I know the Zivio has been briefly reviewed in a previous thread, but I wanted to create a new thread dedicated on this wonderful and innovative headset. I, like many others looking for the ideal product, have tried the Jawbone (I & II), z9i, and many others. All these devices have failed for me, given their heavy reliance on DSP (or lack thereof), poor incoming sound, blah, blah, blah. And then comes the Zivio... my wait is over.

I posted my review on the HowardForums BT forum, which is part of an ongoing thread:

Here's my review:

I received my Zivio this morning, and have been putting the unit through various performance tests throughout the day, paired with my Sprint Centro. Here's my findings:


- Outgoing sound: I tried various settings... both in my office, car, and outdoors, with the mic fully extended. I'm amazed at how well this unit performed, filtering almost all background noise out. Even when I cranked the music in my car, most of it was filtered out. The mic works well, when following the instructions of keeping it a 1/2 inch from the corner of your mouth. My voice sounded natural (FINALLY) with this BT headset, even in noisy settings. Heck, even better than what my Centro's mic delivers, seemingly. The only shortfall was my voice sounded a little quiet on the other end vs. the handset mic or my tried-n-true Jabra JX-10 II.

- Design: the unit, accessories, and packaging are well thought out. Reminds me of when I first opened up my JX-10 package, and the products I purchase from Apple. Sleek, innovative, and they feel durable. As others have said, the boom should be retracted when not in use, as I suspect that could break if extremely bent. The unit feels a little on the heavy side, but hey, I'm coming from one of the lightest BT headsets out there (JX-10).

- Buttons: easy to find while wearing, easy to click. I also answered my own question about whether you could turn off the blinking light which is normally on while talking... and even after power cycling the unit -- YES! Finally, someone got this "feature" right, and no more BORG effect when walking around.

- Earpieces: extremely comfortable. The mushroom design is exactly the same as the infamously comfortable earplugs found on Sony's EX-71/81 wired headsets, which are designed for hours of listening to music. However, the Zivio's weight tends to make the mushroom plug rotate in your ear, unless you also wear the optional ear loop. Like others, I prefer the clear ear plug and no ear loop, which is very comfortable. However, I ended up with an even better option, which I'll explain below.


- BT range: complaints about static are well founded -- this unit has very poor range compared to other BT headsets I've owned or tested. Joby can hopefully improve this in the next iteration.

- Incoming sound: overall, the unit performs well in this area, but I list it as a weakness, given the electronic hiss generated by the speaker when the volume is anything above 20-30% strength. Given that my Centro's volume increases regardless if adjusted by handset or headset (not independent), the suggestion of "first turning down your handset volume and then turning up the volume on the Zivio" isn't applicable for me. But alas, I fixed this as well, which I'll explain below.


Making A Great Headset Even Better

With the Jabra JX-10, I found that the earpiece options that came with the unit were good, but not perfect. Outside of getting a custom mold (which is REALLY perfect), many folks have spent 5 bucks on a set of clear Jabra eargles, which fit perfectly on the JX-10. And guess what... another perfect fit on the Zivio as well. They not only improve comfort for me... here's what the Jabra eargel does for my Zivio:

- just like on my JX-10, incoming sound is slightly louder and now acceptable at the default level, given the audio is piped directly into my ear canal more effectively.

- the electronic hiss is GONE. Yes, even without having to turn down the volume, the hiss is largely removed with the Jabra eargel. Once you see how the noise is funneled through in the Jabra eargel vs. a big open hole with Zivio's earpieces, I think you'll understand why the difference.

- better fit & support for the boom style of the Zivio headset (for me anyhow... each person's ears are different, so see for yourself).

You can pick up Jabra eargels at places like Radio Shack and Amazon:

With this setup, I must admit that the Zivio is a clear winner above all others (including DSP heavies like the Jawbone and z9), and will be my primary device for business calls, for some time to come.