A headset with enormous potential
iPhone and iPod in recent years have revolutionized the world of enjoying music. This is a well-known obviousness even to the last of the Amish. Thousands of songs always in your pocket, music that can be used anywhere and for some time even without the need to have it physically downloaded to your device thanks to the “On the Cloud” systems, are now a definitive conquest. From the first crackling MP3s with a ridiculous bitrate, we have now moved on to digital files that have nothing more to envy (or almost) to traditional physical storage systems (CD and DVD); the use of these files, however, has always been limited by reproduction systems, and in particular we refer to headphones and earphones, which are profoundly disproportionate to the quality of the music file.
Today also thanks to a certain widespread fashion especially among footballers and other sports stars, which has also cleared the large supra-aural headphones on the move, previously relegated to a more home environment, the use of digital music through portable digital players has nothing more to envy to what happens within the walls of the house. Larger headphones in fact means first of all larger woofers and capable of offering greater extension at the bottom and a wider and more coherent sound stage than the tiny earphones of an iPod or an iPhone, in a nutshell, greater listening pleasure even afterwards. long sessions.
We said about fashion and in this regard we can only invite you to take a tour in the center of Milan or in any other European capital to realize what we are saying.
Jabra, leader in the production of communication solutions for the professional world, has recently presented a product that combines an exceptional design with an avant-garde technique: Jabra REVO.
Revo di Jabra they are supra-aural headphones expressly dedicated to use on the move. Made with noble materials, aluminum and steel for the headband and hinges and soft leather and memory foam for the pavilions, the Revo are extremely comfortable and solid headphones that make design their strong point (it is no coincidence that the headphones are are awarded on RedDot Design Award 2013, recognition given to products that stand out for their more refined design).
Everything, starting from the packaging, seems to have been studied in detail to offer an extremely pleasant sensation, almost luxury we would say. To the cardboard that other manufacturers have accustomed us to, Jabra has replaced an extremely rigid plastic for the external packaging, or it would be more correct to say for the external box, on which a yellow rubber insert like the company logo, engraved with the name of the headphones, REVO precisely.
The headphones we tested are in a corded version, but the company also offers a wireless bluetooth version equipped with touch controls right on the pavilions. Apart from this and a slightly higher price but which we will tell you below, there are no other differences in terms of aesthetics and musical quality between the two versions.
Comfort is at the highest levels for headphones of this type: the adjustable headband, the extremely soft leather that covers the two pavilions and the good mobility of the same, allow you to easily find the ideal position. Unfortunately, since these are supra-aural headphones, that is, which rest on the pavilion, after a few hours your ears will be excessively overheated to be able to continue listening, but this is a problem common to most supra-aural headphones (circumaural headphones for example, not resting on the pavilion, but by closing it inside they suffer only to a limited extent from this problem)
Another point in favor with regard to comfort concerns the good width of the headband which also allows those who have glasses, such as the writer, to use the headphones without difficulty and the possibility of folding, for easier transport, the hinges. literally halving the footprint of the headphones.
The headphones report the verse directly on the fabric of the inner lining of the pavilions and the presence of a double 3.5mm jack input, an uncommon solution, also allows you to share what you are listening to with other friends. The cable, not very long (120cm) to tell the truth, is also equipped with a microphone that offers cancellation of background noise and crystal clear audio comparable to that obtained through the microphone of the iPhone 5. On the cable there is also a remote control for the call answering, for volume control and track progress.
Moving on to the audio quality issue, the judgment is profoundly different depending on whether or not you consider the use of the accompanying app: JABRA SOUND. But let's go in order.
The Revos are equipped with a rather generous 40mm woofer which should guarantee a good extension both up and down with a declared frequency range ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and with a sensitivity of 119 dB at 1V / 1kHz.
While the headphones are extremely enjoyable in terms of higher frequencies, even surpassing that rattling metal sensation of other competing headphones, listening to the lower frequencies did not completely thrill us, with overly pumped bass that risk muffling. excessively the sound stage. If the listening had been limited to this test, also considering the considerable price (promotions aside), we certainly would not have shouted the miracle. However, rather skeptical, after initially snubbing the app Jabra Sound, we gave these headphones another chance and installed the Jabra recommended app, which can offer support Dolby Digital Plus and customizable equalizations.
The impact was so overwhelming that we were no longer sure I had the same headphones on my head as we listened to a few minutes earlier. The muffled sound of which we have said, with the dolby digital active and a flat equalization, disappears, the bass becomes dry and precise and the highs crystalline like never before. For myself, little lover of DSP and false equalizations was a revelation. The App has ultimately made all the potential of these headphones evident and, we repeat, the quality in this case is at the highest levels, higher than that offered by the main competitors (Beats in the first place) in the same price range.
Of course the app is not free from defects and can certainly be improved, but the guaranteed upgrade to these headphones is so obvious that we can only advise you to use it instead of the classic one on iPhone and iPod.
Among the flaws of the Jabra Sound app, first of all the need to import the library (which however also includes playlists) of your device at every start, which makes the operation, if your library is rather supplied, not immediate. Furthermore, the app does not recognize music on the cloud, so if, like myself, you have an iTunes Match subscription and little or nothing physical downloaded on your iPhone, you will have to download the music you intend to listen to with the app in advance under the wifi network. by Jabra.
Conclusions and judgment
Ultimately the global judgment on these headphones which, in the version we tested at the time this review was written, are offered at a list price of 200 euros (50 more for the wireless version) but online, for example on Amazon, it is not difficult to find at a price even 50% lower (updated price of the BT version of these very valid headphones on Amazon ed.), it is extremely positive as regards solidity, quality of materials and design: difficult to find better even on much more expensive headphones (beat by dr. Dre for example are light years away from the build quality of these REVOs).
From the point of view of audio quality, however, the use of the JABRA SOUND app necessary for a listening that does justice to these headphones, is rather limiting, forcing us to completely bypass the standard app of our mobile phone with all the problems that this involves (iCloud and iTunes Match in the first place).
The hope is that Jabra systems the standard equalization of these headphones in order to effectively do justice to a product with great charm and enormous potential.
Global Vote 80