Do you find yourself on Zoom calls a lot these days? Maybe you jump on a Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams meetings on a regular basis. You might even be using RingCentral for your computer based phone calls. However you’re communicating these days, it’s likely that a headset is playing a role in it.
The headsets being used for these applications may be a wired variety, or it could be a wireless model. Clearly wireless headsets have some advantages over those with wires, but that’s a discussion for another time.
In this blog, I’m going to compare two highly popular wireless UC headsets
Both of these models are solid choices for anyone who needs a wireless headset for connection to a computer. But, like when comparing any products side-by-side, there’s always differences between them. In some cases, these differences may be minimal, while in other cases, the differences could be significant.
I’ll discuss how these two models stack up against each other in areas such as:
- Ease of Use
- Speaker quality
- Wireless Range
- Ability to reduce unwanted noise
Additionally, I’ll include a link to a video where I not only go over these points, but I do a live test of both units for noise reduction, speaker sound, and a wireless range comparison. Make sure to watch that because it presents a great comparison between these two models allowing you to hear for yourself, and decide for yourself which to you is better.
What you should expect
If you’re paying something north of $200.00 for a good quality wireless headset for your computer use, and listening to Podcasts, music etc., you want one that’s not only comfortable, but one that sounds good and will last.
After all, you don’t want to pony up the money for a good headset, only to have to replace it in a year. So, durability does matter. You’ll also want a wireless headset that has more features than what you can find on cheaper headsets.
If you pay the money, it’s right for you to have greater expectations. So, having some useful, premium type features should be part of the package as well.
What do these headsets connect to?
Both the Jabra Evolve 75, and the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC are designed to connect to a computer via the included USB dongle/adapter. They’re also capable of connecting to Bluetooth enabled devices which makes them both very versatile. You may have an itch
to connect to a computer via the Bluetooth connection, but compared to the dongle/adapter that’s included, it would be far less reliable and more than likely, less in terms of audio quality too.
But, for some, it might work fine configured that way, though the wireless range will be less, and you won’t have the ability to answer/end calls remotely. Something to keep in mind if you might want to test that connection.
How does battery life in these two units compare?
Generally speaking, the Jabra Evolve 75, and the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC have great batteries.
The Evolve 75 has a talk time rating of up to 18 hours, and when listening to things such as music, podcasts etc., it has a listening rating of up to 17 hours.
By contrast, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC comes with a battery that’s rated to provide up to 19 hours of talk time, and up to 40 hours of listening time.
As you can see, both devices deliver at a high level in terms of giving the headset wearer a significant amount of battery life for conducting calls, or listening to audio sources. The talk and listening times on both are assuming that the Active Noise
Cancellation (ANC) is off. By having it on, it consumes more power, which reduces the talk and listening times on both units.
The Jabra Evolve 75 requires 3 hours to recharge the battery.
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC requires 2 hours to recharge the battery.
As a final thought on battery life, there is one other thing that both of these premium headsets offer that you don’t find on most other wireless Bluetooth headsets.
If you forget to charge your battery and you discover it’s dead, you can still plug in the micro to USB cable and use it like a wired headset. And, while using it, the battery is being recharged.
Headsets that don’t have this feature will leave you without use of your headset for several hours until the battery can get recharged. Is this a useful feature, or just one that’s nice to have? In my view, I think this is a very useful feature.
What about comfort? Which is more comfortable?
Comfort is a subjective thing. But, even with that in mind, I feel safe in saying that both of these models are comfortable to wear not only for short periods of time, but also for long periods of time as well.
Both models weigh around 6 ounces, which places them in the lighter category. You don’t have to look far to find other wireless Bluetooth headsets that weigh more (think Bose 700 for example). And yes, weight, when it comes to headsets does matter.
After all, you may find yourself wearing one for hours on end. In times like those, you’ll discover an appreciation for the lack of mass and all the weight associated with it.
Both models have headbands that can be adjusted. This is a must have feature as it allows the headset to be adapted to varying sizes of heads. The last thing you want is for you to have to adapt to the adjustment limitations of the headset. Uncomfortable, and unnecessary when you have a headset that can adjust.
Both models have comfortable ear cushions. Again, this is important if you’re aiming for extreme comfort. Ear cushions do vary quite a bit from model to model, and brand to brand.
Not only does the padding material vary, but how much of it is included varies as well. You want soft, comfortable padding on the ear cushions, and you don’t want it to be so thin that you feel the plastic speaker housing pressing against your ear.
The Jabra Evolve 75, and the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC both have a generous amount of ear cushioning that help to make the feel against the ear soft enough for all day use.
There is one feature found on the Voyager Focus 2 UC that does make it stand out
In terms of comfort, this feature is the padded headband. Unlike other headbands that have the cushion attached to the band, the Focus 2 model has a soft, padded band that is suspended below the headband.
This suspended pad behaves much like a shock absorber does on a car. It prevents your head from resting on a hard piece of metal (the headband), and instead, gives you a pillow soft feel on the top of your head.
Aside from the previous generation Voyager Focus headset, this is the only headset that I’m aware of that has this feature. Is this a gimmick? I’d say try the headset on, and then you decide. To me, it’s absolutely not a gimmick. It’s a comfort enhancement by design, and it hits the mark.
