Continuing to do my evaluation of different UC devices, I was recently made aware of the Jabra Supreme UC headset. As some folks know about me, I am not a huge fan of Bluetooth (BT) headsets. I have purchased cars that have integrated BT and have been really happy with those over the years so I have used them less and less. Additionally, I had used BT headsets originally when I got involved in UC because of the wireless flexibility. That was until the battery died on the headset with no warning and I lost my call. That said, the Supreme UC sounded like a good idea so, thanks to my friends at Jabra again (specifically, Kim Haymaker, thanks Kim J ) I was provided one to try and convince me that there is hope for BT for me. Let me just say, I’ve become a fan again; the Supreme UC has so far been Supreme for me.
How it comes
My Supreme UC came as part of the road warrior’s kit with a couple of other devices, the Speak 410 and the Jabra Freeway.
The contents are pretty straightforward: a charger, a PC cable, the headset and a second earpiece. Also part of my kit is the Jabra Link 350, the 350 is a USB device to provide the Bluetooth stack to pair to the Supreme UC
Right out of the box, my first concern is that the Link 350 is a standard size USB stick. This is a problem for me and initially a concern about the Supreme UC. The issue is that the size of the device prohibits me from leaving it in my PC on a semi-permanent basis. I would break it when I put it in my bag. Other vendors have already moved to nano sized USB sticks to prevent this from happening. What I understand now, is that Jabra has also done this and the Supreme UC is supposed to come with a pre-paired Nano sized USB Stick. This is good and so that concern is alleviated (although I don’t have that, so it does impact my ability to use it a little bit).
The actual headset layout is very simply laid out. There is a boom microphone that controls the On/Off of the headset. Close the boom, headset is off, open it, the headset turns on. I like it, simple.
The main button is on the whole side of the device and that is for answer/hang up. On the back there is a volume up and volume down button. Push them together and you can mute and un-mute the headset. I like having a button to press rather than randomly tapping on the headset to find the mute control J. On the boom mic there is a button on top of the mic. That button controls the voice command function of the headset. There are set commands to the headset such as “battery” to give you the remaining battery life, or “pair another device” since the headset will support being paired to 2 devices at once. A third command “phone commands” will allow you to use your phone voice commands through the headset. I have a Windows Phone, so I have built in commands that allow me to dial or text someone, etc. I use the “phone commands” to be able to make calls or send texts or have text’s read to me. I have been really impressed with that capability and have been really happy using the device for that reason. I’m finding that Jabra has more and more devices with the “Voice” function that allows you to leverage the voice command capabilities of your phone. That functionality has been consistent whether it was a speakerphone (like the Freeway) or a headset like the Supreme UC. Very nice.
What is the profile
I try to put perspective around devices. All Lync Optimized Devices offer superior audio quality and controls. What is important is that everyone’s taste is different. In this case, road warriors who are always on the go, your standard planes/trains/automobiles scenarios and are really fans of Bluetooth technology, the Supreme UC is a must try. I know folks who are fans of Jawbone, or perhaps my friends at Plantronics who also has some excellent UC BT headsets. The Jabra Supreme UC device has outstanding noise cancellation, but it’s the ergonomics that has really made me a fan. Many folks are not comfortable with earbuds and so standard BT headsets are uncomfortable when used for long periods of time. The Supreme UC has superior comfort because it has minimal ear insertion. It hooks over the ear with a lightweight hook, but then has a rubber cushion that just lays on the ear with 2 small nubs that “hook” the ear to remain stationary. I have left this on my ear for HOURS with no significant discomfort.
I have said that Jabra “brings it” to the mobile worker. The Supreme UC is just another example of Jabra working towards mobile user comfort. It is important that if you go the route of the Supreme UC headset that you ensure that you get the NANO USB device. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging the USB stick or your laptop.