It is important to note that both of these headsets were given to me directly by each vendor and my assumption is that they hoped I would review them. There was no guidance as to how that was done from either vendor. These views can be considered my own opinion.
Let's start off with a opening statement of each product from each vendors own marketing material...
Plantronics Blackwire C725
The Blackwire 725 USB Headset is great for keeping you focused in noisy office environments. Featuring Active Noise Canceling technology, a nose-cancelling mic, and hi-fi stereo performance, the Blackwire 725 minimizes external noises while ensuring that PC-based calls and multimedia come through crystal clear. With the Blackwire 725, distractions go down and productivity goes up.
Jabra Evolve 80
Jabra Evolve series is a professional range of head-sets designed to improve concentration and conversations. Premium noise cancellation technology gives you peace to work in a noisy environment, open office, effectively creating a concentration zone around you so you can stay focused.
Round 1: Fit and Comfort
Right away you will notice the biggest difference between the two. The C725 is an ON THE EAR muff, where the E80 is an OVER THE EAR muff. Using both for very long calls I've noticed a few things.
E80 Fit and Comfort Negatives
- Can start to become itchy where the muffs touch your skin
- People have complained that it is too tight on their head (squeezing their noggin)
- The mic is ONLY on the right
- They are pretty bulky
C725 Fit and Comfort Negatives
- None that I can think of
E80 Fit and Comfort Positives
- Muffs have lots of padding
- Band against head is padded
C725 Fit and Comfort Positives
- Very comfortable with lots of adjustments
- Mic can be on either side of head
- Not bulky
- Band against head is padded
- Muffs are padded well
Route 2: Sound Quality
This one I realize is fairly subjective. So this is one that you'll definitely have to take with a grain of salt. But it really comes down to what do you do with your headset. Do you like to listen to music AND use it for Lync? or is this strictly a business headset only used for communication? Depending on how you answer those two questions, I could probably guess which one you would choose.
C725 Sound Quality Negatives
- Great sound quality, but for music won't blow you mind.
- Ear muffs allow for extra noise to creep in
E80 Sound Quality Negatives
- Certain voices can seem deeper than normal
- Needed to adjust side tone audio out of the box (hear yourself)
C725 Sound Quality Positives
- I think I could literally hear a pin drop on a conference call
- Voices sound very natural
- Sidetone audio was perfect out of the box (hear yourself)
E80 Sound Quality Positives
- Very rich bass
- Music is phenomenal
Round 3: Noise Cancellation
You would think that two products that highlight Active Noise Cancellation as a major feature would actually be very similar. But I'm here to tell you that they are very different.
E80 Noise Cancellation Negatives
- Noise Cancellation is only for the person wearing... ambient noises can be heard on Mic!
- Needs battery charged to work
C725 Noise Cancelling Negatives
- Ambient Noise can come in around ear muffs
- Doesn't work unless you are in a call or using audio from PC
- Can't be used with smart phone or other audio device (iPod)
E80 Noise Cancellation Positives
- Amazingly effective at cutting out ambient noise
- Can be used with smart phone (if battery is charged)
- Has "Listen in" button on side to let you hear ambient noise...
C725 Noise Cancellation Positives
- Amazingly effective at cutting out ambient noise on the MIC
- Pretty good at cutting out ambient noise on the muffs
- Don't need to worry about charging a battery
The point of this blog post was not to find a winner, but to point out that these two headsets meet very different needs.
If you are in the office (especially cubes or call center) and on the phone all day long, then the C725 would probably be the better choice.
If you travel a lot and need a headset that you can use on the road and on the plane, then the E80 is probably a better choice.
Quite honestly, I plan to use both of these headsets depending on what I'm doing. Who knows... maybe Plantronics or Jabra will create a Active Noise Cancelling headset to rule them all.
E80 Extras you need to know
- Listen In button is nice, but not obvious (push the jabra on the side with the mic)
- When microphone is in the up position it is automatically muted
- You will want to adjust sidetone audio, because otherwise you may not hear yourself at all
- Headset can disconnect from call controls and be used with smart phone
- Extra audio adjustments in the Jabra app on the PC.
- You will stand out in a crowd when you use these
C725 Extras you need to know
- The microphone boom can be used on left or right side of head
- The headset automatically answers a call when you put it on