In this article, we are going to look at how the Jabra EVOLVE 80 and Plantronics Voyager Focus UC compare.
They are the of the line noise cancelling offerings from the two companies and can be hard to know which one to choose, so in the article we will look at the pro’s and con’s of each headset.
First lets start by looking at the Evolve 80.
Jabra EVOLVE 80
When you start looking at headsets with active noise cancelling, you’re entering the big leagues.
It’s a big decision (not to mention a big investment) and that’s why we’re comparing two of the biggest names in the game – the Plantronics Voyager Focus, and this one – the Jabra EVOLVE 80.
Jabra states that this headset will “evolve the way you work” – and we think they’re onto something. With major selling points like keeping you focused and boosting your productivity, the EVOLVE 80 has some pretty high expectations to meet.
Lucky it really is as good as it sounds.
It’s on point – both in the office and out of it
While many of us tend to have the ‘work’ headset and the ‘home’ headset, the EVOLVE 80 is designed to scrap your need for two and meet all of your needs in one. All. The. Time.
How you ask?
Well, it’s microphone actually disappears into the headband itself, which means that this little baby will do an amazing job while you’re answering calls at work, and still look absolutely fabulous when you’re listening to your tunes on the way home. And that’s why so many people love this model – it looks more like your trendy headphones than your office headset, but it is perfect for both.
Testing…testing….1, 2, 3…
We can safely say that you’ll only need to wear this headset once to realise just how awesome it sounds. Its major feature is, of course, the active noise cancelling technology, which will eliminate low-frequency background noise , so you can block out the sound of your chattering colleagues and stay focused on your phone call.
But what happens if you need to hear them?
Well, Jabra has thought of that, too, because their ‘listen in’ function means you can hear your surroundings when you need to, at the press of a button.
The specially designed, padded (and super comfy) ear cushions also offer passive noise cancelling, so even if you aren’t on a call, you can hide yourself away from high-frequency noises in the office. Why don’t you listen to the difference this headset makes in both passive and active noise cancellation modes.
The design of the EVOLVE 80 as an over-the-head wear with an integrated mic matches it’s ability to function inside and outside of the office perfectly. Your phone calls will be clear and crisp with the exceptional speakers, and they’ll also make you enjoy your favorite tracks just that little bit more because it’s super-easy to switch between conversations and music, and back again. It has DSP to optimise music and suppress echoes, and features wideband Hi-Fi sound.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s main competitor is the Plantronics Voyager UC. While it’s more slimline than the EVOLVE 80, the active noise cancellation and sound quality are on par with each other. And we’re gonna have to admit that this headset shines above the Voyager Focus in its ability to adapt and change based on whether you need it for phone calls or music. That disappearing mic boom is a definite winner.
Easy on the eye AND easy to use
With the long list of features the EVOLVE 80 boasts, you’d be forgiven for thinking that things might get a little complicated, but it’s actually really easy to use thanks to the dedicated control unit.
When connected via USB, the in-line controller gives you easy access with LED indicators and large buttons, allowing you to answer and release calls and adjust the volume. There’s also a ‘busy light’ that turns red to let people know when you’re on a call, and you can also turn it on manually if you don’t want to be interrupted.
The EVOLVE 80 is optimised for use with Microsoft Skype for Business, and certified for use with Cisco and Avaya systems. And being compatible with computer, softphone, smartphone and any other mobile device, it’s definitely the versatile all-rounder you’re looking for for your unified communications.
Jabra EVOLVE 80 Final Verdict
The EVOLVE 80 is a darn fine model, and what makes it truly special is the fact that it can transform from an office headset into personal headphones with absolute ease. It’s good looking, it sounds great, and it will help you stay focused on your calls. We’d call that a pretty decent all-rounder.
Plantronics Voyager Focus UC
Plantronics want you to ‘make it your business to hear and be heard’ with their snazzy Voyager Focus UC range. It sounds pretty professional and upmarket, and that’s because this is a premium headset that offers superior comfort, sound, and functionality that will give your working day quite the boost.
