There’s only a week left before Christmas, so in honor of the procrastinators in our midst (a group in which I proudly — or sadly — take part), I am spotlighting a few items that I think are great last-minute holiday gifts. Some will be universal products, others will be iPhone-centric — I am the iPhone editor, after all (but even if you don’t have an Apple handset, chances are good you have someone on your list who does). Either way, these are some of my favorite accessories on the market right now.
Novero — TheFirstOne
SUMMARY: Very cool-looking earbud for the trendy, with multiple carrying options and excellent call quality. Everything about this product screams quality — including the price. But any BT fans on your shopping list would be thrilled to get this as a gift.
LOVE this little earbud. Why? Because you don’t look like a corporate drone wearing it. (Actually, TheFirstOne reminds me of the club kids’ light-up paraphernalia, from back in my raver days.) Even though it doesn’t go inside the ear, like some noise-canceling earbuds do, it is still very comfortable and secure. It has several soft-plastic gripper attachments, so it hugs the inside of the outer ear snugly. But that’s only half the reason I like this product: Not only does it have a car dock for charging, but the accessory comes with other accessories! There’s a clip, to secure this to your clothes, and a lanyard, for wearing this around your neck.
With various earpieces, I missed calls while digging around my purse or pocket, looking for the headset. But with TheFirstOne, I never lost a call because the earpiece was always handy. The designers at Novero really thought this through. And at a recent phone industry event, even jaded cellular professionals (some from companies who sold their own BT earpieces) kept asking me if they could check out this little beauty.
Last but not least, call quality was very impressive. It was on par, if not even better, than the quality on my landline phone. Beautiful and practical — what more could anyone ask for? (Well, I’m glad you asked. While some items came in a standard cardboard box, this arrived in a lovely clear-plastic box that doubles as a desk stand. It gives the feel of a museum-quality piece, which makes for a pretty gorgeous gift.)
I do wish it had a little better talk/standby time, and the only other downside I could find was that, at least with the white version (it also comes in black), it started to get slightly dingy over time. But that was generally taken care of with a little Windex-soaked cloth. Overall, though, this is one of my favorite earpieces of the bunch.
Talk Time: 4.5 hours
Standby: 4.2 days
Now, on to Part 2, where I'll be looking at two Jabra headsets: The Jabra Stone and Halo. (There's also Plantronics' Discovery 975 and the Voyager Pro, as well as the MoGo Talk for the iPhone and the blinged-out rhinestone-studded PinkTooth by chicBuds, so click to see any of them.)