Jabra has definitely stirred up the hive at this year’s MWC (Mobile World Congress) by presenting three new headphone models. Jabra Vox are typical earphones, aiming to replace the headsets bundled with modern smartphones. The other two models, Revo and Revo Wireless, are similar in nature, with the Wireless version containing support for Bluetooth and NFC. We got the standard Revo model for testing, addressing those who prefer the good old cable connection, for either higher sound quality, lower price or reduced power consumption.

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The attractive packaging contains the headset, manual, registration coupon and a plastic carrying bag. As visible from the product images, the headphones look attractive, but not aggressively so, as is regrettably the case with so many products of late, and our particular sample was black. When you first get hold of the headphones, it becomes obvious just how much effort has been invested into achieving a high level of product quality, most importantly owing to the choice of materials. Jabra’s PR department has stressed several times that this is a long-lasting product meant to withstand even some unusually straining operational conditions. Their demonstration shows (and our testing confirms) that nothing can happen to them even if the headband is completely stretched out, to the point of being flat, as the material goes back to its original shape unscathed. The use of aluminium and steel elements in construction of this device ensures that it survives every inadvertent sit on it; although this has also been proven as true during our testing process, it isn’t a pleasant experience and we don’t suggest you get too adamant about this feature. Therefore, one of this headset’s main selling points is its durability, and a casual look at Jabra’s website shows just how extensive the product tests have been. The cable is certified to a pulling force of 15 kg, headband flattening to a minimum of 10,000 times, total inwards bending to at least 3,500 times, and the headset will even survive a sudden drop onto a concrete floor from a height of two metres (albeit with surface scratches, of course).

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Expectedly, the headband is adjustable by simply extending it by pulling the “lobes” out of the headband, and one of the few drawbacks about this headset is that there are no preset positions in which the headband would “click” when extended. The other reproach goes on account of the cable that connects the speakers with the headband, as it isn’t contained inside the body, but extends outwards and hangs around in the air freely, which looks less than glamorous at minimum size. The headband is coated by fat, matte-finish foamy rubber on the bottom, which is soft and very comfortable. As already stated, the bundle contains a plastic carrying bag, which could’ve been of higher quality, but luckily, the headset can be “closed” inwards, so that the required space for transporting it is reduced to a minimum.

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The speakers state very clearly on the inside which one is left and which is right. Even if you inadvertently place the headset the wrong way, since its curvature is ergonomic, you’ll quickly realise that it needs to be turned around. Both speakers are coated with soft, wide, but not too thick layer of sponge, providing a comfortable fit. The sponge itself is coated by soft eco leather, which only mildly heats up the earlobes, and even that after prolonged use only. More importantly, sound insulation is excellent, so that you can easily concentrate on the audio material, but not remain entirely cut off from the outside world, as most people prefer to remain capable of hearing louder noises. The headset-to-phone cable is a story for itself – it’s of an exceptionally high quality and coated with braided linen that doesn’t allow the cable to tie up into knots. Both sides of the cable contain high-quality aluminium connectors that feel very durable and firm. It’s good to have the option of connecting the cable to either left or right speaker, so that every user and situation are addressed. Some 15 cm down the cable (measured from the speaker jack), there’s an aluminium piece housing the microphone and control buttons. All buttons are rubber-coated and clearly separated from the body, so that it’s easy to feel them without having to look directly. It’s a real shame that volume control only works on iOS devices, but the middle button can still be used in Android to pause music, answer a call or initiate voice search, as well as rewind forwards/backwards depending on how many times you’ve successively pressed the button.

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Jabra Revo
Type On-ear
Driver diameter 40 mm
Microphone stereo
Mass 240 g
Interface 3.5 mm
Reproduction range 20 - 20.000 Hz
Impendence 32 ohm
Cable length 1.5 m
Dimensions 178.8 x 160.1 x 73 mm
Price US $ 200

The bundle contains a registration code for Jabra’s Sound App, available in App Store (iOS) and Play Store (Android) markets, which has to be activated by redeeming the provided registration code. Make sure you keep the said code in a safe place, as the redemption isn’t tied to your app market – you’ll have to re-enter it every time you reinstall. The app itself has a minimalistic design, with a UI design closely following the Jabra website scheme. Obviously, its main focus is playing music, and it features support for numerous formats, automatic online updates for songs/albums/artists, as well as integration with social networks, so that you can share what you’re listening to. However, the app’s most useful feature by far is support for Dolby Digital Plus, able to make the sound louder or give it a more pronounced sense of space (aka 3D sound). The extent of your contentment with this feature will depend on many factors, such as quality of the recording, type of file compression or music genre. It’s a good idea to experiment a little and see whether you enjoy some of the options within.
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Sound quality slightly surpasses what you’d expect in this price range, which means that it’ll be considered amazing even by users who know good sound, which is exactly the market niche Jabra is aiming at. Of course, as always, your preferred music genre will impact the impression greatly. If you’re all about mainstream pop or electronic music, you’re up for a great ride. However, Revo is more than able to handle acoustics, rock and instrumental music too. It lacks credibility in hard rock or live concert albums, but it manages to stay on top of the competition even in that segment. Realistically speaking, you’re probably much more at the mercy of your phone’s audio capabilities than Jabra Revo’s sonic properties. Don’t forget the production quality and robustness of the device when making your decision. Listening to your music without stressing over every pull and drop is a significant contributor to the experience.