As you might imagine, it is in the higher price range, but should you choose this one over its main rival, the Jabra EVOLVE 80? Let’s find out…
‘Where did you get that headset?’…
Making sure you’ve got a good-looking headset is probably on the bottom of the radar when it comes to crucial factors in making a purchase. Having said that, the Voyager Focus is a bit of a stunner. With a slimline design in black, red, and silver, and the addition of minor but sleek touches such as the LED Bluetooth lighting, your colleagues will compliment you as though it were a new pair of shoes.
The Jabra EVOLVE 80, looks nothing like the Voyager, but it’s designed with a different kind of style in mind – which one you prefer is purely a personal choice.
It sounds like a dream
Plantronics have gone all out with sound quality on the Voyager Focus, using triple microphones with DSP, on-demand, active noise cancelling technology, with the added bonus of an OpenMic button that allows you to hear your office surroundings if and when you need to.
SoundGuard technology will protect your ears against unsafe sound levels, and the Anti-startle feature works during calls to detect and eliminate any loud and sudden noises from entering your ears.
It’s probably no surprise that the Voyager Focus also has high-quality stereo sound that Plantronics say provides ‘an immersive audio experience’, which will come in handy for the phone calls, sure – but it’s a fantastic feature for when you want to listen to your own music discreetly via Bluetooth. If it’s possible for speakers to be too good, these one’s may be; at it’s highest level, the volume is probably a little too loud to be comfortable for most people. That’s an easy fix, though – just don’t turn it up!
With leatherette ear cushions that are wrapped around ‘pillow-soft’ memory foam (their words, not ours), your ears will thank you at the end of the day. The headband is also padded, maintaining a comfortable and secure fit, which makes it less prone to sliding or falling off. The ear cushions also fold into a neat little carrying case that comes in the box, handy if you’re ever on the move.
The Jabra EVOLVE 80 shares the superior active noise cancelling feature with the Voyager Focus, and you will definitely experience top-notch sound quality on both ends of any phone call. The other great thing about the EVOLVE 80 is that it’s microphone is integrated into the headband, so it can actually be hidden while you listen to your music on your way to work.
Functions, functions, functions!
This is a headset that’s designed for seriously professional use, and is guaranteed to change the way you work and talk. The freedom of cordless movement is made possible by connecting the headset to your computer using Bluetooth 4.1, which is not only convenient, but also gives your battery life a boost with a talk time of up to 12 hours.
But where the Voyager Focus really packs a punch is in the accessible, flexible, and convenient features it offers. Here’s just a few of them:
- OptimiSed for Unified Communications means it connects to your laptop via a USB adapter, Bluetooth-enabled desk phones, mobile phones, tablets, and smartwatches
- You’ll be able to answer calls simply by putting on the headset, and mute calls by taking it off
- It’s got enhance voice alerts that will announce caller ID, mute and connection status, and talk time level
- If you try to talk when the headset is muted, Mute Alert will sense your voice and alert you
- The smart mic boom means you can wear the Voyager Focus on either side and maintain the locations of the R/L stereo and volume/track buttons
- You’ll be able to walk and talk with the Voyager’s 45 metre roaming range
The Voyager Focus UC is available in two models. The B825 UC Standard variant is built for Unified Communication applications and softphones including Avaya, Cisco, and Skype, while the B825 M is certified for Skype for Business, and optimised for Microsoft® Lync®
The EVOLVE 80 offers softphone compatibility, and is certified by Cisco, Avaya, and Microsoft. A bit of a downer for those looking for freedom of movement at work, it only connects to your smartphone or tablet through a 3.5mm jack, and to your computer using a USB cable. That’s right – it’s corded. Not a major issue for some people, but for others it can be an issue.
Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Final Verdict
The fact is, you would be struggling to find a headset that’s as good as the Voyager Focus UC.
It’s beautifully designed, sounds amazing, and is packed with features. Nothing is compromised, which literally makes it the whole package.
Jabra EVOLVE 80 vs Plantronics Voyager Focus UC
We’re going to be really annoying and say…it depends (sorry).
The EVOLVE 80 can’t be beaten when it comes to versatility, but for some users, the fact that it’s corded can be a bit of a drawback.
What they do share in common is their active noise cancelling capabilities, their UC compatibility, and their superior sound – and they’re both good at it. Whether you’d prefer one over the other would depend on whether you want cordless or wireless, whether you like larger earcups, and how important it is to you that your headset is flexible for use outside of work.