IFA: Jabra’s Solemate and the Kanex MySpot

We spend a lot of time at shows like IFA ‘pounding the beat’ and visiting as many booths as possible to find hidden gems – from both the industry’s big names as well as the lesser known players.

Jabra Solemate

One category of devices that seems to be ever-present at these tech shows is the portable Bluetooth speaker. More often that not, you end up with a strong feeling of déjà-vu from seeing booth after booth with similar looking devices. You can therefore imagine how the Jabra Solemate caught our eye at ShowStoppers earlier this week. The Solemate has a distinctive shoe-like style, with a thick rubber sole designed to reduce reverberations, along with a tab on it’s ‘heel’ for the imaginary task of pulling it on to your foot (don’t try that at home!).

The Solemate is billed as ‘go-anywhere, do anything’ portable speaker with up to 8 hours of continuous play. It has 3 front-facing speakers which will go up to 120 dB SPL (at 0.5m) and supports Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio cable and USB connectivity. Coming from Jabra, it might not surprise you to hear that the Solemate also doubles up as a speakerphone complete with a noise filtering omni-directional microphone with mute feature.

We were told that the Solemate’s RRP is 179.99 euros (approx £140-145). For further product information, visit http://www.jabra.com

Kanex MySpot

Generally speaking, we found the quality of exhibitors at this year’s iLounge (the area for Apple related products) to be quite poor. It never fails to amaze us how many new companies want to enter the already crowded market of supplying iPad and iPhone cases! Nevertheless, there were a few hidden gems amongst the clutter, such as the Kanex MySpot.

This compact device, from the Californian-based firm, enables you to turn a wired (ethernet) connection in to a wi-fi (802.11b/g) hotspot. This is ideal for those situations, such as in a hotel room, where wi-fi coverage might be patchy or unavailable. It also means you and your colleague could pay for a single ethernet connection and then share it, wirelessly, between multiple devices.

Kanex were keen to point out that their MySpot is much lighter and smaller than Apple’s Airport Express and also, as it’s USB-powered, doesn’t require you to carry around a power cable. MySpot will be available towards the end of September 2012 with an expected retail price of £59.99. More info at http://www.kanexlive.com/

Jabra Extreme 2 – high performance Bluetooth headset

If you’re the type of person who likes to conduct your business on the go, or wish to avoid the perils of mobile phone microwaves entering your brain, then a hands-free Bluetooth headset is a worthy investment to make. Plus you get to look all busy and important as you walk the streets chatting into your earpiece.

Jabra-Extreme

The original Jabra Extreme was one of the company’s best-selling products, and stood out in a crowded marketplace. Now Jabra have released the Extreme 2, a headset that they are calling their best product yet.

Featuring Noise Blackout 3.0 dual noise cancellation technology and HD Voice, you will be hard pressed to find a headset with better noise clarity. The Extreme 2 also includes advanced voice guidance that covers caller ID, connection status, battery charge level and a step-by-step set-up wizard when you connect it to a Bluetooth capable device.

The earset itself is small and comfortable, and includes an optional ear-hook to ensure it stays attached at all times. With a weight of just over 10 grams and measuring L47mm x W18.5mm x H27.5mm, it is light enough to be worn for hours on end and you will barely notice it is there. Coming complete with a plug and car charger, the Extreme 2 offers with to 5.5 hours talk time and 10.5 hours standby time when fully charged.

The USB attachment means that you will always be able to keep the firmware up to date as the latest version of the headset software become available. The Jabra Extreme 2 headset comes with a recommended retail price of £79.99, and is currently available at www.buyjabra.com.

For further information on the Jabra Extreme 2 and the full range of speakerphones and Bluetooth headset products, please visit www.jabra.com.

Abolish ‘I’ll have to call you back” scenarios with the Jabra Supreme headset

If you want to be able to concentrate and enjoy having a conversation with somebody without the intrusion of annoying background noise and interference, you may be interested in reading about the Jabra Supreme – the first non-stereo headset to incorporate Active Noise Cancellation technology.

Jabra-Supreme

Boldly going where ‘no headset manufacturer has been before’ in exploiting the benefits of Active Noise Cancellation technology, it sounds logical that a user’s listening experience will be improved. Incorporating an electric chipset within its internal components, the Supreme headset generates an “anti-noise” function that essentially blacks out any ambient noise, providing a greater depth of call quality.

We have all experienced some kind of annoying interference at some point when talking over the phone and Jabra are intent on making this an affliction of the past, as its Noise Blackout 3.0 allegedly ends all potential interference that causes many a caller to grumpily cry ‘I’ll have to call you back!”

Windy conditions are often not the best time to enjoy talking to someone on the phone with crystal clear clarity, but thanks to Jabra’s new Wind-Noise Reduction technology, high quality conversations can be achieved regardless of the weather conditions.

Asides from its ambient noise reducing qualities, the Jabra Supreme boasts a ‘state-of-the-art’ adjustable earhook, meaning it is both non-intrusive and sits comfortably and inconspicuously in one’s ear and possesses a powerful 24mm speaker to provide authoritative sound.

The Jabra Supreme can connect to two Bluetooth devices with Advanced Multiuse TM Technology, weighs just 18 grams and provides 6 hours of talk time and 15 days of standby time.

Although for a headset this ‘supreme’, it will cost you – £99.99 to be precise.

