I have often seen Jabra headsets in stores and I have appreciated some of their designs, but have never had a first hand experience with any of them. I got in touch with Jabra, and they were happy to provide me with a unit to review. So, here is the Jabra Tag.
The essential idea behind this headset is that it is worn on you and audio is heard through ordinary earphones, but the device itself connects to the mobile phone/computer wireless via Bluetooth allowing the device to be near by and not directly connected to the headset.
Quick Spec Sheet
The design motivation behind the Jabra Tag is Dog Tags, hence the metallic silver design. The device weighs only 30 grams, and measures at 56x34mm while being 8mm thick only (excluding the rear clip). It connects via Bluetooth 3.0 supporting A2DP and has the ability to connect to two devices simultaneously. It does have digital signal processing (DSP) that digitally optimizes music and audio to reduce unnecessary noise and echo. Jabra estimates the device has 8 hours of talk time / 7 hours of music playback with about 8 days standby time. All components of the Jabra Tag are removable (will be shown later in the review).
The Jabra Tag comes in a nice box that displays the Tag itself and highlights how it is to be worn.
The box has all the necessary and expected labelling that highlights all the features of the Tag. The device comes with a pair of in-ear headphones.
The box has a lot of different smaller boxes and packs to make it all fit under each other to give its final look, so unboxing it took a bit of fumbling around.
After unboxing everything, here is a list of everything that has been provided inside the retail box; Manuals, Warranty information, Registration card, Wall Micro-USB charger, two pair of replacement earbuds (two sizes), Jabra Tag with its in-ear headphones.
Before I get into the technical aspects of the Jabra Tab, here is an image that describes how the device was meant to be worn
Design and Build
As mentioned earlier the Tag looks like a Dog Tag, and even has the silver metallic look to it, which I think makes it quite attractive. The device is plastic all around.
The device is fairly simple. On the bottom of the device sits the Micro-USB port. I think this is fairly good that Jabra went with Micro-USB as most devices today are charged with it. On the top of the device sits the 3.5mm headphone jack, LED light and microphone. On the face of the device sits 4 main buttons; The Jabra/Multifunction button, back and forward button and the FM button.
On the left of the device sits the tiny volume keys.
A good thing about the Jabra Tab is that everything is removable. If you do not like the provided headphones? Change them. Do not need the clip? Remove it. The metallic part does attract fingerprints.
Pairing and Bluetooth
The device can connect to two simultaneous devices. I tested this out by connecting to a laptop and then my phone. I turned on some music on the computer and made a test call. The Tag successfully made the call by turning off the music and turned it back on after the call had ended.
Being that there is no display, there is a sequence which is mentioned in the manual. To pair a device, one must turn off the device (by pressing and holding the Jabra key) and press and hold the Jabra key till the LED lights up blue. After that pairing is a piece of cake through any bluetooth device, and repeat for the second device.
The Bluetooth range is a decent and expected range, and works fairly well at distance if there are no walls/obstacles.
The device is a delight, and wearing it like a necklace does make it convenient as well. It isn’t without fault though.
The built in headphones are really good with pretty much all applications such as watching videos, taking phone calls, etc but fails to give good music quality, especially bass. Fortunately, the headset can be changed (Although it doesn’t look like it could be, good design) and that solved that problem. It has a built in microphone in case the headphones do not have one.
The device is fairly simple to use, turning it on or off through the Jabra Button. Answering and ending calls are also handled through the same button. Pressing and holding the FM button will start the FM Radio, whether paired to a device or on its own. The only issue I have faced with the radio is the fact that there is no screen to display which station is being selected and there is no way to input a select station, the only available option is to scan through the available channels by pressing and holding the forward or backward button.
The only real flaw I could not go past with this device is the voice instructions. When powering on or off there is a woman’s voice that tells you it has come on or is going off. When volumes are being selected the beep is loud, but worst of all is when the battery is low, the woman comes back on and lets you know in a loud voice. There is no way to lower that volume which I think is necessary. I was once watching some videos with the device in a quiet room so the volume was fairly low, and the battery ran low and I got this loud beep and a woman saying battery low that was way too loud.
This woman sitting in the Jabra Tag does assist when connecting with bluetooth when pairing with a new device by giving voice instructions, although not needed for most of us. Just scan and find the tag through any device and click pair, but still, it does serve as a helpful quick guide.
The battery life is a factor the Jabra did well in. The device is really the size of a Dog Tag and is only 8mm thick yet it did manage to pull a little over 6 hours of music/video playback with a few minutes of calls. That is just about less than an hour short of their estimated time which I think is pretty decent. This essentially is a device that I charged once every few days, the standby is pretty decent.
The Jabra Tag is one of the nicer wired Bluetooth headsets I have come across for a few simple reasons; It is customizable with multiple ways of wearing it, exchangeable headphones, removable clip, and has a very decent battery life.
Sure, it does have flaws like the loud voice notifications and beeps, but as far as general functionality and purpose of the device, it has pulled it off quite well.
Device Pros and Cons:
– Nice design and size
– Good battery life
– Customizable (removable & exchangeable components)
– Connects to two devices simultaneously
– FM Radio functionality
– Loud voice notifications and beeps
– Headset provided isn’t great for music
– No display for radio stations