Review: Jabra Journey has easy to access navigation buttons
At a Glance
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The Jabra Journey works well in the car because you can reach out and touch the super-sized buttons with ease, or manage calls using your voice. Too bad that the unit's audio quality was inconsistent.
When I’m driving and chatting through a Bluetooth speakerphone, I prefer gigantic, easy-to-access buttons. The $70 Jabra Journey lets me focus on driving, thanks to ginormous controls which are simple to find by feel alone. The unit’s pre-affixed clip grips the sun visor securely––requiring two hands to attach it––and the Journey stays put where its placed.
Reaching out to initiate or end a call, redial, or pump up the volume is a breeze, as the main call button looms large: It occupies almost a third of the Journey’s entire size. Even the smaller Voice button, which is tucked away at the top of the Journey, proved no problem to access. Another pleasing design attribute: All buttons deliver superb tactile feedback when pressed. Snappy, with just the right amount of depth.
Like I said, I’m all for mammoth buttons, but I also dig being able to go hands-free whenever possible. And the Journey makes some strides in this direction. For example, when the unit recognized the number of an incoming call, it announced the name and invited me to “Answer or Ignore.” (It obeyed either directive nicely.) Similarly, tapping the Voice button to activate my phone’s voice commands––“Call Scott work”–– worked well most of the time, but I had to roar occasionally, as the Journey sometimes misheard me.
On the call quality front, the Journey’s performance was up and down. During good calls, my voice sounded solid with no static or background noise. Others’ voices sounded clear and natural to me, too. During bad calls, however, callers moaned about my voice becoming too robotic and this felt jarring to them. Another caller groused about the overall tinny effect to my conversations.
Even though callers were able to pick up on various background noise sources––my tunes and traffic noise (like the whoosh of passing vehicles when the windows were rolled down)––the Journey relegated these sounds to the background admirably. More kudos: On one jaunt, with heavy breezes funneling into my car through the open windows, a caller detected only mild choppiness which was impressive considering the windy conditions.