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Jabra Revo Wireless Headphones. Jabra revo wireless headphones

Jabra Revo Wireless Headphones

Winner of the 2013 Red Dot Design award, the new Jabra Revo Wireless headphones not only look good they also sound amazing. They give you total wireless freedom with high definition Dolby Digital Plus enhanced sound. The new Revo wireless headphones feature innovative turntable touch controls on the headset, enabling you to easily play, skip or pause music and manage calls.

You can get them in Europe here

jabra, revo, wireless, headphones

jabra, revo, wireless, headphones

jabra, revo, wireless, headphones

jabra, revo, wireless, headphones

jabra, revo, wireless, headphones

jabra, revo, wireless, headphones

jabra, revo, wireless, headphones

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jabra, revo, wireless, headphones

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Jabra Revo Wireless Review

Wireless headphones are pretty much everywhere now. Although some might see Bluetooth headphones as a bit of a gimmick, the Jabra Revo Wireless headphones certainly work well, delivering wireless sound to your ears.

The Jabra Revo Wireless headphones produce super clear, rich sound that can be further enhanced by the Jabra Revo Wireless Sound App, which brings Dolby Digital Plus enhancement to the mix. The only downside is that with a £199 price tag the headphones themselves are more of an investment than an impulse buy.

Jabra Revo Wireless – Design and Features

The Jabra Revo Wireless headphones offer a very compact and sleek design. This makes them incredibly well-suited to travel and also makes them a dream for commuters.

Travel-savvy design features include folding ear cups, which makes them easy to store and carry around, along with a durable and sturdy aluminium frame, steel hinges and a shatterproof tight-fit headband. However the metal construction does means that they’re not the lightest headphones going.

Of course, the most notable hardware feature of the Jabra Revo Wireless is that they are wireless, and the good news here is that setting them up to connect with your phone or MP3 player via Bluetooth is a fairly straightforward process.

On the side of the headphones you’ll find a dedicated on/off/pairing switch. Simply hold the button in the “pairing” position for three seconds until the blue light flashes. There’s even a helpful, if slightly annoying, Dalek-style voice that pipes through the headphones to instruct you on how to pair your device with them.

If you have an NFC-enabled (Near-Field Communication) device it’s even easier, as it’s simply a case of tapping your device onto the left earcup.

The Jabra Revo Wireless headphones are designed to be extremely tactile and interactive. Featuring Turntable Touch Control (essentially touch-sensitive pads on the side of the earphones) they allow the listener to play, skip and pause music as well as manage incoming calls. You can also use the Turntable to adjust volume by swiping your finger in a circular motion on the Turntable Touch.

Other features of the Jabra Revo Wireless headphones include an additional 3.5 mm jack connector, which lets you carry on listening if you run out battery while using Bluetooth. You can take calls hands-free even when the cable isn’t connected as a microphone has been built into the the headphones. Should you be using the cable then this sports a multi-function button that allows you to answer calls and play/pause music – similar to the Turntable Touch’s functions.

The wireless battery life for the Jabra Revo Wireless headphones is pretty impressive, with up to 12 hours of wireless music/talking. Charging takes around 2-4 hours using the USB cable which comes with the headphones though. The flashing red battery icon on the side of the Jabra Revo Wireless headphones, is a useful feature, that informs you when they’re in need of a charge. However, as the battery icon is placed rather awkwardly at the bottom of the headphones, the indicator can be difficult to see.

Jabra Revo Wireless – Dolby App

The Jabra Revo Wireless Sound App, which comes free with the headphones, may seem a bit excessive when whatever device you’re connected too will have its own music player. However it does offer some audio enhancements.

The Dolby Digital Plus button on the app is a great feature as you can immediately distinguish between the quality of sound. It adds richness and bass weight. Alongside this the Jabra Sound App also comes with bass and high frequency customisation, along with a preset equaliser option that allows you to customise the sound according to your sound preferences.

The Jabra Revo Wireless headphones also comes with a Jabra Sound App button on the headphones that’s used to launch the corresponding app on your phone. The downside to all this is that the sheer amount of function buttons on the earphones can seem a bit confusing and unnecessary. There’s a lot of touching and tapping of earcups here.

