Review: Jabra BT8040

The Jabra BT8040 is a small Bluetooth headset that uses earbuds to sit in your ear. When I opened it and looked at the tips for the earbud itself, I half expected that the part of the tip that comes out was designed more like a canalphone or an intra-aural headphone (think of an earbud that gets inserted into the ear canal). This wasn’t the case as the Jabra BT8040 works just like a regular earbud by sitting just on the outside of your ear canals like most other earbuds.

One of the biggest problems of a Bluetooth headset is a lack of comfort. Often you feel as if your ear is being attacked by probe of some sort and that’s just not friendly. Today, we’re looking at a new Bluetooth headset which not only boasts the words “Small Radical Design” on the front but also proudly states “Ultimate Comfort Ear Gel”. Let’s see if they live up to their statements.

The Jabra BT8040 is a small Bluetooth headset that uses earbuds to sit in your ear. When I opened it and looked at the tips for the earbud itself, I half expected that the part of the tip that comes out was designed more like a canalphone or an intra-aural headphone (think of an earbud that gets inserted into the ear canal). This wasn’t the case as the Jabra BT8040 works just like a regular earbud by sitting just on the outside of your ear canals like most other earbuds.

Unlike most earbuds however, once you’ve gotten the BT8040 in comfortable, it doesn’t come out all that easily. In the days I’ve been testing it, I’ve walked home down hills, ran up and down stairs and escalators, and even shook my head around on camera to see if that would dislodge it. It actually stays in place but there’s a little catch with that: you still feel like it might come out.

I’m not sure whether it’s a testament to my sceptical mind not being able to trust that an earbud technology might actually work or whether it’s the feeling around the bud itself that a seal hasn’t actually been made, but you’ll probably find yourself putting your hand by your ear every so often to check if it’s still there. I know I did.

As for comfort, I wouldn’t personally call it “ultimate comfort” myself. It’s certainly not uncomfortable and it doesn’t force itself into your ear as many an earbud can. But it also doesn’t feel “comfy” per se. Rather, it feels more like it’s there and not there at the same time. It’s hard to describe a level of comfort and while I’m probably not using the best terminology, it feels as if it sits on the edge of the inside of your ear. I’ll hazard a guess that “Ultimate Comfort Gel” is the name of the gel-based tips Jabra are using on this headset and say that the earbuds, while not un-comfy, aren’t the sort of thing that you’d probably want to leave in your ears for more than an hour or two.

That’s not bad considering that I normally don’t want to have an earbud in my ears for more than ten minutes without feeling the urge to shift them in my ears and look for a better listening spot.

With up to 6 hours talk time and 200 hours standby time, you get a fair amount of life and its Micro USB port on the back makes it easy to charge up whether you do it with the included USB adapter for your PC or the AC adapter for your wall.

The Jabra BT8040 is compatible with A2DP which means you’re able to pull a stereo stream from your handset (if it supports it) and listen to your music quite comfortably. I certainly had no problems in this regard and while I think it could do with being a little louder, found the audio quality was actually very good in both music and voice streams.

Of course you wouldn’t be considering a Bluetooth headset if the voice quality wasn’t good and the BT8040 shines here. In testing it from calls to people, I found that people were saying it sounds as good as the handset normally does. Despite the distance between the mic and your mouth, you can speak at a regular volume as if you were speaking directly into your phone and noise is cleared up nicely.

All up, the Jabra BT8040 is an excellent Bluetooth headset. It’s small, easy to use, has great quality, and is easily the most comfortable Bluetooth headset I’ve ever used.

Should you buy it?: If you’re in the market for a great Bluetooth headset, I would.

Product: Jabra BT8040

Vendor: Jabra

RRP: $109.95

Website: Jabra BT8040

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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