Jabra REVO Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review

Jabra REVO Wireless headphones seem to be on their way out.

I picked up a pair from Amazon for $140 and I've heard of at least one other online retailer offering the $250 device for at or near half off. This could mean Jabra is working on a new version, they're getting out of the headphone market entirely or these retailers are just clearing out excess stock. Whatever the reason, it's a buyer's market.

The Revo headphones have a clean appearance. They're understated when compared to the glossy look of Beats but not as traditional or conservative as offerings from Sony or Bose. A looped aluminum frame holds each hinged ear cup connected by a padded band. The band does seem to be similar to that found on Beats headphones, complete with the folding hinges. Time will tell but Jabra seems very confident about the build quality of this headset and it does seem well made. They make a point, both in their printed and other marketing materials, that they're mean't to stand up to daily, heavy use. I've never owned a pair of Beats headphones, but I've heard stories of headbands snapping under normal circumstances.

The packaging is nice. They come secured by Velcro straps to a heavy duty hard plastic case. The included accessories however, are a mixed bag. Especially the bag, which is so thin and cheap looking as to make me wonder "why bother?". The USB and audio cables seem to be good quality though, they're nylon (I think) wrapped and they're styled to match the look and feel of the device.

Jabra is no stranger to Bluetooth and pairing has been easy and quick. Hold the power switch on for a few seconds and select them on your device. You can pair with up to 8 different devices and two of them simultaneously. The ability to pair with 2 different devices is nice but you can only use one input at a time. This is disappointing if understandable. Being able to charge the headphones while simultaneously using them as both a USB audio device and maintaining a bluetooth connection is much more useful. You can listen to music on your Mac and still answer calls on your iPhone while you top off the battery. They advertise 12 hours of listening time but I haven't had a chance to test that.

There are quite a few operations you can perform directly from the controls on the device. You can adjust the volume, click wheel-style, on the right ear cup. Skipping forward or backward through tracks is just a matter of double tapping on the front and rear edge of the same surface (respectively). A single tap on the center button will play, pause, answer or disconnect a phone call. The button on the left side launches their mobile app (I think). I honestly spent about five seconds with it before dismissing it as something I'd never use. Your mileage may vary depending on how much you like Dolby audio processing.

The memory foam ear pads are comfortable on my ears though the headset itself feels a bit loose overall on my head. I wouldn't wear them for extreme sports but they seem about perfect for a long coding session at my desk. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, they sound good. At least to me. Even over Bluetooth.

"Jabra REVO Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review" was originally published on 12 Jul 2014.