In the past, we’ve reviewed a couple Jabra products here on the Lync Insider. I try to avoid all bias when reviewing hardware – the Jabra equipment just keeps delivering high quality.
This week, I received the Jabra Evolve 80 headset (MS Lync Stereo model). Well, I couldn’t pass that up for a review, now could I?
The headset comes with a detachable controller. Connect via USB to a PC, or headphone jack to a mobile device (without the controller). The controller buttons gives you these options: Answer Call/End Call, Volume Up/Down, Mute. The center ring/Busylight lights up in red as a “Busy” indicator.
The headset needs to charge for full use of its functions. It will do so automatically when plugged into a PC. Or you can connect a micro-USB cable directly to the left earpiece to charge. The built-in battery powers these functions:
- Active Noise Cancellation
The right earpiece has a switch to turn on Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). These are already quite muffling of outside sound, but with noise cancellation built-in? I made a call, and couldn’t even hear my co-worker talking less than 10 feet from me.
The controller reminds me of the Jabra SPEAK 410 Speakerphone. Same kind of circular design, and a light indicating calls in progress.
Call quality is superb. Better than my previous headset (the Jabra BIZ 620 from my last review!). No latency on either Lync-to-Lync or Lync-to-Cell calls noticeable.
One thing to point out: The Evolve headset intelligently took over my sound output. Calls came through the headset right away. But music didn’t. It only assigned itself as default for Lync 2013, not the whole computer. I found that valuable–this headset knows not to overextend its reach!
(Of course I switched default devices under Sound, and music played through the headset too. The test song came through nuanced and with clear balance.)
Multiple Call Handling
Now this is fancy. The Jabra Evolve 80 can manage multiple calls at once!
Here’s how it works: If you’re on a call and another call comes in, hold down the Answer/End button for 2 seconds. It puts the current call on hold and answers the incoming call.
To switch between the calls, hold down Answer/End for 2 seconds again.
You don’t want to answer the incoming call? Double-press Answer/End and it’ll stop bothering you.
If you’re using ANC, hearing something other than the call you’re on is pretty difficult. But if you press the Listen-In button on the right earpiece, it mutes music and/or calls.
Calls are NOT paused though–and your mic is still on when in Listen-In Mode. Don’t use Listen-In as a Pause button!
The One Snag I Found
One caveat to this headset. Both earpieces will fold flat. Makes it easy to lay flat on your desk. However, when they’re folded flat, the mic arm sticks out away from the headband. It cannot move flush with the headband; just doesn’t go that far.
Now this isn’t much of a big deal. But it is something to keep in mind. I can see someone catching their sleeve or a cable on the jutting-out mic arm, and sending the whole headset flying by accident.
With a headset this high-quality, that’s definitely not something you want to do!
Verdict: Impressive Piece of Lync Hardware!
Jabra continues to make top-tier devices. This headset is comfortable, with sharp call quality and more useful features. Finally, I don’t see any reason why this won’t work with Skype for Business 2015 as well as it does with Lync 2013.
Next week we’ll be back to our software reviews. Up next: Lync 2013 and Skype on the iPad, point-by-point comparison.
What headset do you use with Lync?