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Jabra Elite Active 75t Review

Subtle but Meaningful Improvements

By Christopher Coke on April 26, 2020 | Hardware Reviews | 0

In December, we reviewed the Jabra Elite 75t true wireless earbuds. Last month, Jabra sent along their latest version, the Elite Active 75t. As the name implies, these are customized for users with an active lifestyle and add waterproofing to the mix so you can sweat and run in the rain to your heart’s content. Coming in at $20 more expensive than the original, for a total of $199, are they worth the premium? Read on to find out.

Specifications

  • Current Price: $199.99
  • 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
Fit Factor
  • Form factor: In-ear true wireless earbuds
  • EarGels: Yes (S, M, L)
Battery
  • 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
Connectivity
  • 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
General
  • 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: IP57
  • Certifications & Compliances: Bluetooth 5.0, CE, FCC, IC, RoHS, REACH, proposition 65
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty* against dust and water

Jabra Elite Active 75t Unboxed

When I reviewed the original Jabra Elite 75ts, one of my core conclusions was that they were winners and easily the best Elites in Jabra’s line-up. With the launch of the Elite Active 75t, the company carries that mantle forward with notable improvements that make them an even better buy than before. The two products are very similar, but after using the Actives, they feel like the easy choice between the two, even for the slightly price premium.

What makes them stand out in a market that gets more crowded by the day?

Good question. When last generation’s Elite Active 65ts launched, true wireless was still finding its feet. The Elite 65t line was impressive in how customizable and, frankly, reliable it was. Since then, the market has absolutely exploded. You can find true wireless earbuds for $30 now that work just fine, so companies like Jabra have a lot to prove when asking $199 like we have today. 

Thankfully, Jabra comes out swinging and doesn’t let up. The Elite and Active 75t both fit better than any other earbud I’ve ever used. They lock into my ear and stay put without the need for any kind of find. More importantly, I can wear them for hours and hours without my ears becoming sore. For podcasts, calls, and audiobooks, I use a single bud and need to consciously remind myself to put it back in the case so I don’t run the battery dry.  

Each also offers improved battery life over the 65t, with a solid 7.5 hours of listening time (at roughly 50% volume). I’ve tested the battery life of both models extensively and even at 80-90% volume, they’ll last a respectable 6.5 hours. The charging case is excellent and supplies a rapid charge of 15 minutes for a full hour of use. That feature alone means I can use them for an entire day, so long as I put them away when I’m not listening. 

They also support HearThrough, so with a quick tap of the left earbud, the microphones will activate and pipe your surroundings right into your ear. That’s not only great for remaining aware of your surroundings when out for a run, but it’s also a godsend for the many times when you need a quick interaction, like checking out at the store or answering a question from a colleague. It is genuinely the kind of feature that is difficult to go without once you get used to it and is a huge part of why the Jabra Elites have been my daily headphones for more than a year.

You’re also paying extra for the wealth of technology built into these headphones. They include auto-ear detection, so when you separate the buds they’ll pause your music. Using the Sound+ app, you can create custom EQ curves, store location data (so you can find a lost bud more easily), and even save settings to different “Moments” like “Commute” or “Focus” to easily change group settings depending on your goal. 

Jabra Elite Active 75t

They’re also easily controlled with single large face buttons on either earbud. Tapping the button on the right earbud will answer/end calls or pause your track. Holding the button will turn your volume up or double-tapping and holding will rouse your virtual assistant. The left earbud handles changing tracks, turning on HearThrough or sidetone for when you’re on calls, or mute/unmute your microphone. 

Soon, these options will expand further with an update planned for the Spring. MyControls will allow you to customize those buttons — something I’m looking forward to for my single-bud use. More excitingly, MySound will analyze your hearing and provide you with a customized sound profile unique to you. 

Then, we have the four microphone array. Each bud features two microphones, one for transmitting your voice and the other for cancelling the ambient noise around you. It works remarkably well. I often take calls while driving and my family can hear me better with the Jabras than any other bud I own (though it does sound a bit nasally, in my opinion).

Finally, we have the sound. Both the Elite 75t and Elite Active 75t sound very similar to my ear. Out of the box, they have a very present bass that is much wider than any other true wireless earbud I’ve heard of this size. They have a great thump to them while still being able to resolve lots of detail, and, unless I really pushed the bass, I wasn’t able to get them to distort. They’re resilient and made to be EQ’d to your personal taste.

Elite 75t vs Elite Active 75tElite Active 75t (left), Elite 75t (right)

So far, everything I’ve said applied to both earbuds. What the Elite Active 75ts add is waterproofing and a very slight anti-slip coating. The Actives are IP57 rated, which means they’re resistant to dust and can be submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. They’re not recommended for swimming, but you can easily take these out in the ran or drench them in sweat and be just fine.

To test them, I wore them into the shower several different times and they worked perfectly both during and after. No, I didn’t leave them in when shampooing, but I think this shows that you could wear them in a torrential downpour without worrying about harming them. 

Since the two versions of this bud are so similar, that also means it carries through the aspects I didn’t like so much. Namely, that you can’t use them independent of each other. The right earbud is the “master” that connects to the phone, so there’s no using just the left earbud by itself. This is a missed opportunity and one of the remaining qualities that still feels last-gen when other buds allow you to double the battery life if you use them one earbud at a time.

Final Thoughts

That said, the Elite 75ts were excellent and the Elite Active 75ts make them even better. The added peace of mind knowing that they can hold up to moisture is worth the additional $20, especially when you’re paying so much in the first place. The Jabra Elite Active 75ts sound great, are packed with features, and can be comfortably worn all day long. They are absolutely recommended.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. 

9.0Amazing
Pros
  • Small and lightweight
  • Good battery life
  • Secure fit
  • Very good water resistance
  • Solid bass, very resilient to EQ
Cons
  • Can’t use both earbuds independently
  • Microphone quality remains the same


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight