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Hands-on with the Jabra Evolve2 75
Hands-on with the Jabra Evolve2 75 IBTimes / Jeff Li

Ever since I reviewed the Jabra Elite 45h, I was convinced that the Danish audio equipment company was onto the future, as far as overhead headphones are concerned. It's new ear cup design has the best of two worlds: the comfort and breathability of the on-ear ear cup, and the passive noise isolation of the over-ear ear cup. Coupled with Jabra's already industry-leading wireless technology in network connection and battery life, it was a winning combination.

With the Evolve2 75, Jabra doubled down on this ear cup design, putting it into a new flagship headset, succeeding the Evolve2 85. Can Jabra make what we considered one of the best work headphones into an even better headset? Let's dive in to find out.


Familiar but New and Improved Build

At first glance, the Jabra Evolve2 75 looks a lot like the Jabra Elite 45h. Both the headband profile and the ear cups look very similar - which, in our office, is a sure sign of durability. Because after two years of use, the Elite 45h we have in the office has shown very little wear and tear. The metal extendable arms, cushioned headband, and soft cushions on the ear cups have well and truly stood the test of time.

Notable differences between the two is that the Evolve2 75 cups are ever-so-slightly larger than the cups on the Elite 45h - even though both contain a 40 mm speaker. Other differences include the charging nodes on the side for docking, the extra Microsoft Team shortcut button, and of course, the hide-away boom mic.

On closer inspection, I found an impressive upgrade in the Evolve2 75. They've designed the wiring so that it is now completely hidden away, presumably inside of the metal arms - whereas on the Elite 45h, it used to visibly come out of the headband. It's not something that you would normally notice, but it must have been quite an engineering feat. The result is both aesthetically very pleasing, and, presumably, a mile better in terms of durability.


Hide-away Boom Mic

The boom microphone is the key feature that sets the Evolve2 75 apart from the Elite 45h, but it's not that easy to spot, especially when it's folded away. An ingenious design feature is the implementation of magnets to hold it in place when folded away, as any mechanical means would be subject to wear-and-tear in the long run. Not so when it's magnetically held in place, since there is very little friction in the hinge.

What makes the boom even better is that when it is unfolded, it automatically picks up phone calls and automatically unmutes the microphone with video conference calls. This mechanical design makes picking up and hanging up calls as satisfying as it would on a clamshell phone and makes an enormous difference in the day-to-day user experience.

There is even a miniature button on the tip of the boom, which is for talking to the built-in Alexa. The button is placed well away from other onboard controls, so you won't have to worry about accidentally pressing it, and it is very easy to reach if you've got busy hands.


Onboard Controls

There are a few more onboard control buttons on the Evolve2 75, and as a regular user of the Elite 45h, I can appreciate the identical layout even more. Alongside the three buttons on the right ear cup is the play/pause button, as well as volume-up and volume-down buttons on either side. There's an added Microsoft Teams button on the side of the head.


On the left ear cup, there is my favorite design for power control, which makes use of a slide switch. This means not having to hold a button for 3 seconds to turn it on/off, which may seem like a trivial thing on paper, but in day-to-day use, a slide switch that immediately turns on is much more efficient.

By holding the power slide switch all the way to its down position, the headphone enters its Bluetooth pairing mode, and similar to the Elite 45h, the Evolve2 75 can do multipoint Bluetooth connections, letting me connect to both my computer and phone at the same time and switch between both devices seamlessly, making my workflow buttery smooth all day long.

A new onboard control is the single button for ANC toggling next to the power switch, which is another premium feature that the Evolve2 75 has over the Elite 45h.


Excellent Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

Even without ANC, the Elite 45h's on-ear design already has excellent passive noise isolation. With the new ANC, which utilizes 4 out of the 8 microphones onboard, the Evolve2 75 is even better at cutting out office noise, so with this added feature, I can fully focus on work without any distractions.

Because of the comfort of the ear cups, together with a very effective ANC system, I often find myself wearing the Evolve2 75 in the office with no music on, so that I can just focus on work itself for hours with much less distractions.


Dock and USB Adaptor

As an additional perk, the Evolve2 75 comes with a docking station - which is what the two brass nodes are for on the left cup. It's a very simply and elegantly made dock, perfectly balancing the headphones to stand upright when it's charging on the desktop.

As most of its business product line does, Jabra also has included with the Evolve2 75 a Bluetooth adapter. This ensures a more stable connection, but I have found myself rarely using it, as the built-in Bluetooth connection is already excellent. I can walk around the office, and even go across to neighboring offices without breaking an ongoing conversation.


Music Ready Sound Quality

Jabra, being the maker of the Elite 7 Pro earbuds, definitely knows how to make nice sounding headphones, and with the Evolve2 75, they did not hold back just because it's a headset. Its sound signature is one that I'm all too familiar with - highlighted by a bass heavy yet not muddy sound that's perfect for everyday listening to energetic music that can help with work concentration.

The boomy sound is also great for watching movies or other videos during your personal down time, and again, the comfort of the ear cups ensures that long sessions with these headphones are nothing short of enjoyable.


Do-not-disturb (DND) Lights

Another small feature that makes a big difference in day-to-day use is the inclusion of not one, not two, but four DND LEDs on the Evolve2 75. Anyone who has had to do the whole 'holding onto the microphone and whispering "I'm on a call" ' routine would know how useful it is to have visual aids that help your colleagues know when not to disturb your call. The lights on the Evolve2 75 makes sure that people can see these lights from any direction they approach you from.


Final Verdict


Just as the Jabra Elite 45h was named the best wireless headphone that IBTimes reviewed under $100, the Evolve2 75 indeed kept all our favorite features, and added even more. The implementation of the hide-away boom mic, ANC and dock makes this a premium headset that would seem fitting on executive desks, call center stations and everything in between. We're awarding the Jabra Evolve2 75 with the IBTimes Best Products badge.

Sam is a production engineer turned tech writer who specializes in seeking out gadgets that enhances productivity while still looking sharp. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Working From Home (WFH).