Jabra Revo Wireless and Vox headphones
Jabra hasn’t been known for having a solid lineup of headphones. Instead, it’s made a name for itself through Bluetooth headsets for cellphones. Late last month Jabra, released a line of high end headphones. Two of the items from the lineup, the Jabra Revo Wireless and Jabra Vox, showed up at my door shortly before the official launch on March 25th and I have been using them since. Here’s what I think about the new headphones.
Let’s start by taking a look at the Revo Wireless.
- Sturdy construction
- Quick NFC pairing
- Touch controls instead of hard buttons
- Battery life
- Sound quality without the Jabra-Sound app is average
I currently own a pair of the Wireless Beats By Dr. Dre, and have owned various versions of Beats over the years, with a few small complaints. My biggest complaints about the Beats line is after wearing them for an extended period of time (two hours or more) they begin to hurt my ears, and the headband has broken on me more than once.
Pairing wireless headphones follows the same process as any Bluetooth device, except if the pairing device has NFC capabilities built in. The left side of the Revo Wireless headphones has an NFC chip inside, and when tapped with an NFC compatible smartphone it automatically pairs the two devices in an instant. I was able to pair it was an Android device no issue, but the new BlackBerry Z10 was unable to read the tag.
Playback control from the headphones is not done through buttons on the side of headphones, instead it’s all done by touch. You make a circular motion on the right ear cup to turn the volume up or down, or tap on the side to pause, play or advance songs. The touch controls take away the need to remember where the small buttons are on the side, and stop you from hitting the wrong button and skipping a song when you just wanted to turn up the volume. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that on my wireless Beats.
Jabra has released an Android and iOS Jabra Sound app, which implements Dolby Digital Plus during playback. You install the app and activate with a code that’s included in the packaging with your headphones (you can’t use the app without an activation code). Then instead of using the stock music app on your device, you use the Jabra app to playback your music. The result is a much improved sound experience. The headphones without the companion app have an average sound quality to them, but when used with the app they sound just as good as any pair of headphones I’ve ever used.
My biggest complaint is that the headphones should sound as good as they do with the app, without it. Meaning — I shouldn’t be forced into using an app just to get the best sound out of my music and the headphones.
Battery life with the wireless headphones has been far better than what I’ve experienced on other wireless headphones. The quoted battery life for streaming music is 12 hours, I have passed that mark and then some. The battery gauge on my iPhone shows the battery still over 50%. Should you need to use the headphones with a cord, you have a micro USB cable or a standard 3.5mm cable to choose from.
You can order the Revo Wireless headphones from Amazon.com for just under the retail price of $249.
Now let’s take a look at the Jabra Vox in-ear headphones.
- Relatively tangle free
- Sturdy construction
- Sound quality without the Jabra Sound app is average
The Jabra Vox headphones are one of the more comfortable pairs of in-ear headphones I have ever used. Actually, I’m not a fan of in-ear headphones due to the comfort factor. But I’m a fan of the Vox.
The Vox headphones have an inline mic for phone calls, with music and volume controls for playback. Just above the mic are two small magnets to help the headphones from getting tangled. Although I find it near impossible to keep cords from getting tangled 100% of the time, but for the most part, the Vox cords aren’t as prone to getting tangled as, say, Apple’s EarPods.
Most of what I said about the Revo Wireless headphones can be echoed for the Vox. The comfort of the headphones is by far the best feature, with the Jabra Sound app bringing a better sound to the headphones that should be present at all times. I mostly listen to music using my MacBook, not my iPhone or Nexus 4, where I don’t have access to the Jabra Sound app. Not to mention I stream my music from iTunes Match or Google Music, and the Jabra app requires the music to physically be stored on my device in order to play it.
Both products include a nice carrying case for easy storage while traveling or commuting.
You can purchase the Jabra Vox from Amazon.com for $99.
In the three weeks since I received the Jabra headphones I have yet to take my wireless Beats out of the bag and use them. In fact, I don’t ever see myself using them again. The comfort and battery life alone of the Revo Wireless have provided more than enough incentive for me to make the switch. I can deal with “average” sound quality when not listening through the Jabra app. Average isn’t always a bad thing.
*Both review samples were provided by Jabra