Jabra Move Sealed Bluetooth On Ear Headphones Page 2

Jabra_Move_Photo_Colors

Sound Quality
The Jabra Move can be used in two different modes of operation, wired and Bluetooth. The sound is significantly different in each mode. They don't make a big deal of it in their marketing materials, but the Move does have a digital signal processor (DSP) which while wireless actively EQs the headphone response.

Wired
On the wire, the Move has a tastefully emphasized bass response with a nice transition into the mids. But from the middle of the midrange and on up the response rolls off...and off...and off. This is a wholly uninspiring listening experience.

There are some good characteristics: the bass punches hard with little distortion; imaging isn't deep and ends up a bit high in the head, but it's nicely stable and reasonably wide left to right. Response as a whole is a little uneven, but I'd say a bit better than average in this category. Thing is, with that substantially rolled-off treble everything sounds like it's coming through a wet washcloth. It's listenable, there's no treble screeching or bass bloat, but it's largely void of any sparkle, life, or air.

Bluetooth
The built-in DSP changes things quite a bit in Bluetooth mode. Now the bass emphasis becomes quite substantial—quite a bit more than I could possibly call neutral, but it remains fairly tight and only encroaches mildly into the mids. Response through the mids remains a little rough and lacks liquidity—quite normal for a headphone of this type—but is relatively on-target.

Response through the treble region is likewise fairly on-target and neutral, but remains a bit rough and a little strident. There is a measurable peak at 5kHz that may be the culprit here. Fortunately it's not too invasive. Overall, the major characteristic of the Moves in Bluetooth mode is the strong bass followed by a slightly peaky low treble, which gives them a bit of an "exciting", "V" shaped response. I'd call the Move a pretty good basshead headset at this price.

Imaging gets quite a bit better relative to wired mode; the image moves forward in the head and gains a better sense of space likely due to the significantly more neutral treble response. Dynamics are good for a headphone at this price and bass remains punchy and reasonably well textured. Dynamics in the upper-mids and low-treble can become a bit biting likely due to the bump at 5kHz.

Comparisons
Closest competitor on the Wall of Fame is the Noontec Zoro II Wireless that go for about $99 on Amazon. The Zoro is not as simple and sophisticated looking with their slightly angular, all-black, mostly-plastic look, but they do have folding features to make them significantly smaller and a draw string bag for transport and storage. Battery life is 35 hours...a significant improvement over the Move's 8 hours. Its ergonomics and battery life make it a better headphone for broad portable use.

The sound quality is close to a toss-up; bass is more in line and treble isn't as strident. Unfortunately, its milder bass boost does encroach significantly on the mids giving it a thick sound, and tends to lack textural resolve. The treble, though fairly neutral, has a artificial papery sound.

It's a close call, but I'm going to give the nod to the Noontec for roughly equivalent sound quality, but markedly better features and ergos for a portable headphone.

Spending $50 more you gets you a Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT—a full-sized over-ear sealed Bluetooth headphone with substantially better sound quality, comfort, build quality, and styling. It also has folding features that make it more compact for storage and transport than the on-ear Move. Seems like it's worth a few days on raman and water for the added value.

Summary
The Jabra Move is a tidy little headset with simple yet elegant styling, good build quality, and a comfortable fit. It has no folding features to make it more compact for transport and storage and eight hours battery life is a little limiting for those largely on the move. I would say this is a better home/office/general purpose headset than one well suited for portable ease.

Sound quality over Bluetooth is dominated by a strong—and fairly tight and clean—bass response. Otherwise response is fairly neutral with a slightly strident mid-treble edge. At this price I'd characterise the sound quality as quite a bit above average, but tilted strongly towards bassheads.

Sound quality when run passively on the wire is substantially different. Bass is more in line with neutral, but the headphone start rolling off in the upper mids and keeps rolling off all the way into a vanishing upper treble. Its listenable when your batteries run out, but you will be looking for a charge to get back the better sound over Bluetooth.

The Jabra move just doesn't quite tick enough boxes for a Wall of Fame slot. Limited battery life and no folding features for compact transport keep it from a strong recommendation as a truly portable headset. Loss of treble with wired operation seals the deal. But I'll gladly recommend it to bass lovers who just need a simple and affordable wireless headset mainly for home and office use.

Video
View on YouTube.

Resources
Jabra home page and Move product page.
Move Amazon reviews.

COMPANY INFO
Jabra GN
800-327-2230
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
dc655321's picture

I know there were several comments here - I posted one myself...

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Sorry. We had some back end work done on spam filtering an a number of posts in this timeframe got errantly erased. *ergh* Darn computers.
dc655321's picture

Thanks, Tyll.

My original (deleted) post was simply a comment and question concerning your mention on the Plantronics headphones:

1) I really like the Plantronics Backbeat Sense 'phones, and
2) I hope you get a chance to have a listen and maybe take some measurements

Thanks again. You do great work.

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