Jabra’s Revo Wireless headphones have been a constant companion of mine for over a year. These on-ear headphones are tough, comfortable and sound impressive. Jabra’s latest product, the Jabra Rox Wireless headphones, shrink things down quite a bit. These small, in-ear headphones pack plenty of sound and have a few extra tricks you are going to love.
We’ve looked at a variety of small Bluetooth headphones in recent months; these include offerings from BlueAnt and Plantronics. We have never, however, seen a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones like these. In order to keep the cable as thin and light as possible, Jabra made the actual earbuds a bit bulbous. Initially I was a bit taken aback by them.
I quickly realized that the size of the earbuds allows Jabra to pack tons of tech and decent battery life into the Jabra Rox Wireless headphones. The size and weight of the earbuds, along with the fact that the bulk of each remains outside your ear, does make it even more important that you get the right fit. It is why Jabra includes an assortment of EarGels and EarWings.
Inside the package you’ll find the headphones themselves, a collection of EarGels and EarWings, a carry pouch, a microUSB charging cable, a FitClip and a code for the Jabra Sound App. The company describes their small, in-ear Bluetooth headphones this way:
Unplugged and Uncompromised: Unleash your music with rich, full-spectrum Dolby Digital Plus sound. Built with solid steel and a secure fit, Jabra Rox Wireless is for music gurus who are ready for action.
That’s a tall order; do they accomplish what they set out to do?
Jabra Rox Wireless Headphones Video Review
Go wireless: Give up the wires without giving up great sound. Rox Wireless lets you control your playlists and calls straight from in-line controls so you can keep your tunes going in high-definition Dolby® sound and your phone in your pocket.
Uncompromised wireless sound: Rox Wireless’ design is based on the same in-ear monitors used by professional musicians to bring full sound and strong bass. And when you need that something extra, Jabra’s exclusive Sound App* player with Dolby Digital Plus pumps out full-spectrum sound.
Travels well: Rox Wireless is protected against dust and water with solid steel that takes the rap when you’re at your most active. Rox Wireless has exclusive power-saving magnets – when you’re not using the earbuds, simply clip them together around your neck and the magnets will activate the power-saving mode.
Small & lightweight: Revel in your music and chat for longer in total comfort. Rox Wireless is small and lightweight with ColorCore EarGels™ designed for full sound and perfect fit. And when you’re ultra-active, you can use optional EarWings™ to lock them in place.
Exclusive Jabra Sound App: Play your tunes and stream YouTube content in high-definition Dolby Digital Plus sound. Create playlists, share music and adjust the graphic equalizer for an extra personalized listening experience.
As noted in the video, I quickly found it necessary to use the EarWings with the Rox if I wanted them to stay in my ears. The large size and weight of the earbuds, when added to a weight as minimal as this cords, has a tendency to pull the Rox out of your ears. Using the right EarGel and EarWings lets the ROX place just enough pressure on your ear to hold them tightly. Some may find this uncomfortable, but for me it was actually not an issue.
The cable is impressively thin and the inline controller looks and feels like it is an integral part of the cable rather than something that was clipped on to it after the fact. Many in-line controls seem to be added later and, over time, become loose and fall off. Its position along the cable was comfortable for me to use, and I didn’t have an issue reaching up to access it and control my music.
To charge the Jabra Rox Wireless headphones, you simply lift the cover on one of the earbuds, reveal the microUSB port, and plug in the included cable.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the ROX is their On/Off “switch”. The multifunction button on the headphones powers the ROX on and off. I suspect, however, you will rarely find yourself using it to control whether or not the headphones are on or off. Instead you’ll use the magic of magnets to put the headphones into sleep mode. Yes, each of the earbuds has a magnet built into it. The allow the earbuds to clip to one another when not in use. It is a great way to clip the headphones around you neck and keep them nearby and accessible when you want to put them on and start listening to music. These magnets aren’t just a cool feature. They double as the control for turning the headphones on and off. Clip them together and the ROX turn off. Pull them apart and the headphones turn on and let you start listening to your tunes. It also works with the voice functionality of the headphones. If you aren’t wearing the ROX but hear a call coming you can simply pull the earbuds apart to answer the call.
And as if that weren’t enough tech built into something as small, thin and light as the Jabra ROX, they also have NFC Near Field Communications on board for simple, fast pairing with NFC-enabled devices.
And as for sound? I cannot help but be impressed with the Jabra Rox Wireless headphones. As I am writing this review, I have them on and am listening to a variety of tunes. First up was Martina Topley’s Pheonix. I was blown away by the clarity of the sound. Her voice has a sharp edge and a degree of timber to it that comes through in a way that is more than a bit impressive. Next up was Donald Fagen’s Trans-Island Skyway. It doesn’t sound as good as it did when I listened to the song at CES 2014. Then again, that time I was listening to a Mark Levinson system that costs north of 100K. ;-) Next was Fagen’s Out of the Ghetto. The funk of the song came through loud and clear. The same went for Pharell’s Happy. Each song sounded great, and I kept having to remind myself that the headphones I was listening to are small, in-ear Bluetooth headphones. They simply don’t sound like small, in-ear headphones. That’s quite an accomplishment and one that Jabra has executed quite well. You honestly won’t feel like you are compromising on sound when you work out with these.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
- AVRCP: Yes, you can control your music from this device when it’s streaming from another device, such as your mobile phone
- Auto Pairing: Yes, with Auto Pairing, a device pairs automatically with Bluetooth® devices supporting this feature
- NFC Near Field Communications: Yes, Near Field Communications (NFC) or Perimeter Pairing is an easy pairing functionality that connects two devices that are in close proximity to each other.
- Music Streaming: Yes, device can stream music from a source, such as a Smartphone, Bluetooth enabled laptop, tablet, or MP3 player
- Digital Signal Processing: Yes, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is a technology that digitally optimizes your voice and music and suppresses echoes
- Microphone: Omni Directional/noise filter
- Talk Time: Up to 5.5 hours
- Standby Time: Up to 190 hour(s)
- Music Streaming Time: 6 hour
- USB Charging: Yes
What I Like: Small and light but pack a punch; BT 4.0; NFC; Magnets!!!!!; Excellent sound, especially for their size
What Needs Improvement: Getting the right fit can be a challenge
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample Jabra Rox Wireless headphones