Jabra Revo Wireless – Sound Quality

The Jabra Revo Wireless headphones offer impressive sound quality for such compact headphones. Using a 40 mm dynamic speaker on each side, the sound is rich and clear while the padded memory earphones are designed to cancel out the majority of noise and also adjust to fit your ears.

Although not noise-cancelling headphones, the clear sound quality of the Jabra Revo Wireless means that you don’t have to blast your music in order to hear it. With that in mind, these headphones will be well loved by other passengers on your train journeys.

By far the most impressive feature about these headphones is the Dolby Digital Plus enhanced sound (activated via the supplied Jabra Sound App). The Dolby Digital Plus enhanced sound offers a rich depth to the music which, unfortunately, comes with the price tag. With the amount of features built-in to the earphones it’s easy to get distracted from the sound quality. And if you’re willing to forego all the fancy extra features, you can get better sound at the same price elsewhere.

Verdict

The Jabra Revo Wireless headphones are made with commuters in mind, offering great sound quality, wireless Bluetooth connectivity and solid build quality. Although the tough design is a key feature, it can also be a bit of pitfall as the Jabra Revo Wireless’ headband isn’t the most comfortable, due to its tight fit.

However the headphones are built to last which is why their price falls towards the higher end on the spectrum, at £199. With all the additional features, such as the touch sensitive Turntable Touch earphones (which can be quite confusing), it’s the rich sound quality which prevails – particularly the Dolby Digital Plus feature on the App, which really enhances sound for bass lovers.

Review: Jabra Revo Wireless headphones

There’s nothing quite like having wireless freedom for a nice pair of headphones, and Bluetooth accessory maker Jabra thinks it has found the solution, with its wireless Revo headphones.

Features

Jabra has been making wireless devices for some time, but the Revo is the first pair of headphones from the company we’ve sat up and taken good and proper notice of.

A winner of the Red Dot Design Award for this year (2013), the headphones combine some of the better wireless technology found in devices today with some keen design that makes it look subdued and yet colourful.

First, there’s the tech, and with Near-Field Communication on-board here working with Bluetooth, newer smartphones and tablets supporting the short-range wireless technology should be able to bump against each other and pair without any problems. Regular Bluetooth access means everyone with a device made in the past few years can connect, it just won’t be as quick and easy as devices with NFC.

If you don’t want wireless, there’s always a 3.5mm jack and cable to plug in, tethering the headphones to a device, but allowing music to go through the cable and stopping any need to consume batteries.

Since it’s a pair of wireless headphones, you’ll find a set of controls allowing you to change volume and tracks directly on the earpieces, and for this, Jabra has decided on a click button on each ear, with some touch panel technology thrown in for good measure, making it possible to change tracks, volume, and pick up phone calls.

For the designers amongst you, the Revo comes with the added bonus of coming with the Pantone colour of the year for 2012, Tangerine Tango or Pantone 17-1463.

That’s a specific type of orange that has been thrown into the Revo design, and is the main colour of USB cable, 3.5mm headphone cable, and the inside earpads, regardless of what colour Revo wireless headphones you select, white or black.

The earpieces use memory foam to help make those ears comfy, while the Band is constructed in such a way that it can be bent and twisted to within a centimetre of snapping without fear of breaking, making it suitable for any sized head.

Each headphone is marked clearly with “left” and “right,” and the 3.5mm jack located at the bottom of the former, while the power switch and microUSB charge port is located at the bottom of the latter.

The Revo wireless headphones can be folded for portable storage.

Performance

Designed for the street aware individual, we have to admit, we like the look of these headphones.

With reasonably small pads that sit on top of your ear for a supra-aural fit, the Jabra Revo wireless headphones are very comfortable, and don’t squeeze the head much at all.

A lot of head movement will dismount them, but regular walking shouldn’t see any problems, and when you need to pull them down, they’ll happily hang around the neck without fear of choking you.

Unpack them and they won’t switch on magically, but you can take care of their power by flicking the switch at the bottom.

