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Jabra Revo headphones review: Superior design meets strong sound

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MSRP: $199.99

The Good The Jabra Revo headphone has an excellent fit and finish, sounds quite good, is comfortable to wear, and folds up into a more compact form factor for storage. It also features an inline remote with a microphone for cell phone calls and an extra jack for "sharing" your music with another user.

The Bad The protective carrying case should be more luxurious at this price point.

The Bottom Line One of the better on-ear headphones, the Jabra Revo combines strong sound quality with superior comfort and design.

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8.0 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Sound 8
  • Value 7

Jabra is best known for its wired and wireless headsets, but it's now ventured into the premium headphone market with two on-ear models, the Revo ($200 list) and Revo Wireless ($250), as well as a more affordable in-ear model, the Vox ($99).

Both the Revo and Revo Wireless have very similar designs and they're among the more comfortable and well-designed on-ear headphones I've tested, with a sturdy fit and finish and a folding design. I liked both models a lot, but the "wired" Revo reviewed here offers better sound quality and is arguably the better overall value, with a "street" price of around $150.

Design and features
Like the Revo Wireless, the Revo is well designed and has a sleek look (the headphones come in dark gray and white). When it comes to on-ear headphones, I'm usually very picky -- I prefer over-the-ear or in-ear models -- but I had no problem with these. They have memory foam in their earpads, and they conform to your ears nicely and seal out a good amount of ambient sound. It's also worth noting that they don't fit so tight as to pinch down on your ears, so they offer a secure fit -- but not too secure.

The headphones feel sturdy and have a nicely air-cushioned headband, with metal armatures. I also appreciated that the earcups are labeled "right" and "left" on their interiors, so it's easy to figure out which is which.

The comfortable earcups are equipped with memory foam. Sarah Tew/CNET

As noted, the headphones fold up. And while they don't turn into a supercompact package, it's fairly compact.

I can't say that I was impressed with the carrying bag that comes with the product. It's thin, lightweight, and very basic. At this price, I'd expect something a little more luxurious. The Bose OE2, for example, comes with a nice, hard case (those headphones fold flat into a more compact package).

The headphones fold up but the carrying case is very basic. Sarah Tew/CNET

Like many premium headphones today, the Revos come with a detachable cable. It has an integrated remote and microphone for cell phone calls and it's cloth-covered, which makes it tangle-resistant. However, that cloth covering can make a sound if it rubs against your clothing (I didn't have a problem with it, but some people hate it when they can hear the cord rubbing up against something while they're listening to their music).

The armatures are made of metal. Sarah Tew/CNET

It's also worth mentioning that the Revos have two headphones jacks, one at the base of each earcup. The extra jack allows another person to plug his or her headphones into the open jack and listen to whatever you're listening to.

And finally, the cord terminates in an L-shaped plug. Such plugs tend to be more durable than straight plugs, but if you have a thick, tough case on your smartphone, the plug may not fit into the headphone jack.

The headphones folded. Sarah Tew/CNET

When I reviewed the wireless version of these headphones, I said that it was hard to rate the performance because they sounded comparatively decent for Bluetooth headphones, but not nearly as good as wired $250 headphones should sound.

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