Product Review

As working from home is becoming more acceptable and widespread after the global shutdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, finding the ideal tools has also become more topical. Virtual meetings have become commonplace, as have long conference calls. Getting a good sound back and forth hands-free and without cables is one of the essential needs for teleworking.

Jabra has responded to this demand with two new high-end headset models; once again upping the ante in the headphone game.

Evolve2 85

Evolve2 85 is a top of the line full option headset from Jabra which offers a high quality for a bit higher price.
Jabra Evolve2 85 is designed to isolate the user from a noisy or distractive environment. The digital hybrid Active Noise‐Cancellation (ANC) feature fades the noises of co-workers, passing cars and planes, the humming of the fridge or if you work from home children playing or background music. The focus of the designers has been minimising distraction for the user. The company markets Evolve2 85 as “the best headsets for concentration and collaboration.” “Hear yourself think.”

The headset indeed does isolate you from the environment. I had been using a pair of Apple iPod pros with excellent noise cancellation, and the concept was familiar to me. However, in-ear headphones tend to get uncomfortable after a while of continuous use. Evovle2 85, with soft memory foam over-ear cushions, adds a discerning element of comfort to ANC. While in-ear ANC earphones need airtight insertion into the ear canal to work correctly; you can’t get it wrong with Evolve2 85. Put them on, and the milieu around you fades into silence. The distinctive busy-light expands as a ring around both housings of speakers, making it easy to notice from all directions. The headset comes with a folding mic, with a whopping ten microphones packed into the narrow space. The folding mic also functions as mute/unmute switch; lift it up, and you get spoken confirmation that the mics have been now muted. The arm folds so seamlessly into the wall of the headphones that I had difficulty finding them at first use. As for the sound, a pair of leak-tolerant 40mm speakers convey high-quality audio into your ears. Battery life is 37 hours with a full charge, but if in a rush to get back to a virtual meeting, a 15 minutes fast charge gives you up to 8 hours of battery life. The headset can connect to 2 devices vie Bluetooth within a distance of up to 30 meters. A USB, charger and an adapter for aeroplane twin socket is included in the package.

Evolve2 85 is indeed worth every penny, as it goes beyond a tool for work. You can use it to listen to music while you cook, or stream the sound of a movie with zero outside noise to disturb the immersion.

Evolve2 65

The other new headset from Jabra is the more affordable Evolve2 65. The headset has many of the features of high-end headsets including the well placed busy light which can be seen from all directions, an adjustable microphone lever with muting functionality, audio announcements, long battery life and high-quality sound. An optional Microsoft Teams optimised version lets you start a chat with one button or control other Teams feature through the headset. The headset comes with a charging stand which makes it easy and hygienic to charge the batteries in between calls. Passive noise cancelling reduces the ambient noise dramatically. I was impressed by the lightweight of the headsets and the comfort of use even after long calls. A mono version is also available.

Jabra is not a newcomer in the headphone market. For those who are not aware, the company was established 150 years ago, long before any other modern producer of headphones. As part of the GN group, it was the first company laying telegraph cables to connect Europe to Asia. Jabra was also the first to create ultra-noise-cancelling microphones, the first to put an in-ear heart rate monitor in a pair of sports earbuds, and the inventor of the very first Bluetooth headsets.

Jabra maintains an extensive R&D activity and is the only company in the world covering the range of sounds from the consumer, to professional and medical grade. The Jabra branch of GN also has the advantage of being able to tap into the in-depth knowledge of its sister company ReSound in the field of hearing. ReSound engineers are world-leading hearing-aid experts.


Paul Kostner - HT

Images: Jabra