Jabra – unusual name, great headphones!


Jabra isn’t always the first brand that comes to mind when you think of headphones or earphones. Maybe it is time it should be.

Jabra (pronounced jab-bra) is part of the Danish GN Group (Est. 1869) that has some incredible world firsts. Like the first intercontinental telegraph, 2.4Ghz hearing aid technology and stereo streaming hearing aids for iPhone. It is the only company creating consumer headphones, professional headsets, and hearing aids under one roof.

Jabra has a few notable product wins too. Its ultra-noise-cancelling microphone, Bluetooth headsets and the sports headphones with integrated heart rate monitor have won numerous awards. Jabra can do this because everything starts with the science of sound.

We set out to find out more about Jabra

The thing that comes to my mind is that Jabra aims to inject that science into every device. It is not just noise cancelling but adaptive ‘hear-through’ noise cancelling. It is not just noise cancelling in the business environment. No, it adds a visual ‘do not disturb’ indicator, so people will know you are not ignoring them. And it is not just noise cancelling for microphones but focusing on removing background sounds to enable clear voice.

Did you know that Jabra has scanned 1000s of ears and run them through an advanced algorithmic simulator? Why? To develop the best-fitting high-performance earbuds? Then using the latest hearing aid miniaturisation techniques, crammed all that tech into compact new designs.

Jabra science
The science of comfort and fit play a huge part in Jabra’s success

And it is not just the focus on good sound. It’s company mantra that it must be the ‘gold standard’ or it will not do it. Let’s call it AbracaJabra!

Some of the Jabra range

If you have ever worked in a call centre, the chances are that Jabra supplied the headset. Its Engage (cordless) and Biz (corded) models are durable and give maximum operator comfort and voice clarity on both sides.

Jabra knows how to convert work culture into a remote work culture

Jabra says work is no longer a place you go to. Its something you do, and that with the right tools, you can do it anywhere.

“The world’s future depends on collaboration. That realisation, accelerated by millions forced to work remotely, has proven a distributed workforce can be as effective as those that go a place of work each day.”

Remote workers won’t give up the past few months easily. It is no wonder COVID workers have been snapping up desks, chairs, laptops and monitors. But more important are the tools that allow you to co-habit and work from home – video conferencing and noise cancelling.

Jabra has been at the forefront with the ‘world’s first’ 180° 4K Jabra PanaCast camera. It works equally well with Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meet, Webex and BlueJeans. PanaCast is a webcam on steroids, and it is the go-to for remote small group meetings. PanaCast is so smart that it can count the people in the room and adjust its field of view. Sure its $1485 but it is a crucial part of proper video conferences.

Jabra PanaCast

180° 4K Jabra PanaCast is becoming the boardroom ‘standard’
Jabra PanaCast focus
It can count and focus on people in the room

Married to Jabra Speak series desk microphones  (from $220) that incorporate omnidirectional mics these are the missing ‘clear speech’ link.

Workspace intruding on home space?

Jabra says its consumer noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones like the $379 Jabra Elite 85h (GadgetGuy review here) have been popular. We think its music quality and adaptive noise cancelling technology are at least as good as Bose, Sennheiser or Sony.

Jabra also makes in-the-ear noise cancelling like the $299 Elite 75t (GadgetGuy review here).  The Jabra Elite 75t has a superb fit. It has BT 5.0 true wireless, IP55 rated (dust and water ), 7.5 hours use (28 hours with the charging case). Best of all is completely compatible with Apple’s Siri, OK Google and even Alexa.

Office headsets with boom mics for savvy remote workers

The new Evolve2 range (Evolve2 85, Evolve2 65 and Evolve2 40) combines concentration, collaboration and flexibility to boost office productivity. The Evolve2 85 offers Digital Hybrid ANC and ten microphones (including two in the integrated boom-arm).

Office headsets are all about long-wearing comfort, selective noise cancelling, beam focused microphone and ‘clarity’.

Sports enthusiasts are part of the family too

Jabra’s Active series includes the new Elite Active 75t earbuds ($329). These wireless earbuds are 22% smaller than its 65t predecessor with an increased IP57 IP rating.

With up to 7.5 hours of battery (up to 28 hours with the charging case), these earbuds have staying power. The fast charging feature gives up to an hour of use from 15-minutes of charging.

My son is a fitness trainer, and it is perfect for him. He uses the Jabra Sports Life app to motivate his trainees too. Jabra also makes a $159.99 IP54 rated Sports Pace.

But it’s the apps that count

The Jabra Sound+ app is impressive. It gives granular control over your headphones. This includes the ‘finger’ equaliser that you can pull/push the curve to suit your tastes.

It also has smart sound ‘moments’ that identify when you are commuting, in public or a private place. This relates to the level of noise-cancelling – from off to hear through to full-on active noise reduction. No other headphone app is as customisable. Once set up, and there is no comparison!

Jabra app
Apps for Android and iOS

Most of Jabra’s 2019 and 2020 range support Voice Assistants (Google, ASlexa and Siri). These also work with Windows and Mac and have hands-free calling.

GadgetGuy’s take:

Jabra should be on your shopping list

It is all too easy to be a brand snob, to wear a recognised logo and provide free brand recognition.

But, all the Jabra products we have reviewed have rated just as well as the ‘name-brands’. In many cases, they have outperformed and out-priced them too.

We recognised its hearing heritage and sound mastery. GadgetGuy readers should too.