Headphone designs have evolved over the years. Among the most notable evolutions is the introduction of the first generation of Apple wireless earbuds in 2016. This was followed by the release of AirPods Max—a stunning over-the-ear headphone in 2020. AirPods Max’s closest competitor is the Jabra Evolve2 85, which shares the same qualities as active noise cancellation and long battery life. However, various things set them apart.
Unlike the AirPods Max, which can cancel loud noises, the Jabra Evolve2 85 noise cancellation feature is optimal for low-frequency sounds like office chattering or engine noise. Picking between the AirPods Max vs. Jabra Evolve2 85 headphones isn’t easy. So, we’ve put together a detailed comparison to help you with the selection.
AirPods Max Vs. Jabra Evolve2 85: Side by Side Comparison
|Apple AirPods Max||Jabra Evolve 2 85|
|Release date||December 15, 2020||October 15, 2021|
|Model||AirPods Max||Evolve2 85|
|Connector type||Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC and SBC codec||Bluetooth 5.0 with the SPP, PBAP, and A2DP codec|
|Colors||Space Grey, Sky Blue, Silver, Pink, Green||Black, Gold Beige|
|Battery life||Up to 20 hours of listening time with ANC is turned on||Up to 32hrs of listening time with ANC is turned on|
|Charging time||Approximately 2 hours||Approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes|
|Compatibility||All Bluetooth devices PCTabletSmartphone||All Bluetooth devices PCTabletSmartphone|
|Bluetooth connection range||Upto 20 m or 67ft||Upto 30 m or 100ft|
|Weight||384.8 grams||286 grams|
|Size||(168.6 x 83.4 x 187.3) mm||(198.6 x 160.0 x 77.3) mm|
|Fit type||Over the ears||Over the ears|
- Apple-designed dynamic driver for high-fidelity audio
- Active Noise Cancellation
- Transparency mode
- Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
- Designed with a knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions
AirPods Max Vs. Jabra Evolve2 85: What’s the Difference?
Design and Build Quality
Apple AirPods Max has an oval-shaped mesh ear cup with acoustically crafted memory foam, creating an effective seal over your ears. The earcups’ design is also critical in the headphone’s impressive sound quality. The headband canopy is constructed from a breathable knit mesh material that distributes the headphone’s weight on your head, making them more comfortable.
The Jabra Evolve2 85 has soft memory foam padding on the top and around the ear cups to provide ultimate comfort. The right earcup of the Jabra Evolve2 has a large button that acts as an end or answer call button. The left earcup has a USB-C charging port, a power switch, and an LED indicator (also present on the right earcup), which lights up whenever you’re on a call. AirPods Max comes in five colors: Space Grey, Sky Blue, Silver, and Pink, whereas the Jabra Evolve2 85 comes in only Black or Gold Beige.
The AirPods Max provides exceptional sound thanks to the noise cancellation feature. Each earcup has three outward-facing microphones that detect environmental noise and one inside to monitor the sound reaching the ear. These headphones also feature computational audio that enhances active noise cancellation and cancels external noises in real-time based on movement.
The AirPods Max features a button on the right headphone that allows you to switch between the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Transparency modes. When you turn on the Transparency mode, you can listen to music but still hear the background noises. External microphones on the device can detect and cancel external noise before it reaches your ears. It also has an internal microphone that checks internal noise and counters it with anti-noise.
The Jabra Evolve2 85 offers exceptional noise cancellation thanks to the 10 built-in microphones. These headphones also have a discrete boom mic. When you tuck it away, it activates 6 microphones for better clarity when in a noisy environment. So, when making calls using the headset in a loud environment, the people on the other end of your line hear you clearly. You can turn the noise cancellation feature on or off using the sound mode option on your left earcup or the Jabra Sound+ application.
When you turn on the Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency modes, you can enjoy over 20 hours of continuous use with the AirPods Max. Even better, it takes about two hours to charge your headphones fully. When not using the Apple AirPods Max headphones, they switch to low-power mode automatically and then go into ultra-low-power mode after 18 hours when they switch off Bluetooth.
Jabra Evolve2 85 has a battery life of 37 hours, and it only takes 2 and a half hours for the battery to charge fully. When not in use, the Jabra Evolve2 85 switches to sleep mode, a feature that helps to extend your battery life. You can adjust the duration, after which your headphones go to sleep mode using the Jabra Sound+ application.
