The Jabra Evolve range is designed to improve concentration in noisy work environments. There are 5 headsets in this range: Evolve 20, 30, 40, 65 and 80. Today I will be reviewing the Evolve 40.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the headset comes in a zipped carry case which is handy for when you’re on the go. It stops the wires getting tangled and fits nicely in a laptop bag.
When you take the headset out, you’ll see that it has a red wire that connects with a 3.5mm jack to a USB dongle. The dongle is really useful when using with Skype for Business. The dongle includes an answer/end call button, volume down, volume up, mute switch and a Busylight indicator.
Jabra Direct is free PC software enabling Jabra USB devices to have remote call control over most softphones such as Skype for Business. It brings you features to personalise your device and also includes Jabra Intelligent Call Transfer, which I will discuss in more detail later. The Jabra Direct Software can be downloaded from the Jabra website.
Once I had downloaded the software, I connected the headset via USB. My laptop didn’t automatically switch to them once plugged in, I had to set them as my default device.
One of the cool features of this headset is the Busylight indicator. This is a ring on each side of the headset which lights up bright red to let others know that you are on a call.
You will see that there is also an indicator on the dongle. This can also be turned on manually by clicking it if you are busy and don’t want to be disturbed.
The first thing to note is that they are very light weight and comfortable. The sound is very clear and works well both for music and voice, with the dongle making it very easy to answer calls and control the volume. The headset has what Jabra call ‘passive noise cancellation’. They claim that simply wearing the headset eliminates high-frequency noise, such as human voices, due to the specially designed ear cushions. Having tested this in various situations, (busy office environment, children chatting, television noise etc.) I found that they don’t actually eliminate high-frequency noise and you can still hear what’s going on around you. They do however ‘blur’ the noise, making it easy to tune-out of what’s going on around you so that you can focus on the task at hand.
Having tested the microphone in a noisy environment, I am pretty impressed. They do cancel out the majority of the background noise and the sound quality from the microphone is very clear. The microphone (or Boom-Arm as it is called) is pretty cool. It swivels all the way around, meaning you can wear the headset either way round. It also means that when you are not on a call it can be tucked neatly out of the way.
Intelligent Call Transfer
This new feature from Jabra enables the user to seamlessly transfer a call from laptop to a mobile device in order to take their ‘concentration zone’ (as Jabra call it) with them if they need to leave the office. Having tested this, it works really well and is very simple to use. You simply unplug the headset from the dongle and plug into the mobile devise. The person on the other end will be put on hold while this happens but only for a second. The call then continues as normal. The quality of the call is very different however. On the mobile device, the sound quality from the other end is not as good.
It’s worth noting that this feature is only available for the on-prem version of Skype for Business.
For a midrange UC headset this is a good buy. The sounds quality is very good and the added feature such as the boom arm and Intelligent Call Transfer make these a great buy.