Pros: Fun-sounding, detail, above average soundstage, SnagIt Magnets for tangle-reducing use, thick cable (before y-split), 90 degree jack
Cons: Jabra Sound App is poor and redundant at best, strain reliefs on housing are mediocre, no strain relief on jack, no Android in-line mic version
The Jabra Vox is Jabra's current flagship IEM. It has impressed me in many ways, but has its shortcomings. But for being only $100 MSRP, these are a definite competitor on the current market.
Image: Package (Click to show)
Package - The Vox comes in a hard-plastic container with a yellow silicone stripe down the middle, with the word, 'Vox' written on it. It feels well made, and is aesthetically pleasing to my eyes.
Accessories - Carrying pouch, 3 pairs of tips, two sets of single flange tips (M, L), and one pair of bi-flange tips, SnagIt magnets.
For a simple carrying pouch, the one that came with the Vox is by far my favorite pouch as of yet. Unlike the pouches that I've come across, Jabra's pouch features two hinges that keep the pouch closed. This also means for me an easier way to open the pouch. Not to mention, it prevents the pouch from opening at unwanted times.
The tips are a bit plasticky to me, but I believe they are dual-density near the top. The bi-flange has its dual-density at the top of the lower flange.
An interesting and unique feature to the Vox are the in-line SnagIt Magnets that are positioned a few inches below the housings. These magnets are incredibly useful to me. While they do prevent tangling to a degree, my favorite thing about them is that they keep both of the housings together in most cases, preventing one to slip off of, say, a table, when one would set them down. To me, that's a big plus. I tend to keep my IEMs well cared for, and if something like that were to happen, where one of the housings fell off of the table and dangle for dear life, that would upset me.
The Vox's Snagit Magnets are a few inches below the housings, and keep the two housings together well.
Images: Build (Click to show)
Build - I've got both compliments and complaints pertaining to the build quality of these IEMs. But, descriptions first. The Vox's housings are made mostly out of plastic with a smooth matte finish. Near the nozzle, the words 'right' and 'left' are written in a rather interesting font that actually reminds me of the font that Rock-It Sounds uses. There's a medium-sized streak of aluminum on the housings, of which the Jabra name is written. Orange accents on the strain reliefs give a nice visual presentation as well. The cable also has a 3-button in-line mic on the right side.
Onto the positive aspects that I noticed. One thing that immediately struck me as good was the cable. Most notably, the cable before the Y-split. For an IEM, this cable is among the thickest and most durable-feeling cables that I've come across. Strangely enough, the cable is rectangular in shape. I'm not sure what this could change in terms of durability, if anything. I can say that it isn't as flexible, but it definitely feels more strong than others.
Another thing that I do like is the 90 degree angle of the jack.
There are a number of things that I find worrisome about the build of the Vox as well, though. The strain reliefs on the housings are a major concern of mine. They're stiff, and I doubt they really help whatsoever. Another thing is the complete lack of strain reliefs on the jack itself. It's already a small jack, when compared to other common 90 degree jacks. With the lack of strain reliefs, durability is something that I would be concerned about. Lastly, the cable after the y-split. I actually don't know for sure if this is truly a 'bad' thing, but the cable is literally squishy. To me, it feels like it could easily come apart. Time will tell on that one.
Comfort - The Vox is advertised as being comfortable, and that it is. To me, the only IEMs that have been more comfortable have been my Klipsch Image E1 (which has the same general design as the Image S3 and S4). I normally do forget that I'm wearing them.
Microphonics - Cable noise is average. Wearing them over-ear eliminates them completely, but the in-line mic makes that difficult to do.
Jabra Sound App - Something that comes with the Vox is the Jabra Sound App. It features a music player, Dolby processing, Dolby Mobile Surround sound processing, and a graphic EQ (which is only usable while Dolby processing is on). I personally recommend an app like EQu for an equalizer, as I feel it's much better than the Jabra EQ. The Dolby processing, in my opinion, is poor, unnecessary, and lacks usefulness overall. It adds an artificial soundstage, which is actually just an added reverb effect. The Mobile Surround feature only makes it sound even more artificial. I honestly can't stand it. It doesn't give the 'true' experience of the headphone nor the music itself. I don't think it could contribute to any audiophile or audiophile-esque experience.
Sound - The Vox has an overall bass-heavy signature that I really, really like.
Bass - People often ask me if a headphone has 'good bass'. Whether they mean bass that is emphasized, or bass that is just overall quality, I will never know. However, the Vox fits both of those categories. The bass that the Vox provides is among my favorites. There's a good amount of mid and upper-bass emphasis, with the upper bass being slightly less emphasized over the mid-bass. Subbass is well extended, potent, and detailed. All of this, and the bass still does not intrude into the mids or highs. Simply put, the Jabra Vox does bass incredibly.
Mids - Common with consumer-oriented headphones, the midrange is recessed. The Vox does have a bit of a recession in the upper midrange area, but the other sections of the midrange do not have this issue. Whether or not to even call it an 'issue', I'm not sure. I find the recession to actually be quite fitting with music. It eliminates fatigue, to an extent, to my ears.
Treble - The treble on the Vox is very well done. There is a nice sparkle to it, but it's never fatigued my ears. The detail is very good. I've recently been listening to a lot of orchestral pieces, and the Vox reproduces details with ease.
Soundstage - Something I really love is a large soundstage. The Vox has it. With those orchestral pieces, everything just sounds so life-like in terms of positioning and space. Both the depth and width are excellent to me, but there's a bit more depth than width in the overall presentation.
Overall - The Vox has proven to be one of my favorite in-ear headphones. The Jabra Sound App is a bust, build quality has its ups and downs, and the amount of accessories is just average, but in terms of sonic performance, these IEMs don't disappoint. Anyone looking for a bassy in-ear headphone and is in this price range (~ $100) should definitely consider these.