Jabra’s latest earbuds are amazingly small, especially if you consider that they are wireless and have a built-in rechargeable battery.
Bluetooth earphones are really getting tiny these days. Case in point is the Jabra Rox which is only a little larger than standard cabled in-ear earphones.
Like many in-ear models, the Rox comes with a number of different sized earplugs (or EarGels as the company calls it) to fit different ear canals, but on top of that it also comes with a number of silicone EarWings for a more snug fit.
Boxed and ready
Like every Jabra product we’ve reviewed, the packaging for the Rox is pretty nice and finished in the company’s usual black and yellow colour scheme. The product is displayed in a clear section of the packaging, while the accompanying accessories are stored in a little black box at the bottom of the case.
Inside the box you get a small water resistant pouch for storing the earphones, microUSB charging cable, replacement EarGels of different shapes and sizes and, finally, a packet of EarWings, also of various shapes and sizes.
The EarWings are supposed to be fitted on in such a way as to fit into the curvature of your ears when the earphones are inserted into your ear canal.
Because of this unusual design, spending some time to customise it to your ear’s shape is essential — we found the default EarGels and EarWings that were already attached didn’t provide a snug enough fit.
After trying out a couple of combinations, we finally got a pretty good fit which was snug enough that the earphones did not feel like they were going to fall out when we went jogging.
As it uses Bluetooth, the Rox has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery integrated inside the earpiece along with a microUSB charging port cleverly hidden under a little door.
Just flip up the door and plug in any microUSB cable connected to a PC or USB charger to recharge the Rox.
All control options (including playback and Bluetooth control) is via a three-button clicker located along the short cable that connects the two earphones together.
Pairing with a smartphone is initiated by holding down the centre button of the clicker till the blue LED on the earphones flashes.
If you have an Android phone with built-in NFC (near-field communication) then it’s even easier — just bring your smartphone close to the clicker on the Rox and pairing will be automatically initiated.
Audio quality was good on the Rox and pretty much on-par with other Jabra earphones although it tended to bias towards very strong bass.
It’s a matter of personal taste — some prefer strong, strident bass while others do not. If you like your bass strong, then the Rox is right up your alley.
Again, like all modern Jabra earphones, buying the device also enables you to get the Jabra Sound app for free, available from both Google Play and the iOS App Store. You’ll find the code to activate the app in the box.
Using the app gives you the advantage of Dolby sound processing, with customised settings for every Jabra model including the Rox. Also, Dolby sound processing gives you a much “fuller” sound and comes with a built-in equaliser.
One feature that may not be obvious until you use it is that the Rox has two methods of shutting down. You can either hold the middle button on the clicker for about one second, or, alternatively, you can just bring the two earbuds together.
The two earpieces will magnetically attach back-to-back and doing so will automatically shut off the earphones.
It’s actually quite convenient but if they come apart the earphones will turn on again and reconnect to the smartphone. This happened to us occasionally — the two halves tended to come apart whenever placed on a flat surface.
We also found that the EarWings, which are only attached to the earphones like a rubber band around each earbud, tended to shift a bit or come off when putting on or removing the earphones.
Battery life is rated at six hours and we generally found it to be quite accurate. We used the Rox off and on for a few days and have yet to fully run down the battery.
The Jabra Rox is a nice pair of wireless earphones. The build quality is top-notch and sound quality was quite good over Bluetooth.
Our only caveat is that you do have to test out the fit in your ears. We found them to fit quite well after getting the right combination of EarGel and EarWing, but their large size may not be suitable for some ears.
Fitting issues aside, the Rox provides good quality sound, especially if you like deep, strident bass.
Pros: Fits snugly when properly adjusted; good sound with strong bass; easy pairing with NFC; good battery life.
Cons: EarWings often shift and need some readjustments; strong bass may not be everyone's cup of tea.
|Jabra Rox |
Bluetooth in-ear earphones
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20,000Hz
Other Features: Bluetooth 4.0
Rating: 4 stars
Review unit courtesy of Mobile Dot Com Sdn Bhd, (03) 6257-0925