Jabra Evolve2 75 – a true UC on-the-ear headphone with music ‘cred’ (review)
The Jabra Evolve2 75 is part of the Evolve2 range – models 40, 65, 75 and 85 in a good, better, best, and even ‘besterer’ scenario. But as you will see, office/unified comms headsets have a lot more tech than consumer headsets and are probably overkill for that use.
The range costs 40 ($235, cabled), 65 ($335, BT), 75 ($635, on-ear, BT/Hybrid ANC and 197g) and 85 $725 – over-the-ear, BT/ANC and 286g), and all share the Jabra heritage. Jabra is a Danish brand specialising in audio equipment and video conference systems. GN Audio (over 150 years old) own it. It laid the first intercontinental telegraph connections in the 19th century, developed 2.4 GHz technology in hearing aids for direct connectivity and produced the world’s first made-for-iPhone hearing aid with direct stereo sound streaming.
First a question that some readers may ask. Why is CyberShack reviewing UC (unified comms gear) when it is primarily a consumer-focused site? The answer is that COVID-19 has made work from home more the norm, and very few consumer headsets can withstand business use – 8 hours a day for 48 weeks a year. Let alone have a generous 2-year warranty to back that up. Jabra is also one of the best in UC and consumer headphone and earphone space. UC competitors include Poly and EPOS.
Jabra Evolve2 75
|Price||$635 but shop around for a bargain – seen as low as $445|
|Colours||Black or beige|
|From||Jabra online, Unified comms specialists and major IT stores like MWave|
|Country of Origin||Danish design and made in China|
|More||CyberShack Jabra news and reviews|
First impression – Exceed and very business-like
No nonsense black with solid hinges and physical buttons that work the first time, every time. These are on-ear, so heat is not an issue, and clamping force (on your head) is low. It has a good, solid build quality that can withstand commercial use. There is an optional charge base ($116), and it comes with a Jabra 380 BT USB-C (or A) dongle. The USB cable can also function as an audio cable on a PC – listen and charge.
A red light will appear on the rear of the headsets to indicate you are on a call or not available.
The Evolve2 75 comes in four variants. There are two colours, black and beige, a model for Microsoft Teams and a model with Unified Communications (UC) support for Zoom and Google Meet. All work well with any UC app – the difference is that the right cup has a push-button dedicated to a particular video-conferencing app.
App and setup – Exceed
The Jabra Sound+ App adds considerable value. For example, you can set up your sound profile for music (it is a hearing test). The App downloads all settings to the headphones and includes:
- ANC on/off or hear through
- Music EQ with Neutral, Speech, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Smooth and energise.
- Soundscapes are more about how it masks the noise around you
- Busy Light on/off
- Firmware (auto-updates)
- Audio experience
- Call experience (what you want it to do when you take a call
- Sidetone (how much of your voice do you want to hear in hear through or a call
- Call quality (select boom mic or headset mic) and how you want the caller to hear you
- Voice assistant = Android default or Amazon Alexa
And many more. It is one of the most comprehensive UC apps we have seen.
There is a Jabra Direct app for Windows and macOS. It has a more basic EQ and no pre-sets.
Comfort – Exceed
At 197g, they are pretty light and being on the ear reduces heat around the ears. The band and ear pads are leatherette (synthetic) and nicely hinged for maximum comfort. The ear pads use memory foam, and wearing these for 8-hours was easy.
Sound – Exceed
It has oversized 40mm speakers for 20Hz to 20kHz. Like many UC devices (on Windows at least), it will install the AD2P and HFP profiles. The latter cuts frequency response to 100Hz to 8kHz – for clear voice, not music.
The nice thing about the Jabra Evolve2 75 is the Apps EQ – amazingly flexible to tune it for almost any music genre.
It has mid-bass building from about 40Hz to 100Hz where it flattens (good) though to 6kHz. It then dips to avoid harshness and then it is flat to nearly 20khz. An excellent neutral sound signature – a blank canvass for the App EQ.
BT – Exceed and has multi-point
It uses BT 5.0 or can connect to the Jabra Link 380 Bluetooth 5.0 USB-C (or A) dongle. If your PC does not have BT 5.0 (an earlier version), you may use this. Both have a 30m range but are best to 20m, and it remembers eight devices.
It has two codecs – SBC (for Windows and smartphones) and AAC (for Apple Mac and iPhone but also available on many Android smartphones). AAC gives slightly better music performance. It supports Android fast pair.
Call clarity and hands-free.
Excellent. The flip-down boom mic has a slight edge, but the headset mics are fine for most office use.
ANC – Exceed for office use and Pass for general use
Using the term ANC with on-the-ear headphones is a misnomer because they do not passively block outside noise. This relies on four mics per ear cup and 11-levels of ANC to remove noise. The headset can discriminate between your voice and background noise and only suppress the latter.
Let’s just say that ANC is highly effective for making and taking calls but not to the level of consumer headphones from Sony, Bose or Sennheiser. The Evolve2 85 over-the-ear is more of a contender for excellent ANC.
Battery – Exceed
Jabra claims up to 33/36 hours of battery life for music ANC on/off, but that depends on volume and other settings. In a continuous 8-hour ANC-on, 50% volume test, we used 22% of the battery, so it verifies Jabra claims. It also claims 18/24 hours talk time with ANC and busy light on/off.
Using USB-C, it will fast charge – 30% in 35 minutes and 100% in 2.5 hours. It can charge using a PD charger, but it makes no charge speed difference.
Maintenance – Exceed
Spare earpads are available, and we presume the battery is replaceable. Quality-wise these are a keeper and built for commercial use.
CyberShack’s view – Jabra Evolve2 75 are for business use with music benefits.
Despite Jabra showing nice pictures of the headphones for work and play, the on-ear design is more about work. Its ANC is perfect for the office or noisy home, and its music ‘cred’ is fine for most listening. Still, it does not compete on that basis with premium consumer headsets from Jabra (Elite 85h), Sony )WH-1000XM4), Bose (QC45 or 700) or Sennheiser (Momentum 3 or PCX-550-II).
It is one of the best purpose-designed, fully-featured UC headsets and rates accordingly.
Jabra Evolve2 75 BT/ANC on-ear headphone$635 but shop around
- Create your hearing profile
- Perfect for work from home or office
- Comfortable, durable, and well-made
- Multi-point – smartphone and computer simultaneously
- Busy light and on-ear detection
- None for WHF or Office use
- ANC is better on Evolve2 85 over-the-ear
- Not sure about public use