Review: Jabra's JX10 Bluetooth earpiece pimps out your wireless calling

Now that Bluetooth earpieces are getting more popular, they're becoming as much of a fashion statement as the cell phones they pair with. After all, if your sleek mobile's hidden in your pocket, wirelessly streaming calls to a headset, you've got to have some other way of signaling to the world that you're a style-conscious gadgeteer.

Jabra's JX10 earpiece fills that role amiably. Danish designer Jacob Jensen crafted the exterior, a sleek silver shell that you can wear with or without the removable earclip. Which way you go on that probably depends on how well the JX10 hangs onto the contours of your ear, but the clip's detachable nature means it's also more easily lost. Thankfully, Jabra provides a backup. It all adds up to a pretty slick-looking device, but does its performance measure up to its smart looks? Not one, but two of our reviewers gave it a listen to find out.

Staying Comfortable with Your Looks
We'll just say upfront that the Jabra JX10 has any number of things going for it, a few of which are: so light you don't notice it, so small you don't see it, so fine that if you do happen to see it you think, "damn, that looks good!" and, as a bonus, it works well and it's easy to use. If it sounds like we're gushing, it's because we are; finally we have a Bluetooth headset that we can wear and not look like Uhura.

The JX10 isn't without its flaws though, foremost of which is the $179 price tag. You shouldn't be too scared of that, though, since its been seen on the street as low as $90, but that still ain't cheap. The other big flaw is you may find the earpiece to be a bit uncomfortable. If you need to wear this thing for longer than a few minutes, you may notice its modern design, while nice and smooth, isn't as friendly to the ear as one that's fully rubberized. We canvassed a few online review sites and only noticed a small percentage of people complaining about comfort, so your mileage will vary here. It's not a deal breaker, but it is annoying.

Call of the Wild
Now the meaty part: the sound. Overall, the quality was decent compared with other Bluetooth headsets we've used, and the JX10 excelled at filtering out ambient noise. It supposedly has built-in processing that adjusts the volume based on the sounds around you, but we didn't notice — maybe that's the point. Adjusting the volume manually is just a bit awkward since the buttons are on the tiny side but, hey, that's the price you pay for the small form factor, and it's well worth it. One more thing that information addicts might take issue with: there's no readout for call display; gotta look at your phone for that.

At the End of the Day…
Despite its comfort issues, the JX10 would make a great companion to any cell phone with a stylish bent — from Motorola's KRZR to Nokia's Aston Martin mobile. As long as you're not chairing marathon meetings with it, Jabra's dapper little guy is a wireless wonder that's sure to turn heads. Just try not to lose that earclip.