By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The key issue of driving safety is the underlying — but not the singular — force behind the development and sales success of EarSet, a tiny speaker and microphone headset combination, made by Jabra, that keeps cellphone distraction to a minimum.
Beyond the safety factor, Jabra cites a number of market drivers for the retail appeal of its EarSet. These include patented technology, unique accompanying EarGel and wearing comfort, among others.
This hands-free device was the No. 3 retail dollar-volume producer during the period June 2002 through June 2003, according to The NPD Group sales data figures of store product dollar movement.
"The EarSet has technology that no other company can replicate," said Anita Habeich, Jabra director of marketing, about the primary reason why the manufacturer thinks EarSet has been a retail success. "It's the only product with an all-in-one speaker and microphone that fits in the ear, a design that enhances sound quality and stands apart from the competition," she said.
The Jabra EarSet for cellular and PCS mobile phones frees both hands, so users can stay active at the same time they are calling. The microphone is right in the ear piece, eliminating a face-fronting microphone boom. There is no need for expensive installed car kits, while improved shielding and circuitry eliminate buzz and hum. The microphone delivers consistent sound, no matter how users move, said Jabra.
The company includes with the EarSet a colorful, soft and easy-to-clean plastic ear plug, called EarGel, which holds the headset comfortably in the user's outer ear. EarGel is available in several jewel- tone colors and three sizes — a pair of each size for both left and right ears.
"Our patented EarGel is essential to the product's success," said Habeich. "Consumers find it holds the product securely and comfortably in the ear, and [it] points the microphone toward the mouth for consistent, quality sound. In addition, we've updated to locking EarGels that will not unintentionally come off the product."
The EarSet offers plug-and-play and is fully functional right out of the box. It is compatible with popular phones from Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola, Qualcomm, Sony, Mitsubishi, Audiovox, Samsung and others. Suggested retail is $39.99.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.