Good sounding headphones without compromise on battery life

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Jabra, a brand that is popular for its audio products has a great line up of wireless headphones — both on the ear and over the ear type. We recently reviewed the company’s premium TWS — Jabra Elite Active 75t, and I’ve been using the company’s latest on-ear headphones — Jabra Elite 45h for quite some time. Let us get started with the Jabra Elite 45h on-ear headphones review.

Box Contents

  • Jabra Elite 45h
  • USB Type-C charging cable
  • Carrying pouch
  • User Guide

Design

The Jabra Elite 45h headphones have an on-ear design and sports the look of a typical premium headphone. Although the materials used are predominantly plastic, they are of good quality and doesn’t feel cheap. That said, it is to be noted that the outer ear cups are prone to scratches. The headband, outer portion of the ear cups, buttons are made of good quality plastic material and the sides of the headband are made of metal.

As for the comfort, there are soft cushions on the inner side of the headband and on the ear cups (PU leather) with perforated holes on both sides. The ear cups offer great comfort and even during long-duration music, calls, etc, I did not face any sort of discomfort as such. That said, it’ll take some time to adjust the headband according to your preference, and once it’s done, the Elite 45h sits securely on your ears and doesn’t fall off easily.

Coming to the buttons and ports, all the buttons and the USB Type-C are located on the right ear cup. There are 3 buttons in the centre of the right ear cup — Multifunction button lets you play/pause music, answer/end/reject calls, Volume buttons let you adjust the volume (of course) and the same button is used for switching tracks and restarting tracks. There is another button on the top portion of the right ear cup which lets you mute or unmute the microphone and trigger the voice assistant. Towards the bottom of the right ear cup, you will find the Power and Pairing switch and the USB Type-C charging port.

Moving on, Jabra hasn’t compromised on the build quality either and the quality of materials used on the Elite 45h are good. These are light at 160 grams and I did not notice any cracks as such when it is on my head. On the whole, the design of the Jabra Elite 45h is simple and minimalistic and has a good build as well.

Pairing

Pairing the Jabra Elite 45h was easy and straightforward — It uses Bluetooth 5.0 for pairing and supports a bunch of Bluetooth profiles including HSP v1.2, HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6, PBAP v1.1, and SPP v1.2. You can pair up to 8 devices and there is support for multi-connect as well. This means you can connect the Jabra Elite 45h to two devices at the same time and pressing the multifunction button switches the connection from one device to other.

Sound Quality

The Jabra Elite 45h packs massive 40mm speakers which is the biggest this headphone category has to offer and the speaker bandwidth music mode is 20Hz to 20kHz, and the speaker bandwidth speak mode is 100Hz to 8000Hz.

Coming to the sound quality, there is great clarity on the mids and highs, and they are distinguishable in crowded tracks. The sound stage was good as well, and I did not notice any sorts of distortion at high volume levels. However, the earcups do not cover your entire ear and sound does leak from the sides. As for the vocals, they have good clarity and depth, and it is evident in songs like Ommane Penne (Tamil). In songs like Play Date, the music clarity and the instruments were pronounced, and it was an enjoyable listening experience. Similarly, in songs like Do I Wanna Know by Arctic Monkeys, even with crowded instruments in the penultimate portion, the vocals were clear as well.

When it comes to the lows, this headphone is not for bass-heads. There is bass but it is not pronounced and you don’t get the thumpy bass on the Elite 45h. So, if you are a person who listens to bass-heavy songs like EDM, then this might not be the right headphone for you. I am a person who doesn’t prefer bass-heavy music and found the Elite 45h to perform great in other frequencies. While it might not offer a balanced sound signature, it is certainly close.

Jabra Sound+ App

The Sound+ app by Jabra is where all the magic happens. You need to connect the Elite 45h with the Sound+ app to get the complete functionality. Once you connect your headphones, you get three tabs on the app — Headset, Discover, and About. On the Headset section, you can adjust the equaliser curve according to your listening preference, set music presets or create custom equaliser presets (Neutral, Speech, Bass boost, Treble boost, Smooth, Energize), and also mask the surrounding noise. The ‘Discover’ tab has options like Find My Jabra, Register to receive news, deals, etc, User Manual, Quick Start Guide, etc. Lastly, the ‘About’ page lets you view technical info, contact the Support, and more.

Further, in the Settings page, you can access the Headset settings, update the firmware, and more. Another unique feature on the Sound+ app is ‘MySound’ which lets you fine-tune your audio experience with the Sound+ equalizer. It gives you music that’s perfectly tailored to your individual hearing profile and the test itself is a 3 step process — Find a quiet place, Enter your details, and Start the test.

As for the microphone, there are 2x MEMS microphones (miniaturized mechanical and electromechanical elements) and features 2-microphone call technology that provides noise reduction on outgoing voice signal. Coming to the quality, I did not face any issues as such with the microphone on the Elite 45h. The person on the other side of the call didn’t complain about the call quality the connectivity was stable all the time.

Battery

The battery life is the USP of the Jabra Elite 45h as it offers up to 50 hours of music and talk-time on a single charge. You can also make the Elite 45h enter Sleep mode to save battery when inactive, and you can adjust how long the headset should wait before entering sleep mode.

Further, there is support for fast charging as well and the full charge takes 1 hour and 30 minutes with a 500mA USB wall charger. Jabra says that you can get up to 10 hours after charging the Elite 45h for 15 minutes.

Conclusion

The Jabra Elite 45h is a good sounding on-ear headphone under Rs. 10,000 that doesn’t compromise on battery life. It excels with good sound quality, impressive battery life, feature-rich companion app. However, I did not like how Jabra combined the buttons for adjusting the volume and changing tracks, and not used dedicated buttons for the same. On the whole, if you are a person who listens to bass-heavy songs like EDM, then this might not be the right headphone for you. I am a person who doesn’t prefer bass-heavy music and found the Elite 45h to perform great in other frequencies. While it might not offer a balanced sound signature, it is certainly close.

Pros

  • Light and well-built
  • Good comfort
  • Good sound quality
  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • Lack of ANC
  • No support for high-quality audio codec (supports only SBC codec)
  • Lack of IP rating

Pricing and availability

The Jabra Elite 45h comes in Titanium Black and Navy color options and is priced at Rs. 9999. However, it retails on Amazon.in for Rs. 8999, and you might find it cheaper during the sale period.


Author: Manoj Nagendra

Manoj Nagendra is passionate about smartphones and the latest technology. He likes to write and explore the latest tech and you can often find him with an Android phone. You can follow him on Twitter @manojshesh24 and also mail at manojnagendra@fonearena.com



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