More info here

Jabra WAVE: Multi-talented headset

jabra-wave

Jabra seem to be churning out headsets more rapidly than a hen churns out eggs, and with each claiming to be more advanced than the previous, where will the escalating innovation within the world of headphones stop? The Danish company’s latest headphone venture, like its previous ones, claims to be more comfortable, sleeker and advanced than before. How? We ask. Let’s take a look…

For starters the new Jabra WAVE, is slimmer than its predecessors, and therefore permits greater comfort. Not only is it slimmer, but its flexible shape moulds comfortable into user’s ears and distributes the weight of the headset evenly. The WAVE’s improved ergonomic design – namely being smaller, lighter and using ultra-soft materials – ensures for greater comfort, and as Jabra put it, “ideal for all-day use”.

Voice guidance seems to be the all-pervading facet of many new gadgets and Jabra is embracing the current trend to have a ‘calm’ and ‘soothing’ voice ‘take the guesswork’ out of certain features. Not only will the WAVE vocally inform users of critical status updates, such as a low battery and Bluetooth connectivity, but alongside the installed voice guidance, StatusDisplay LED indicators will display multi-coloured lights that correspond to the WAVE’s connectivity and battery level.

Although it is nothing unique over other Jabra headsets, the usefulness of being able to connect to two devices simultaneously, is worthy of a mention. By incorporating Multiuse technology, enables users to effortlessly glide between internet calls, multiple phones and even a Bluetooth-enabled PC.

However, what we really yearn from a headset is sound quality, and this is where the Jabra WAVE may excel. Combining Digital Signal Processing (DSP) with a new microphone concept generates explicitly clear sound, regardless of the background noise. Its automatic volume adjustment and acoustic shock protection block out any unexpected high tones. Whilst the WAVE’s boom tip microphone allows for greater resistance to turbulence and wind noise.

An effortlessness and more intuitive user experience is at the core of modern technology, and an easy-to-locate operating switch on the microphone boom, helps to craft a more ‘simpler’ headset experience.

The Jabra WAVE is now available to buy in the UK and retails at £59.99. Info at http://www.jabra.com/products/bluetooth/jabra_wave/jabra_wave

Jabra’s CRUISER2 in-car speakerphone

Holding a mobile in one hand and the steering wheel in another is a definite no-no for obvious reasons. Whilst contemporary society has become so au fait with being ‘connected and contactable’, whist on the go, innovative ‘hands-free’ mobile devices are almost an obligatory requirement of modern living. Recognising the demand for safer forms of conversation whilst driving, Jabra – a world leader in innovative hands-free solutions – has launched the CRUISER2 in-car speakerphone.

Jabra-Cruiser

Following from the success of the critically acclaimed CRUISER, the CRUISER2 boasts similar features as it predecessor and more besides. The essence of the CRUISER2 is to allow drivers to remain compliant with hands-free driving regulations. By including a caller ID, which alerts users of who is making contact, enables drivers to choose to answer or ignore a phone call at their leisure.

Voice guidance talks users through the initial set-up, whilst informing them when the battery is low and connectivity status. Although before you start to worry than a highly annoying robotic-toned voice will interrupt your journey every 20 minutes, the CRUISER2 offers a relatively lengthy 14 hours talk time and up to 20 days of standby time.

It is extremely rare nowadays that any new gadget is made unilateral of other uses other than its primary function, and the CRUISER2 certainly excels as being a multi-functioning in-car speaker phone. Incorporating an FM transmitter, users can transmit MP3 music from a mobile to the CRUISER2 and blast the tunes out on the car’s stereo system. Whilst its Multiuse technology enables users to simultaneously connect up to two Bluetooth gadgets to the CRUISER2 and switch between users to their heart’s content.

For superb sound quality the speakerphone contains Noise Blackout technology, which, by using tactically positioned microphones, distinguishes between caller’s voices and ambient sound, blacking-out exterior sound without compromising voice quality.

The Jabra CRUISER2 is priced at £99 and is now available from all of the major online and retail stores. Comprising safety for the sake of not pulling over to answer a phone call is now an infliction of the past, as driver’s can now cruise along safe in the knowledge they have the CRUISE2 in tow.

Jabra ACTIVE headset: Making keep fit a little more fun

Let’s face it, nearly all of us are sports enthusiasts in early January. But what cuts the serious from those on an exercising whim, is that the latter’s impulse has almost always been vanquished come February. This is where the Jabra ACTIVE may step in, or may at least thwart the inevitable from occurring for a couple more months.

Jabra-Active

This rugged, splash-proof, crystal-clear sound producing corded headset is the perfect accessory to aid you in your New Year fitness quest. You may feel like keeling over and giving up, but the motivational tunes blasting out into your eardrums or the pep talk from a personal trainer via a mobile phone, will give you the motivation to keep going.

A headsets’ tendency to fall out of a jogger’s ear can be quite off-putting to say the least, but with these ergonomically designed earphones that ‘lock’ into the ear, means surreptitiously tip-toeing the streets in fear of losing you headphones can be replaced by sheer pounding and vigour.

If your excuse to not doing any exercise is fear of missing that all important phone call, then your excuse has just been annihilated, as the Jabra ACTIVE’s control box allows you to easily switch from music to chat, ensuring you never miss an important call. If one song isn’t proving too inspiring, the ACTIVE’s control box also allows for simple track skipping, enabling you to instantly boost a workout with a more uplifting tune.

The Jabra ACTIVE headset is compatible with most phones including Blackberry, Motorola, Apple and LG. An adaptor is included in the box, guaranteeing compatibility with Sony Eriksson, Samsung and Nokia.
Being available in white, black or yellow and costing just £39.99, the Jabra ACTIVE new corded headset could be a great gift for all those fashion-conscious exercising fanatics in your life – even if their fitness venture doesn’t make the spring.