The Jabra name has long been associated with bluetooth headsets, so when the opportunity came up, DigitalReviews gladly took up the offer to review the Jabra BT3030.
Billed as "music & talk meets the streets", the BT3030 stands out from the crowd with its "dog tag" design. With such a unique design, some may love it and other may not. Jumping onto the bandwagon of the military enthusiasts, the BT3030 comes complete with a metal chain lanyard for wearing around the neck. However, if that is not your style then a clothes clip is provided in the box.
The metal cut control face of the BT3030 is reminiscent of the RAZR keypad, with six blue backlit buttons for controlling the media player and answering the phone. A standard 3.5 mm headset jack is located on the /right side near the top, and charging is via the mini USB port on the bottom.
The Jabra logo located at the bottom displays the status of the battery in green, yellow or red depending on the amount of battery charge remaining.
The first time I powered on my BT3030 it automatically entered the pairing mode and connected with my Nokia phone with ease. It was a simple process to enter into manual pairing mode to connect with my Acer notebook concurrently.
The BT3030 comes with the in-canal type earbuds which are fairly effective in filtering out background noise. The sound quality that comes through is quite clear for voice calls. However when playing music, the range coming through the earbuds were lacking in bass and sounded thin. Replacing the bundled earbuds with my mid-range Sony earpieces improved the music sound quality slightly but it was certainly was not on the level of sound reproduction that I would normally accept – and I am no audiophile.
The remote control part of the BT3030 works with my Nokia N-series phone. However the functionality is limited to volume control, playback/pause, forward and back. This set up is fine if the playlist is pre-defined, but where there isn’t a predefined playlist then one must get back onto the media player itself to change the playlist manually.
The range of the bluetooth connection varies as one would expect with a wireless protocol. I could travel about 2 meters away before static crept in, granted that the 2 meters included two plaster walls and wooden frames within the wall. Given that my general usage of a bluetooth headset would be for driving or working from my desk, this generally would not be an issue for me.
* Talk time: Up to 8 hours
* Music playing time: Up to 7 hours
* Microphone: 4 mm Omni-directional microphone
* Charging plug: Mini USB
* Supported Bluetooth profiles: Headset and hands-free profiles for phone conversations and Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) for streaming music and AVRCP for audio remote control
* Compatibility: The Jabra BT3030 is compatible with other Bluetooth devices with Bluetooth 1.1 or higher specifications
* Operating range: Up to 10 metres
* Paired devices: Multi-point; can be connected to 2 Bluetooth devices at the same time
The major issue with the Jabra BT3030 was the music sound quality. The bass was so light on that the sound comes through almost tinny. Secondly the metal lanyard, along with the corded ear plugs creates a nightmare tangle if you just toss it into a bag. Lastly, more a commonsense approach then a gripe. If you are using the BT3030 when driving, one earbud in ear is plenty to work with!
The BT3030 is a decent performer for handling voice calls, but falls flat in the music department. If the device is only used for handling voice calls then the need for the "dog tag" remote control part is an unnecessary component, particularly if there is a tangled mess to sort out after having the BT3030 floating around in your bag. But if you want to make a fashion statement and music quality is not a high priority then the Jabra BT3030 is the go.
The Jabra BT3030 is available for around USD$70.