Today, people are finding an ever expanding need for high quality headphones that can help you with your important business communications as well as deliver great audio quality for your music.
When you think of quality headphones, there is one name that’s normally on most people’s list, Bose. There are other makers of premium quality headphones that compete with Bose, such as Sennheiser, Sony and Jabra.
In this blog, I’m going to do a side by side comparison of the Bose 700 UC to the Jabra Evolve2 85. I’ll go over the features of both headsets, and I’ll do a microphone test that includes how well it does to remove background noise. Lastly, I’ll see how the speakers
sound. In order to hear the sound tests for yourself, you’ll need to watch the video I recorded on this side by side product comparison. I’ll insert the video below so you’ll have easy access to it.
If you’re still reading this, that tells me you’re wanting to read along rather than watch. Great! Let’s jump right into this and see what these headsets are all about.
What they connect to
Both wireless Bluetooth headsets connect to computers and mobile devices. As comparisons go, there’s no winner in this category as they both connect to the same things. So, if you’re needing to connect to applications such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, RingCentral, Google Meet etc., and you also need connectivity to your mobile devices, then these two Bluetooth headsets should be on your radar.
As for the computer connectivity, these headsets connect via a USB adapter, or dongle. That, in my opinion, is far better than connecting to a computer using Bluetooth. When connecting to a computer via Bluetooth you’ll find that the sound quality isn’t top notch, and the wireless range is less as well.
Connecting via a USB dongle solves those problems and gives you some other advantages as well such as remote call answering in many applications. If you’re ever faced with a choice of connecting a wireless headset to a computer using Bluetooth or a USB dongle, make sure to choose the dongle, even if it costs a little more. The extra money you spend, I assure you, will be well worth the investment.
Both headsets also have 3.5mm ports so you can connect them to devices that support a 3.5mm connection. One other way you can use these headsets, which is nice.
Active noise cancellation (ANC)
Both of these premium Bluetooth wireless headsets have Active Noise Cancellation. If you’re unfamiliar with this technology, this is the short explanation.
Noise in an office environment can be very distracting. Distractions are known to be responsible for reducing productivity and interrupting concentration. Active Noise Cancellation is an electronic feature built into the wireless headset that, when activated, electronically helps to cancel out the sound you’re hearing in the background.
That cancelled sound then allows you to remain focused on your work. ANC is different from noise cancelling, because noise cancelling refers to the noise that the microphone is removing from the environment designed to give your callers a cleaner, distraction free conversation.
Active Noise Cancellation is a feature that can be turned on and off at will. The Bose 700 UC, according to their literature, states that the 700 has 11 levels of ANC that utilizes 6 microphones (2 of them are shared from the microphone).
Bose says this feature allows you to dial down the ambient room noise to your desired level. When you want to hear what’s going on around you, or when you don’t want to hear any sound at all, you set the headset accordingly. Sounds impressive.
In reading over the Jabra Evolve2 85 material, it only states that it has “Digital hybrid active noise cancellation” Looking through the user guide, this is what’s referenced on the ANC: “ANC settings can be configured using the Jabra Sound+ app on your smartphone or Jabra Direct on your computer.” This suggests that there are some ANC adjustments, but they’re handled through their Apps.
Does a clear winner in the ANC department emerge here? It’s hard to know for sure. On the surface it would appear that the Bose 700 UC is the clear winner because it has that 11 degrees of adjustability. And, how much you can adjust the Jabra Evolve2 85 is uncertain.
The easiest way to know for sure is to put them both through a noise cancellation test. This way, you’d be able to separate sales fluff from fact.
A little bit about battery life
Both the Bose 700 UC and the Jabra Evolve2 85 have decent batteries that provide ample talk time. There are differences though, and the information below will help to show those differences.
Bose 700 UC talk time- 20 hours
Jabra Evolve2 85 talk time- 37 hours
Based on the information above, it’s easy to see that the Jabra Evolve2 85 has a superior battery and recharge specification. You get almost double the initial talk time over the Bose 700 UC, and a short 15 minute charge gives you a full 8 hours of battery life where the Bose gives you 3.5 hours.
