Jabra Evolve2 50 review

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7.3Expert Score
Underwhelming

The Jabra Evolve2 50 corded headset seems like a great option for those who work from home, but audio quality is lacking and the ANC does next to nothing.

Design
8
Performance
6.5
Pros
  • Great microphone quality
  • Easy plug and play
  • Voice comes through loud and clear
Cons
  • Uncomfortable for extended use
  • Audio quality isn't great for music
  • ANC function does almost nothing

Working from home has plenty of benefits, but one thing that I’ve grown to hate about it is Zoom calls. 

One previous employer had a tendency to talk so much, and run meetings so long, that my AirPods would completely drain during a Zoom meeting.

So a wired headset actually makes a lot of sense. The Jabra Evolve2 50 is a USB-C corded headset that also features a Bluetooth connection, so you can listen to your music from your phone between calls.

With ANC, an auto-mute boom mic and a flexible design, this headset seems like a decent option for anyone needing optimal call connection for Zoom calls or Microsoft Teams meetings.

But the reality of testing it left me thoroughly underwhelmed.

The evolve2 50 on my head with the boom mic down

Design

Corded headphones feel like such a dated concept. I’ve been reviewing headphones for long enough to remember when stereo Bluetooth was a big deal.

So while I definitely understand the benefit of having a corded headset in an office or home office environment, a part of me still wonders why it’s necessary.

Cords get in the way. They tangle. They knot up, and you have to spend time removing the knots – typically at a time you need to use the product attached to the cord.

Which is all to say that I’m not a big fan of the Jabra Evolve2 50’s corded concept. There is a slightly more expensive version that does away with the cable, the Evolve2 55, but that costs an extra $90 RRP.

So cost is a definite factor here. There are also some benefits to a corded headset, the biggest being that you don’t need to charge it. The Evolve2 50 draws power through the USB-C connection, which allows it to offer ANC and Bluetooth functionality.

There are a few variants of the headset available as well, though all are corded. You can opt for a mono or stereo design, with either USB-A or USB-C connectivity. You can also choose between optimised for Microsoft Teams or Unified Communications.

For the record, I tested the Stereo, USB-C Unified Communications version.

Close up of the controls

Headphones and controls

The Evolve2 50 are on-ear headphones, so you have large flat cushions that sit on your ear. 

I found that while the cushions were quite soft and comfortable at first, I started to notice a bit of pressure on my ears after about 15 minutes of wearing. It started to get uncomfortable at about the 20-minute mark.

There is a fair amount of movement within the ear cups, though. Bothe ears rotate forward and backwards, and the cushions can adjust to a range of angles to fit different head shapes.

But I ultimately found the EPOS Impact 1000 more comfortable over time, though neither of these headsets could compete with the likes of the Sonos Ace for absolute comfort.

Jabra has opted to pack all the control functions into the right ear cup. The fold down boom mic offers noise isolation and automatic muting with the mic raised. 

The top back of the ear cup has the noise cancellation button, while the bottom right has a Bluetooth pairing button.

At the front of the ear cup, you get volume and play/pause buttons on the top.

There’s a button on the side of the ear cup as well for answering or hanging up calls as well.

There are also LED lights on both ear cups that glow red. Jabra says it’s when you are on calls to help, but I found it lit up almost all the time it was connected.

The headphones lying flat, cushion side up

Performance

The good news is that the Jabra Evolve2 50’s audio quality is excellent for calls. 

The microphone does a fantastic job of isolating your voice from background sound. I sat on Zoom calls with the Dreame L10s Pro Ultra vacuuming at my feet, and the people listening to me couldn’t hear the vacuum.

And I particularly loved being able to mute myself by flicking the boom mic into the upright position.

Voice audio quality through the headphones sounds good too. Voices are clear and easy to understand.

Unfortunately, it’s not the best sounding headphones for music. It’s weak on bass, and the mid-range feels a bit hollow. As Springsteen builds from piano to the whole band in Jungleland, the Evolve2 50 don’t keep up. 

You don’t get the clarity and detail the music offers in a more premium pair of headphones.

Bluetooth and noise cancellation 

The inclusion of Bluetooth with a wired headset seems a bit odd, and that’s made even more prominent when you consider how disappointing music playback is through the headphones.

It’s easy to pair, and the controls are simple and intuitive. But the sound quality for music isn’t up to the standard you would hope.

I guess Jabra is at a slight disadvantage here, as I’ve spent a lot of time testing the Sonos Ace alongside this headset, and the quality difference is mind-blowing. The Sonos costs about twice as much, so you would expect much better audio quality.

But the Jabra is still just under $300, and I honestly thought it would sound better.

This is made even more obvious when you factor in the ANC function. I found there to be only a minimal difference between having the noise cancellation on or off.

On the calls where the robot vacuum was at my feet, my coworkers may not have heard it, but I could – loudly – even with ANC switched on.

Even less obvious white noise like my air conditioner could be heard through the headphones with ANC on.

Wearing the headset

Verdict

The Jabra Evolve2 50 headset doesn’t deliver to the standard. You would expect from such a respected brand in the personal audio space.

While the audio quality is great for calls and the microphone is clear and focused, music playback is underwhelming. This wouldn’t be so much of a factor if the headset didn’t offer Bluetooth, so you can pair it to your phone while it’s connected to your computer.

The ANC function is perhaps the biggest letdown though, failing to cancel out low-level background noise like an air conditioner.

At $299 RRP for the version I tested, it’s difficult to recommend these, when a bit more will get you a better sounding wireless model like the EPOS Impact 1000.

Where to buy:

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Product disclosure

Jabra supplied the product for this review.

Author

  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

    View all posts
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