Are the Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds the best running headphones – or workout earbuds – out there? If you want something truly compact – which main rivals Beats Powerbeats Pro are really not – these are the best in the business.
Jabra has been a bit of a pioneer when it comes to wireless earphones and was often one of the first to market with fresh designs aimed at making wireless audio experiences more enjoyable.
The same can be said for the firm’s Elite Active 75t earbuds, which boast a smaller and sleeker design than previous Jabra offerings as well as an updated IP57 rating, which makes them rugged and waterproof. This means the Elite Active 75t buds have a greater appeal than ever to runners and gym-goers looking for something to keep them motivated as they sweat away the hours on a long run or lifting weights.
JABRA ELITE ACTIVE 75T: PRICE AND BATTERY LIFE
Jabra’s Elite Active 75t earbuds are on sale now and they’ll set you back $149 or £179 or AUS$249. All of those prices are reduced from the launch RRP, and the American price is an absolute steal. That money buys you two earbuds, a charging case, a USB-C cable, and three sets of different sized silicon EarGels to suit all ear sizes.
When it comes to battery life, we found that the Jabra’s Elite Active 75t earbuds last just over seven hours on a single charge. While this falls short slightly of Jabra’s quoted 7.5-hour battery life, it’s still quite impressive when compared to what else is available right now. Take Apple’s AirPods Pro, which last just 4.5 hours per charge. Although it’s nothing when compared to Beats’ Powerbeats Pro, which will stay juiced for up to 9 hours.
Nevertheless, since these buds are designed for exercise, it’s perhaps more important that they excel when it comes to quick charging. Thankfully, they do. A quick 15 minutes in the case will get you one hour of listening time in return. Perfect for bringing them back to life while pulling on your compression gear, for example. Additionally, the buds are able to conserve battery by automatically turning off after one hour of inactivity, or 15 minutes without Bluetooth connectivity, which is good news if you forget to put them back in the case after use.
You’ll get about two and a half charges out of the case, which should last you a few days if you’re just using the Elite Active 75t buds for an hour or so of exercising per day. Once the case is out of juice, it’ll take just a couple of hours to get it back up to full charge. Overall, we were content with the buds’ battery performance.
JABRA ELITE ACTIVE 75T: BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN
Jabra’s first true wireless buds that were aimed at active users, the Elite Sport, launched in August 2016, and the brand has come a long way since then. Their design was bulky and proved uncomfortable when used for prolonged hours. Now, the Elite Active 75t tout a much smaller and sleeker form that is way more comfortable than previous versions, even their predecessor, the 22% larger Elite Active 65t. The smaller size makes a world of difference. They slip into the ears easily but manage to stay there and don’t feel uncomfortable, even after hours of continuous use.
The biggest feature aside from looks and fit is the IP57 rating, which means they are not only sweat-resistant but submersible in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes. However, over on Reddit, Jabra is insistent that this doesn’t make them completely waterproof and does not recommend wearing them during heavy rain showers. We found that they survived a morning shower, though. Whoops!
Downsides? The buds do feel a little on the plastic side, so not as premium-feeling as they could be, but still, they do the job and are by no means ugly to look at. One other point is that the buttons, which sit on the outsides of the buds and control audio playback, can be a little sensitive in our experience.
JABRA ELITE ACTIVE 75T: SOUND QUALITY
We’re pleasantly surprised with the audio quality the Elite Active 75t is able to produce, especially for buds of this size and weight. Considering they tick so many other boxes, we were expecting the sound to suffer a little, but that really isn’t the case. What takes center stage here is the bass. In what we imagine has been done purposely to help fuel exercise, the bass reproduction is heavy yet warm, complementing any sweat-filled workout. The soundstage is also very well balanced, producing detailed and vibrant audio with a beautiful booming bass underneath that isn't overpowering. The volume also goes up to quite a high level, which used to be an issue on true wireless buds as many brands limited this to help preserve battery life. That’s not a problem on the Jabra Elite Active 75t buds. In fact, some might find them a little too loud when turned all the way up. The good news, though, is that if you do like your music to feel like your eardrums are bleeding, audio doesn’t distort at high volumes - the earbuds do a great job of minimizing fuzzy bass tones ensuring music remains crisp even at maximum sound.
JABRA ELITE ACTIVE 75T: PERFORMANCE
So we’ve established that the sound quality is great, but do the Elite Active 75t earbuds maintain a stable connection? This would usually be 'make or break' for a wireless earphone manufacturer, as there is really nothing quite as irritating as interrupted audio resulting from an unreliable Bluetooth connection. There’s no need to worry about that here, though. During our time with the Elite Active 75t buds, connectivity was exceptionally stable, and any calls that we made during use produced a decent
The only hint of trouble we had with connectivity was a cracking left earbud one time, but this only happened when in range of a particular Bluetooth speaker and we haven’t experienced it elsewhere. We thought we should mention it, though.
While not available at launch, Jabra recently released firmware for the Elite 75t series to enable noise-cancellation tech. This makes use of all four of the Elite Active 75t’s inbuilt microphones (two on each earbud) alongside the earphones’ Qualcomm chipset to block out background noise. While you can’t adjust the noise-canceling intensity, you can toggle it off and on, however, having it on will reduce playtime battery life by around two hours.
JABRA ELITE ACTIVE 75T: VERDICT
While they don’t carry the same prestige that Apple’s Airpods do, the Jabra Elite Active 75t could well be considered a new category leader thanks to their all-around great performance. Comfortable? Check. Good sound? Check. Decent battery life? Check. At the current price, especially in the USA, you’re getting a great bit of equipment for the price.