This headset's larger drivers make it ideal for the office and the commute.
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The Jabra Evolve2 85 is most likely your best option if you're searching for a work-focused headset that doesn't skimp on sound quality for your commute home. Jabra has spent the last few years focusing increasingly on the consumer music space, in addition to its well-known headsets. The Jabra Elite 85t earbuds are among my favourite true wireless earbuds, so I was eager to see how the over-ear Evolve2 85 stacked up.
The 85 might be the best all-around over-ear headset for business-minded users thanks to its premium materials, multi-mic support for active noise cancellation, and a host of features that make it suitable for both work and play. I spent a few days with my pair to observe how they entered and exited my workday.
1. Design: slick and professional.
Any set of over-ear headphones that has even a slight focus on serving as a work headset must present a professional appearance and feel. Although most high-end headphones in this price range do feel svelte and luxurious, there's something about the Evole2 85's appearance that just seems to fit better in a professional setting. While still having a high-end appearance, the oval ear cups have clean lines, the single-piece headband is unobtrusive, and the connectors are slightly angled.
While the black colour scheme is slightly more consumer-focused, you can also get a silver/beige version that looks good too. The outward-facing LED lighting on each ear cup is an additional design touch that, depending on your viewpoint, may be beneficial. When you're on a phone call, this LED illuminates automatically. The idea here is to signal to people on the outside that you are in a "do not disturb" state, preventing phone calls from being interrupted. It's a little bright and noticeable (on Jabra's part), but if you value the use case, it's a nice, functional visual touch. If you don't like it, you can turn it off in the Jabra Sound+ app.
2. Comfort: A good combination of seal and softness.
Finding the right clamp and foam to wrap around your ears is a difficult task for over-ear headphone manufacturers. Higher-end producers in the sector, like Sony and Bose, typically provide all the softness and comfort you're looking for, but budget headphones frequently cut corners in this area, making them uncomfortable.
The foam and leather on the cups of the Evolve2 85 are incredibly soft, and the clamp is strong enough to provide me with a stable, solid seal, which is what I love about it. The balance of these two factors makes these headphones extremely comfortable to wear.
Jabra has also provided me with ear cups that are large enough to accommodate my large ears while not pressing too far back on my ears. Even the top of the headband, which is leather-wrapped and lined with foam, is plusher than what I typically find on headphones in this category.
3. High-end but a little plastic-y durability and build quality
When designing a chassis for over-ear headphones, plastic was chosen primarily because it is more ergonomically sound and lighter. So it's difficult to fault Jabra for going this route with these headphones. These headphones' contact and inflection points are made of plastic, but for some reason that plastic feels a little less sturdy than the rest of the product.
The ratcheting headband adjustment band, in particular, feels a little cheaper than the price tag would imply.
That's not to say these headphones don't have a premium feel to them. With soft touch surfaces and sturdy enough consistencies, all of the leather coverings feel incredibly high-end. Even though the headband itself doesn't inspire as much confidence, the swivelling ear cups feel incredibly sturdy and I'm confident they will endure their fair share of abuse. The hardshell case is wrapped in leather and has a nice zipper as well as numerous organisational features inside. Even though Jabra did make some unnecessary cuts in this case, I'm still largely impressed.
4. Excellent sound quality and noise cancellation: ideal for the office environment
I can't emphasise enough how important a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones are in today's remote work environment. The noise cancellation on the Evolve2 85 appears to have been designed specifically for the office environment. That is to say, when there isn't a thick blanket of noise (as on a roaring aeroplane or in a crowded park), these headphones do a great job of drowning out everything.
These headphones' ANC seems to have been implemented by Jabra in a more subtle manner than Apple's AirPods Max, making them more effective and less irritating for those with sensitive ears. Fair enough, the amount of noise cancellation won't blow you away, and I do believe that Jabra is exaggerating a little bit with its "commute" vs. "office" vs. other customizable modes in the app. However, as an all-day work headset, this worked well for me.
Then there's the issue of sound quality. The Evolve2s are best described as a work-oriented pair of headphones that also do music exceptionally well.
The amount of battery life that Jabra was able to fit in these otherwise quite stylish headphones is impressive. It's strange when you consider it because, despite the fact that these headphones appear to be oriented toward your desk, where a charging cable is easily accessible, you'll rarely need that charging cable. However, because the headphones must be ready to use for phone calls at all times, it makes sense.
The battery life promised by Jabra is an astounding 37 hours, easily 10 more than that of its rivals in the market. Of course, you'll get less if you frequently use the active noise cancellation or the bright LED busy light. However, it took me well over four 8-hour workdays to drain the headphones to the point where I felt I needed to charge them again.
Jabra doesn't include the docking charging cradle that is an optional accessory with these headphones. It's not a big deal because the USB-C cable charges everything quickly enough, but because the dock would be more appropriate for a business headset, I would have preferred to see it in the box.
6. Connectivity: Clean and stable, with Microsoft integrations
You can choose between the "Unified Communications" or the "Microsoft Teams Enabled" versions of the Evolve2 85 when placing your order on the website. In terms of hardware, there is almost no difference between these two options. However, because the 85 is intended to be an office headset, the distinction may be important for your setup.
Basically, the Teams version will offer you better call-answering and muting right out of the box, while the UC version is intended for Jabber and other third-party conversions, if your team uses Microsoft's "soft phone" for your work phone setup. There are options here to more easily integrate with your work-specific setup, but since both versions will function universally, it's not a choice that will make or break you.
7. Software and extras: Nearly the entire package
With the headphones costing well over ₹ 37,000, Jabra had no choice but to include everything you'd need right in the box. And, to be honest, there's a lot here. The premium case offers adequate protection when transporting these headphones on business trips. All of the cables you'll need for charging, connectivity, and more are included.
Even the impressively comprehensive microphone system (which features 10 separate mics to provide the best possible voice quality on calls) folds up seamlessly into the design of the right ear cup, so you wouldn't even notice the boom was there until you folded it out.
Activating ANC or transparency mode can be done with ease, and you can change what some of the controls do. The Jabra Direct app, a desktop alternative, offers some of the same customization but isn't quite as intuitive as the mobile one. In a nutshell, the software functionality included with these headphones is complete.
8. Price: Definitely within the enterprise budget.
You might initially believe Jabra has inflated the price of these headphones far beyond reasonable bounds. Furthermore, they are unquestionably much more expensive when compared to the top-tier over-ear headphones from Sony or Bose.
Some of that can be attributed to the ridiculous mic array and the design elements necessary to have a seamlessly foldable boom. However, some of this is due to software and headset integration. Obtaining UC and Microsoft Teams certifications entails some firmware challenges and licencing fees.
Because of this, the price tag, which is north of ₹ 37,000. is really intended for the executive buyer—someone who wants a luxurious, extremely detailed headset for the office and can probably expense the cost.
Workplace headphones of the highest quality.While much of Jabra's consumer line (including the very similar Elite 85h) provides excellent value for music lovers, the Evolve2 85 couldn't shake its office pedigree. It's not necessarily a bad thing, though, because I found the call quality, microphone capability, comfort, layout, and feature set to be truly excellent for a full day of productivity.
The sound quality isn't as full as I'd like, and the ANC works best when it's not doing too much. Of course, the cost is greater than you are willing to pay. However, if you want the best for the office, the 85 headset is hard to beat.
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