Review: Jabra Evolve 80 for Lync/Skype

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!

Overview

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.

IMG_0860b

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.

Overall Impression

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.

 

IMG_0861

IMG_0862

IMG_0863

IMG_0864

Thanks for reading!

 

4 thoughts on “Review: Jabra Evolve 80 for Lync/Skype

    1. C. Anthony Caragol Post author

      I’d have to pan out to show them all and I don’t have a better place to put them (cube worker). Where do you keep yours? You must have a nice collection too. 🙂

  1. Aaron Lenard

    Hi Anthony,

    Hope your well. I’m thinking about getting a pair of these as well. I just wanted to get your input on the noise cancelling microphone.

    I share a small office space with a coworker and he can get quite loud when he’s on the phone (on the phone 80% of the time). We are about 4-6 feet apart. I was wondering is you think the noise cancellation microphone is good enough to block the sound coming from my coworker?

    I was hoping to know as it is quite a bit of money shelling out just for headphones and a mic.

    Best,

    Aaron

    1. C. Anthony Caragol Post author

      I love my Jabra Evolve(s), it’s still my preferred headset series, but the ANC mostly cancels out lower noises, fans and whatnot. When I’m in an open office environment, I have to admit that I sometimes use my Sennheisers to cancel out the chatty ones next to me. I’ve got an SD30 that I like for this.

Comments are closed.