Last year, I had the chance to try out Jabra’s popular Elite Active 65t true wireless earbuds and was so impressed they quickly became my daily driver. Competition is much more intense today, however, and the 65ts were beginning to show their age. Jabra’s not one to rest on their laurels, and we find ourselves with the brand new Elite 75ts in-hand and in-ear. Are they worth an upgrade? Join us as we find out.
- Current Price: $179.99
- Passive noise cancellation (PNC): Yes
- Noise reduction on outgoing voice audio: Yes, 4-microphone call technology
- Wind noise protection: Yes
- Audio codecs supported: SBC, AAC
- Speaker size: 6mm
- Speaker bandwidth
- 20Hz to 20kHz (music playback)
- 100Hz to 8kHz (calls)
- Microphone type: 4 x MEMS
- Microphone bandwidth: 100Hz to 10kHz
- Form factor: In-ear true wireless earbuds
- EarGels: Yes (S, M, L)
- Music and talk time: Up to 7.5 hours with earbuds and up to 28 hours including charging case
- Sleep mode: Auto-off after 15 minutes without connection or 60 minutes without activity, configurable in the Sound+ app
- Standby time: 6 months
- Charging time: 2 hours and 20 minutes (Full charge with dedicated 500mA USB wall charger)
- Fast charge: Up to 60 minutes when charging earbuds for 15 minutes in the charging case
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Supported Bluetooth profiles: HSP v1.2 , HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6, SPP v1.2
- Operating range: Up to 10 meters (33 feet)
- Paired devices: Up to 8
- Multi-connect: Two devices can be connected at a time
- Auto pause music: Yes, when one earbud is removed from ear
- Auto power on/off
- “ON” when earbuds are out of charging case
- “OFF” after 15 minutes without connection or 60 minutes without activity
- What’s in the box: Earbuds, Charging Case, USB-C cable (300 mm), 3 sets of Silicon EarGels, Warranty and Warning Leaflets
- Packaging dimensions: 124.2 x 187.4 x 40 mm (LxWxH)
- Main unit dimensions: 21.9 x 19.4 x 16.2 mm (LxWxH)
- Charging case dimensions:62.4 x 36.6 x 27.0 mm (LxWxH)
- Weight: 35g charging case, 5.5g right earbud, 5.5g left earbud
- Charging plug: USB-C
- IP rating: IP55
- Certifications & Compliances: Bluetooth 5.0, CE, FCC, IC, RoHS, REACH, proposition 65
- Warranty: 2-year warranty* against dust and water
When the Elite 65ts released, they were at the top of their game. They offered good battery life, excellent sound quality, and innovative features like audio pass-through so you could continue to hear the world around you. As a reviewer, I fell in love. Even though I ostensibly had “better” headphones that kept a wire of neckband, the Elite 65ts (specifically the Elite Active model) were the ones I continued to wear day after day.
When Jabra revealed the Elite 75ts, complete with a smaller form factor and better battery life, I was excited. Since the 65ts, the competition became much stiffer and both size and battery life were some of my biggest concerns. As long as they didn’t make any drastic changes, Jabra would very likely have a winner on their hands.
Now that I have them in hand, I can tell you that they did exactly that. The Elite 75ts aren’t a revolution or a major overhaul, they’re a refinement on the 65t design that brings it up with the times. While that may not be the most exciting thing in the world, it is a very good thing if you were a fan of or were considering picking up the originals.
In the picture above, you can see both generations compared for size, Elite Active 65t on top, Elite 75t on bottom. The design language is the same but the new model is notably smaller and sits more flush in the ear. The original never really bothered me, to be honest, as it was already less conspicuous than earbuds like the Sennheiser Momentum TWS. That they’ve reduced the size is very welcome.
You’ll also notice that the button is now larger and easier to press. Another change is that the dual button functionality of the left bud has been removed. Each side now has a multi-function button that can be used to control volume, answer calls, and call the digital assistant using a mix of taps and holds. It’s nothing too complicated but it did take me a little while to memorize each of the commands.
Even though they’re smaller, the buds keep the same circular design that sits so snugly in the folds of your ear. It’s incredibly well-designed, much more so than it would seem on first glance. Yet, just like the 65ts, with the right tips, the Elite 75ts sit comfortably and safely even through vigorous shaking. Just as importantly, I was able to wear them for up to five hours at a time without my ears ever becoming sore. That’s a drastic improvement over the silicone wings competing earbuds use that often left my ears aching.
