Jabra just announced Elite 7 Active running headphones and I am hyped

There's also the call-friendly Elite 7 Pro and affordable Elite 3

Jabra Elite Active 7 launch
(Image credit: Jabra)

Jabra just announced no fewer than three pairs of earbuds but the ones I'm most excited about are the Elite 7 Active. Jabra already makes the Elite Active 75t, which is one of the best pairs of running headphones, workout earbuds or whatever you prefer to call them. The Elite 7 Active – yes that is quite a confusingly similar name to the previous buds, isn't it? – improves on them in various ways

There are about a bazillion true wireless earbuds in the world, many of them aimed at lovers of running and workouts. However, Jabra's have always been a step above and these could truly be the GOAT if they live up to their promise. Beats Powerbeats Pro might finally be shaken from the top of our best running headphones top 10, where they have resided since their launch.

So, why are Elite 7 Active so exciting?

Jabra Elite 7 Active launch

For a start, they shouldn't ever fall out

(Image credit: Jabra)

It looks like Jabra has taken everything that was good already about 75t Active and made significant improvements. A lot of running headphones are inescapably bulky  but Elite 7 Active improve the incredibly small size and comfortable shape of their predecessors. They are 16 per cent smaller, in fact – and 75t Active were by no means oversized. 

Jabra's previous workout buds were very hard to dislodge from your earholes once inserted, but with a new and improved ShakeGrip coating, the Elite 7 Active should be safe from dislodgement in any situation short of nuclear war. There are no 'wings' on the Elite 7 Active. Instead, the design of the buds, plus a judicious splash of ShakeGrip – liquid silicone rubber, basically – give what Jabra calls 'the ultimate fit whatever your movements.' In other words, no matter how much you thrash about on an elliptical trainer, or how XXX-treme your CrossFit moves, Elite 7 Active should stay firmly in place. Powerbeats provide rock-solid stability, but require a very hefty pair of over-ear hooks to do so, making this a potential game changer. If you'll pardon the cliché.

Jabra Elite 7 Active, Elite 7 Pro and Elite 3 announced

Elite 7 Active are available in several sporty colours such as, erm, 'mint'

(Image credit: Jabra)

The buds are IP57 rated for dirt and water resistance which means they are effectively waterproof. That's a lot better than Beats Powerbeats (IPX4) and more in line with Jaybird's superb trail running buds, although those are a bit bulkier and more brutish.

There's also now adjustable Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and HearThrough, so you can dial up or down just how much outside sound is allowed in. So whether you want to block out everything, to focus on your lifting or cardio workout, or allow ambient sound in for added safety when running or cycling outdoors, Elite 7 Active makes it possible. Jabra also has an excellent EQ control in its app if you are not happy with the sound out of the box. 

Battery life is class leading at 9 hours – and that's with ANC on. The battery case gives a total of 35 hours of listening, with 'fast charging' that delivers 1.2 hrs of power in just 5 minutes. Connectivity is via Bluetooth 5.2 and sound quality is further boosted with support for aptX and aptX HD.

Call quality is not the main selling point here – you'll be wanting the Elite 7 Pro for that – but there are four mics to pick up your voice, with a microphone mesh helping to reduce wind noise if you're outdoors. So I'd imagine it's perfectly fine for calls in most situations, even if it's not quite at 'Pro' level. 

Jabra Elite 7 Pro, you say?

Jabra Elite 7 Active, Elite 7 Pro and Elite 3 announced

The Elite 7 Pro have a more sombre look, fittingly

(Image credit: Jabra)

In terms of audio quality for music, battery life and ANC, Jabra's two new pairs of 7 series true wireless earbuds are identical. Where they differ is that whilst the Active is built for wild workouts and rugged runs, the Pro is all about voice call quality.

So on the Elite 7 Pro, Jabra is employing MultiSensor Voice tech for 'best-in-class call performance.' MultiSensor Voice combines a bone conduction sensor, as found in headsets used by special forces types on night raids, with four microphones and some clever digital processing algorithms, for 'crystal clear' calls. 

As you speak, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro buds are constantly analysing the different types of noise picked up by those mics. When things get too noisy – most particularly in windy situations – the algorithm chooses the best possible combination of voice delivered by bone conduction sensor – which is not subject to wind noise – and by the mics, for the ultimate call clarity. 

Even if, like me, you hardly ever make voice calls these days, you have to say that is highly impressive. And as an added bonus, the tech should also mean that the built-in Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant – the latter on Android only – are able to hear you loud and clear.

Jabra Elite 3

Jabra Elite 7 Active, Elite 7 Pro and Elite 3 announced

Jabra Elite 3: the BMW 3 Series of the range

(Image credit: Jabra)

The Jabra Elite 3 is out today and is Jabra's stab at the increasingly massive 'best cheap wireless earbuds' market. 

In this market, having bass by the megaton is all important, seemingly, so Jabra has digitally dialled up the bottom end. You can use their app's EQ to dial it back down again if you like. 

The drivers are not as high-end as on the Elite models, but there's still four mics for 'crystal clear calls', aptX HD audio support and a very solid seven hours of battery life, with the case adding a further 21 hours on top of that. Although there's no ANC, Jabra's excellent fit mean the buds should offer excellent noise isolation. HearThrough is built in here too, so 'users can tap into the sounds of their surroundings.' 

The other important element in the budget. market is slick design, and Elite 3 serves that up, with a new range of colours including Dark Grey, Navy, Lilac and Light Beige – all of which, I am assured are bang on trend for 2021.

Jabra CEO René Svendsen-Tune shouted in my ear, “We are more connected than ever before. The world has also never been noisier, which requires innovative technology to ensure people can be assured of a clear voice, calls and music experience. At Jabra, we take our many years of experience to push the boundaries of technology, with the launch of our Elite 7 Pro, Elite 7 Active and Elite 3 earbuds as a result. The introduction of these new products signifies huge developments within the market, and we are excited to be at the forefront.”

Thanks René.

Jabra Elite 7 Active, Elite 7 Pro and Elite 3: price and release date

Jabra Elite 7 Active goes on sale on October 1. Cost will be £169.99 or $179 or AU$279 depending on where you are.

Elite 7 Pro goes on sale on October 1. and will be priced at £199.99 or $199 or AU$299.

Elite 3 is out now and costs a very reasonable £79.99 or $79 or AU$119.

• Buy Elite 3 now at Amazon

• Find out more and sign up for reminders of the launch date For Elite 7 Active and Elite 7 Pro at Jabra.com

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."