Jabra Elite Active 75t Review: Sports-ready buds won’t break a sweat

With the 2018 release of Elite Active 65t, Jabra built up quite the reputation amongst athletes in the market for good quality wireless earbuds. Acclaim rolled in from all directions, touting some seriously impressive sound quality, seamless noise cancelling, and the all-important fit. It’s only right that the sequel builds upon that, right?

The Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds is an outstanding statement from the legendary Danish audio company, sporting a more premium look and certainly bringing the goods when it comes to performance. It’s also only slightly more expensive ($20-30) than the standard Elite 75t buds, rewarding that investment bump with more sport-friendly design choices that are meaningful enough to warrant the difference.

Design

Every design feature here feels purposeful and considered. The earbuds have a slightly smaller and slimmer profile than their predecessors, with a sharper focus on finding the right fit and staying in place. This is highlighted most of all by the slight change between these and the base 75t buds; the difference being a harder, more solid finish on the base model, and a softer, grippier finish on the Active model.

Not every pair of earbuds you’ll find on the market is suitable for runners and gym-goers who jostle around more than you average user. The Elite Active 75t’s aim for that market with style, with the very specific design helping them groove into the ears and stay there even when you’re moving and sweating all over the place.

While gyms are closed (well not closed, I just don’t want to take the risk), I had to test this function by running laps in my backyard. Though I wasn’t exactly sweating bullets, these buds really do stay completely still. I had a similar experience with the Powerbeats Pro, but the difference in aesthetic between the two pairs is stark: Apple’s excellent buds require a hook design, whereas these are small, slim and feel much less intrusive.

Most people should get a tight seal with the variety of tips included with the earbuds, but I found with any of the three I’d still get a really great fit. Although, aside from a better bass response, this seal is just so the passive noise cancelling works as well as it can; the 75ts unfortunately do not offer active noise cancelling.

Another slight difference between the base model and the Active model is that the latter bumps an IP55 rating up to a more durable IP57. It seems like a small change on paper, but the latter handles wetness much better, sporting a number which typically indicates waterproofing at depths between 15cm and 1m for up to 30 minutes. That means the buds won’t be breaking a sweat, even when you do.

The Copper Black finish (also available in Navy Blue) also just looks spectacular and distinctive compared to what else is out there in terms of sports-geared wireless earbuds. The Copper Black case has similar striking looks, syncing up with the buds in design with a soft-ish rubberised texture.

Mapping for the controls is slightly more sensitive than it should be, but since touchpads are smaller you’re less likely to accidentally interrupt your listening session by pausing when you don’t mean to. The real annoyance here is when you’re adjusting volume, toggled up and down by long pressing the touchpads (right for up, left for down). There’s no nuance, so you’re better off using the excellent and uncluttered companion app to control playback anyway.

Performance

The sound signature is very bass-forward but overall clean and balanced at all levels, even at higher volumes. Although, the more subtle details of styles like sample-heavy hip hop and dense indie rock aren’t as strong as buds like the Sony’s WF1000xm3s or Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless 2s – both substantially more expensive.

If the signature is too focused on bass for you, simply fine-tune it via the very nuanced, easy-to-use EQ settings on the Jabra Sound+ companion app. As mentioned above, the app is very clean and uncluttered, laid out logically with some excellent features to help you personalise your listening session.

Call quality is surprisingly excellent, using the same repositioned four-microphone system the buds use to block out ambient sounds. I made a few calls while out jogging and experienced no drop outs, while the person on the other end could hear me clearly without being flooded with background noise. They also work well when you turn on HearThrough mode (single press on the left bud), which lets external noise in under the music and can be tuned via the app.

The mics also help the clear smart assistant integration, with both Alexa and Google Assistant hearing me clearly and concisely even through post-run heavy breathing. There is support for Siri as well.

Connectivity is strong and I only experienced minimal stutter when out running. Bluetooth 5.0 maintains a solid connection with my Google Pixel 4 XL and I’d imagine that’d be just as good with an Apple device. Staying connected is also quite reliable, and I had no issue where I would have to manually go in and re-pair – an issue I’ve had with almost every other pair of wireless earbuds that I’ve tested

Battery

You can safely expect at least 7 to 7.5 hours of juice on a single charge, bumped up to a total of 28 hours when draining the charging case. Since I like my music loud, my experience was closer to 7 hours, which is more than enough for a day’s exercise anyway. The real kicker here is the charging case, which seems to charge the buds impressively fast, and can be taken from 0 to 100% on just over 2 hours.

Verdict & Value

The Jabra Elite Active 75t’s are generously priced at A$329, considering how well they perform and how reliable they are for above-average workouts. Although the biggest difference here that separates these buds from close competitors is how well designed they are. The small size does come in handy for those looking for buds that are both comfortable and don’t move around when you’re running.

As long as you’re spending time with the EQ settings, you’ll be able to land on the ideal sound signature for whatever your choice in music is. More expensive earbuds are going to have better detail and separation, but the Active model is easily the best sounding I’ve tested in this price range.

FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Highlights: Doesn’t break a sweat when it comes to durability; brilliant design keeps them locked in place at all times; strong connection and digital voice integration; clear calls even in crowded settings; strong sound signature with nuanced EQ settings; excellent battery life.
Lowlights: sound isn’t as detailed as some other options
Manufacturer: Jabra
Price: A$329
Availability: Now

Review based on a unit supplied by Jabra.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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