FORUMS

Review of Jabra ROX wireless bluetooth stereo earbuds w/lots of pics!!!

Thanks Meter: 2,399
 
By vectron, Senior Member on 21st April 2014, 05:42 AM
Post Reply Subscribe to Thread Email Thread
This is a Review of Jabra ROX wireless bluetooth stereo earbuds. http://www.jabra.com/Products/Blueto..._ROX/Jabra_ROX

Are you ready to ROX? I hope you are because I'm going to tell you about the latest set of wireless bluetooth earbuds from Jabra that going to ROX your world! I typically don't start my review with comparison to other products in the same category, and rather reserve that for a follow up comments. In case of this new Jabra product I'm going to make an exception. For awhile this specific category of wireless active lifestyle earbuds was dominated by Jaybird BlueBuds X (BBX) until Plantronics released BackBeat Go 2 (BBG2) which if you remember I declared a winner in a detailed comparison against BBX and also short-lived Anker 4.0 earbuds. There are a lot of factors that make wireless headset stand out, but often a sound quality is where they fall short. Unfortunately, as part of bluetooth wireless transmission the sound gets compressed and the quality goes down, even beyond repair with your smartphone EQ. Some manufacturers use aptX codec which suppose to reduce compression artifacts and improve the sound quality, others use proprietary DSP to process the sound. And of course, the quality of earbud drivers play a significant role in being able to cover wide frequency range of the sound. On their packaging box, Jabra states "Massive Wireless Sound", and that's exactly what I found and why I consider them to take the crown over BBX and BBG2 or any other wireless headset I have tested so far. Let's take a closer look at what I have found.

Starting with a packaging box, Jabra put these earbuds on a display pedestal showcasing them like a real rock star. Also, a lot of the info was provided to describe it's features and accessory content to give you an overview of the product even before you take it out of the box. Once out of the box, you can't help but notice the quality of the material crafted with premium metal finish covering the back of earbuds and in-line remote while still weighting only 19g. One thing that stood out for me was a relatively slim profile of the earbuds body which doesn't stick out too much outside of your ear. The flat rubberized wire was attached to earbuds with a very secure strain relief, which is longer on the left side perhaps due to additional wiring in lieu of the charging port. The in-line remote is on the right side, closer to the right earbud and has a distinct profile with a recessed space for multi-function button in the middle which is very easy to find between volume/track up/down controls. In addition to that, in-line remote also hosts NFC zone for an easy pair up with your smartphone or tablet device supporting it. The overall construction is very durable and actually IP52 certified which suggests protection against dust and water. The ROX is build solid and would be a perfect companies for any indoor or outdoor activities.

In addition to earbuds, Jabra also included a very generous amount of accessories. You get a premium quality usb to micro-usb charging cable (yes, no need for any proprietary connectors, it uses a standard micro-usb port under the magnetic cover of left earbud), a protective drawstring storage pouch, a removable FitClip which can adjust the length of the cable in the back, a set of 3 pairs of EarWing stabilizers for ultra-secure fit in your ear (these are among the best I have tried with any wired or wireless sports headphones), a quick start guide, and 4 pairs of premium EarGel eartips, including one double-flange pair. I'm talking about hybrid type with a ColorCore rather than some cheap generic silicone tips. That right away triggered a thought: Jabra mean serious business about the sound quality. As you well aware, I review a lot of premium in-ear headphones, and any company which includes quality eartips is serious about their sound quality. Unfortunately, for my own personal fitment I had to use my own eartips (another set of large hybrid eartips), but I have to bring to everyones attention - the selection of eartips for the best fitment with ROX earbuds is VERY important. You have to treat it like any premium wired headphones, also considering these headphone have a short in-ear stem thus you want to seal your ear canal for the best sound isolation no matter how secure EarWings will hold them in your ear.

