Jabra BT620s Stereo Bluetooth Headset Review

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Introduction
Being music fans, we are thirsty for it all the time and everywhere, to say nothing of all the various devices, apart from those that reproduce music, carried by us – mobile phones, iPods, cameras, etc. The presence of one or two meters of wire upon us can cause quite a lot of inconvenience that we somehow try to reduce – it makes us feel grateful to those who helped Bluetooth technology come into being and develop to transmitting stereo audio signal.

At present we are testing Jabra BT 620s – a next ‘stop’ of our travel in the world of numerous makes and models, our sole aim being to find comfortable and high-quality wireless music headphones, mainly ones, meant to work with mobile telephones. Whether 620s meet these requirements and what their merits are, compared to the competition, you will read in the following lines.

Let us start with their set: though packed in an unpretentious and inconspicuous box, it is entirely normal and includes:
  • the stereo headphones
  • Charger
  • USB – a mini USB cable
  • Carrying pouch
  • Additional cloth earpiece ‘softeners’
  • User manual




Jabra’s design is comparatively standard and predictable. They belong to the on-ear (supra-aural design) type, but do not ‘enfold’ them; the headband is behind the neck and points downwards instead of being on the head and pointing upwards. The headset is entirely made if plastic in two colors – silver grey and matt black. The two earphones are silver, while the cloth softeners and the headband are contrastingly black.

The earphones are round with an illuminated ring each – in fact it is transparent and when brightly lit by several LED light beneath, can attract attention. Lighting colors vary: blue is for stand-by and operation, red – for charging, and green – for charging over, battery full. In the dark these lights are definitely well visible and attract everyone’s attention. For those who do not approve of the idea (we, personally, would not walk the town streets like Christmas trees) there is the option to switch them off, which is done through simultaneously pressing the left and right buttons. Thus the headphones will retain their simple and stylish design without any playful winks.

Control buttons are located on both earphones, not on one only, as was the case with Nokia BX-601. In practice their number is 6; both surfaces can be also be pressed and additionally dispose of two more keys at the top. They function as follows:
- left side: multi function button / call button;
- right side: play / pause music button;
- left pair: volume up / down;
- right pair: next / previous track and fast forward / rewind.

All buttons are very appropriately located – the paired ones are pleasantly protruding and easy to feel; after ‘stroking’ the round earphone one can tell directions with ease and press the desired key trouble-free. And it is an outright pleasure to touch the side round buttons – they are very large and sensitive, so a light ‘push’ on either end activates them; one can do so with ease without any searching at all – just touch your ear, they will be there.



The head-band of the headphones is comparatively flexible and yields to bending, unlike that of Nokia 601. The parts next to the earpiece have a rubber end, which serves as a cushion between the band and the user’s ears, thus enabling a prolonged wearing without any disturbing sensations, even when the unit is firmly secured on the head. This is a necessary arrangement for the phones’ part most in contact with the skin – naturally, except for the loudspeakers themselves. These ‘lie’ upon the ears and in order to do so more comfortably, they are covered with soft padding – standard equipment for all sets of the type.

Functionality:

Like with many other headsets, pairing follows a standard algorithm that is applicable to numerous types of units – while the device is ‘off’ one has to hold the multifunction button and keep doing so even after the headphones start operating. When the control lights become ‘steady’ blue, search for them on the telephone and enter 0000 to connect.

You can use two devices with the headset at one and the same time; one will use the headset/headphone profile, whereas the other gets connected via the music and the remote control profiles – A2DP and AVRCP respectively. In order to add a second device, simply repeat the procedure – turn off the headphones, then hold the button until pairing mode is on.

As a headset, the phones dispose of all the standard options for telephone commands. They can be called through various combinations, involving the multifunction button: ‘tapping’ it will switch voice commands while pressing – dial the last number. The same two actions, but at the time of an incoming call, will respectively answer or reject it. And if you are listening to music meanwhile, it will automatically stop and remain ‘paused’ until the end of the conversation, and then – continue playing. It is displeasing that the call is indicated by a pre-set tone of the headset rather than by one from the telephone.

Being music headphones, BT620 can turn into a remote control for your phone or other device via the AVRCP profile. The right button plays/pauses/stops the music that is being listened to and tracks are changed by the buttons on the right earphone. At holding them you will cue up or rewind a song; the latter, however, depends on the telephone itself: while testing it with a Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone 5.0 device (HTC Wizard) this function is not available, whereas with a much simpler unit like T 619 it operates trouble-free.

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Performance:

Regarding the headphones quality assessment, we will test their performance at music reproduction and when used as a hands-free device.

Listening to music on this wireless unit is once again rather disappointing – the bass is not strong enough and lacks both detail and depth. Not so with the middle frequency range: they sound better and remain comparatively clear, vocals are distinctly audible. As a whole there is little detail in the music ‘environment’, leading to insufficient sound perception and less emotion in listening.

As with Nokia’s stereo, the conversation sound here is not the one that we would like to hear from stereo headphones, either: sound volume is about the average compared to a phone’s or other (monaural) Bluetooth headsets. Voices are comparatively real, however the lack of high frequency makes the overall sound picture a bit unclear at times. The other side can hear you at normal volume and the sound is slightly muffled, but still comprehensible. The DSP system will be of help in a noisier environment, enabling conversations despite surrounding music, passing cars roar in the street, etc. The negative impact of wind is also significantly reduced by the DSP.

Comfort:
Jabra BT 620 are headphones, comparatively comfortable to wear and definitely not unpleasant like some Nokia stereo models, Nokia 601, for instance. However, in case your head is somewhat bigger than usual, they may feel a little tight in the rear part of the ear. On us, BT 620 were even a bit over-loose, which made their positioning slightly incorrect and this led to reduced volume and sound quality. Their gentle overlapping the ear enables prolonged wear; however, after an hour or so of constant use it will be a good idea to take them off for a while and let your ears have a ‘rest’ – still they exert some pressure, however insignificant it may be. As it is with the ‘bigger’ headset type, your ears are entirely surrounded and normally rest into large, soft cushions, at the same time a considerable portion of weight is distributed thru the bridge-like head-band over the entire head. Not so with these headphones – the headband here lies behind the neck and all the weight is on the ears.

Conclusion:

As a whole we are pleased by Jabra BT620s – though sound quality is not up to our expectations and would not make them our ‘favorites’, the 620 are convenient, easy to use, featuring pleasant design and good buttons. Their simple outline goes with almost any appearance; the blue lights on both speakers will attract attention and make you conspicuous in case you would wish so; otherwise you can just turn them off. The good performance of the DSP system is not to be neglected, either – it contributes to the usability of the headset in the noisy street environment.

Pros

  • Stylish rounded design
  • Comfortable to use and wear

Cons

  • Mediocre sound quality when listening to music

PhoneArena Rating:

6.8

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