Jawbone has just announced and released a new headset to their Bluetooth portfolio, dubbed the ICON HD + The Nerd. According to the press release below the Jawbone ICON HD “boasts a 25% larger wideband speaker than the original ICON offering the richest, most life-like and clear sound in Hi-Definition audio as you talk on the phone, listen to music, watch movies and play games.”
The Nerd add-on packaged with the ICON HD looks like nothing more than an included Bluetooth dongle that will allow users to listen to audio on different devices such as Macs and PCs. The ICON HD + Nerd bundle is currently priced at $139 and is available for purchase on Jawbone’s website and you usual Jawbone retailers.
We checked the comparison page, pictured above, between the ICON HD and the last 2 headsets released by Jawbone, the Jawbone ERA and the first ICON, and this is what we have surmised: the Jawbone ICON HD takes its improvement cues in audio to what we see in the ERA headset, but it still remains nearly the same as the original Icon headset. The ICON HD mimics the original ICON in the fields of noise cancellation, battery life, weight, level of noise assassin (2.5), and general design. The only thing we have seen changed besides the audio quality for ICON HD is the fact that the included Bluetooth USB adapter, The Nerd, can be used to listen to music or engage in VoIP calls. We assume this adapter, being Bluetooth enabled, would work with any Jawbone headset, perhaps any Bluetooth headset for that matter. But we doubt many would pay $139 for just the dongle, so maybe Jawbone may sell this USB adapter as an individual package some time down the line for users of other Jawbone devices. I have personally used both the original Jawbone ICON and ERA headsets and was impressed by the improvement in audio in the ERA from the ICON, but I still favored the smaller size of the ICON. Now Jawbone has managed to equal the level of sound quality in the ERA while maintaining the sleek size of the ICON build, albeit the ICON HD does not have the built in accelerometer that the ERA employs.
In addition to a headset, Jawbone has released the companion application for Android handsets. The iPhone has the ability to display the battery life of ICON and ERA headsets and now Android devices will have this ability with their new Jawbone companion app which has been taken out of beta and made available to the general public. Press release can be found below.
[spoiler]JAWBONE® INTRODUCES ICON HD + THE NERDTM AND COMPANION FOR ANDROID
− ICON HD + The NERD Lets You Listen to Hi-Def Audio Across Multiple Devices, Mobile & Computer, With One Headset, Wire-Free while Jawbone COMPANION for ANDROID Makes it Easy to Live Hands- Free and Stay on Top of Your Schedule, Battery Life, and Conference Calls −
SAN FRANCISCO – August 30, 2011 – Jawbone®, an innovator of products and services for the mobile lifestyle, today unveiled ICON HD + The NERD and Jawbone Companion for Android, a set of new products and updates to help people get the most out of a mobile & PC hands-free audio experience. Jawbone ICON HD is a headset that offers the richest HD audio and, with The NERD, it brings plug & play connectivity to any USB-equipped computer. Using them together, you can simultaneously connect with any two devices (laptop, phone, tablet) and seamlessly switch between audio (music, video, games, & more) and calls (mobile & VoIP). The ICON HD + The NERD bundle sells for $139. Jawbone Companion for Android is available now as a free download from the Android Market.
“Users want one headset to aggregate the music, movies, games, and other audio content found in the devices they use every day,” said Travis Bogard, vice president of product management and strategy. “Our goal at Jawbone is to design mobile products that give you ultimate wireless freedom, and thatʼs exactly what these new products deliver. ICON HD + The NERD lets you wirelessly listen to media from your Mac or PC and transition across multiple devices without skipping a beat. Jawbone Companion makes the idea of being truly hands-free a reality by automatically notifying and connecting you to meetings and calls throughout the day.”
One Headset for Everything
Jawbone ICON HD is based on the companyʼs previous award-winning ICON line, and updated with the rich HD- quality speakers that users love from the latest Jawbone ERA line of headsets. ICON HD boasts a 25% larger wideband speaker than the original ICON offering the richest, most life-like and clear sound in Hi-Definition audio as you talk on the phone, listen to music, watch movies and play games.
ICON HD also delivers on Jawboneʼs legacy of unparalleled noise-cancelling expertise with military-grade NoiseAssassin® 2.5 technology. For the first time, the headset lets you control your media playback with AVRCP play & pause, allowing you to listen to a podcast on your walk to work and pause it with the touch of a button when the barista is ready to take your morning coffee order.
“Multi-tasking is a part of everyday life,” continues Bogard. “Unfortunately, most mobile products arenʼt designed with this in mind, making transitioning from one device to the next cumbersome and a pain to manage. ICON HD + The NERD solves this problem by streamlining all of the audio from all of your devices into one wire-free headset.”
Wire-FreeTM USB Audio
The NERD is a Wire-Free USB audio adapter that makes connecting the ICON HD to any USB-equipped device as visceral as plugging in headphones, but without the mess of cords. As soon as you plug The NERD into any USB port, it will automatically register as a USB audio device and connect to your ICON HD headset so that you can listen to music, watch videos, play games or take VoIP calls – no software downloads required, no hassle of Bluetooth setup. It also allows you to adjust volume on both your headset and via the master volume control on your Mac or PC.
About half of the length of other USB adapters, The NERD has a modern design thatʼs smaller and more discreet, so it wonʼt interfere when plugged into a laptop. Itʼs compatible with both PC and Mac.
The ICON HD features the same sleek, elegant design as the original ICON headsets and is available in the Denim finish. Beginning today, the Jawbone ICON HD + The NERD bundle can be purchased on Jawbone.com for $139.00, with in-store availability coming soon.
Always Connected, Always Up to Date
As with all Jawbone products, ICON HD + The NERD can be updated via Jawboneʼs MyTALK platform, ensuring that it will become even richer over time. MyTALK offers original applications that make Jawbone ICON HD + The NERD even better, including the new Jawbone Companion application.
Jawbone Companion for Android is Jawboneʼs latest application for Android users to keep them connected to their mobile devices, completely hands-free, in situations that matter the most. The application allows Android users to view their headsetʼs remaining battery life on their phone, and dial-in to conference calls on their calendar, directly from their Jawbone headset. No more back and forth between emails to find your conference callʼs dial-in number and passcode – Jawbone Companion announces, with a whisper in your ear, when you have a scheduled call, and with the push of a button, enters all your dial-in information.
Previously, Jawbone Companion was in a limited phone Beta with interest and support from over 20,000 testers verifying phone compatibility and providing feedback. With this feedback, Jawbone has released a general available version that provides users with features they want while supporting several Android devices and more on the way. For a complete list of compatible Android devices, please go to Jawbone.com/Companion.
For more information, images and product demos on ICON HD + The NERD as well as Jawbone Companion for Android, please visit: www.Jawbone.com/Press, MyTALK.Jawbone.com, or follow @Jawbone on Twitter.[/spoiler]
I have also included 2 review videos I did on the Jawbone ICON and Jawbone ERA when I first purchased those headsets as a point of reference for the older models I mention in the article above.