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Jabra Rox Wireless Review

Jabra’s latest in-ear headphone, the Jabra Rox Wireless, just became available through retail channels in Singapore earlier this month. The Jabra Rox Wireless is designed for urban audiophiles who want to enjoy their music freely on-the-go. First unveiled at CES 2014, the Jabra Wireless has already picked up a couple of awards, including the Red Dot Product Design 2014 award.

Smallish bluetooth in-ear headphones are not new to the market. The Jabra Rox Wireless, however, brings a couple more important features, including Dolby Digital Plus sound, NFC pairing and rugged construction. The headset also includes a microphone and an in-line remote module.

The Jabra Rox Wireless comes packed in a robust clear acrylic box that’s designed to showcase the headphone. That stand which props up the Jabra Rox Wireless in the photo above, that’s not something I got myself to shoot the photo. It actually comes included in the packaging.

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In the box, you’ll find a selection of silicon ear gels, which Jabra calls ColorCore Eargels. There are a total of four pairs, including the ones that are already on the Jabra Rox Wireless headphones. Jabra has also included three pairs of Earwings, which some people may find helpful to make a more secure fit. There’s also a small drawstring bag to keep the Jabra Rox Wireless in. Lastly, there’s a microUSB cable used to charge the headphones.

The microUSB charging port on the Jabra Rox Wireless is quite cleverly hidden in the left earpiece, accessible after removing the cover. The battery is rated to last 5.5 hours, and take 2.5 hours to charge fully.

The left earpiece also features a LED indicator and the top, and a microphone in the lower body.

The earpieces, by the way, feels really solid yet weighs a featherlight 19g. Jabra says the earpieces are made with premium materials including solid steel, so they are extremely durable. They do indeed feel that way. In fact, the Jabra Rox Wireless is also IP52 certified, which means they are dust and water resistant. No, they are not dust-proof or waterproof, so don’t go swimming with them, but they will work for sports.

The two earpieces are joined by a Kevlar-reinforced cable, which also incorporates an in-line remote control near the right earpiece. As you’d expect, the remote can be used for music, call, and volume control. A nice touch is that the Jabra Rox Wireless automatically goes into power-saving mode when the two earpieces, which have magnets within them, are clipped together. No need for a separate on-off switch. It’s easy to turn on, and easy to turn off.

The Jabra Rox Wireless comes with many great usability features. Apart form the magnetic on-off feature mentioned above, the headphones also features voice prompts and NFC one-touch pairing.

The most difficult part about reviewing headphones is with evaluating audio quality. Yet, this is likely one of the most important things about them, particularly if the headphones are targeted at audiophiles.

Let’s first talk about the simpler things. Each earpiece incorporates a single 6mm dynamic driver, good for a frequency response between 20 Hz to 20 kHz with 92 dB sensitivity. The ColorCore Eargels give you 15 dB noise isolation. Like with any in-ear headphones, it is absolutely important to get the right fit in order to obtain the best sound experience from the earpieces. An incorrect fit or improper fit will destroy the music, the bass in particular.

Let’s keep in mind that the Jabra Rox Wireless is really a mass market in-ear headphone. My first impressions with these headphones are that music comes across quite energetically. The music is immersive, lively, and pleasantly enjoyable.

At the low end, the Jabra Rox Wireless has got enough punch to impress, even for people who love their bass strong. The mids and the highs, however, are a little subdued. Overall, I found the music to be coloured and lacking in clarity. Of course, considering that the Jabra Rox Wireless is designed for music on-the-go, these headphones will likely still sound great in the circumstances in which they’re used.

Jabra offers free iOS and Android Jabra Sound App that enables the use of Dolby Digital Plus sound, and the ability to fine tune some audio enhancements. The app, while free, requires you to punch in a product code found in the packaging. I think this is an unnecessary hassle. Furthermore, this is not just a settings app. It’s a music player on its own. The app does seem to add some depth to the music.

Conclusion

The Jabra Rox Wireless is a cool bluetooth in-ear headphone that’s designed for urban active lifestyle. It currently sells for S$168, available at Apple premium resellers, Epicentre, Gadget World, Infinite, iStudio, Nubox, Tech@Vogue, selected Challenger stores and other authorised Jabra resellers.

Pros:

  • Great usability features
  • Bluetooth wireless connectivity very well
  • Well designed, rugged construction

Cons:

  • Average sound quality

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