with covered charging port, pairing and on buttons — as well as an answering toggle — preventing silver-colored monotony. The portion that fits into the ear is the thickest part, and is crowned with the default distinctive orange ear gel we came to appreciate on the Jabra Stealth.

Closer inspection reveals it isn’t one solid piece; Indeed, the ear-end rotates around it’s axis, and the reason for this becomes clear once the item is placed in one’s ear: it allows the use use the unit in either ear.


It is light to the touch, quite palmable and has a futuristic feel to it.

Pairing it is is a simple matter of turning it on, and then pressing and holding the answer button for several seconds; this puts he unit into pairing mode, which can be ascertained by the flashing bluetooth LED. As soon as it is paired to the device, it can be used for a host of audio tasks: listening to music, or podcasts… or, even making calls. It works reasonably well in this regard, with most transmissions sounding reasonably crisp. I did think background noise is not as insulated out as, say, it’s sister piece, the Jabra Stealth.

The battery life is decent; I did like the standby time, as well as the NFC pairing and voice control aspects of the unit.

All in all, I did appreciate the design aesthetic, and the overall value of the unit. The extra functionality provided by the companion Jabra Assist app (stuff like battery meter and unit locator) helps make use more seamless, and makes the Storm a viable option for any and everyone looking for a good audio peripheral.

Jabra Stealth Bluetooth Hardware Review

Jabra Stealth Bluetooth Hardware Review

Nov 14, 2014

I really, really wanna get down to the nitty-gritty with this one: what’s up with the Jabra Stealth Bluetooth Earpiece?

Yes… it’s sleek, as the retail unit Jabra sent us shows: different shades of grey with orange accents, gently-sized at 2.57 x 0.61 x 0.95 inches and 0.28 ounces. Coverable micro-USB port, bluetooth 4.0, NFC and A2DP support, plus retail packaging that also contains micro-USB, earhooks and eargels. There is a dedicated button for Google Now, as well as an answer/redial button incorporated towards the rear and LED. Pairing it with a device is easy and intuitive after the requisite pre-charge.

It looks sleek, and has a smaller profile than the Jabra Style, which we looked at a short while back.

I try not to exaggerate, but fitting the device in my ear allowed me to completely understand Tim Curry’s obnoxious Psych character Nigel St Nigel when he stated, “I feel like an angel baby swaddled in a cocoon of cloud candy.

Yes, this unit feels that good in ear.


The construction of the ear gel allows for the already lightweight piece to feel, dare I say, natural. To be clear, this is easily the most comfortable unit I have ever tried. I’m one of those old school guys that strenuously avoids using bluetooth earpieces anywhere outside of the house or when driving, but the Stealth had me breaking my own cardinal rule, as I forgot it was on.


When you think about it, this shouldn’t surprise me; I always buy Jabra ear gels to use even with bluetooth earpieces from other manufacturers, so seeing Jabra seemingly perfect the delicate balance between structured fit and comfort should be somewhat expected. It works well in either ear, and I’m able to slip it on with one hand quite easily.

The ear gel also funnels noise beautifully. Noise cancellation tends to be a catchphrase nowadays, but with this unit, it does well, even when used in noisy environments (like soccer fields and restaurants). Calls and music sound rich, and callers actually noted the clarity on their ends.

The companion Jabra Assist app allows for unit geo-tagging, battery monitoring and onboard tutorials.

The ear gel, as it is, is also the center of my biggest gripe. It doesn’t adhere to the main body as well as I would like. Thus, my beloved ear gel does pop off in my pocket and even in my coaching bag. For this reason, I would have to use it with a dedicated pouch, but I might be a bit more persnickety than most. The Google Now button didn’t work the way I had hoped either.

Frankly, that specific drawback would not prevent me from enjoying the $99.99 Jabra Stealth (via Jabra), and I do suspect it has ruined me for other units. Just as well though; it’s all about having my ear feel like an angel baby.

Huawei TalkBand Available in the US Starting This Month

Huawei TalkBand Available in the US Starting This Month

Nov 6, 2014

The Huawei Talkband, a fitness tracker with cross-platform connectivity and headset functionality, will be available for purchase this month.

Excerpts from the press release:

Huawei’s TalkBand B1, the world’s 1st fitness tracker with an integrated Bluetooth earpiece and the perfect hybrid talk and track companion for mobile devices, will be available beginning November 14 in the United States through GetHuawei.com, Newegg.com, Amazon.com, and Fry’s Electronics.

The TalkBand B1 is the perfect balance between work and play: A wireless activity tracker and Bluetooth headset in one, a hybrid that connects to your mobile device so you can talk and track activities effortlessly. The TalkBand B1 wirelessly tracks activity time and progress, including steps taken, miles covered and calories burned. It intelligently records the duration and quality of sleep, and has a smart alarm and nap functions to help improve rest.

With an embedded Bluetooth 4.1 wireless earpiece, the TalkBand B1 features fast pairing and enables up to seven hours of continuous calling. The TalkBand B1 is designed to support wireless calling on both Android 4.0+ and iOS 5.0+ compatible devices, and syncs effortlessly via NFC.

TalkBand B1 is made of hypo-allergenic, sweat-resistant and anti-UV materials to prevent aging and discoloration and features and includes a 1.4-inch flexible OLED display. The device has a fashionable bendable curve design that fits perfectly around the wrist, and the earpiece sits securely within the band and is easily removable when needed. With a 90 mAh battery, the TalkBand B1 lasts six days without the need to recharge, and takes only two hours to charge using the integrated USB connector. The TalkBand also comes with added security features that alert the wearer by vibrating if the TalkBand is more than 10 meters away from the synced smart device.

The TalkBand is due out on November 14th, and will cost $129.99


[Source: Huawei Press Release]

Jabra Style Bluetooth Earpiece Hardware Review

Jabra Style Bluetooth Earpiece Hardware Review

Oct 15, 2013

With the Style, Jabra broaches the difficult task that is trying to create a quality tech piece while keeping the price approachable.

The review box comes nicely displayed; the manufacturer is typically great when it comes to product presentation. The box comes with the earpiece itself, a dedicated micro-usb charger, an extra (but differently shaped) ear gel and miscellaneous documentation.

The styling of the earpiece itself is clean and, dare I say, quite becoming, with black and brush steel making up most of the design with respect to color. It feels quite slick in hand. When compared to something like the Jawbone Icon, it feels just as light, but the elongated mouthpiece makes it perceptibly longer, but far from unwieldy or jab2uncomfortable.

The ear hook is designed to be optional, which is fantastic for people like me that prefer to use earpieces without ear hooks. The included extra ear gel fit the bill perfectly, with it’s funneled design. For those that do prefer ear hooks, the ear hook is clear, and can be used on the left or right.

All in all, it looks and feels good in hand and in ear. Even with the ear hook on for hours of testing, it didn’t feel bad.

Pairing was easy as soon as I juiced the device; it’s a simple issue of turning on the bluetooth radio on my Android device, discovering the Style and selecting it from the list on my Android device to pair. The NFC pairing functionality works a advertised; a simple tap with the “outsides” of the gadget to an enabled device pairs it to said device. Streamed audio was crisp and quite clear, and I was able to get about 30 yards beyond a wall or two before getting issues. With wind blowing, I feel it works better with the funneled earpiece; I did notice a bit of interference when I moved my device across my body once or twice, but it did rectify itself. The device gives a few audio cues, and the multi-function button controls dialing.

The companion software is a good idea on paper (it provides a finding service and pairing assistance), but I was put off after installing it by what seemed to be a requirement to download another Jabra app.

It’s priced to move, and designed to please, and mostly manages to surpass both thresholds.