fantastic Bluetooth headset on the market and a pumpin' portable speaker to blast out jams, how could Jawbone improve their product lineup? Well, we still think a stereo headset might be swell... but that's not what the company delivered today. No, this is the Jawbone Era, the world's first Bluetooth earpiece with a built-in accelerometer for motion-sensing apps, and plenty more improvements where that came from. There's a new version of the company's NoiseAssassin noise-canceling algorithms that adjusts inbound volume and equalization to let you hear better, an extra-large 10mm cone speaker with a larger range of frequencies, two processors, more memory, and an hour of extra battery life compared to the Jawbone Icon, to be specific. With only two motions currently recognized -- a double-tap to begin / end / switch calls and a rapid shake to pair -- the accelerometer's a bit of a gimmick for now, but Jawbone suggests more gestures are probably on the way. In the meanwhile, the other advancements might make the Era worth the price of entry -- which is $130, by the by.
We've spent about five hours with the headset already, listening to music and taking calls, and while the accelerometer seems almost wasted at present, there's no discounting that new 10mm driver and the audio it can pump out. While no substitute for a set of quality dedicated earbuds, it sounded worlds better than the Jawbone Icon's tiny, tinny drum, and playing Pandora tracks we no longer felt an overpowering desire to take it out of our ear -- making a cyborg existence all the more bearable, we suppose. We'll bring you a full review soon, but if you're already sold, you'll find four different Era designs on sale at Jawbone's online store... oh, right about now. PR after the break.