Review: Jabra Evolve 75 open office headphone


Almost every over-the-ear headphone I’ve ever reviewed has been primarily designed for music or video games but if needed could also be used to take calls. This time, we spin things around looking at the new Jabra Evolve 75 wireless Bluetooth stereo headphones optimized to suit the noisy call centre or with the open office in mind .

The Evolve 75 is lightweight and designed to be worn all day. With its spring-loaded extension headband and padded faux-leather ear cups, it fits comfortably over your ears without completely covering them. They also pivot on an angle allowing them to flatten for storage.


At first glance you’ll notice quite a number of useful features and controls that are scattered around both ear cups with fewer on the left side. On the left of the bottom rim is an ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) button and LED indicating it’s engaged. In the centre of the left ear cup is a non-obvious listen-in button adorned with the Jabra logo. Interestingly a listen-in button is not something you’d typically find on a headset, as the idea is most often to keep outside sound out, not let it in. Then again this would be ideal for call centre training.

When pushed, not only does it mute your call or music, it allows you to hear what’s around you. So if your boss, colleague or trainer needs to talk to you don’t have to remove the headset. What’s cool is that nearby sound is amplified as if the mics are actively engaged allowing you to hear even more than if you simply removed your headset. (More about mics later)


The ring around the listen-in button is more than just for show. In fact, it’s an LED, which automatically glows red, telling your colleagues to “please do not disturb,” when you’re on a call. You can also opt to set it manually to indicate to others you’re busy even though you may not appear to be. This LED is also mirrored on the right cup as well making it easier for everyone around to see.

Active Noise Cancellation – Caller & Listener

Located off the right ear cup is a nicely designed mid-length boom arm with microphone. The arm swivels up and down and magnetically connects to the headband when not in use making it easier for storage. What sets this headset apart is that it’s a noise cancelling unidirectional ECM (Electret Condenser Mic) microphone. It works together with the ANC mic on the ear cup to allow you to hear better and emphasize your voice. At the same time it’s helping the caller at the other end by creating a zone around you that reduces ambient noise, including the dreaded office chatter.

This last feature also known as “Open Office” is one of the requirements for Microsoft certification for Skype for Business.  The other is to be able to work outdoors – i.e. reduce noise and function effectively in places like train stations, coffee shops and cars by being able to prove that they live up to noise profiles created by Microsoft – which it also does.


On the right ear cup the centre button on this side is used to answer or end a call.  The open area above and below it can be used to increase or decrease the volume. These are fairly well placed compared to other headsets where you have to fidget around to control your sound. On the right rim near the top is a mute button, which can also double to wake up Siri. The mute feature also engages automatically when the boom mic is positioned upward. On the bottom is a microUSB charging port, your on/off controls that also double as a Bluetooth paring button. There’s also an LED to indicate Bluetooth connectivity as well as a battery / charging indicator.

Dual Bluetooth Pairing & Connectivity

Connectivity is also interesting on this unit. Dual connectivity to a pair of Bluetooth devices simultaneously means you can simultaneously take calls from your computer and listen to your tunes from your phone.  And for even quicker and better connection to your computer, included with the unit is the Jabra Link 370. It’s a Bluetooth dongle that quick connects to your computer and extends the wireless capability from 10 m up to 30m, so you can rove around the office and still be connected.

It also has voice announce. I really love the fact when you power on you hear a voice that tells you the amount of time left. Even better is when you hear, “You have 15 hours of battery remaining.”  Of course actual time will vary depending on use and whether you activate noise cancellation. It takes about 2.5 hours for a recharge.


Support for Skype for Business, Avaya & Cisco

Designed for business, there are actually two different models, the standard UC (Unified Communication) model (7599-838-109) and a Microsoft Skype for Business (7599-832-109). The main difference is the latter supports Microsoft Skype for Business in Plug and Play mode which support features to answer and end calls, adjust volume, and mute. For the UC models there is Windows based Jabra Direct or Jabra Suite for Mac that allows both models remote call control for many softphones like Cisco and Avaya. The software also adds the ability to facilitate headset firmware upgrades to keep them updated and current – another huge feature. There’s currently no support for iOS or Android.

Bottom Line

After trying the headset for a few weeks in different environments, I was amazed at both the crystal clear and almost noise-free sound quality on the calls for me and callers on the other end of the line. I noticed the difference filters and noise-cancellation made to the experience. Even at home I found them great for drowning out noise particularly when on webinars or conference calls.

I found them comfortable to wear even for long periods of time although I wouldn’t run with them on. I do prefer to have my mic on the left when taking calls, but since it’s a mid size boom, after a while I did get used to it. And although designed primarily for calls, they’re equally suited for music. I couldn’t find a significant trade-off on quality of the sound when streaming tunes or podcasts compared to voice calls.


If your primary thing is music, this model may be overkill for you. It’s also important to know the one thing lacking on this headset. There are no onboard music controls.  In fact when you hit mute, your tunes keep playing – one thing I hope can be changed with a future firmware update. There’s also no ability to use this model wired with a headphone jack. Although if you do run low on juice you’re still able to use it while charging — if you have a long enough charge cable.

Overall, I was fairly impressed with this headset. Even if you don’t work in a call centre or busy office, the Evolve 75 would certainly be ideal for use in a home office where you spend a significant time on your computer. And with the softphone capabilities, it may even help you ditch your landline.

The Jabra Evolve 75 comes with a comprehensive manual, microUSB charging cable and a sturdy hardcase. In Canada, it’s available directly from Jabra and retails for $379 or $449 with charging stand. Shopping around, I recently found it at for under $260. Make sure you specify which model you need.


Awesome call/music sound & noise cancelling features

15 hours talk time

Soft phone features & firmware upgradeable

Dual pairing


No onboard music controls, iOS /Android app support

Right side mic only

Pricey (for casual users)

No 3.5mm jack

Rating: 4 / 5

Photos courtesy Jabra/GN Group.


Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy, Columnist, Speaker, Podcaster & Author

Technology – Entrepreneurship – Communications

Follow me on Twitter @gadgetgreg or Empire KRED (e)GADGET1.


Also published by Sun Media / Canoe Tech Blog

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