The new Evolve 65e adds features like a Hear-Through feature and a Jabra Sound+ management capability.
Unified communications vendor Jabra has launched the Evolve 65e, the second generation of their wireless earbud headset technology aimed at the commercial market.
The Evolve 65e is one of the three earbud headsets within the Evolve family, which is made up of headsets that are geared to a specific segment of the commercial market.
“Evolve is task-based specifically around a joint concentration and collaboration use case,” said Adam Robertson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Jabra. “It has the ability to cut out the noise and allow concentration, and then can seamlessly switch from concentration mode into collaboration and working with others.”
The original earbud product was the Evolve 75e, followed by the Evolve 65t, with the latter being the first true wireless earbud to be UC-certified.
“The initial objective with Evolve was to drive a form factor that would help IT decision makers better deploy corporate products in UC environments,” Robertson said. “We always see a lot of people in offices using non-UC devices, notably Apple AirPods.”
The issue with these consumer products is that even though their users swear by them, the quality is not close to the commercial products, and it only takes one on a call to degrade the sound for everybody.
“There are a lot of them out there, and more buyers are saying that it’s a problem for them,” Robertson said. “Our challenge was to deliver corporate products in a form factor that people want to wear. The Evolve 75e was born to give these people the earbud style that they were asking for. The Evolve products are aimed less at the traditional desk-based knowledge worker, and focus more on the mobile ones, like consultants or salespeople.”
Where the Evolve 65e fits in is its specific form factor, with soft neckband earbuds, for people who don’t like to wear a headset, or an over their ear device.
“There is a long list of reasons why some people don’t like the headband or over-ear form factors,” Robertson said. “Some think it is just uncomfortable. Others think that it messes their hair, negatively changes the perception of what they look like. In contrast, with the neckband, one of the huge benefits is that users think that it is convenient.”
The Jabra Evolve 65e has a four-microphone system that provides UC-certified sound and a Skype for Business certification. Two of the mics capture the voice, while one is in each of the two earbuds to listen to ambient noise around the user, and with DSP algorithms, determines the optimal voice-to-noise ratio.
“The two earbuds also provide full stereo, and block out noise, although one of the new enhancements is a Hear-Through feature that will allow some external noise in for situation awareness,” Robertson said. The Evolve 65e has passive noise cancellation only, while the Evolve 75e has active noise cancellation as well.
The Evolve 65e’s battery supports eight hours of talk and 13 hours of music. It comes with a Jabra Link 370 USB Bluetooth adapter, for simultaneous connectivity to a laptop or PC and smartphone, and has a wireless range of 100 feet for PC and 33 feet for mobile devices. There is also a built-in busy light that acts as a ‘do not disturb’ signal.
New additions, besides the Hear-Through feature, include the inclusion of Jabra Sound+, which allows the user to change the way that headsets sound for incoming audio.
“Right now, it’s just on the listening side of things, but the application will grow in functionality over time,” Robertson said.
“We have also added one-tap access to the Alexa assistant,” he added. “Before, the only assistant supported was Google.”
The 1.27 ounce Evolve 65e has also had some improvements over the Evolve 75e that are designed to improve the fit and comfort.
“We have moved the electronics to the front of the product, and made the neckband software more form fitting,” Robertson said. “It’s now less likely to slip off.”
The Evolve 65e lists for $USD 200.