Wired vs Bluetooth headset

Wired vs Bluetooth headset – Review

by Angus Jones

This is not exactly a headset shoot-out between a Wired vs Bluetooth headset. Nor is it a fair fight as one set of headphones today is without question better than the other.

However, this review is more about how much should you spend on a headset for your Zoom, teams, Google meet etc.

Certainly, over the last year, people have spent a lot of time on video calls. If you have not already, it really is time you bought yourself a decent headset.  You will hear better, and others will hear you better.

Before you read any further, check out Small Business Answers buying guide to headsets for business.

The two models we look at today are:

Jabra Evolve 2 30 online we found these for $139

Poly Voyager Focus 2 Office online we found these for $380

So the Poly’s are just short of 3 times as much. Both units have on-ear headphones and a swinging microphone.

The difference at the highest level is one is Bluetooth vs Corded. The Jabra can be bought as USB A or C at the end of the cable. If you will always be on a video call, then wired is fine because you will not be moving.  If you are doing many voice-only calls and want to walk around the house/office, the Bluetooth Polys are definitely the go.

Sound quality – This is a relative thing as they both sound good for voice and music. If you compare the two directly, the Poly’s come out on top slightly. The tested headphones do support stereo. Note some Bluetooth headphones might have a left and right speaker but still playback in mono.

Noise cancellation is a big one if you are working in a busy environment.  Whether it is kids, construction, or workmates, blocking out background noise and concentrating on the call is key.  The Poly offers 3 levels of noise cancellation. The Jabra’s have no published noise cancelling.

The weights of the headsets come in at 125grams for the Jabra and 175 grams for the Poly. Neither felt heavy, and the comfort on both units was excellent.  The more expensive Poly has a fancier headband, but I preferred the simpler and firmer Jabra’s for my head.

Buttons on the headset let you control volume, start or stop music or calls and mute the conversation.  Both units also had a dedicated Microsoft Teams button (more on that in a minute).  Personal preference again, but I did prefer the Poly. The little stuff also makes a big difference.  Pick up the Poly’s and put them on your head. A call will be automatically answered without touching any buttons.

Microphone – Just like above, where you don’t want background noise to disturb you, there is also a need to protect the others on a call from that same background noise.  The Jabra uses two microphones to help. Poly acoustic fence technology is really cool. They use microphones on the earphones to work out what noise is not coming from your mouth to the boom microphone to cut out any background noise. The simple explanation is the other con callers are unlikely to hear the screaming child.

The Battery life on the Poly is 19 hours of talk time, more than enough to get you through the day. Just in case you forgot to charge, they can be directly connected to a USB port to continue charging as well as porting audio directly.

The Poly having Bluetooth allows a mobile and a PC to be connected simultaneously, which is great to seamlessly swap between the two.  The audio experience using the headset with mobile was a big upgrade on the handset itself for sound and voice. Siri and google assist will also work with a long press of the central button.

Durability will be key to the headsets lasting and not breaking anytime soon.  With no proper way to test this, all I can say is they both surprised me how durable the builds appear to be.

Mute being the ability to mute your voice is probably my number one feature.
The Poly has a nice button on the microphone itself, and removing the headset will also mute a call. The Jabra has a button on the earphone.  The Poly will tell you audibly you are on mute if you have forgotten to remove mute and you speak. I prefer the Poly method over the optional Jabra continuous audible tone that can be switched on in your desktop software to remind you mute is activated.

Suppose you are in a business environment with multiple people. In that case, both models have a Busy light that illuminates, alerting others you are on a call.

A PC or Mac app is available for both models giving you greater control, software upgrades and better integration with your unified communications software.

Unified communications is a business term used to describe voice and messaging solutions. With the adoption of work from home, it is a must.  Both headsets are certified for Microsoft teams which then offers enhancements when using the teams’ application. Such as starting or answering a Teams call. Other models will work better with other solutions, such as Zoom, but the Teams version works fine.

Included accessories. Both units come with a carry pouch for the headset.  Not an accessory, but the Jabra was shipped in a paper bag versus a box which I consider very environment friendly. 
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 Office ships with a charging stand that allows a desk phone connection, a computer connected via USB. This really takes Poly to the top end of the headset market.

Summary – Wired headset vs Bluetooth headset

This review is not so much about Jabra vs Poly as we are not comparing like for like indeed; we could have compared a lower cost Jabra and a high-cost Poly. Instead, it is about how much should you spend to get what you need out of a headset. Which one a Wired headset vs Bluetooth headset?

If you are working from home, want to improve your voice and video calls and potentially paying for the headset yourself, the cheaper corded headsets (Jabra) are a no brainer.

If you are on calls all day, you don’t want background noise disturbing those calls. You want to get up from the chair, then the extra money for the cordless Bluetooth (Poly) is worth every cent. Especially if work is paying for them.

The Poly’s also made excellent music headphones, and although it looks a little strange, you can walk the streets on a call, and all the car noise etc., is perfectly blocked out.

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