As I said earlier, both of these headsets are very comfortable, and make it easy to wear for short, or long periods of time. If I had to select one, I’d clearly select the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC. Not only is it lightweight, but the headband and ear cushions all work together to make this one of the most comfortable headsets available today.
What versions of Bluetooth do these two headsets use, and why should I care?
The Jabra Evolve 75 uses Bluetooth version 4.2
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC uses Bluetooth version 5.1
On the surface, it would be easy to conclude that the Voyager Focus 2 UC is better because it uses a higher level of Bluetooth technology. And, you’d be right by making that assumption.
Is there a big difference between these two versions of Bluetooth, and what’s in it for me, the person wearing the headset?
Bluetooth version 5.1 can transmit data at 2 MBPS, where the 4.2 version transmits data at a rate of 1 MBPS. Clearly the 5.1 version moves data faster.
Version 5.1 is said to provide much longer wireless range (estimated to be 4 times more range). In our live test where we compared these two headsets for wireless range, the Poly Focus 2 did go further, but not four times further. Check out the video to watch the range test I did.
Bluetooth 5.0 and above, allows other devices to transmit in Bluetooth low energy mode which helps to extend the duration of the battery. We all can’t get enough battery time, so this is an improvement over sub 5.0 versions of Bluetooth. In this case, it refers to the Jabra Evolve 75.
How good are the microphones in these headsets?
When it comes to the quality of a microphone, it actually refers to a couple of things:
- How well the microphone picks up your voice
- How well the microphone does to remove unwanted background noise Let’s take a look at both areas on these Bluetooth headsets.
Both models performed well when it comes to picking up the voice. By this I mean you can expect to be heard loud and clear when using either of these models. It’s amazing how good wired and wireless headset microphones are becoming. As with other forms of technology equipment, things continue to evolve and get better. The microphones on
these headsets are excellent.
Removing unwanted background noise
To test this, we did a couple of things.
First, we played some typical office sounds
Such as people talking, office equipment noise etc. We then listened to how it sounds using the microphone we use to record our videos (non headset). Then, we switched over to the headset to see how it compared, and how it performed to eliminate noise.
The next test we did was to fire up a blender
The blender was located about two feet away. Again, we switched over to the headset and tested our voice to see if it clipped any of the words, and how it did to remove the loud blender sounds. Both models performed well on this test, with the edge going to Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC.
This headset has a feature called Acoustic Fence technology that’s designed to add another layer of noise reduction to the microphone. In our view, it did perform a bit better than the Jabra Evolve 75. Having said that, the Evolve 75 did a great job as well. So, I might be splitting hairs a bit here, but to me, the Focus 2 UC appeared to remove more noise.
Check out the video I did on this. It includes sound quality tests, noise cancelling tests and a wireless range test as well.
How far away from my desk can I go?
Wireless range is commonly overstated. Typically, the method used to determine wireless ranges is referred to as “line of sight”. This means, from point A, to point B with zero obstructions in between.
As we all know, our homes and offices are filled with obstructions such as people, walls, windows, elevators, desks and the list goes on.
With this in mind, we recommend cutting the wireless range estimates in half in order to come to a more accurate estimate that represents a real world situation.
Having said that, here’s what Jabra and Poly say about wireless talk range on these two wireless headsets.
Jabra Evolve 75 - up to 100 feet
Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC - up to 164 feet
If you apply our suggestion to these distances, it puts the Evolve 75 at up to 50 feet, and the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC at around 80 feet.
In our video, you’ll see that the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC did outdistance the Jabra Evolve 75. The Focus 2 UC began to cut out around 60 feet, where the Evolve 75 reached its limit around 35-40 feet in our range test.
These actual distances performed more closely to our wireless range estimates, compared to those referenced in the manufacturers datasheets.
One of the knocks on Bluetooth headsets is limited wireless range. In our tests, it held true especially if compared to a DECT wireless headset. Though you have less wireless range with a Bluetooth headset, you do have the ability to connect to multiple devices which is convenient.
Do I need to take out a loan to buy one?
No you don’t. Though if you did, imagine how many you could buy. Then again, who needs all those spare headsets sitting around gathering dust.
The Jabra Evolve 75 has a suggested selling price of $293.00
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC has a suggested selling price of $299.99.
As you can see, the prices are pretty much the same. So which do you feel would be the best value? For me, I’m going with the Focus 2 UC all day long.
Don’t get me wrong, the Jabra Evolve 75 is a great headset But I feel the Focus 2 UC is a bit better.
-I like the comfort features
-I like the enhanced microphone with the Sound Fence technology
-I like how it feels when worn
-I like the sound quality
-I like the short, discreet microphone boom
-I like that I can plug in a USB cable and use it as a wired headset if needed
-I like that it has smart sensors for pausing music, muting calls when removing headset
Basically, the Focus 2 UC is a new headset with newer features when compared to the Evolve 75. Given that Jabra has released the Evolve 2 65, and Evolve 2 85, I’m sensing that an updated Evolve 2 75 might be in the works. Hopefully so. I’d love to see the improvements they have in mind to make a good headset even better.