If having a lot of talk time and 8 hours of battery life for a short 15 minute charge appeals to you, as it likely should, then the Jabra Evolve2 85 is the hands down winner in this category.
Wireless talk range
Both of these Bluetooth wireless headsets use the same connections. To connect to mobile devices, they both use Bluetooth V 5.0, and to the computer, they both use a USB Adapter/Dongle.
As a result, both wireless headsets provide the same estimated wireless talk range, specifically up to 33 feet when in Bluetooth mode, and up to 100 feet when using the USB adapter/dongle.
As a footnote to the subject of wireless range, it’s important to keep in mind that range estimates provided by manufacturers are based on open field, or line of sight testing methods.
That is, in these tests, there aren’t any obstructions to weaken or compromise the wireless signal. In a typical real world, office environment, there are a lot of obstructions such as walls, windows, chairs, partitions, people etc. All these things weaken a signal as it attempts to penetrate and pass through them. This results in a weakened signal, and less wireless talk range.
We normally suggest to our customers to divide the estimated wireless range in half. By doing this, you end up with a more real world, realistic estimation of the wireless talk range you can expect.
This of course is a general rule of thumb. There are situations where you might get more, or less than what you expect. Still, it’s a good rule of thumb to use so you don’t go into a new wireless headset with range expectations that end up falling short, leaving you disappointed.
The weight of the world isn’t resting on your head
When it comes to headset comfort, weight does matter. In the case of the Bose 700 UC and the Jabra Evolve2 85, both have the same weight at 10 ounces. For a headset that would be worn over the ear, 10 ounces would be a behemoth, but not so with one worn over the head as these two are.
The 10 ounces of weight puts these headsets somewhere towards the heavier side, but not so heavy as to mean uncomfortable. The headband on both models has padding which helps to damper any weight that the headset might have.
Those same 10 ounces are all evenly distributed across the head which makes it feel much lighter. Add to that, the ear cushions on the Bose and Jabra are large to the point they fully cover the ear, rather than just going against it.
The padding on these ear cushions is premium too. When you put the headset on, it not only feels light, but the padding on the headband and ear cushions together helps to make it feel soft and comfortable.
All in all, both of these headsets feel great when worn.
Starting with the Bose 700 UC, it features an adaptive 4 microphone array that works harmoniously to separate out your voice from the noise going on around you. This is all designed to deliver a premium sound which is what you’d expect from a premium Bluetooth wireless headset.
The Jabra Evolve2 85 utilizes a whopping 10 microphone array to provide enhanced audio quality. It seems the manufacturers these days are in some kind of competition to see who can engineer the most microphones into a headset.
If that’s the case, then it looks like Jabra is a favorite, if not leading the pack. The real question though is do all those microphones really make a difference when compared to another model that has fewer microphones. That question is answered in my video where I put both Bluetooth wireless headsets to the sound test.
If you’re curious as to how they both sound, and compare, make sure to check out the video so you can decide for yourself which one sounds best. I’ll provide the video once again here for convenience.
To me, I thought it was a split. I thought that the Bose 700 UC had better speaker sound, for music for example, but I felt that the Jabra Evolve2 85 sounded much better
for voice quality. After listening to these sound comparisons multiple times, I find that my opinion does vary from time to time. That’s why it’s important for you to listen and decide which sounds best to you.
On the subject of microphones, I really like that the Jabra Evolve2 85 has a swing away boom. You can swing it down when you want to jump on a voice or video call, and swing it away if you want to use it on your mobile device or listen to some music. Swinging the microphone boom away gives the headset a nice clean look without a mic boom in plain sight.
I personally think having that microphone and boom setup helps to deliver superior audio quality too. But that’s me, and my opinion.
I felt that both the Bose and the Jabra headsets did about the same to reduce background noise. I’d probably have to listen to both multiple times to arrive at one being better than the other.
My sense is I would be splitting hairs a bit because my initial impression was they both performed about the same to reduce unwanted noise.
Both the Bose 700 UC and the Jabra Evolve2 85 have impressive features even beyond what’s been discussed so far. For example:
- Touch sensitive and audio controls for adjusting the hearing volume, pausing, and more.
