Jabra Move Style Edition Review is a lightweight wireless headphone.
It offers balanced audio response with good clarity across vocals and midrange.
Bluetooth connection can get unreliable at times, but it is not a deal breaker.
There has never been a better time to invest in a wireless headphone. I have used this opening statement so many times that the profoundness of it does not wear on me. When Apple decided to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack with the launch of iPhone 7 in 2016, it was not immediately clear whether wireless headphones were ready for prime time. But more than two years later, it is crystal clear that wireless headphones are not only ready for prime time, but so distinctly positioned that they are the only headphones you would need, whether you prefer wired or wireless listening experience.
The switch from wired to wireless audio has not only changed the way we look at the audio industry, but also has helped new companies spring to life. The impact caused by some of these companies is so big that they have managed to take the limelight away from established names like Sony, Sennheiser, and Bose to name a few. If wireless audio is the ball in a field, then Jabra is the company taking it to the finish line. Jabra has strong expertise in the audio market and since its break up into divisions, namely Enterprise and Consumer, the company has gone in favor of wireless in the consumer category.
While Apple’s AirPods are the most versatile truly wireless earbuds, Jabra’s Elite 65t is the best truly wireless earbud that works across platforms. The company may not be the Sony or Bose of the wireless world, but its products leave a lasting impression, mainly due to its price, features, and sound quality. The newest product to check on those parameters is Jabra Move Style Edition (SE). Here is what I think of these wireless on-ear headphones after using them to listen to music, podcast, TV Shows (yes, Game of Thrones), and even to block people.
Design and Comfort
It is not easy to prioritize between design, comfort and sound quality when selecting a top shelf audio listening device. They need to get all these parameters right in order to become a well-rounded package. The Jabra Move Style Edition is not perfect in every aspect, but it gets the idea of comfort and wearability almost right. The Jabra Move Style Edition is an on-ear style device, which fits gently on your ears and wraps around your head like flower garland. The neckband or the earcups are not of the highest quality that you would find on pair of headphones from brands like Sony or Bose. They are, in fact, inferior to the design and materials seen on Jabra Elite 85H but for the price, they exude quality.
This on-ear design also means that Jabra Move Style Edition is extremely light whether you are carrying them in your backpack or wearing them on the move. I never felt like wearing a headphone around my head with the Jabra model whereas with Sony WH-CH700N Over-Ear headphones, I always felt that there is something over my head, adding weight to the overall body. The design is less invasive that what you experience with over-ear pair of headphones. While traveling in Mumbai’s local train, I observed that more eyes rolled when I wore over-ear headphones to listen to music than when I wore Jabra’s on-ear headphones. If you don’t want to be noticed in a crowd, then on-ear headphones are the way to go.
The power button and controller to change the status of Bluetooth is on the right earcup, and it is followed by a microUSB port for charging. The left earcup is home to the volume rocker and input port. The indicator for right and left earcup is inside the earcup while the exterior is marked with Jabra branding and its Copenhagen heritage. The materials, as one would expect from a wireless headphone priced at Rs 7,290, is not premium but it is not bad either.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The Jabra Move Style Edition gets the comfort and design part right for the retail price, but it suffers from connectivity issues that come in the way of great experience. The wireless headphone supports Bluetooth 4.2 and connects with two devices simultaneously. If you are listening to music from one of the connected devices and say, you get call on another, the music automatically pauses allowing you to take call on the other device. This prioritization is smart, but the Bluetooth performance is somewhat patchy.
There were multiple occasions when I heard connected on the headphone but when I played music or some content, the playback failed. The device showed ‘connected’ in the Bluetooth setting of target device, but it was not able to playback audio. The solution in such situation is to disconnect and reconnect again. It works but the process is cumbersome. This issue seems to be caused by a firmware bug and could be fixed but Jabra does not offer any application to monitor the headphone and its connection in real time.
With Move Style Edition, Jabra promises a battery life of 14 hours and in my own experience, I found the headphone delivered between 12 and 15 hours depending on use. I found myself charging the headphones once a week at most and twice when I used the headphone at work as well. The battery life is not legendary as the ones seen on headphones from Sony, but it is still respectable. Again, Jabra kind of throws it away with a software experience that is disappointing to say the least. The low battery message starts at 50 percent, which is crazy and at 30 percent, the headphone keeps on reminding user to recharge. Since it takes around an hour to charge the device, I would prefer the headphone to alert less and give control to the owner via an application.
The Jabra Move Style Edition, in my opinion, offers working design with acceptable battery life but the Bluetooth connection is less reliable. However, it is the sound quality of this device that makes it worth considering for a wireless headphone. Audio gear makers tend to talk a great deal about bass, treble and noise isolation of a headphone but the key element to consider is clarity. Clarity also means midrange, where vocals tend to exist, and it should be sharp and warm with support from lower frequencies. I prefer to listen to Country Music to test this parameter, and The Bones by Maren Morris is a good example. On the Jabra Move Style Edition, the midrange is not only clear but also sharper with deep sound to vocals and great balance between vocals and the background score. Morris’ sound rises to the occasion while the harmonies do not get lost in the process.
While some audio companies tend to tune their devices to favor lower end, the Jabra Move Style Edition tries to balance out the sound stage. For instance, if you are listening to Differently by Marian Hill, which is a bass heavy music, it becomes immediately clear that the bass is not as deep as you would experience on Sony’s ExtraBass series, but it is prominent enough to not go unnoticed. It does get your hearts thumping and head moving with the tune but one thing it does well is allowing you to enjoy the frequency range without much detour. Another song that amplifies this character is Sing from the album The Invisible Band by Travis.
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If you listen to music with a good mix of percussion of instruments, then there is a possibility that you will notice coarseness at the higher end of the frequency. While listening to Pharoah Sanders, the coarseness was quite prominent but when listening to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, that experience transforms into a more clear and balanced sound. Whether you are listening Travis Scott’s Sicko Mode, Out of Love by Alessia Cara or Me! By Taylor Swift, Jabra Move Style Edition has something for every kind of music listener. Yes, it does not have as prominent bass as Sony and the sound in treble range can sound coarse at times but evens out with a balanced overall sound that gives lot of weight to vocals and brings energy into harmonies in the background.
Should you buy the Jabra Move SE?
Jabra Move Style Edition is not the most premium wireless headphone in the market and at Rs 7,290, it cannot be called the cheapest either. The best part of these headphones is that it does not try aggressively to sell on one aspect of a headphone and instead tries to get the complete balance well. The sound quality is among the most balanced you can find in this price segment. There are some issues, but you will need precision tuned ears to catch them. The design is clean and works well without feeling cheap or about to fall apart. Since it is on-ear and non-invasive in design, the Jabra Move Style Edition can be used at home as well as on the move.
The battery life is good enough for couple of days, but those battery life reminders need to be fixed. The Bluetooth connection is also unreliable, but it is something I am ready to overlook because I know it is a simple fix. If you have a smartphone which does not have a 3.5mm audio jack, then the Jabra Move Style Edition can be a great option. It delivers where it really matters, and some firmware tweaks can only make it better. If you are out in the market looking for a wireless pair of headphones and don’t mind an on-ear look then this should be on your shortlist.