Jabra Sport Wireless 2 years after

Review Date: Jul. 14, 2014        Updated: Jul. 20, 2014

I bought my Jabra Sport Wireless in January 2012, and the time I had it, I have generally been, very harpy with it. The headset broke in May 2014, just a couple of month out of warranty. It happen when I switched it off after a use. It began to produce a noise, that also was there when I switched the headset on. I could still hear the music, but with a strong noise over it, and the headset just discharged fast, as it continue to produce noise even after it was switched off. Today after an firmware update, the headset only produce noise, no music.
Jabra Customer Support tried to help me with the problem, by giving instructions on how to update the headset's firmware, but it did not solve the problem. Jabra did not want to give me a replacement headset, as my headset was out of warranty (4 months).
My opinion is that I have taken good care of my headset. I normal use it for sport (running) where I sweat a lot, but that should not be a problem as Jabra state; the headset is rain tested, shock tested and dust tested to follow US Military standard. When it was not in use I stored it in a Jabra case (see picture 1).

Picture 1: Headset with storage case

Now I'm an engineer and like to find out how things are put together, so I used this opportunity to look into the Jabra Sport Wireless headset and maybe find out what got it to broke down.

My first impression is: I have a solid piece of electronic equipment, it is flexibly, not to heavy, it is easy to use and it looks like it is good sealed for humidity and dust.
When I took the left ear-gel of, I got my first indication to why the headset failed. The grid, in front of the speaker, fell off (see picture 2).

Picture 2: The grid felt off

The grid seams to have been glued to the ear piece with some kind of silicone glue. Turned the grid around, you can see that there are some dots , to me it looks like corrosion, probably provoked from my sweat (see picture 3).

Picture 3: Corrosion dots on the back side of the grid

With some difficulty I open up the whole headset (see picture 4). You can see the right part contains all the electronics (see picture 6), while the left part contains a small 85mAh battery (see picture 5). The left part looked healthy and in fact I have never had problems with charging the headset, as well with play time.

Picture 4: The open headset

Picture 5: The headset contains a 85mAh battery

A near look at the right part, there contains the electronics (see picture 6), shows some white deposits. To me it look like salt, properly from my sweat (see picture 7), this is concentrated around the wire initiation. The rest of the electronics looks healthy. I suspect this salt deposits shows that humidity has entered the electronics and provoked the failure of the headset.

Picture 6: The electronics

Picture 7: white deposits


The Jabra Sport Wireless headset does not have the best sound, but is absolute fantastic to use when you are doing sport. It grip your ear in a good way, does not fall out or move around while you are running, it is easy and intuitive to use when it is in place, you can answer phone calls, navigate your music or even just listen to radio, while you are on the move.
But a headset that cost almost 90€ should, after my opinion, last longer than two years. Jabra promise that the headset is sweat, shock and dust resistance to US Military standard (what ever that is), but I'm not impressed with the sweat resistance.
It is sad that such a well thought headset is no more resistance to sweat, especial as it is thought to be used by sports active people, there normal sweat a lot, I believe.
I might have been unlucky with my headset, and my opinion is that Jabra should have replaced the headset immediately, when we found out that the firmware was not the source to the failure. What other reason could it be? Humidity, shock or dust? I do not know what the US Military standard says about that.

I have asked Jabra if they wanted to comment this review, and the product manager answered with an offer to replace the broken headset. I accepted the offer, as I think it is a good product if it would last longer.