Jabra Elite 75t Review: ANC makes these awesome earbuds even better
"Now with ANC, the Jabra Elite 75t are hard to beat without paying much more."
Full, rich sound
Excellent call quality
Very good noise cancellation
Tons of customization
Bass can be too much for some
Average battery life
The Jabra Elite 75t may be celebrating its one year anniversary, but a recent firmware update has made these true wireless earbuds even more convincing as they have one of its most sought-after features: Active Noise Canceling (ANC).
That way, for $ 180, the Elite 75t can compete with a variety of true wireless earbuds ANC has to offer, from the extremely affordable $ 100 edifier TWS NB2 to the more expensive Sony WF-SP800N for $ 200, the AirPods Pro for $ 249 and the Sony WF-1000XM3 for $ 230.
How does the Elite 75t stack up? Do they still offer enough features to warrant a place in this exploding market, how well does their new ANC mode work and are they really as comfortable as Jabra has claimed? We have updated our original review with our latest findings.
It's true: the Elite 75t are extremely comfortable. If you've ever stayed away from true wireless in-ear headphones in the past, you must try the Elite 75t (or its fully water and dust-resistant sibling, the Elite Active 75t). They're incredibly small and light, which makes them sit well in your outer ear and create less pressure in your ear canal to hold them there.
Rich Shibley / Digital Trends
The Elite 75t come without ear fins – the small silicone protrusions are used to anchor a bud and keep it from popping out. That's because they don't need it. Their extremely light weight virtually eliminates the feeling of bulk that other earbuds can create during intense activities like running. They really go away once you put them in your ears.
Big, bold bass
Given the Elite 75t's small size, one thing I wasn't expecting was the huge, deep, and resonant bass. When I started it for the first time, I was surprised and went looking for the EQ settings in the Jabra Sound + app. The equalizer wasn't messed up – it was set to the flat factory profile.
They're perfect for watching movies – who needs a subwoofer when you have the Elite 75t?
For some listeners, this is a treat. In genres such as jazz and classical music, this pronounced low-end warms the sound and lets the deep vibrations of the bass be felt in a confined space. For workouts, the bombastic boom is a great motivator, creating rhythms that you feel as often as you hear. And they're perfect for watching movies – who needs a subwoofer when you have the Elite 75t?
But sometimes it can be a bit much. Even after extensive fiddling with the EQ settings, it was impossible to completely eliminate that bass-forward personality, although I was able to temper her so that it no longer stole the stage.
Another way to optimize the Elite 75t is with the MySound function. It's an audio calibration tool that uses the results of a hearing test to personalize the elites to the frequencies that you can hear.
I've tried some of these personalized EQ systems in the past. Nura uses one to pair their Nuraphone and Nuraloop headphones, while SoundID tries to do something similar for a variety of headphones. Neither of them really improved the sound quality for me personally, and Jabra's MySound didn't do much either. If anything, I think it de-emphasized some frequencies and left my songs with less depth.
With the Sound + App you can track the whereabouts of the Elite 75t and force it to produce a high-pitched howl.
In fairness, I didn't use MySound with the Elite 75t, I used two pairs of the Jabra Elite Active 75t, and these earbuds have a different EQ than the Elite 75t. Assuming that the MySound set-up affects both models equally, I can safely say that your mileage may vary with this feature. The good news is that if you don't like it, just tap the app once and it's gone.
Bass aside, one of the first things you notice about the Elite 75ts is how small they are and how small their charging case is. In the true wireless world, only the AirPods Pro andOffer a smaller package that makes the Elite 75t a perfect travel companion, whether you prefer bags or purses. All you have to do is look at the Amazon Echo Buds to see how well the Elite 75t fits in your pocket.
Rich Shibley / Digital Trends
The charging case lid locks into place with a magnetic seal, but even if it accidentally opens, the earbuds are firmly magnetically locked, making the earbuds unlikely to run out of control. Fortunately, in this case you can use the Sound + app to track the whereabouts of the Elite 75t and force it to produce a high-pitched howl if it gets stuck in the recesses of a sofa or wallet.
I was happy to see the charging case updated to USB-C as this is pretty much the standard for all (non-iOS) phones by now, but I would prefer the charging indicator to be in the front rather than the back.
Wireless charging would be a nice touch, but if you don't own a wireless charging phone, I doubt it matters.
Push your buttons
True wireless earbuds usually use some variations on touch-sensitive surfaces or good old-fashioned buttons. The Elite 75t has the latter – one on each earbud – and I really like them. They are easy to use, you know exactly whether you pressed them or not thanks to a satisfactory click, and they are much harder to accidentally trigger than their touch sensitive cousins.
There are tons of customizations out there – more than any other true wireless earbud we've reviewed.
Rich Shibley / Digital Trends
You may need to put a few fingers on the side of your head for better accuracy when clicking. However, I take on the task of repeatedly tapping an earbud into my skull to stop my music. You get a wide range of activities – four actions per earbud – with single, double, triple and long clicks.
