I’m not the first to review these, nor will I be the last. But I do own a pair and I wanted to walk through it for my own readers. Thanks for reading!
If you’re unfamiliar with the line, you can find more information here: http://www.jabra.com/products/pc_headsets/jabra_evolve__series. In a nutshell, they’re a very high end UC endpoint and are specifically optimized to work with Microsoft Lync. I’m reviewing the Evolve 80 because that’s what I have, though as you can see in the link above there are others in the line. The audio quality is outstanding and the noise cancellation features are amazing.
Thoughts on the Various Features
- Quiet – This is a major feature and one of the key reasons you see it touted. Jabra has Active Noise Cancellation technology. There’s a little switch on the side of your headphones that you can flip and the world goes quiet. It’s not perfect and you don’t want it to be, but I didn’t realize how many fans and chatter my brain was tuning out until I turned this on. I work in a pretty noisy shared workspace area near our call center, this makes a huge difference. This where the WOW factor for most who are trying them comes from. Beyond that, the shape and build alone gets rid of a lot of the noise without the cancellation tech.
- Comfortable – I’ve heard reports from other that they’re a bit too heavy for their taste. The specifications say they’re about 11.43 oz or just under 3/4 of a US pound. I didn’t notice the weight, they’re just comfortable to me. The earpieces fit snugly and are very soft.
- Wired – This isn’t necessarily a positive for some, but for me it is. They’re wired. I don’t have to worry if they’re charged or where that little bluetooth dongle went. I just pull them out of the case when I’m on the go and use them. Done.
- Stereo – I’ve said this many times, I love a good stereo headphone. My head needs to feel balanced. I can’t explain this, but the mono headsets many love so much are difficult for me to get used to and must be very comfortable.
- Microphone – It moves out of the way and isn’t intrusive. I haven’t tested the audio quality of the microphone because in my world, I don’t care. It’s likely to be compressed to G.711 or G.729. The mic itself is not too noticeable when it’s up and I’m listening to music.
- Works with everything – You can separate the USB dongle portion that functions as a call and volume control module and you’ll expose a 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack that will work great with your smartphone as well. You can see a picture of that below. The UC portion also supposedly works with Avaya and Cisco, but if you have one of those old PABX systems I assume you’re using them ironically, you crazy hipster.
- Audio Quality – I stopped listening to music a while ago because I typically work in a very noisy environment. Since I received these, I’ve found myself listening to music quite a bit, the noise cancellation makes it a pleasure and the audio for the first time in my office is very clear.
- Easy to Use – Plug and play. It’s Lync! I didn’t have to read any manual.
- Good Looking – Yeah they are. The pop of red is a nice touch. Very cool. The red ring you see in the picture above is the “busylight” which you can turn on an off even when you’re not in a call. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to train my colleagues to not bother me regardless, but I like the look.
Cons – I can’t afford to buy them for everyone, but everyone wants one. I let several people in my office try them out and received a lot of “wows”. Given a choice of endpoints, this very reasonably priced next to a Polycom VVX 500 or CX600 phone, but getting both may be a tough sale. No surprise for a headset of this caliber.
So I don’t need to repeat it but I will. I love them, and I give them the highest marks. Is love a strong word? Yes. Too strong? No. Even when I’m not on a call or listening to music I’ve just kept them on so I can plan and write without distraction. These are my new favorite endpoint.
Thanks for reading!