|Hightech or No Tech?|
Item Reviewed: 2008 Motorola Audex Jacket
Price Paid: $300
I wanted the Audex jacket since the first day I saw it online. I waited 2 years to find one at a good price, because XL seemed to be the size always sold out at the end of season. Retail these things went for $500+. When I received my jacket in fall 2008 I learned that the Audex line was discontinued for 2009, I had got one of the last jackets out there. The new line of jackets has no ipod controls & no bluetooth, only speakers and battery.
I got a "Cargo" first, which I was impressed with, big puffy jacket, but the cables were not connecting correctly, and RMA'd it. All that was left in inventory was the thinner version "The Link" So Burton sent that to me instead.
So recently I got the chance to give this piece of technological ski gear a run for the money. I loaded up the jacket with my Iphone 2G, a few playlists, and hit the slopes in Colorado.
As far as MP3 playback went this jacket rocked. Easily jumped forward or back a track, volume up and down, & the volume kicked ass. On the chair lift volume was loud enough for the next chair back to hear the music.
So then a phone call comes in. Answering a call is pretty much effortless. A single button does it all, and the phone feature mutes the music, fades it back in at the end of the call. Caller ID appears on the sleeve.
Now.. the downsides.. Im thinking these things may be why the jacket was discontinued.
1. The first jacket I got had bad cabling. The connections that link everything together look fragile, and I have no doubt my jacket will probably break in the future.
2. The 2008 jacket has a plastic layer over the control panel, the 2007 didnt. But the new plastic layer makes pressing buttons guesswork, and tends to shift around. Without the plastic it was probably shorting out from snow.
3. All of a sudden my jacket decided there was no phone connected to it. I had to disconnect and reconnect my Iphone. But then it started working again.
4. One time, the jacket had no audio. I "rebooted" it off and back on, and the audio came back.
5. The microphone worked decent. Some people said it was a little quiet, other said it picked up all the wind.
As far as jacket construction goes, the thing is great, even without the electronics I would keep this jacket. However the plastic sockets that hold the control panel and speakers are detectable while wearing the jacket.
I also noticed that I could easily dial back people in my recent calls list, but not in my phone book, and this prevented dialing or 3 waying people not in the recent list.
But overall aside from all the glitches with electronics and my fear that it may only last a season or two, I really love the jacket. For what it is I wish Burton had continued the line, and improved the technology.
Pros: Bluetooth, Phone, Music, Good Volume, Good Jacket
Cons: Glitches, Weak Wiring Design.