Once you get the best seal - hold on to your seat because you will get hit with a deep bass that will make your jaw drop. By default, they are tuned to produce a strong thick v-shaped fun sound dominated by bass and roll off in upper mids/treble. Now here comes the beauty. Remember I said early on that once your headset receives a compressed sound, it's impossible to correct it because of the missing audio content? Here, using my Note 2 and a stock audio player I was able to select "Classic" EQ preset (which tunes down mid-bass hump and tunes upper mids/treble to brighten the sound with more clarity and overall balance) and I couldn't believe my ears I was listening to a music through a wireless connection. Yeah, it was that good, thanks to BT 4.0 and dedicated DSP sound processing. I'm not hyping it up, it just needs a selection of the right size eartips and some EQ tweaking, unless you prefer the default sound signature. The in-line remote worked perfectly to play/pause/call and volume controls were adjusting the level up/down as well as skipping tracks next/prev. Though sound quality while listening to the music or watching movies, etc. was fantastic, during making the calls the people on the other end heard me really good while on my end a experience a little tunnel sound. It was still acceptable, but not the best. Furthermore, I tested wireless connection to work up to 40 ft in the open area.

Battery life always a sore subject when it comes to wireless headsets, and was a subject of a number of discussion with BBX and BBG2. ROX actually occupies a happy medium with 6 hours of music streaming and 5.5 hours of talk time. As I mentioned before, charging port is a common micro-usb connector so you can charge ROX from your laptop or wall charger or car charger used for any of your smartphones or tablets. The standby time is very impressive 18 days. Now to take it to the next level, Jabra introduced a clever power-saving functionality which gets activated once you attach earbuds back-to-back using it's built-in magnets. That actually serves a dual purpose since when not in use, you turn your headset into a secure necklace preventing ROX from slipping down, and at the same time going into power-saving sleep mode disconnecting from your phone. Once you disengage the magnets, it pairs up back instantaneously with your phone. I also found when ROX is unpaired, you can simply attach earbuds magnetically to each other and take them apart to pair up with a phone. I was very impressed with this original functionality. Also, Jabra talks a lot about Dolby Digital Plus implementation which can be activated by downloading their free app. I found this app to be a substitute to a stock media player with different EQ setting, and ability to enable Dolby Digital surround sound which actually added an artificial depth to a sound - not my cup of tea.

In a brief summary I would like to explain why I found ROX to be superior to BBX and BBG2. First of all, ROX has the most "regular" in-ear fitment without sticking out too much out of your ears. Of course, these are not a tiny earbuds considering how much electronics they host, but they were on-par with some multi-driver premium IEM wired headphones I tested in the past. In comparison, BBX and BBG2 were sticking out too much, and BBG2 stabilizers were useless. Also, the sound quality was by far superior due to a full body detailed warm sound (comparing apple-to-apples with a same Classic EQ setting and the best eartip fitment) and great low end with deep sub-bass and a fast punch of mid-bass. BBX sound is more bloated and BBG2 is on a thin side in comparison to ROX. One thing I found with ROX that was inferior to others, the in-line remote was too close to the right earbud and as a result on a few occasions while reaching out to control playback or volume I actually pulled the earbud out of my ear.

Overall, I was VERY pleased with a design, build, and performance of ROX wireless earbuds. Everything from high quality material, to a rugged performance backed by IP52 certification, ability to pair up via Bluetooth or using NFC, magnetic stand-by mode which also allows to securely keep earbuds around your neck, a decent battery like and the MOST important - a truly massive sound quality, elevated these wireless headphones to the top of my list in comparison to other headphones in this category. Though priced a bit on a high side, they are still comparable to BBX and not too far away from BBG2, while having an advantage in both design and performance in comparison to either of those. In my opinion, I highly recommend these!

Here are the pictures.











































The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to vectron For This Useful Post: [ View ]
 
 
22nd April 2014, 07:52 PM |#2  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
 
More
Hi!

