In 2020, you’re doing more online video calls that ever before. Given nobody knows just how long this COVID19 situation will have us working from home, it’s best you setup to be comfortable and productive.
The Evolve 2 40 USB headset from Jabra, is designed for all-day comfort. The headset has some really nice, modern features that even if you have a headset, may be worth upgrading for.
This headset is part of a range of headsets under the Evolve 2 branding, all UC-certified, which mean you can be guaranteed they work with everything from GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Zoom, Google Hangouts and more.
Comfortable for all day use
In terms of design, the headset comes in a stealthy matte-black finish. The headset sits on the ear, and has adjustability to help fit most head sizes. The ear cups rotate to also assist the fitment on your heat, while also rotating flat which makes them easy to slide in a backpack or suitcase for travelling.
While plenty of headsets are going wireless, the downside of that is of course having to remember to charge them. With a traditional wired headset like this, you get to connect it and never think about how many hours of use you have remaining.
Stand out features of this headset
By now, we’ve all probably been frustrated at some of the audio quality from participants in meetings. If you want to ensure you’re not letting down the team and causing a disruption during meetings, then you need a headset that’ll ensure you get great audio every time.
Jabra has included triple-microphone technology. This not only works to capture your voice accurately, in high quality, but also works to listen the environmental noise around you and cancel it out of the audio sent to other attendees.
I’ve used a lot of headsets over the years and being comfortable is equally important as the sound quality. If a product isn’t comfortable, then you’re not going to wear it and therefore your investment will be wasted. Jabra understand this and have designed the Evolve 2 40 to be comfortable enough to wear all day. Part of the way that’s achieved is thanks to a seriously light design.
The wired headset is fully compliant for unified communications with Microsoft Teams. This even extends to having a dedicated call pickup/hangup button (with the Microsoft Teams icon) on the right earcup. The fold down microphone can also mute and unmute your headset as you fold it down or back up. Alternatively, there’s also a dedicated button on the headset for muting, great for the quick mute during a call, while you have a conversation or confirm some details, rather than muting between calls. If you can see the end fo the USB cable connecting to your machine, you’ll also see another LED that illuminates red when on mute.
Something I really like is the Busy light. This works by displaying your Teams status through an LED light on the headset. This means anyone approaching you in the office (when we can be around each other again), will immediately know if you’re on a call, or are available and are likely just using the headset to listen to music.
Finally there’s the the volume controls. Rather than a dial, Jabra have opted for physical buttons for volume up/down, next and previous tracks as well as play/pause music.
If you’d like to customise the audio playback, then you can download the Jabra Direct desktop app and configure the headset to better suit your needs.
Not everything’s perfect
I really like when headsets are universal, that is are able to be worn in either direction. It’s a weird preference, but I like to have the microphone on the left side of my face and unfortunately the Jabra Evolve 2 40 doesn’t allow for this. The microphone doesn’t fold down equally in both directions, it only folds down to enable it to be on the right side.
This is mostly an issue with the way the cable crosses my body (laptop is on the left of my desk). It seems like a fairly simple adjustment to make, that would enable users to wear the headset as they please. Yes the buttons would be on the opposite site, but humans are great at adapting to change and in a couple of days, you’d have that embedded in your brain.
While the Evolve 2 40 comes with a USB-C connector (which I think is great and ready for the future), I would have liked to see a USB-C to USB-A adapter included in the box. Personally I go between my laptop that has USB-C ports and my PC that doesn’t. While I have an adapter, many people would be heading back to the shops to grab an adapter.
When you purchase the headset, you get the choice between USB-A or USB-C connectivity, but that’s a pretty linear choice given many people are still transitioning their lives to USB-C and may not be complete in that endeavor.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
How much and when can you get one ?
The Jabra Evolve 2 40 headset is available now from Jabra.com.au.
You can choose between a single (mono) or double (stereo) headset and if the headset is optimised for Teams, or is more generic for all Unified Communications. Ultimately the UC version will work almost the same, but the Teams version (reviewed) launches Teams with a press of the button and has the Teams logo on the ear.
You’ll chose between USB-A or USB-C connectivity and costs A$203.00.
If you’re chasing a new headset for your productive hours of the day, then the Jabra Evolve 2 40 could absolutely be a great fit for you. The biggest decisions you’ll need to make is not around the capabilities of this product, but rather your personal preferences. If you’re someone who prefers a wireless headset, then this wired headset will never be on your short list.
If you’re someone who prefers over the ear, rather than on-the-ear headsets, then you’ll also look elsewhere and Jabra will hope that’s somewhere else in their product offering.
What I will say is I think all headsets need the presence lights to inform colleagues or if you’re working at home, your family, that you’re unavailable and on a call. Having a visual reference is a really great way to avoid that annoying process of interrupting other attendees on a call, so you can tell the person next to you, you can’t talk to them right now. We can do better than that and this technology is here to solve that problem.
In terms of the Microsoft Teams edition, it’s really well implemented and works great. I like the subtleness at which the Teams button is integrated into the headset, it could have quite easily been a bright icon to draw attention to it, but instead, Jabra lets the functionality do the talking. Often I find myself working on a task and going searching for the call pickup is not something I should have to lend mental energy to. Instead, just tap the pickup button on the headset and you’re talking, it’s fast, easy and a great experience.
Overall the headset may not be the most comfortable I’ve ever worn (coming from a Razer Nari gaming headset), but will be a great headset for most people at an affordable price. Now you just need to have discussions with the boss about who’s paying.
- Teams integration
- USB-C option
- Microphone doesn't rotate both directions