A moment comes where we needed to beat our deadlines but can’t seem to focus on what needs to be done because of distractions coming from within your work environment. For the modern professionals working in “cubicle farms”, work distractions can be as simple as the sound of pen tapping a table or heavy keyboard presses from your cubicle mate to major ones like boisterous laughter along the hallways. I have had an experience where I wish I could have the office space to myself so I can work in peace and finish my tasks on time.
Jabra, a leading manufacturer of innovative audio solutions has come up with a product that they say will “isolate you” from those unneeded distractions. Jabra claims that using the Jabra evolve headsets can actually boost productivity in noisy work environments by creating a “concentration zone” so you can focus on the tasks at hand. To test this claim, we will be testing out the Jabra Evolve 80 UC Stereo headphones.
What’s in the box
– Jabra Evolve 80 headset
– USB Controller
– Soft Carrying Pouch
Design and Build Quality
The Jabra Evolve 80 is the biggest among Jabra’s Evolve series lineup which includes the Evolve 20, Evolve 30, Evolve 40, Evolve 65 and the flagship Evolve 80. The headset is huge, no contest, and features an over the ear cupping headphones. Though large physically, the headset is not as heavy as it looked. It has a nice soft rubber cushion up top to ease the pressure on your head, especially when wearing it for long periods. Pressing the soft cushion up top had me thinking if its foam or trapped air inside. I am leaning towards the latter. The large yet soft leatherette pad around the ear cups does a good job in cushioning and adjusting to the shape of the head, trapping the sound within as well as keeping the external noise out. Overall, the build is pretty impressive with Jabra using a combination of high-quality plastic, rubber and leatherette materials.
In close spaces like cubicles or elevators, we do not want others getting distracted and hearing what we are currently listening to. Sound leakage on the Evolve 80 is close to nil based on my testing. The sound reproduction of the headset was superb as expected of a Jabra product. Though may not be for the bass heads, it does a great job by producing clear crisp sounds worthy of replacing your personal headsets.
What really had sold me on the Evolve 80 is its premium Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology. The Active Noise Cancellation works by utilizing microphones to monitor and counter external noises. The user can easily activate the ANC via a switch underneath the right headphone. However, to use the ANC feature, users need to charge the headset first. It would take around 3 hours to fully charge the headphones via a micro USB port but will last you a very long time before needing to charge again. With the ANC activated and with music playing, it was easy to concentrate on my tasks as it does an excellent great job tuning out external noises. I was able to bring it along with me on a holiday trip and watching my favorite series on the plane with no background noise made the experience truly enjoyable.
Since you can’t hear anything other than the music coming from the headphones, using it comes with precautions especially if you are commuting. Good thing the Evolve 80 has a “listen in” function. With the ANC on, simply tap the concealed “Listen in button” (Jabra logo) on the right ear cup and you would now hear your surroundings. This worked great when someone tried to catch my attention and did not have to remove the headset to listen to what they have to say.
A nifty feature added on the Evolve 80 is what Jabra calls the “Busy light”. Using this feature, users can manually activate a set of red circular rings on the sides of the headphones, indicating that you are busy and do not want to be disturbed. This only works when the headphone is plugged in via the USB Controller that comes with the Evolve 80. The USB controller allows you to connect to your computer via the USB port and has a rubber anti-skid pad underneath. It features buttons like volume controls, answer/end call, mute switch and the button to activate the Busy Light Indicator.
The Evolve 80 is also a great communication tool as also features a boom microphone which worked very clearly. Tested on Skype calls I made, it does a good job picking up and enhancing your voice but not the noise around you. To do a quick mute, simply rotate the microphone boom arm upward and unmute it by rotating it downwards. When not in use, you can easily tuck it away upwards and it seamlessly integrates into the overall design of the headphones.
A new feature introduced by Jabra with the Evolve 80 is the “Intelligent Call Transfer” function that works for Skype for business. This feature allows users to seamlessly transfer skype calls from computer to mobile phones/tablet. Simply unplug the headphones from USB Control Unit, plug into your mobile phone and continue your conversation.
I personally would recommend the Jabra Evolve 80 headset if your work involves calls and wants the ability to tune out unneeded distractions. It not only functions as a working headset but can replace your personal ones as well. The Active Noise Cancellation allows you to tune out external noises allowing you to concentrate on what needs to be done.
Though the size may be a problem to some, it’s very comfortable to use since it goes over your ear and not placed on your ear and you would be wearing it on hour’s ends without feeling discomfort. Never miss on an important announcement with the “listen in” function and the intelligent call transfer allows you to continue a Skype call even when you need to walk away from your desk. The Jabra Evolve 80 retails for $329 on the Jabra Website.
Article first published on NewsBytes.PH
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