Bluetooth headsets aren't exactly cool. They're certainly practical, but not stylish or alluring or generally very versatile. Jawbone's reinvented ERA headset, which is coming to Australia at the end of the month, just might change all of that.
The new ERA -- a complete redesign of the San Francisco company's 2011 headset -- is almost 50 per cent smaller than the original, and comes with a carry case that has its own internal battery, recharging the headset whenever it's not in use for a total of 10 hours' talk or music time.
Speaking of music, the redesigned Jawbone ERA handles it quite well -- a new wide-band headphone driver delivers a lot more bass than you'd expect from a tiny, battery-powered headphone bud. Calls, music and podcasts are all possible, and Jawbone wants you to wear the ERA all day, making it a part of its entire family of wearable tech.
A skin sensor on the inner edge of the ERA knows when you're wearing the headset, keeping it switched on even if you're not actively listening to audio, and sending it to sleep soon after you take it off to preserve battery life. The ERA, like the last one, also supports high-quality HD Voice calls -- currently available on Telstra and Vodafone, but not Optus.
All this technology doesn't come cheap, though. The ERA will go on sale on April 30th, and will be available for $179 with its accompanying charging case in four colours -- black, silver, bronze and red. If you don't want the extra battery life of the charger, you can buy the ERA headset alone for $149. It's an Apple Store retail exclusive in Australia.