Jabra c820s

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User Reviews:

Jason

4.5

1

Pros
Audio quality, decent looks, value for money.
Cons
Plastic construction is possibly fragile.
• • •

I bought these headphones for exercising so I didn't want anything too fancy, but I was so impressed by the audio quality that these have become my everyday headphones.

First impression is quite good. The headphones are packaged in a hard case with felt-lined interior. Cables and adaptors tuck neatly inside the case within a removable velcro bag. The speakers turn to lie flat, allowing for a slimmer case. The overall package is neat and professional. Ideally suited for storage and travelling.

The headphones look decent with subdued highlights and a pleasant overall shape. However my first complaint is the plastic construction; although the headphones have a metal strip hidden inside the head band for added strength, the rest of the body is made from plastic. The headphones are unexpectedly light, which doesn't inspire confidence in the overall product strength. I've had this pair for a few years and there are no cracks yet, but durability is an ongoing concern.

The headphones sit comfortably on the ears with nice leatherette pads and padded headband. The band length is adjustable and easily accommodates my gigantic head. The pads completely enclose the ears which can get quite warm, especially when exercising, but this is true for all headphones of this design. The noise reduction from the pads alone is good - about 30dB by my best guess. I can and have worn these headphones for several hours without discomfort.

The battery compartment is concealed under the phone arms and accepts one AAA battery. The battery is required for active noise cancellation but the headphones also work perfectly in passive mode without battery power. As passive headphones these are really quite excellent. There is no discernible hiss, no popping, and no hum when the track is silent. Playing a rock guitar track (Jeff Beck) the drums are slightly subdued, indicating a smallish driver, but in practise this means more emphasis on voice and guitar, which for most people is desirable anyway. The audio is not as good as a pair of AKG studio headphones but they easily reach within 85% of that goal. I was pleasantly surprised.

With active noise cancellation enabled the headphones become much punchier. Listening to some drum&bass (Friction) the low-end expands and the dynamic range increases. I would say they are actually bass heavy and I tend to use the EQ on my player to put some high-end back, but this is personal preference. The noise cancellation is spookily effective. Clapping my hands in front of my face is nearly silent. The normal background noise of the gym/home/work disappears completely.

I adore these headphones to the point where I use them more often than my AKG studios, and for the price they simply can't be beat. I only regret not buying a second pair when I had the chance. There are other headphones that offer marginally better audio quality, but nothing that offers this kind of value for money.

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