Holding that switch into the on position for a second will put them into Bluetooth paring mode, but if you have Near-Field Communication in your smartphone, you won’t even need to do that: just make sure NFC is switched on at the phone and bump the devices together to have them automatically pair up, taking the work out of it.

Once that’s done, you’re ready to play some tunes.

Jabra’s design of the controls are based on touch and seem inspired quite heavily by music.

For instance, the volume is controlled by moving your finger in a circular pattern on the right earpad. Moving your finger in a clockwise circle around the edge increases the volume – like turning a volume knob on an entertainment system – while moving it along the edge in an anti-clockwise pattern will turn it down.

Tapping twice on this earpad close to the front will move forward a track, while getting closer to the back goes back one, and a full click with the button underneath pauses and plays. Overall, it’s a pretty creative system that plays to the people buying these headphones for music.

The controls won’t work, however, when you plug the 3.5mm cable in, with the powered section of the cans switching off. The supplied bright orange cable includes a microphone which is handy for phone calls, but you don’t have to use the one Jabra supplies if you don’t want to have an orange cord falling from your head.

Whether you choose wireless or wired connections, the audio sounds roughly the same, with strong booming bass sounds, while the mids and highs are quite normal.

Everything is distinct, so there’s no problem with audio clarity here, it’s just the bass can sound like it’s overflowing, making you realise that Jabra probably built these with popular music and modern listening styles (think loud) in mind.

Based on what we’re hearing, the Revo targets the people out there interested in a pair of Beats by Dre or Soul headphones, but wish cords weren’t a requirement. The fact that it folds is also quite important, making it more portable than a pair of big cans, and obviously without the cable that keeps you tethered.

Battery life is rated for up to 12 hours of constant use, and we managed roughly that, with around ten to eleven. Ultimately, if you only use your headphones in the morning and evening – to and from work for us – you’ll get through a proper work week before needing to recharge.

Jabra also includes access to an app that adds Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancements to anything you’re listening to with the creation of a virtual sound space.

Available for only iOS (iPad, iPhone) and Android devices, it can only be used with an unlock code found inside the box, which means you really shouldn’t throw out the card if you plan on using the app on more than one device (like we did), as it doesn’t unlock to your Google account.

The times we did use the app, there was a more surround-like sound, but if you already take advantage of sound technologies on your device, such as HTC’s use of the Beats Audio, chances are it won’t make a difference. Also, the Jabra app only works for music loaded on your device, and won’t function with streaming solutions like Pandora.

Conclusion

With a unique look that will likely appeal to fans of design who don’t like to be too flashy, the Revo is a decent pair of headphones that lets you choose whether to be wired or wireless.

Jabra’s Revo headphones are ideal for the listener who takes in more popular music than any other kind, but fans of other genres should be pleased too. Outside of sound, these cans not only offer a no fuss link up with smartphones supporting NFC, but are comfy and sound decent across the board. Easily recommended, especially if you’re sick of the cables.

Review: Three-in-one Jabra Revo headphones and headset: wired, wireless and USB

If headphones are judged on versatility, the Jabra Revo wins the prize. It works wired and wireless, it’s a USB audio device, it’s a headset with remote control, and as a final flourish it folds into a moderately compact size that you can slip in the supplied bag.

You might think that the result of this flexibility would be a fiddly and complex device, but this is not the case. The Revo has an elegant design and looks modern and sleek. The construction feels high quality as well; these headphones are lovely to handle.

In the solid plastic box you get the headphones, a drawstring bag, a USB cable, an audio cable (with four connectors on each 3.5mm jack, suitable for a headset connection to a mobile phone or tablet. The cables are braided for tangle-free connections, and bright orange so you will not miss them.

There is also a “Getting started” leaflet which I recommend you read, since not everything is obvious.

Step one is to charge the headphones. This is done using the USB cable. No charger is supplied, but you probably have a few of these already, or you can plug into any PC or Mac. A red light comes on while charging, and turns off when charging is complete, which takes about two hours from flat.

Step two is to pair the headphones with your mobile device. For this you can put a three-way on/off/pairing switch, tucked under the right-hand earphone, into the pairing position, for pairing in the normal way. Alternatively, just put it to the On position, and touch an NFC-enabled device to the left earphone (as I noted, not everything is obvious). This should then pair automatically, subject to a prompt on your mobile device.

