Known mainly for its Bluetooth headsets, Jabra has only recently started focusing on wireless speakers and headphones. The latest addition is the Jabra Rox Wireless. This premium stereo Bluetooth headset boasts of many utilitarian features and competes with the Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 stereo headset. Can the Rox justify its much higher price tag? Let’s find out.
Design and Build
The Jabra Rox Wireless comes packaged in a transparent, acrylic case which shows off the ear buds. The presentation is very well done and inside you’ll find a whole lot of accessories to customise it for your ears. You get three different set of ear tips, excluding the ones that come pre-fitted. You also get ‘EarWings’ in three sizes which helps lock the ear phones in place during any physical activity. Finally, there’s a microUSB charger and a pouch for storage.
The drivers are encased in a stainless steel body which makes the Rox quite durable. There’s a rubber lining on the inside of the chamber that faces the ear. This makes the ear buds dust and water repellent. The same goes for the EarWings, the cord and the in-line remote.
The ear tips or ColorCore EarGels as Jabra calls them, are extremely comfortable and have just the right rigidity for a good seal, without being uncomfortable.
The in-line remote lets you control your music’s volume, change tracks and check the battery level. It also houses an NFC chip which lets you quickly pair a compatible smartphone. The rubberised cable feels very durable and should easily survive the trials of everyday use.
One more very cool feature of the Rox is its ability to transition to sleep mode by simply clipping the two speakers together. The back of the chambers feature power-saving magnets. Once attached, it puts the headset in sleep mode. You can simply unclip and they’ll automatically pair up with your phone. This is a very handy feature as you can leave them strapped around your neck without the fear of them falling off or having the manually turn them off.
Overall, the Jabra Rox impressed us with its superior build quality, design and very good bundle.
Features and Performance
The Rox Wireless supports the Bluetooth v4.0 to begin with. It also supports AVRCP, which lets you control your music from the headset itself. Jabra doesn’t go into too much detail about the size of the drivers or the frequency response except for the fact that they are tuned for music. Finally, the Rox also supports Dolby sound enhancement through the Jabra Sound app available on Android and iOS.
The Rox are extremely comfortable to wear and sit flush with your ear so there’s no awkward protrusion. The EarWings help quite a bit in keeping the buds in place when you’re running around. They’re lightweight and don’t weigh your ear down at all.
There’s an LED indicator which switches colours depending on the state. A flashing blue indicates the earphones are ready to be paired. A blinking green indicates the Rox has enough charge and is looking for paired device to sync to. Finally, a blinking red indicates entering sleep mode or low battery. There’s also a voice system that alerts you when you power it on, is connected or warns you when you need to charge the buds.
During our time with the Rox, we noticed that it’s very important to get a good seal with the silicon tips else the music sounds pretty flat. For me, the largest size ear tips worked best. This gave a very good seal which blocked out more than 75 percent of ambient noise. The Rox sounds robust straight out-of-the-box. Even without the Jabra Sound app, the Rox manages tight bass with a good dynamic range across the spectrum. The mid-range is well defined and the highs don’t sound shrill even at high volumes. The sound is well balanced across genres however; the Rox really excels at Hip Hop and Electronic genres.
With the Jabra Sound app, the bass is a lot heavier and boomy. We found that this tends to drown out the finer details in music as it simply overpowers the other notes. While you can adjust the sound through the equalizer setting in the app, the Rox sound just right even with the stock music player on your phone or iPod.
We tested the Rox on the 4th Gen Apple iPod Touch, LG L90 and Lava Iris 504Q+ and it sounded very good on all of them.
Battery life is not the best but then that’s to be expected given the size of the earphones. With continuous music playback above 50 percent volume levels, the Rox will last you about 5-hours. This isn’t too bad for a daily commute to work and back. This is one area where the Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 trump the Jabra as the carry pouch also doubles up as a battery pack.
Verdict and Price in India
You can find the Jabra Rox Wireless retailing a little lower than its MRP of Rs 6,999. It’s a bit expensive when compared to the competition but we feel they are worth it if you have the budget. The Jabra Rox Wireless offers very good audio quality as far as Bluetooth headsets go and has very good build to back it up. Plus, you also get a very good bundle and handy features like Dolby and NFC support. Compared to the Plantronics BackBeat Go 2, the Rox have better build, not to mention they sound louder and manage a more detailed audio reproduction.
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