Jun 05, 2014 Anastasia M
We look at the latest pair of earphones from Jabra today and they’re made of solid-steel which makes them extremely stylish. Equipped with a built-in microphone, the Jabra Rox is another sleek-looking product and weighing under 19 grams, it’s amazing what Jabra has managed to pack into the Rox Bluetooth Wireless headset.
The micro-USB charging connector is hidden underneath the left earbud (that earbud also houses the LED Bluetooth connectivity indicator) and the microphone. The black earbuds are clearly labeled with an R or an L making it easier to notice which bud belongs in which ear. Included in the package are four sets of interchangeable buds to fit most ears and three sets of ‘earwings’ in different sizes, designed to hold the earbuds firmly in place on your ears.
The earwings are optional, but recommended if you tend to move around a lot or lead a particularly active lifestyle since the earwings will prevent the earbuds from slipping out of your ears. There’s a ‘how to wear’ guide in the get started in under 5 minutes booklet that comes in the box, but for those still unsure, Jabra made a few how-to-wear videos available.
Connecting with a Bluetooth device is simple, just hold the multifunction button until the LED is flashing rapidly, wear the headset and follow the voice-guided pairing instructions. There is a bit of a learning curve to pairing the Rox with multiple devices, but after that’s sorted, it can be connected to just about anything with a Bluetooth logo on it. All in all, connectivity and set up takes several minutes at most, then you’re good to go.
What makes the Rox stand out well beyond any other similar wireless sets is the ability to connect multiple Bluetooth devices at once. You can have the Rox connected to your phone and your iPod. You can listen to music and be sure you won’t miss a call as the Rox will pause the music on the iPod and put your phone through to you as soon as there’s an incoming call. The Rox won’t give you any other alerts, however, so you’ll still have to keep checking the phone to see if you have any messages or emails waiting for you.
It’s easy to turn theearbuds on and off, just hold the multifunction button until the LED flashes; initiating standby mode is even easier – just join the magnetic backsides of each earbud together to put the Rox in standby mode and separate to wake them up. It’s that easy! Once you’ve paired them with devices you want, the Rox will remember each devices and connect to them automatically when they are within range.
Call pick up is easy and quick, even if the Rox are hanging around your neck in standby mode when your phone rings. Once you separate the magnetic ends and pop the buds into your ears, the Rox are usually quick to re-establish connection with the phone, and you’re good to go. This is helped by the NFC (Near Field Communication) feature which allows for connectivity between two devices within close proximity of each other.
Jabra has a Sound App is available for free for both the Android and iOS. The iOS app is quite versatile, showing all your music library in one place and allows sorting by album, artist or song You also have a search feature to find a song you want fairly quickly if you have a huge music library on your device. The app also offers an equalizer to toy with the frequencies ranging from 50Hz to 7000KHz and tweak levels to your tastes. There are 16 presets available to suit most finicky listeners, if that fails the app also provides the ability to create a custom equaliser allowing you more control of the levels.
Sound clarity during calls is fine, even international calls. On calls, the other party reported no issue in hearing my voice clearly, but not when an area is too crowded. Sometimes there’s a crackling sound when the Jabra Sound App is used to play the music, however this was mainly tested with uncompressed AIFF files, but MP3 audio files work nicely too. More often than not the audio comes through clear.
Music-listening wise the sound is crisp and far more than what was expected of typical earbuds. Even at full volume other people around won’t be disturbed by whatever it is you’re listening to. What’s more, even with AC/DCs ‘Shoot to Thrill’ blasting through my Rox whilst on the metro, I could still hear the upcoming metro station announcements. So you aren’t completely oblivious to what’s going on around you whilst you’re using the Rox.
Battery-wise, Jabra claims the Rox last 5-6 hours talk or listening-time and 18 days on standby mode, these are certainly not exaggerated when tested.
If you have small ears, the Jabra Rox is best avoided against wearing for long periods of time. Much like any type of earphones, wearing the Rox all day could get tiring, even painful, especially if you don’t get the earwings aligned properly. It’s imperative to get the earwings aligned properly. If you’re new to ear buds in general, discomfort of having foreign objects stuck close to your ear drum can last for a day or two until your ears get used to it. Other than that, go forth and enjoy ‘em!
Overall the Jabra Rox not only looks good, but also does a whole lot more than you’d expect from something that weighs less than 20 grams. Functionality, features and design are all definitely steps up from traditional Bluetooth headsets making the Rox an appealing set of earbuds to own.
As a lady geek, freelance media producer (sound & word-wielder) Anastasia loves talking and toying with all things sci-fi, games and tech. Known as @TDAllonsy in the Twitterverse and simply as TD around the TBreak offices, Anastasia loves her gadgets, books, comic books, sci fi & action movies, television shows and all things Joss Whedon.
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