The charging case has also seen its own share of improvements. It’s much smaller and easier to carry, while still being a touch larger than the case for my Jaybird Vistas. I can easily slide it in my jean or shirt pocket without it bulging out uncomfortably. Jabra has also added magnetics inside and out to keep the case closed and earbuds in place. One of the most concerning parts of the original was how the case could jostle itself open inside a bag and spill the buds out. It’s good to see Jabra factor in such prevalent community feedback because this is a much better solution.
With the charging case, Jabra quotes up to 28 hours of battery life before need to plug in the USB-C connection. Each bud is rated for 7.5 hours of listening. Both are big leaps from the 65ts which were quoted at 15 hours and 5 hours respectively. In actual use, I had my earbuds cut out at around 6 hours and 45 minutes, which isn’t that far off from the quotes, especially because they’re usually listed at 50% volume which I find too quiet.
Recharge time isn’t that bad either. 2 hours and 20 minutes will completely recharge each earbud. They also support fast charging, so if you’re in a rush, a 15 minute charge is good for roughly an hour of listening.
One thing I was disappointed to find, however, is that the buds can’t be used independently to draw out that listening time. The right bud is still the “master” and the left is still the “slave,” so putting the right bud back on the dock immediately cuts the connection. I often listen with only one bud in when enjoying audiobooks and podcasts, so I would have loved to have seen this feature updated and open up double the battery life.
Thankfully, these buds make me want to listen with both earbuds anyway. They feature Jabra’s HearThrough technology which uses the earbuds’ microphones to allow you to hear what’s around you at all times. This is a feature all true wireless earbuds should have. Not only is it convenient if you need to have a quick chat but it also makes using them outdoors much safer. If you’re going for a run on the side of the road, or even walking on your own after dark, you need situational awareness to stay safe. Wireless earbuds that don’t offer this deaden you to the outside world; the Jabra’s keep you aware of your surroundings.
The sound has also been improved from the Elite Active 65ts, offering far more bass. Of course, one of the biggest selling points to these earbuds is that you can completely customize the sound using Jabra’s Sound+ app, but out of the box they have a full, wide low end that’s surprisingly present for the size of the buds. It’s a testament to how far TWS earbuds have come that bass like this is possible at this size. Two years ago, it just wasn’t available at this price.
When I reviewed the Elite Active 65ts, I said this:
Using the Sound+ app, choosing a preset is as easy as tapping your choice. You could easily swap song to song or put on a custom playlist and tune your own EQ exactly how you like it on a 5-band equalizer. I wish Jabra included the ability to share these EQs like JayBird does, but I like that your settings are saved to the buds themselves, so you don’t have to keep the app open after you’ve made your changes.
And man, these earbuds are really open to EQ. You can tune them to be bass-heavy hitters or to pull out tiny details hidden in the treble. Some buds start to distort when you play with them too much but the Elite Active 65Ts are wide open to make them exactly what you’d like. That means, you can have one profile for listening to music and another custom-tuned for competitive gaming at your PC and yet another dedicated just for movie watching.
That is still exactly true here. I still love that you can customize your sound and am impressed by how resilient the Elite 75ts prove to be. These are versatile headphones that can really be anything you’d like them to be and that’s a major win at this price point.
As a bonus, the app also has some basic location tracking, so if you ever lose a bud it will show you on a map that last place it was connected.
Finally, we come to the microphone. In fact, the Elite 75ts use a four-microphone array to cancel out background noise and isolate your voice. It works moderately well for taking calls outdoors and in noisy environments, like alongside a busy road. At the same time, true wireless earbuds are notorious for sounding distant because of how far the mic actually sits from your mouth. That’s still the case here. In quiet environments like your house, you’ll sound great but even with the 4-mic array, having a conversation by the roadside is still going to result in a decent amount of noise making its way through.
The Jabra Elite 75ts are an excellent pair of True Wireless earbuds. They sound great and offer a richness of bass that just wasn’t possible even two years ago. Jabra has made a number of refinements that make these the best Elites in their line-up. I love the new size and improved battery life, and HearThrough is still the must-have feature for anyone who intends to wear them out of the house. Not being able to use each bud independently seems like a missed opportunity. Still, the the 75ts are a winner if not a revolution.
The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.