This year, my class and I have decided to try our hands at podcasting, digital art and music development. I’ve got an ancient microphone from my days as a voice actor that I can dust off and use. But what I don’t have is a set of headphones that will: 

  • fit a wide range of head sizes, 
  • be comfortable enough to support students with sensory issues, 
  • block out environmental noises, and
  • provide a crisp enough sound for my students to fine tune their work. 

Thankfully Jabra and the editors of DRN were able to come to my rescue with the Jabra Evolve2 55.


First Impressions

I have seen some great packaging of tech equipment but Jabra take it to another level. The equipment is well protected in a solid, two piece cardboard box. They make it clear on the box that all cardboard is obtained from ‘responsible sources’ and they seem to have made a serious effort to reduce waste and consider the environment.

Inside the box they have used soft plastic sparingly to protect the key pieces from damage, while most of the equipment is stored in a fun, reusable fabric pouch. The pouch also has a tiny slot for the USB “Bluetooth adaptor”. It feels great and is something that will excite my students when it comes out, while being easy to store.

The Evolve2 55 also comes with an optional charging stand which is quite sturdy and clips cleverly into the base of the right earcup. The base and the headphones share a USB cable and I noticed that on their website you can select to have both the cable and the “Bluetooth adapter” as USB-A or USB-C. I was provided with the USB-A version. There has clearly been a lot of consideration about the range of different contexts these headphones might be used in. 

One drawback is that I want to charge the headphones overnight without attaching them to a computer. On their website they state that the Evolve2 65 can be charged using a wall charger. I imagine that is also the case for the Evolve2 55 and would have loved a wall charger to have been provided with it or, at least, for them to make that option clear in their visual instructions.


Set Up

The headphones were mostly very easy to set up. The easiest was the wireless USB connection, confusingly referred to as the “Bluetooth adaptor”. As soon as I plugged that in and turned on the headphones they were ready to go. It took a bit of fiddling with my device to connect using the cable but that was probably a lot more to do with my computer than the device itself. 

The actual Bluetooth option was a bit more complicated. My computer automatically paired with the headphones when I first plugged them in to charge but wouldn’t recognise them as a sound device. There is a bluetooth symbol over the power button which indicated it needed to be held down to establish the connection. There is a calming female voice built into the headphones that tells you the steps from there, as well as the amount of battery power remaining. After getting my computer to forget the device and reconnect a couple of times it recognised the headphones as a sound device and worked perfectly. I don’t know if this will be everyone’s experience as my computer is particularly ornery. 

Jabra also encourages you to download software to help you personalise the experience of the headphones. The computer based software, Jabra Direct, was simple and user friendly with some great features like equalisers, sleep mode and personalised tones and alerts. I’ll describe some of the more interesting functions in detail below. I imagine the iPhone app, Jabra Sound+, would be similar but I wasn’t able to test it as my device wasn’t yet on the market at the writing of this review.


In Use

No matter how they are connected, these headphones are crisp and clear. They are great for base sounds and clearly played sounds as low as 20Hz. In the treble, they cut out at around 15,300Hz, though I am 99% sure that’s more about the limits on my hearing than the devices themselves. The speakers are perfectly centred in both ears and handle a wide range of base sounds very smoothly without shaking or crackling. I received the ‘stereo’ model and it worked beautifully to convey stereo, binaural and spatial audio from a range of different sources. 

The Jabra Evolve2 55 can pair with multiple devices at once, switching quickly between them to play the most recently triggered sound. There are some great added functions that can be accessed from the Jabra Direct software such as:

  • This great function called ‘Sidetone’ that allows you to hear your own voice while blocking out others – so that you aren’t shouting wildly in the office
  • Hearing protection options such as PeakStop, IntelliTone alongside the standard G616 required by Australian regulators. These allow you access to a wider range of sounds than most headphones while protecting your hearing. 
  • The microphone arm’s position can be used to answer calls and automatically mutes when it is raised.

The headphones are very comfortable, like little pillows for the ears. My ears get very hot, very quickly when wearing headphones but I feel like I could keep the Evolve2 55 headphones on all day without much of an issue. 

Finally, the microphone is clear enough but not anything special. Fine for talking clearly with people online but perhaps too grainy to be used for recording purposes.

Jabra Evolve2 55 stereo



Apart from my minor gripe around wall charging and the basic microphone. There is only one other place where I feel the headphones may be lacking and that is noise cancellation. I am ‘fortunate’ as a tech reviewer to have a screaming baby on hand for testing purposes. The Jabra Evolve2 55 did relatively little to block out that sound or even the sound of my wife talking to me at a slightly raised tone of voice. What it seems to do instead is to make those sounds feel further away, so it is easier for me to mentally block them out. This effect may not be enough in a noisy, crowded office. In their defence, they were successful in blocking out the sound of local construction.



The Jabra Evolve2 55 headphones are exceptionally clear and versatile headphones. At MSRP AU$389 (AU$489 with charging stand) they are not the cheapest headphones on the market but more than make up for their cost in quality. With Wireless, Bluetooth and your choice of USB-A or -C cable connections, they can be easily adapted for use in any professional or personal context. They are comfortable to wear and easy to transport in their fabric pouch. Ultimately, these are an excellent buy for anyone who cares a lot about sound.