This thread is just what I was looking for! I own a LG HBS-700 and I am more than happy with it. I have no complains about the fit, the sound, calls or battery life. But although it sounds good, I can't help but think that there may be other headsets with better sound quality. I see that you have both HBS-730 and HBS-800, so that is my first question, does the 800 sound better than the 730, and in case you tried the 700, do the 730 and 800 sound better than the 700?

And now, since I am happy with the LG HBS form factor, the only thing I am looking for is better sound quality. I do not need a lighter earbud, or longer battery life. But I do want earbuds, and I need track and calls control.

So taking that into account, how do the Bluebuds, the Backbeat Go 2 and the Jabra Rox compare sound wise to the HBS?

Thanks!
22nd April 2014, 09:44 PM |#3  
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 2,399
 
More
I assume you read my HBS-800 review, right? Yes, 800 sounds better than 730 and thus better than 700 (though I never heard 700, it's inevitable since it was their original release ). In 800 they actually used JBL drivers, and you get a more detailed sound and deeper bass.

BBX/BBG2/Rox have a different design and form factor in comparison to HBS. So, it's not only the sound but how you wear it. HBS sits around your neck which is convenient when not in use, and it also has dedicated playback and call controls. The sports design of BBX/BBG2/ROX has maximum integration with 2 earbuds connected by wire and in-line remote with multi-function assignment of buttons. Those are more for exercising, running around, being on the move. Though HBS800 has a better sound quality over 730/700, it's not as good as ROX. It could be on par with BBX/BBG2, although its a relative term where some might have better bass while others might have more detailed mids or treble. So far, I'm very impressed with ROX, especially when you match it up with a right pair of eartips and use a bit of EQ tweaking to brighten the sound. I also like how I can hang it around my neck using magnets on the back of earbuds which put these to sleep conserving battery.

But at the end, I still think the deciding factor should be their ergonomics and how it fits your everyday routine. If you want the best sound, there are plenty of audiophile headphones or in-ear headphones that will blow you away (though all wired). Bottom line, if you like HBS form factor and want improvement in sound, HBS-800 will be the answer.
The Following User Says Thank You to vectron For This Useful Post: [ View ]
22nd April 2014, 10:29 PM |#4  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
 
More
Well, the things I want are: bluetooth, call/track controls, sound quality.

I am happy with HBS design, but I think I would be happy with BBX or ROX design as well.

I guess that upgrading my 700 to a 800 would improve sound quality, if only because of aptx compatibility. But since I am thinking about upgrading, I wanted to look other options as well, and that's when I found this thread, and your other reviews, and decided to take advantage of your extensive knowledge.

By your last messages, I get the idea that, everything else being equal (good reception, perfect fit, equal quality of the source), the best sounding earbuds would be the Jabra Rox, right?
23rd April 2014, 01:58 AM |#5  
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 2,399
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by apertotes

Well, the things I want are: bluetooth, call/track controls, sound quality.

I am happy with HBS design, but I think I would be happy with BBX or ROX design as well.

I guess that upgrading my 700 to a 800 would improve sound quality, if only because of aptx compatibility. But since I am thinking about upgrading, I wanted to look other options as well, and that's when I found this thread, and your other reviews, and decided to take advantage of your extensive knowledge.

By your last messages, I get the idea that, everything else being equal (good reception, perfect fit, equal quality of the source), the best sounding earbuds would be the Jabra Rox, right?

That is correct, the quality of ROX sound is by far superior. Plus, you get an excellent build quality, BT4.0 and NFC support, and that magnetic sleep mode is sick! Look at it this way, it never hurts to get it from Amazon and test it out. If you hate it, you can always return it back. But to save you time from buying all 3 , in my opinion the sound and build quality of ROX is the best.
The Following User Says Thank You to vectron For This Useful Post: [ View ]
23rd April 2014, 01:48 PM |#6  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
 
More
Well, I am almost convinced. But I decided to check a few reviews before. Most professional reviews agree with you. But user reviews (most of them in the apple store) are not that kind. Many people complain about the fit. They say that the magnets are not very strong, and the earbuds are easily separated, turning them on, and even pairing with your phone if they are close. Also, they say that the wings fall down very easily.

