Review: Jabra Supreme is clear as a bell
At a Glance
If I’m going to cough up $150 for a monaural headset, I expect a bunch of things: Superlative audio quality, press-without-thinking buttons, bonus features galore––and extra ear accessories to optimize the fit and comfort. Does the $150 Jabra Supreme UC deliver the goods? Yes and no.
Let's tackle the wearability aspect first, which is a “no.” Jabra only includes two identical large (and non-adjustable) ear hooks, along with two ear gel covers. One cover sits flat against your ear, while the other sports two small hooks, resembling miniature shark fins which help anchor the headset inside your ear. The hooked cover helped secure the Supreme UC to my (small) ear somewhat, but no matter how much I futzed with the thing, I couldn’t achieve an entirely stable fit.
The unit’s big main call button was a cinch to access, but the volume and Voice Control buttons felt teeny by comparison and took a while to feel familiar to me. I liked how I could tap the Voice Control button on the boom, utter the word “battery,” and the Supreme UC would tell me how much juice I had left ( “Your remaining talk time is 3 hours and 30 minutes”).
Despite the unit’s loose fit, audio quality was (for the most part) great. On my end, conversations sounded crisp and close; on the other end, callers said my voice came through reasonably clearly, if a tad muffled. A couple of callers noted that my voice didn’t sound completely natural; at times it felt like the headset stripped out some of my natural tone, giving it a metallic effect. Still, these niggling things were not irritating enough for them to want to zap our calls.
I was impressed with the Supreme UC’s USB adapter: This itty-bitty dongle transforms your PC into a Bluetooth hub (and stays connected simultaneously to your phone). While donning the headset and blathering on Skype, for example, a cell phone call came in. The Supreme UC announced who was calling, and I was able to shuffle the call into voicemail by saying “Ignore,” so I could stay focused on my Skype call. Switching between two calls like this generally makes me twitchy, but the Windows-to-mobile–and-back-again feature worked like a charm.