FIND ANSWERS QUICKLY!
Just got my ERA, to replace my Icon (which worked great, but got washed and, then, not so great). I was on the fence, between the ERA and a Blue Ant Q2, but ultimately went with what I knew.
With my Icon, I had no problem using Siri on my 4S. With my ERA, different story.
Key among the problems (indeed, the glaring problem) is that you can only use it one time, and it's clearly a failing on the Jawbone side of the equation.
Here's the scenario: Press and hold "talk" for two seconds. ERA gives audio indication that it's been activated, followed by Siri audio indication that it's been activated. I say "Send a text message." Siri responds by telling me it needs a name, number, etc. By this time, the connection to Siri is cut, so I again press and hold the "talk" button for two seconds, and again I get the ERA audio indication that it's been activated. And then nothing. Meanwhile, on the phone's screen, I can see the Siri microphone icon briefly reflect activation (a small bit of purple appears at the base of the microphone). I speak, but nothing happens. No indication from Siri that it can hear me. So I press the Siri microphone icon on the screen, to activate it manually. Again, little purple appears on the base of the microphone, but nothing I say is heard (Siri, which usually gives a visual cue that it's hearing you, remains idle) and the connection is again dropped.
So how do I know this is a Jawbone failing and not a Siri/4S failing. Again, from the phone's home screen, I can manually activate Siri by long-pressing the home button. Siri gives it's audio activation sound through the ERA, and I repeat the above request to send a text message. When Siri asks to whom, it then accepts my input, and off I go through the process of sending a text, hands-free.
So let's do another test. This time, I do the same as above, but after I send the text, I want to check the weather, but I don't want to use the iPhone screen, I want to use my ERA. So, bearing in mind that I initially activated Siri via phone's own interface through completion of the text, and now to do something else on Siri I have to re-activate it, I press and hold the "talk" button on the ERA. And ... my volume goes up. No connection to Siri at all. Then, after about 30 seconds, the ERA gives it's audio indication that it is disconnecting (as if disconnecting from a call, not from the phone entirely).
Thinking, hey, this sucks, and after reading these forums, I figured Aliph remedied (sort of) this problem by releasing its Voice Control app. Well, other than I no longer get the annoying "Voice Dialing" phrase, it's no different. Same bug.
Now, this isn't a deal breaker for me, necessarily. Given that I can manually activate Siri without actually looking at my phone, and given a grey area in the hands-free law in Oregon that probably renders such manual activation legal, I'm not gonna sweat it a bunch. (Frankly, I don't like using the talk button on the bluetooth headsets anyway - guess I'm weird that way). But for a device that costs $130, $30 more than its nearest competitor (the Q2, which in some review comes out better than the ERA), I expect more. I understand that Siri is still in beta, and that one of the failings of being an early adapter is your stuff don't work right at first. I get that. But how can a bluetooth headset justify not only losing its functionality after one activation, but prevent manual activation from working either? Basically, the ERA crashes Siri after one use if activated via the ERA. That's nonsense.
Using the "Voice Dial" app is a total waste, becuase it also activates Siri (as opposed to launching a dialer or something) and if Siri doesn't understand who you've asked to call (which happens to me at least 50% of the time), you're screwed. Gotta go back to the home screen and start all over.
Ultimately, seems to me if you have an iPhone 4S, your best "app" option is the "My Favorite," for the simple reason that it actually works. And since probably 90% of my outgoing calls are to one number (wife), I avoid the Siri dialing nonesense entirely.
On the upside, contrary to some other reviews I've read, this is best audio-quality headset I've ever owned, both incoming and outgoing. I suggest that it's disingenuous to review the sound quality of what other people might hear on the receiving end without identifying through what device they were listening. (If they are listening through a crappy headset or cheap phone, then yeah, you will sound bad regardless of what headset you use, and talking directly into the phone will ALWAYS sound better - apples and oranges, that).
Updated Update: Took it back, exchanged the ERA for a BlueAnt Q2. The nail in the coffin was the battery life. I think my 7-year-old HP laptop has better battery life.
It's sad, too, because I know Jawbone can do better. My Icon would hold a charge for a week. The ERA? Not a day if I don't use it, not half a day if I did. That's simply unacceptable, and was the final straw.
I installed the voice control app and my Siri works fine using that instead of the voice Dial app. But i do have a problem, When i tell Siri to call someone, it dials the number but i lose audio once the number is dialed. I have to hang up and go to my iphone, and then make the call, then i have audio back. Their is a bug in either Jawbone or apple Siri that causes this. Has anyone found a solution for this? I really like the jawbone, I wanted the noise cancelation cause in the summer i drive a jeep and with the top off its quite windy, and the sound quality recieving a call is amazing. I am willing to put up with a few bugs, but i really would like this bug fixed. This is one part of the reason i wanted a bluetooth headset.
I went and got my 3rd jawbone era today and this time everything works great. When i 1st picked up the new one today it was stone dead. I couldn't even turn it on to pair it. So i plugged it into the computer and did all the updates on it. I installed the thinker voice, and Voice control for siri, I then turned off caller ID cause i have most of my people in my address book are set to their own ringtone, I left A2DP on, but changed the alert notification on my iphone to a longer tone so the delay can pick it up. I have NoiseAssassin turn on. I then paired the Era with my Iphone 4s and started testing it, and everything works perfectly. I can even tell Siri to call someone with out it cutting out my audio. I am a happy camper.
I did all the same tests as lawduck with the same results. Usually. Occasionally I found that if I first turned on the iPhone and then pushed the Jawbone ERA talk button to activate Siri I could give a command; push the ERA button again and give another command; repeat, and Siri would continue to respond. The next time I would try this Siri would hear the first command and not hear any after that. The functionality of the Jawbone was unpredictable.
If I don't first manually turn on the iPhone, it seems to always be the case the Siri hears the first command and never hears any others after that. If I do manually turn on the iPhone the performance is unpredictable as described above.
Here's the functionality I think we users need. Without touching the iPhone, which is in sleep mode, we should be able to hold down the ERA talk button for two seconds, wait for the Siri double beep acknowledgement, and give a command that Siri hears and responds to. Then we should be able to press the talk button (either 2 seconds, momentary push, or tap on ERA) to give another command, etc. without having to disconnect and start over.
Another way of describing the functionality is we should be able to use the ERA to interact with Siri the same way we would if we were holding the iPhone and tapping the Siri button manually to issue a series of commands.
Additionally, as long as the ERA is paired and connected to the iPhone all spoken commands should be accepted through the ERA regardless of whether the iPhone is playing audio through the Jawbone, the iPhone, or the headphones. In other words, the ERA should perform as it would if you were listening to music from the iPhone playing through the car stereo via a cable from the headphone jack to the car stereo and then took a phone call. When that happens the music is paused and the phone call goes through the Jawbone, both the microphone and the audio through the headset. When the call ends the music resumes playing through the headphone jack.
I'm waiting for a fix to the ERA firmware. Hope it's coming soon because I like the ERA noise suppression and clarity of phone calls heard by those I call. But I use my iPhone for a lot more than phone calls and need a compatible Bluetooth headset.
"Another way of describing the functionality is we should be able to use the ERA to interact with Siri the same way we would if we were holding the iPhone and tapping the Siri button manually to issue a series of commands."
Or, we need ERA to interact with Siri exactly the way we would if we were using the Apple earphones and used the center button to interact with Siri - press for 2 seconds and Siri double-beeps and listens to your next command. After all, shouldn't a Bluetooth headset perform just like a wired headset?
© 2013 Jawbone.