June 6, 2008 Aliph has introduced a new version of its Jawbone Bluetooth Headset, which won an International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award last year. The new model is 50% smaller than its predecessor, and up to ten times more effective than competing headsets at eliminating background noise according to the manufacturers.

The Jawbone uses NoiseAssassin technology, which was originally developed for DARPA to provide clearer military communications. Designed to block out the noise of helicopters and battlefields, the headset makes easy work of traffic and pub chatter. The secret lies in the patented Voice Activity Sensor, which uses Digital Signal Processing algorithms to identify and isolate the wearer’s voice, and subtract all other noise from the transmission. Similar noise-reducing technologies use Voice Activation Detection, which is only effective if the wearer is significantly louder than the background, and has difficulty distinguishing background conversations from the user’s voice. The fast processing of the headset is able to handle rapid outbursts of noise, and the dual microphones mitigate interference from wind.

Weighing 10 grams and measuring 508mm long by 1.27mm wide by 1.27mm thick, the UK£79.99/USD$129.99 headset is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled phones (Bluetooth 1.1, 1.2, and 2.0) and is constructed from ultra-smooth medical-grade plastic. It has a range of up to ten meters, and can charge up to 80% of its battery in 35 minutes. The product is currently available in matt black, and will soon be offered in silver, and rose gold.

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