I do not plan on working out with them, or at least not too much, but I do plan on wearing them for prolonged periods of time, so I would really like them to be comfortable to wear, and easy to fit. I think that I will go to an Apple Store to see if I can try them out before purchashing them.

In any case, thank you very much for your help!
23rd April 2014, 03:00 PM |#7  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
 
More
Thank you for the review! I think I'll buy them
25th April 2014, 10:34 AM |#8  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 424
 
More
@vectron First of all thanks for the review!

I myself am looking for wireless bluetooth earbuds I can use for sporting but also around the house (while connected to my phone which is in my pocket). Accidentally I came across the Jabra ROX earbuds, which seem to be new and contain some quite features. However, I'm not yet sure I should buy them compared to some others I found:

Jabra ROX: looks to be a good product however on the iTunes store the reviews state that the call (microphone) quality is bad, the magnets are not strong enough to keep them together while muffled away or around your neck while running, and the bluetooth connection sometimes goes down while your phone is in your pocket. Is this also how you see it?

Plantronics BackBeat Go 2: seems to be a good choice as well but is older than the ROX (maybe in this case newer is better )

Denon AH-W200: should have a great audio quality and also one of the best picks according to toptenreviews. However, again some reviews state a bad bluetooth reception..

Could you give your personal opinion on whether the ROX is the best choice in my case? I will use them for running so the bluetooth connection can't go down often. Also, while walking I'll might use them for a call and when home I'll use them for listening to music (hopefully good quality?)

Thanks!
25th April 2014, 01:12 PM |#9  
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 2,399
 
More
I would not recommend Denon. Awful reviews everywhere, on amazon it has more 1-/2-star reviews than positive reviews. In general, Denon has not been a strong audio player for awhile.

In a past I highly recommended BBG2 in comparison to BBX and Anker 4.0 because of it's sound quality. But as you can see, they do stick out a bit, and the only way it was usable for me with Comply foam eartips.

I also really like LG Tone series, HBS-730 and 800. But those are good for all around application but not heavy duty exercising especially in a bad weather or if you are doing too much moving up/down.

ROX is currently my favorite because I like the sound quality and magnetic sleep feature and fitment. Yes, the microphone is not the best. If you are spending 10hr a day on the phone and want to use wireless headset - LG Tone will be your best solution. For occasional phone calls while you are running outside or around the house, ROX will work. People on the other side will hear you well, but you will hear them in a slightly tunnel sound. Fitment could be a matter of personal taste, but in my opinion with a right selection of silicone tips and using included stabilizer it was better than BBX and BBG2 where I had to use foam tips with both to keep them in my ears. In comparison, BBG2 sounds thinner and less bass, while BBX a bit bloated and darker. ROX has the best bass quality, and even so it sounds as dark as BBX - it can be corrected with EQ setting (if you use Samsung phone, their built in audio player Classic eq preset turns ROX into audiophil quality sound). BBX sound could be corrected with EQ to sound as good as ROX, but for my use it didn't have as good ear fitment and was inconvenient when not in use hanging unsecurely around my neck. With ROX connected magnetically around your neck, it's not an earth-strong magnet so don't expect it to stay attached if you are running around or doing jumping. The intent is to have your earpieces in your ears while exercising, and around your neck during walking or other basic activities.

To be honest, with headphones it could be hit or miss because we all have a different perception of sound and different ear anatomy. Often, you just have to narrow it down to a few and try them all. Maybe your local Apple store in the mall carries them all to try it out? Otherwise, Amazon is your friend with hassle free returns
The Following User Says Thank You to vectron For This Useful Post: [ View ]
25th April 2014, 02:01 PM |#10  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 424
 
More
Thanks for the info! So last question, how is the bluetooth reception? If I have a phone in my pockets and the earbuds on my head and move/run does it work ok?
Post Reply Subscribe to Thread
Previous Thread Next Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes