Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jabra Rox Wireless Review


Taking the Jabra Rox Wireless for a quick review as I received this together with the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless. The initial plan for this was to pair this up with my office laptop and I use it for my conference calls or as general use for my office "softphone" (via Microsoft Lync). However, as I later found out, I can't download the Bluetooth driver to my office laptop (administrative locked) and hence, this unit was paired to an iPhone 6. This unit retail for RM549 in Malaysia and available at all Jabra reseller outlet. 

Unboxing
The unit I received was a test unit and it came unboxed already. The Rox, as it's called, is available in white and black versions. The test unit I received is black with red marking (L and R). Like the Jabra Sport Pulse, the cable connecting the two earpieces is thick, and at the right length for me that it will not tangle when stored inside the provided bag. The bag provided fits the unit and the USB cable (for charging) sufficiently without bulk. 
Similar to the Sport Pulse, there is a box that hold all the other items that includes the spare gel-bud and wings for secure fit. Jabra spell out come of the key selling points on the box as well (as you can see above - Massive Wireless Sound. It sure is a big promise). The Rox from the photo below, shows it is a full function mobile-enable Bluetooth device that is dust and water resistance (read : splash proof, not submersible or water-tight/waterproof) that will provide up to 5.5hours of music or standby time of 18hours (because you do not need to ever switch it off after pairing - read on). It comes with various fittings to ensure a good fit, which is essential for music delivery especially those low keys/bass notes.
The Rox pride itself with amazing sound clarity with peerless build and durability. The box comes with the Rox, USB (micro) charging cable, FitClip (the clip that hold the cable in smaller loop), 4 sets of EarGel and 3 sets of EarWing for that customised and secured fit. 
Usage
Having done the fitting for the Sport Pulse, it did not take long for me to find the best possible fit for my ears. The only thing I wish they will share better is were is the best position for the EarWing relative to the earphone driver. A good fit ensure good noise isolation, or minimal interference from the noise outside.
Manual says to align the EarWing "L" to the Rox "L"
The unit itself is very well built (as mentioned and claimed) and it is about 19grams in total. Once you wear it, you would not feel it there except the music it is delivering.
About a thumb width
The Rox has magnetic earpieces and inline remote control (with)microphone that let all three components snap together neatly when not in use. 

This conveniently keeps the cable from tying itself in knots, and it also serves as the default Power On/Standby switch; when the magnetic earpieces connect, the headset powers down.
Red LED on left unit. There appear to have two LED lights - which was actually reflection from the EarWing.
The left earpiece houses the microphone, an LED status indicator, and a snap-off cover that protects the micro USB connection for the charger. 
Just flip the magnetic cover open
The Left side has a longer stem - which houses the microphone
The inline, three-button remote control is located near the right earpiece. The Volume Up/Down buttons control your volume, while the central button serves as a combination Play/Pause, Track Forward, Call Answer/End control. You can also redial the last number you called with just two taps of the multi-function middle button. Double-clicks on other in-line remotes often control track navigation; it was pretty easy to accidentally call your last dialled/answered if you press wrongly. 
Metal portion of the inline controller
This same inline controller is NFC (or in laymen term - radio communication) enabled meaning you can slide your NFC device over the button side to "pair". Otherwise the usual Bluetooth pairing is easy to execute.

The multifunction keys
The Rox is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible, Pairing an iPhone 6 was quick and simple. Now here is where it gets interesting - unless you need to charge the unit, the unit automatically power down when you place the two earbud together (photo with the Red LED above), and the Rox automatically connects when powered up (assuming you paired them already). There will be a Green LED (searching) and then a Blue LED when "connected".
Power Off/down when the two bud stick together
Then it shows Green LED when you first separate it...
And Blue LED when connected to the paired device
Performance
The unit with and without the free Jabra Sound app (with Dolby Digital Plus audio processing) were very significantly different. I tried this on my Android 4.2.2 and it doesn't work (the app), lucky for me, the iOS version worked like a charm and it totally blew me away. As if the unit at it's "flatest" response weren't impressive enough (on par with the Sport Pulse, which is way more expensive because of the HR function), the Sound app brought some of the "lows" and "highs" to life. 

Love the Bass
The Jabra Sound app requires a "code" to activate and it is available together with the purchase of the unit. I guess this is one way Jabra ensure that this were available only for legit Jabra owner. 
One of the Equaliser option
Art is subjective and so is music and how it sound. So, do not take my words for it as you may possibly prefer a flat sound (as how the sound engineer records them in the studio?) or you, like me, prefer something more dynamic. 
Current Travel Companion
The Rox delivers a crisp, clear, loud and because it's water resistant, allow me to be used in the gym when using the bike, stepper or weight (as I would prefer the Sport Pulse if I run on the treadmill to capture my run). Because of the better than usual music and sound delivery, plus the good noise isolation, I strongly suggest you do not use this when running or cycling outdoor. You will not hear the traffic coming behind you!
Pros
- Awesome music delivery
- Wireless and light; liberating compared to wired to phone setup.
- comfortable fit with many options to customise your left and right ear
- Magnetic power off-on and this meant you do not need to physically switch off the unit to save power, or "reconnect" all the time.
- Used for calls, the sound quality was good. Good noise cancellation when I spoke to someone with fan directly blowing into my face.

Cons
- The EarWing falls off easily. Unlike Sport Pulse where it has grooves to sit the EarWing more securely to the earphone unit.
- Pricing could be steep for many Malaysians. 

Note: This unit of Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless is courtesy of Jabra Malaysia via their PR agency. Retailing at RM549 and is available at most IT stores. 

Visit Jabra Malaysia Facebook and give them a LIKE. This review is my own personal opinion and not influenced by Jabra Malaysia, or their affiliated companies.


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