Not everyone wants to wear a bulky headset when making phone calls or participating in video meetings. For many people, a pair of wireless earbuds could be the answer, but not all earbuds are created equal when it comes to operating as a headset that can pick up speech clearly despite being some distance from the user’s mouth.
To get voice quality that’s clear enough to earn earbuds certification from Microsoft Teams and Zoom, you need a sophisticated microphone design and clever technology that can pick up the user’s voice clearly, without any lip-sync lag that could be off-putting when taking part in a video meeting.
Danish company Jabra has been leading the way in designing office headsets and speakerphones for video meetings and call center use. The brand has announced Jabra Evolve2 Buds, the latest model in the company’s popular Evolve series. The Evolve lineup provides hybrid workers the freedom and flexibility to work and make calls from anywhere.
These top-of-the-range Evolve2 Buds are designed to improve collaboration when users make phone calls or join in video meetings, whether the user is on the move, working at the office, or based at home. Jabra Evolve2 Buds are certified for the leading meeting platforms, including Microsoft Teams and Zoom. They also incorporate the latest technology to reduce distracting background noises and enable the user to be heard more clearly.
Evolve2 Buds feature adjustable ANC (active noise cancellation) technology which the user can tweak to suit their working environment. For example, a user can dial the ANC down at home and then boost the ANC if, say, the washing machine is running or the kids are home. When working away from the office in a public space, they can turn up the ANC to block out distractions like the roar of an espresso machine or the buzz of conversation from the next table.
The new Evolve2 Buds include an innovative feature called MyFit that cleverly tests the fit of the earbuds to ensure the user is getting the optimum passive noise cancelation. Other handy features include PeakStop, a safety measure that protects the user’s hearing by limiting the maximum volume level. This is especially useful for corporate settings where an employer has a duty of care to protect an employee’s hearing.
MultiSensor technology with four MEMs microphones and two bone-conducting sensors improves voice clarity, no matter the conditions. The microphones and sensors link to advanced algorithms that block out as much of the surrounding noise as possible, enabling the user to be heard clearly by people on the other end of the call, resulting in a more focused and productive conversation.
The noise-canceling algorithms can boost the balance of the sound picked up between the bone-conducting sensors and the microphones. When the user makes a call outdoors in windy conditions, the microphones are turned down while the bone-conducting sensors are boosted; this enables the user to be heard much more clearly, even in windy or noisy conditions such as a busy factory or a packed sports arena.
Jabra’s Evolve2 Buds use the latest Bluetooth 5.2 standard and support Multipoint connections, enabling two devices to pair simultaneously. Multipoint lets users connect a personal and a business phone to the Evolve2 Buds and easily switch between the two, depending on who is calling. The wireless range of the Evolve2 extends to around 20 meters (65 feet), when using the special Bluetooth dongle that comes with the earbuds. The dongle enables the user to move around the home or office while talking.
The USB Bluetooth dongle stows away conveniently in the earbud storage case and it’s available in USB A and USB C fittings. The dongle provides high audio quality when connecting with a computer. The dongle produces low latency and wide-frequency audio for clearer conversations that are more lifelike and in sync with the video feed.
The Evolve2 Buds storage case takes around two hours to fully charge, and the earbuds can play for up to eight hours before recharging. When it comes to talking time, a full charge delivers up to five hours of phone calls. The storage case recharges using a USB-C cable or any Qi-compatible wireless charging mat. With the charge stored in the earbuds and the reserve in the storage case, Evolve2 Buds can work for up to 33 hours, more than enough time for a couple of weeks’ worth of commuting.
Software and smartphone apps can customize the Evolve2 Buds’ touch controls. There are also controls for adjusting sidetone levels, tweaking graphic equalization and even personalizing the sound with a hearing test that sets the tone to suit the user.
The sound produced by the 6mm dynamic drivers is excellent. The voice pickup is very efficient for a pair of earbuds. The fit is low profile and makes an excellent alternative to a bulky and unflattering headset. The ANC function is efficient at blocking out continuous noise like an aircraft engine or the hum of an air-conditioning system. The variable ANC is welcome and offers another layer of flexibility.
Verdict: I’ve had a chance to test Jabra’s Evolve2 earbuds on Teams and Zoom meetings. The speech quality that these compact wireless earbuds can pick up is impressive. The earbuds are compact and comfortable, plus they can be worn discreetly and look much better than a bulky headset. The sound quality from the 6mm drivers is exceptional, producing plenty of bass that makes listening to music a genuine joy. The companion Jabra smartphone app or computer software for macOS and Windows provides plenty of customization opportunities, including adjustable ANC and variable sidetone levels. There are also EQ controls for tweaking the tone of the music played through Evolve2 Buds. For anyone looking for a discreet alternative to a conventional telephony headset or pair of headphones, Jabra’s Evolve2 Buds are an excellent choice. The Bluetooth dongle provides outstanding audio quality and allows the user to move away from the host computer while speaking. Highly Recommended.
Pricing & Availability: Jabra Evolve2 Buds will be available from the end of November and will be priced at $269 / £279 / €259 .
More info: www.jabra.co.uk/evolve2-buds
- ANC: Yes.
- Driver: 6mm.
- Microphones: 6 MEMS.
- MultiSensor: 4 MEMs microphones and 2 bone conductors.
- Frequency range: 20 – 20,000Hz.
- Microphone bandwidth: 80 – 8000Hz.
- Total battery life: 33 hours (case and earbuds).
- Talk time: 5 hours.
- Playing time: 8 hours.
- Charging time: 120 minutes.
- Charging USB-C or wireless.
- Bluetooth: 5.2.
- Multipoint: Yes.
- Audio codecs: SBC, AAC.
- Certifications: Cisco, Microsoft Teams, MFi, Zoom, Amazon Chime, Alexa.