The AirPods Max integrates seamlessly with different Apple ecosystems, meaning you can easily connect and switch between the iPad, Mac, and iPhone. You’ll only need to connect to your chosen device when prompted (without worrying about going through the Bluetooth menus).
AirPods Max uses Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC and SBC codecs based on your device. It can connect to numerous Bluetooth devices, including Android devices. The only difference is that you won’t have access to special features like spatial audio. Before you connect to other Bluetooth devices, you’ll have to disconnect Apple devices linked to your headset.
Like the AirPods Max, the Jabra Evolve2 85 uses Bluetooth 5.0 with the SPP, PBAP, and A2DP codec. The headset can connect to two devices at the same time. You only need to switch the power button to the “Bluetooth ” option on the headphones to pair with other devices. You’ll receive an audible confirmation that your devices are connected. However, you can only hear audio from a single device simultaneously.
The Apple AirPods Max has exceptional audio quality, enhanced by the spatial audio feature. This surround sound technology by Apple gives you the illusion of space, and the effect is immersive while watching TV shows or movies. The AirPods Max provides this experience by matching your headset accelerometers with those on your iPhone or iMac. The sensors on your headset will match your head movement and adjust the sound accordingly.
The Jabra Evolve2 85 also has impressive sound quality thanks to the leak-tolerance speakers, which produce rich and high-definition audio when listening to music or making calls. The bass is even, and the mid-response is neutral. You can fine-tune the audio using the Jabra Sound app, which features more than a five-band graphic equalizer.
Technology Updates to the AirPods Max Vs. Jabra Evolve2 85
There are many advantages to choosing either of these headphones for a great audio experience. During 2023 both the Jabra Evolve2 85 and the AirPods Max have received many technological updates.
The AirPods Max now offers “spacial audio,” which offers surround sound listening, along with improved high-resolution audio for an even better quality option. Apple also improved the battery life, which now lasts up to 20 hours after one full charge.
Evolve2 85 is the other fantastic choice released by Jabra, offering improved noise cancellation and a more comfortable design than previous models. The Jabra Sound+ app has also been updated with more user options, such as the new ability to control how much background noise your headphones are canceling out.
AirPods Max Vs. Jabra Evolve2 85: 7 Must-Know Facts
- Both headphones have excellent noise-cancellation features.
- Jabra Evolve2 85 is UC, and Microsoft Teams certified. This means that you can enjoy a seamless collaboration experience on Google Meet.
- The AirPods Max has an obstacle sensor that can detect whether you’re wearing a headset and a positional sensor where the earcup and headband meet. These sensors will pause music when you lift the headphone and automatically play when you put them back on.
- The Jabra Evolve2 85 is lightweight, weighing 286g, with the Apple AirPods weighing 384.8 g.
- AirPods Max allows you to share audio between two AirPods or Apple devices like iPad or Apple TV.
- The Jabra Evolve2 85 has unique features like one-touch access to other voice assistants like Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa.
- The Jabra Evolve2 85 is more affordable than the Apple AirPods Max.
AirPods Max Vs. Jabra Evolve2 85: Which One Is Better?
Deciding between the Apple AirPods Max and the Jabra Evolve 2 85 can be challenging. Both headphones have outstanding features that appeal to many users. Overall, the AirPods Max has notable features that set it apart from the Jabra Evolve, like the H1 chip in the headphone that connects to any Apple device. It also features spatial audio, providing a dynamic, theater-like experience for those who enjoy watching videos and movies.
The Jabra Evolve 2 85 is worth considering if you’re on a budget but want a headset that will provide excellent sound clarity when making calls in a noisy environment. These are an excellent headphone choice for anyone who regularly conducts online meetings because they work with different Unified Communication platforms like Mitel, Cisco, and Microsoft Teams.
Looking Ahead to 2024
Apple and Jabra both produce high-end headphones, along with other technology, and there are a few main theories about how both companies will continue to evolve their auditory technology. Here are some of the most anticipated but unconfirmed future possibilities:
- User Improvements: There are many key functions for comfort and usability that consumers look for when choosing the right pair of headphones. It is possible that Jabra and Apple will continue to improve the wearability, battery life, and noise muffling or full cancellation for their products.
- Next Generation: While no official release dates or next versions have been announced, both brands are expected to release an updated version of both the Evolve2 85 and AirPods Max.
- External Audio: Some experts believe that the future of technological improvement for Apple and Jabra lies in their ability to develop headphones that offer an immersive audio experience while still allowing users to hear their surroundings.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/Ирина Мещерякова.