I had mixed success with NFC. A Sony Xperia T smartphone failed twice, with a message “Could not pair Jabra Revo”, but worked on the third attempt. A Nokia Lumia 620 worked on the second attempt.

than one device can be connected simultaneously, though only one at a time will play. I found this worked; I could play music on one device, then press play on another device and it automatically switched.

The good news is that Bluetooth audio worked well for me, with no skips or stutters, perhaps thanks to Jabra’s long experience with mobile communications. Volume was low to begin with, but note that the back of the right-hand earphone is also a touch volume control, and with a few strokes you can get more than enough volume.

There are also buttons at the centre of each earphone.

The right-hand button is multi-function, and does play/pause, or answer/end call, or reject a call if you hold it down, or redial last number if you double-tap.

The left-hand button is for the Jabra Sound App for iOS or Android. It is meant to launch the app, but this did not work for me with the Sony Xperia.

If you want to use the headphones wired, just plug the audio cable into the headphones. No battery power is required. If you want to use them as a USB device, attach the USB cable to a computer, wait for the drivers to install, and it works. I tried it with Skype and got reasonable results, though the microphone quality is less good than that of the headphones.

Jabra Sound app

If you have an Apple iOS or Google Android device, you can download the Jabra Sound app. This is a music player which claims to optimise sound for the headphones. The app is free but requires a code, supplied with the headphones, to activate it.

Using the app, you specify which Jabra headphones you are using. Next, you can set Dolby Processing, Mobile Surround, and Equalisation. If you turn Dolby Processing off, the other options are disabled as well.

I am a sceptic when it comes to this kind of processing, and the Jabra Sound app did nothing to convince me that it is worthwhile. I listened to I.G.Y. by Donald Fagen, which is a well-recorded track, and found that adding “Mobile Surround” made it noticeably worse, less natural and less clear. The equalizer could be useful though, particularly as the Revo are not the most neutral headphones I have heard.

Jabra Sound is a music player and only works with local music files. You cannot use it with Spotify or Google Play or other streaming services.

Revo in use

The comfort of these on-ear headphones is good, though tastes vary and I found them just a little stiff. Then again, wireless implies mobility and a firm fit is no bad thing.

How about the sound? There are a couple of points to note. First, all connections are not equal. I found that the wired connection sounds best, followed by the USB connection, followed by the wireless connection. That does not mean that wireless sounds bad, but I did find it slightly grainy in comparison. Only slightly; if you think Bluetooth audio means low quality sound, think again.

Second, the Revo seems to accentuate the bass, a little too much for my taste. This may be good marketing as many people seem to prefer this kind of sound, but if you want to hear what the mastering engineer intended you may prefer a more neutral sound.

These points aside, the sound is sweet, clear and refined. They are not reference quality, being easily bettered by, say, high-end Sennheisers, Judged purely on the basis of sound quality for the price, the Revo is nothing special. On the other hand, this is a bundle of Smart technology, considering that it is also a wireless headset with a built-in touch volume control. This makes it hard to make a fair comparison. Given the capabilities of the product overall, the sound quality is decent.

I have mixed feelings about the touch controls. The ability to control volume and skip music tracks using taps and strokes is elegant, but inevitably there is more scope for mis-taps than with conventional buttons, and I found the volume control imprecise. That said, it is great to have volume and play/pause on the headphones themselves.

Conclusion

The Revo has a lot going for it. Elegant design, high quality construction, good wireless performance without any skips or stutters, and unmatched flexibility – remember, this is a headset that you can use for phone calls as well as for enjoying music.

On the negative side, the tonality is a little bass-heavy and the sound quality good but no better than it should be considering the premium price.

If the flexibility is something you can make use of, the Revo is a strong contender.

Driver size 40mm
Impedance 32 Ohm
Frequency response (no tolerance given) 20Hz – 20,000Hz
Sensitivity 119 dB at 1v/1kHz
Weight 240g
Battery life 12 hours playback/10 days standby
Charge time 2 hours
Wireless range 10m

Author

Laidred

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