Jabra Evolve2 Earbuds tick all the boxes

9/10

Summary

Jabra Evolve2 Earbuds REVIEW

Looking for a pair of good all-rounder earbuds? PAT PILCHER has been putting Jabra’s latest through their paces just for you.

$449

Jabra has crafted some excellent ear gear in the past, so I was intrigued to see what their latest earbuds, the Evolve2’s, had to offer. Where most Bluetooth buds are designed to be plopped into your ears and trundled around town, the Evolve2’s are built for work and play. This took the form of high-end microphones and a bundled USB adaptor for crystal-clear calls and PC/Mac video meetings.

 

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The review units came in a black matte finish, with the buds sporting a flat outer pushbutton panel. An organic, curved design also makes for a comfortable yet secure fit. At the same time, an additional three bundled pairs of silicone ear-tips and an ear fit test option in the app goes a long way towards ensuring a good fit.

Under the hood sits a 6mm driver with a frequency range of 20Hz to 20Khz. There’s Bluetooth 5.2 support and compatibility with AAC and SBC codecs, but bizarrely not AptX.

As with other wireless buds, the buttons can skip forward/back, play/pause, summon the voice assistant, and take/reject calls. The control layout is adjustable using the Jabra Sound+ app. I usually find mechanical buttons annoying compared to capacitive controls. This is because pressing the button feels as if I am shoving the bud further into my noggin. Thankfully this wasn’t the case with the Evolve2’s, whose buttons required only a gentle tap to do their thing.

They’re built tough. They’re rated at IP57, so they’re not only dust resistant but can be submerged in water up to a meter for 30 minutes and keep working. Their charging case is not waterproof, so drying them off before charging them is definitely a good idea.

Speaking of their charging case, while it is pocketable, it is on the bulkier side. Like most earbud cases, it sports a status LED and USB-C charging port. The case can also juice up wirelessly if you own a Qi charging pad. The bundled USB adapter located between the earbuds in the charging case is a nice touch. It provides a stable connection to PCs and supports Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

After charging them up, I took the Evolve2’s for walkies. Jabra says that they’ll last up to eight hours off a single charge (with ANC on) and 10 hours with it off. There’s also an additional 25 hours of battery life in their case. That said, your mileage will vary owing to factors such as how much you use ANC and volume levels. Going from flat to fully charged took just a hair over two hours and a 5-minute charge will give you an hour of use.

Wandering around the CBD, which has a crowded RF environment, I was pleased to note that the Evolve2’s only dropped out once. Using the Jabra Sound+ app (Android/iOS), I could check their ear fit and personalise ANC levels (via a fader control). Their audio was also tweakable thanks to the addition of a 5-band EQ. The app also has several pre-set soundscapes of ocean waves or pink noise. For flying, it helps if you’re trying to get some shut-eye.

While wandering about Wellington’s CBD, the ANC managed to block out low-frequency audio such as buses and construction machinery, but some noise managed to creep through. Compared to the Bose QCII buds, whose ANC envelops the user in near deafening silence, the Evolve2’s are lagging. That said, their ANC will probably be more than ample for use in most office or home environments or even on a plane.

With the EQ set to flat, bass-heavy tracks saw the Evolve2’s delivering solid, tight, and controlled base. Nicer still, their bass sounded natural and clean. I found the midrange and highs to be crisp and focused but not shrill. Classical tracks like the Brandenburg Concerto were delivered with good detail. At the same time, Holst’s Planet Suite didn’t fall to bits either (which is something many earbuds struggle with). Electronica, such as Pitch Black’s Ape To Angel, also benefitted from solid bass delivery.

Their four mics (used alongside dual bone conduction sensors in each earpiece) made both in-call conversations and video meeting audio crystal clear, even if it was a tad on the quiet side.

The Jabra Evolve2 Buds are a great choice for people who want ear gear that is equally at home with music and video meetings. While their ANC isn’t in the same ballpark as Bose’s QCII buds, the Evolve2’s are incredibly versatile and durable with a pleasing sound.

www.jabra.co.nz

 

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