Jabra has been leader in audio products for a long time now, for both casual listening and for office spaces. Among the former, the Elite series of headphones and earphones have a strong reputation for quality, both in materials and audio fidelity. The Elite Active 75t is their highest-end truly wireless earbuds, replacing the well-reviewed 65t, designed for listening to music during the gym, when working out and for those with a more active lifestyle. With a price tag of 13,999, it is cheaper than other workout focused earbuds like the Bose SoundSport Free and the Beats Powerbeats Pro, but what compromises did Jabra make? Read on in my review.
Design, Build Quality and Fit
The Elite Active 75t earbuds have a great unique design and ergonomic fit. It is hard to explain the shape in words but it is definitely clear in the photos. It is essentially a round earbud with a tiny softly-curved protruding stem. The stem fits neatly and snugly into the outer ear, and has a few holes which I am assuming contain the microphones. When compared to the 65t, the curves are a lot softer, which make them less fatiguing to the ear during long sessions.
The case has a very simple design and is very compact, around the same size as the Apple Airpods case. There are no buttons on it, just a single LED to indicate the case’s battery charge level. The only buttons can be found on both the earbuds, with a tiny LED on top to indicate both its connection and charge status.
I found the overall build quality to be quite premium. The plastics for both the earbuds themselves and the case feel really good and the lid opens and shuts with a satisfying click. I did however, not like the quality of the buttons on either earbuds. They felt a little too easy to press and a little unbalanced.
So how does it feel to wear them? Quite good actually. Wearing them on takes a bit of getting used to because they do not have a traditional earbud shape, but once you get the hang of it, it is just slips right in very easily. And once they are in, they are very lightweight, to the point where you do not feel them in your ear at all. They do not stick out like other workout-focused earbuds like the Bose SoundSport, and they are not big like the Beats Powerbeats Pro. The eargel tips are soft, providing a good enough seal for the earbuds, and Jabra does offer two extra sizes in the box, so it should be possible to find your perfect fit.
The earbuds are part of the Elite Active series, which means they are designed for workouts and not just casual listening. Thanks to its snug fit they will not come out of your ear easily during workouts and since they are IP57 certified, there should be no issue with sweat, dust or even heavy rain.
Sound quality and microphone
The Elite Active 75t earbuds each have 6mm drivers that have a sound signature that is clearly geared towards workouts. As expected there is a heavy emphasis on the bass, but there is a good amount of clarity in the mid and highs, and sound stage was quite decent sound stage. Importantly, the bass did not leak into the mids and highs, so the latter came through clearly. They are quite good for casual listening, but they are best suited for high BPM music genre’s like Hip-Hop, Rap, Trap music, etc.
The earbuds support both SBC and AAC codecs, and unfortunately no support for Qualcomm’s aptX or aptX HD, which is a bummer for wireless buds that cost this much. Talking about latency, there was not any noticeable lag when watching videos on YouTube, Netflix, etc., however I did notice audio latency issues when gaming, especially in FPS titles.
If the out-of-the-box sound signature for the earbuds are not suited to your taste, fret not. The Jabra Sound+ companion app has the option to configure the equalizer for the earbuds and the app even offers presets if you do not want the hassle of configuring it yourself. We will get into more details about the Sound+ app later on.
Regarding calls, they were clear and loud, with no connections issues or dropped voices. I tested the microphone quality with a number of people, and they all seem to point out that my voice, while clear, sounded very quiet and a little distant. Jabra claims to have noise reduction technology with the microphones, and while I could feel the tech working, it was nowhere near the quality you would find with the Galaxy Buds+.
Features, Controls and App
To get the full functionality of the Jabra Elite Active 75t, you need to connect them with the Jabra Sound+ companion app. Before we get into the many features that offered within the app, lets go through the basic functionality that is available to you out-of-the-box.
Once you pair them with any device, you get a basic set of controls via the buttons on both earbuds. With each button, you have functions for a single press, double press, triple press and a long press. When calls are not active, On the right earbud, a single press will play/pause, a double press will activate the voice assistant and long press will increase the volume. On the left earbud, a single press will turn on/off HearThrough (which activates the mics to let sound in), a double press will play the next track, a triple press will play the previous track, and a long press will decrease the volume.
I was not perfectly happy with the intuitive-ness of the controls, but I did get use to them quickly. The best part is you do not have to settle for them. In the Sound+ app, you have a feature called Jabra MyControls, which allows you to completely customize every button press with any action you would like. This is a great feature to have, and I am really happy to see it with the Elite Active 75t.
The earbuds feature ear-detection which uses sensors in the earbuds to detect if you take out an earbud and accordingly play/pause the music. In the app, you can also switch between various modes or “Moments”, which are “Focus”, “Commute” and a custom “My Moment”. The app also offers a feature called Soundscapes where you can turn on various types of white noise and nature sounds, which could be useful for those who need some noise when trying to sleep.
When setting up the earbuds for the first time, the app will prompt you to set up “MySound”. Using a short test where the app will check your responsiveness to various frequencies, the app will calibrate the earbuds sound output to the user. I am not sure as to how much of a difference the calibration made but I couldn’t complain. And lastly, there is a Find my Jabra feature which will save the last location of your earbuds before it disconnected. Quite useful if you are commuting and you misplace your earbuds somewhere.
Since the earbuds connect via Bluetooth 5.0, it enables simultaneous multi-device connections, which is really useful. This means you can connect two devices, lets say your laptop and your smartphone, with the earbuds at the same time and the earbuds will automatically switch inputs according to whichever device is actively playing audio.
Jabra claims that these earbuds will last you 7.5 hours with a single charge, and a total of 28 hours with the charging case. They support quick charge, where 15 mins of charging will get you an hour of listening time. During my review, I found these claims to be nearly accurate, getting a little over 7 hours on a single charge. To charge both the earbuds and the case from 0% to a 100%, it took 2 hours and 20 mins.
One point to keep in mind is to not charge the case via a high wattage smartphone charger as Jabra recommends using a 5W charger. During my review, I connected it to a 10W charger and the case stopped charging for about two weeks. I believe most of us who would purchase these earbuds would use their smartphone’s USB-C charger to charge these earbuds but apparently there is a strong chance of them malfunctioning. In case you do end up with this issue, be sure to get your earbuds replaced as soon as possible.
With these earbuds, Jabra is clearly targeting people who need a good pair of earbuds that are designed for workouts at the gym. They have a unique shape that is ergonomic and comfortable, built with good quality plastic, it offers many customization options and controls via the app, and the audio quality produced by them is what I consider perfect for the price. I did face an issue with charging the case, but I am sure it can easily be remedied if you follow the recommended charging power.
When you look the competition, Jabra’s offering is significantly cheaper for workout-focused earbuds, with good sound quality and features. Not to mention, I much prefer the look and the design of the Elite Active 75t over Bose’s SoundSport Free and the Powerbeats Pro. Jabra also recently announced that they will be adding Active Noise Cancellation to the Elite Active 75t via a firmware update, so that improves the value proposition for these earbuds. Overall, I believe that the Elite Active 75t is a strong contender for anyone who wants true wireless workout earbuds.
It comes in Copper Black, Mint, Navy and Sienna colours and is available from Amazon.in priced at Rs. 15,499. There is also a version with wireless charging that is available from Amazon.in in Navy colour priced at Rs. 16,499.
- IP57 certification
- Good sound quality
- Lots of customization options for the controls
- Auto play/pause music
- Simultaneous multi-device connection support
- No support for aptX and slight latency issues when gaming
- Buttons are slightly wobbly
- Case can be sensitive to charging power