All major tasks are covered: play / pause, skip / track the track, answer / end the call, ANC / HearThrough mode on / off, volume and voice assistant. If you don't like the standard actions, the "MyControls" section in the Sound + app offers a wide range of customization options – more than any of the other true wireless earbuds we've tested.
You can choose your task, assign it to a button press sequence and even choose which earbud to trigger it. It is even possible to assign different tasks depending on whether you are just listening to music or making a call. It's a welcome addition to what was already a great control scheme.
It is particularly pleasing to be able to select the switching sequence for ANC. Most ANC earphones force you to cycle through three or four modes, such as: ANC on, ANC off and ambient temperature. The problem this creates is that when someone is talking to you or when you need to talk, you generally want to hear the surrounding sound right away. Having to repeatedly press a button to get there is far from ideal (with pauses at every step). With the Sound + app, you can choose from three options: HearThrough and ANC, HearThrough and ANC off, or the option to go through all three.
It is your call
Jabra has a long history of making Bluetooth headsets with great call quality, and the Elite 75t doesn't disappoint. The four-mic array can easily handle a wide variety of environments, and callers found it easy to hear me (and me, them).
Frequent voice callers will appreciate that you can use both earbuds or just the right earbud to make and receive calls.
Thanks to the sidetone function, you can use the Sound + app to adjust how much of your voice gets through, and it can be turned on or off during a call.
All of this together makes the Elite 75t an excellent companion.
Good (not great) battery
Jabra claims the Elite 75t can last 7.5 hours on a full charge when fully charged when ANC is not in use. That seems about right: In our tests, where the earbuds were continuously operated at maximum volume, we had a usage time of just under 7 hours, so you should get that additional 30 minutes at medium volume levels. If ANC is enabled, this will drop to 5.5 hours, according to Jabra.
7.5 hours is good – especially when compared to the AirPods Pro with only 5 hours (ANC off) – but far from the endurance values we are currently seeing from other companies. The Sony WF-SP800N has an astonishing 13 hour lifespan with noise canceling off, and it's not hard to find models that are anywhere between eight and 12 hours long.
The charging case contains almost three full charges, so you have a total of about 28 hours between plug-ins. With the quick charge function you can give yourself an hour with just 15 minutes of charging time.
Now (you won't hear it)
One feature that is becoming increasingly common in true wireless earbuds is active noise cancellation. Sony has it. Apple's expensive AirPods Pro have it. Even budget-friendly models like the Amazon Echo Buds, JLab Epic Air ANC, and Edifier TWS NB2 have it. And now, thanks to a surprising firmware update, the Elite 75t too.
When I first tested the Elite 75t, I argued that you don't really need ANC to fully enjoy these earbuds because their passive sound isolation is so good. It's still true. The new ANC function of the Elite 75t increases the feeling of isolation and creates an even quieter sound floor for all your audio data.
Hard to Complain: With ANC, existing Elite 75t owners have just received a very valuable free upgrade.
The ANC ability falls along a spectrum. Some ANC technologies, like those found on the JLab Epic Air ANC, only marginally reduce ambient noise, while the AirPods Pro offer a magical cone of silence. The Elite 75t's ANC is somewhere in between. It does very well at reducing low frequency noise, but it can't eliminate as much as the best ANC earbuds.
It's hard to complain: Existing Elite 75t owners have just received a very valuable free upgrade, while earbud buyers now have one more reason to choose the Elite 75t versus the competition.
It's also worth noting that the Sound + app has a range of background sounds that you can use to block out unwanted noise when the ANC mode doesn't create the sense of calm you want. You can choose between white noise, pink noise, various nature sounds, and two sounds that Jabra calls “comfort”: cave and crowd. Some of them are exceptionally comforting.
Small but comfortable, the Jabra Elite 75t is now an excellent choice with ANC for anyone who wants a powerful set of true wireless earbuds. As long as you enjoy a lot of bass, you can hardly go wrong with the Elite 75t.
Is there a better alternative?
If battery life is paramount, then you should definitely consider the $ 150 Samsung Galaxy Buds + or the Sony WF-SP800N.
However, if you are an iPhone user, then you have to check out the excellent AirPods Pro. They cost $ 70 more, but they offer better noise cancellation, great sound, and are a perfect match for Siri.
If you want even better water protection, the Elite Active 75t for US $ 200 have the same ANC function, are gentler in the bass department and have an IP57 rating.
How long will they last?
The Jabra Elite 75t comes with an above-average warranty of two years. The water and dust resistance corresponds to protection class IP55. This suggests that, in the long run, they're at least as rugged (if not substantially) as many other true wireless earbuds.
The build quality from Jabra is excellent and the battery is solid (for real radio buds, anyway) so they should last for years.
I've been using my review model for a year and so far they are as good as the day I received them.
Should you buy it?
Absolutely. Even before the ANC upgrade, the Elite 75t was a great choice for those who love bone-shaking bass, and now they're even better. They're also great choices if you're having trouble getting the earbuds to fit. If you're looking for a more balanced sound, the Elite Active 75t can do it and better water resistance for an additional $ 20.