- The entire speaker assembly and ear cushion moves up and down to help you find the right fit. This is an unusual feature that you don’t typically find on wireless headsets.
- The Bose “conversation mode” allows you to hear people around you, including those wanting to talk with you, without the need to remove the headset.
- Bose also has a built-in feature called active equalization technology that’s designed to provide a rich, immersive audio experience.
Jabra is clearly in this game to win based on their impressive array of features as well
Consider these cool features:
- Smart Sensor Technology that knows when you put the headset on or take it off, and adjusts accordingly. It will autoplay and pause audio, and answer and mute calls. By headset standards, this is a very sophisticated feature that has value and provides convenience.
- 360 degree busy light that’s located on both earcups. When illuminated red, it lets those around you know that you’re busy and not to be disturbed. This feature results in fewer interruptions, and allows you to stay focused on your call. You can even activate the busy light manually if you want.
- Offers apps that provide you with more ways you can adjust your headset. These adjustments can be done in Jabra Sound+, Jabra Xpress, or Jabra Direct.
- Remote call answering is one of the advantages that the Evolve2 85 has over the Bose 700 UC. Through the apps that Jabra offers, you have the ability to answer calls when away from your desk with compatible platforms. This is something that isn’t available with the Bose 700 UC. What’s the big deal? Avoiding missed calls, no voice messages to listen to and calls to return, and better customer service.
- Muting the microphone is as simple as raising the microphone boom arm up. It stows neatly out of the way at the same time turns off the microphone. When listening to music or using the Evolve2 85 with a mobile device, it makes for a cleaner appearance too.
- Hear through feature on the Evolve2 85 utilizes the microphones to pick up ambient sounds around you so you can hear them without the need to remove the headset.
- Foldable design is unique in a premium wireless headset of this type. The Evolve2 85 collapses down to make for a more compact size making it easier to transport while taking up less space.
If a premium, high-end Bluetooth wireless headset is in your current or future plans, and you want comfort, great sound and cool features for use with your music, Zoom meetings, RingCentral Calls, or Microsoft Teams meetings and more, then these two headsets are sure to meet your needs and expectations.
Which model you choose may come down to how you intend to use it. For example, if your primary use will be listening to music, then you’ll probably want to go with the Bose 700 UC because it, in my opinion, provides a fuller, richer sound when compared to the Jabra Evolve2 85.
On the other hand, if your use is more in the business realm, where you find yourself on Zoom calls, Teams meetings, RingCentral calls etc., then hands down, the Jabra Evolve2 85 is your better option.
Having said that, it comes down to which you like better, and which model offers the features that interests you the most. Without question, both of these premium headsets are just that. . . premium.
The build quality, fit and finish, features, comfort and sound are all at the highest level for a Bluetooth wireless headset. Both companies not only have put out a superb product here, but both companies have an excellent reputation in the industry, so you’re backed by companies that will stand behind their products.
For me personally, I have more use for business than music, so I’d opt for the Jabra. However, your situation may be different from mine which could lead you towards selecting the Bose.
Some will choose the Bose purely on the reputation of the brand. And though Bose does enjoy a reputation for excellence in sound, that would be a mistake, in my opinion. Headset manufacturers are continually making strides to improve their products and incorporating very innovative features.
This is bringing to market new models that are feature rich and increasingly versatile. Even the sound is giving Bose a good run for the money. Players like Poly, Sony, Jabra, Sennheiser and others are all helping to raise the bar.
In the end, you, the consumer, benefit from the competition and innovation. Which is best for you? Only you can answer that question. What I do know is with the passing of time, these Bluetooth wireless headsets are only getting better.
Have headset questions, or need some help?
If you have questions about headsets, and you’re not sure where to turn to get answers, look no further than to Headset Advisor. We’ve been consulting with customers since 1994, and we can be a great resource for you.
Call us, email us, text us or chat live with us. We’re here to help you find the perfect headset that’s comfortable, sounds great, compatible with your system and within your budget. We even have a trade-in program for old headsets, and we offer a monthly headset rental plan too.
Bose 700 UC datasheet
Bose 700 UC user manual
Jabra Evolve2 85 datasheet
Jabra Evolve2 85 user manual