Jabra Revo (Corded) Headphones Review – Big Bang for the Buck!
As being “mobile” becomes an essential part of our lifestyle, gadgets that facilitate Music + Communication on the go are gaining importance for practical reasons. Jabra recently announced two new on-ear headphones called Jabra Revo ($199) and Jabra Revo Wireless ($249) targeting this segment.
I received Jabra Revo for a review about a week ago and I’ve extensively used it ever since. Simply put, I am quite impressed by the sound and build quality. That said, there are a few things I thought could’ve been done differently for a better experience. Let’s take a deeper look.
Audio Performance (Music): Ask an expert “What makes a good headphone?” and you’ll never get a straight answer. You’ll most likely hear something like “Best headphones are the ones you enjoy the most.” and I’d say the same but over the years I’ve learnt to test headphones on certain aspects that tell me if the headphone is good or just good enough.
I listen to a list of songs to gauge its Low, Mid and High range performance. For example here are some of the songs I listen to, to test the bass performance, Hot for Teacher – Van Halen , I’ll Wait – Van Halen, Scream & Shout – Will.I.Am, Smack My Bitch Up – The Prodigy, etc. (Here I’ve linked to Spotify, but listen to FLAC or WAV versions if possible for true performance.)
I am very impressed with the sound quality of these headphones. Bass performance is clear, solid and not bloated at all. Mids are flat and full of details and Highs are not too bright and very smooth. In my opinion this is one of the best performing headphones I’ve used with a 40mm driver. Loved it!
Quality of sounds coupled with well-designed ear cups offers great isolation for a better experience. Sure, almost all headphones offer isolation at high volume but the good ones do it at much lower levels. Revo starts blocking outside sound at just 20% of the volume level which is great because you don’t have to crank up the volume to achieve isolation and end-up with a headache.
“Chat” Functionality: Revo is not only optimized for music but calls and communication as well. Controls on the cable lets you adjust the volume, skip through the sound tracks and take/reject or redial calls. It has a microphone for taking calls built into the controls which explains why it sits higher up on the cable.
Comfort: As we all know Jabra is not new to this space, there is years of experience and expertise behind every single product that is pushed to the market and the Revo series is a true example of that.
Headband has just the right amount of tension that holds it in place and without putting pressure on ears and ear-cups are made of memory foam so they are pretty soft on ears. Also, the adjustable headband makes finding the right fit really easy and comfortable. I’ve spent hours listening to music and watching movies without a problem.
Both ear-cups come with a 3.5mm jack connector so you can connect to your preferred side and share music through the other if you like. Impressed yet?
Even though these are full-blown over-the-ear headphones, they fold pretty well and shrink into a small package that can be carried around comfortably. Portability isn’t really an issue if you’ve used over-the-years headphones in the past.
Build Quality: Jabra calls it “Life Proof”, meaning, it’s “tough, shatterproof and constructed for ultimate portability”. Each of these headphones have gone through a bend test (10000 times), Fold test (3500 times) and Drop test from 2 meters to ensure that it lasts longer than any other headphones under tough conditions.
I already mentioned how comfortable the ear cups are as they are made of Memory Foam. I think this is the most important part of the headset as it is the only element that comes in physical contact while listening to music.
Fabric used on cables is reinforced with Liquid Crystal Polymer that not only make it long lasting but also tangle-free. Headband is made of synthetic titanium which makes it lightweight and flexible; hinges are made of steel and frame of aluminum. If all of this means anything, it is peace of mind; I am no longer worried about breakage because of accidental drops, etc.
Two things in my opinion that would’ve made these headphones even better…
Device Compatibility: Even though it clearly states that the headphones are optimized for Apple devices, I tested them with Google’s Nexus 4, Nokia’s Lumia 920 and Apples iPhone 5 and the latest iPad. While everything works as advertised on iDevices, some functionality goes missing on none-apple devices. This is a bummer because I am no longer an iPhone user and I’d love to use these headphones and all its functionality with my Lumia 920, but I cannot.
Volume and Call Controls: All the controls sit on a little cylinder shaped piece of hardware which sometimes slips out of hands when using the controls, it would have been great if it was a little flatter on one side, preferably where the buttons sit, for better grip.
Overall I think it’s a great buy, built and audio quality make it all worth it. I’ve dumped my in-ear headphones for Jabra Revo and I think you’ll enjoy it too. These headphones will go on sale on 25th of March at BestBuy and Amazon.com. If you happen to buy one of these, do leave a comment and let us know what you think of Jabra Revo!