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REVIEW: Jabra Evolve 75e Packs A Punch For Both Work & Play

With Skype for Business certification and ‘three-microphone technology’, Jabra’s Evolve 75e headphones are designed for businesspeople who demand a robust audio experience while working.

Recently launched in Australia, the Evolve 75e (A$409) claims to be the first professional headset with UC-certified wireless earbuds.

Incorporating an around-the-neck earbud design, these active noise cancelling headphones pledge to deliver the same experience for “both consumer and professional solutions”.

+ excellent sound and call quality
+ easy fit with a range of earbuds and wings
+ active noise cancelling helps in all, but on a noisy jet
+ 14 hours of usage can last a whole day of activity
– multi-function control should be easier to customise
– neckband is a bit large

Setting up is very easy, firstly charge it using the included micro USB cable (you’ll need to supply your own adapter – which is max 5V and 2A). Two hours should get you 14 hours of usage – which should more than cover you for typical use.

To connect it, just follow the instructions in the 118 page quick start guide – six pages are in English. Fix the earbuds and wings (it comes with S/M/L of each) to your liking, then connect it to your phone via Bluetooth.

As these are really designed for either business or leisure usage, it comes with a USB Type A dongle that allows you to pair it with your PC. New Mac users can pair it to their Bluetooth – there should be no difference.

Fortunately, it does permit two simultaneous BT connections, allowing you to listen to music on your phone, and then take a Google Hangouts call from your PC.

The first thing you’ll notice about the neckband is it feels big. Not necessarily uncomfortable – but noticeable.

The controls are also a bit difficult to find and use. On your left side is the active noise cancelling (ANC) button which is slightly raised over the “voice” buttton. You long press the voice button to activate Siri or any other assistant.

On the right side, the button closest to your spine is the volume up button, the multi-function button (which has a little raised bit under it) and finally the volume down button. Problem is, you would expect the volume buttons to be closer to each other and volume up to be closest to your chest.

I had major problems using the multi-function button. Pairing it with my iPhone X, then trying to pause my music, a tap of the button did nothing. It requires a long press. But press too long and the headset turns off. Takes some getting used to, but like finding gears in a manual car – I just prefer an automatic and getting on with my life.

Sound and call quality
Jabra know what justifies the $400 price – great sound quality.

You won’t be disappointed with how impressive your music and calls sound. There is no latency watching Youtube videos or movies.

You can even press the multi-function button to highlight the dialogue over the soundtrack – which is very cool, and probably very useful on conference calls.

Pressing the noise cancelling button for two seconds will enable you to listen-in to your surroundings. A good idea if you are in an office and need to hear what is going on, but most people taking directions from a co-worker will just take an earpiece out.

Active noise cancelling
I took two overnight flights with the new Evolve 75e to test the noise cancelling capabilities. Overall it is good, but not full noisy-airplane certified.

The first flight left Sydney at 9pm and arrived in Singapore at 3am, so after listening to some music, I hit pause and just left the headset on so the noise cancelling would drown out the engines. Definitely better than not wearing them, and probably equivalent to a good set of earplugs, but still some noise and not quite restful sleeping.

The second flight left Singapore at 1:45am (budget carriers right?) and this time I kept the music playing, but just on the lowest volume level. Slightly better, and although this headset is designed more to drown out the ambient office noise – it is good to know it can handle a 9-hour flight (as long as you are not a light sleeper).

Overall: 8/10

Performance = 9/10
Value = 7/10
Design = 8/10

Jabra’s Evolve 75e headphones are available for A$409 from various authorised retailers nationally.

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