Jabra Elite Active 75t headphones

"For $ 20 more than the Elite 75t, you can get complete water protection and a super-secure fit."

  • Secure and comfortable fit

  • Great sound quality

  • Waterproof

  • Good call quality

  • Very good noise cancellation

  • No wireless charging

  • Average battery life

Yes, Jabra Elite Active 75t are almost a year old, but it's time to take a second look at these sport-oriented true wireless earbuds. Why? Well, Jabra just updated the firmware and suddenly gave the Elite Active 75t (as well as the cheaper Elite 75t) an important new function: Active Noise Cancellation (ANC).

To mark the occasion, we've updated our original assessment with some new observations, a new assessment, and all of the ANC details you need to know.

They still cost $ 200 and offer full water resistance over the IP57 rating. However, it's time to find out if adding ANC changes the game or just changes the name.

Design and comfort

Jabra Elite Active 75tSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

We just come out and say it. The Jabra Elite 75t are the best-fitting true wireless earbuds we've tried here at Digital Trends, and the Elite Active 75t are identical. They have the same ergonomic shape that feels like it's specially shaped for my ears. I know they won't fit everyone like a glove, but your chances of a good fit are better with these buds than many other options.

Rest assured, the Elite Active 75t will not be released accidentally.

The Elite Active 75t doubles this ergonomics with a slightly rubber-like outer surface. It's barely noticeable until you insert it in your ear, and it immediately becomes apparent that if you don't pluck them free, they're not going anywhere.

This is true the first time you use them, and it still applies for an hour after your workout as the sweat has turned from a trickle to a stream. Most people will find that the Elite 75t is completely safe, but if you want an extra level of security, the Elite Actives offer just that.

If you've ever shied away from the Jabra Elites because they lacked the earhooks from a Powerbeats Pro or JLab Epic Air Sport, you can be sure that the Elite Active 75t won't accidentally let go.

I found the standard medium nibs to be a great fit, but Jabra also has a small and a large set. Now that these buds come with ANC – something that depends heavily on a good fit to be effective – I think Jabra should include a few more eartip sizes. If you're having problems there are a number of Third-party earplug companies on Amazon.

Audio quality

Jabra Elite Active 75t just in caseSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Elite Active 75t sounds great. Some true wireless earbuds, especially those at cheaper prices, feel like a compromise. You have the convenience of being completely wireless, but at the cost of decent sound. This is not the case here.

The Elite Actives do what good earbuds should do: bring your music closer and let you discover nuances that you may not have heard through speakers or even headphones. With low, medium, and high frequencies all fully rendered, the Elite Active 75t is cheap when compared to mid-range wired earbuds and similarly priced but not entirely wireless Bowers and Wilkins PI3.

To get a noticeably better sound, you'll need to step up to the $ 300 Master and the Dynamic MW07 Plus.

They bring your music closer and let you discover nuances that you may not have heard before.

While Jabra hasn't discussed the acoustic differences between the Elite 75t and the Elite Active 75t, I can tell you that they have unique sound signatures. The Elite 75t are big and bombastic with a bass-forward sound that some may find overwhelming. The Elite Active 75t are much more balanced in comparison. With the free Jabra Sound + app for Android and iOS, you can adjust the EQ to your heart's content. However, the default setting is very pleasantly neutral and suitable for most music genres.

Noise cancellation

The passive noise isolation of the Elite Active 75t is already first class. Once they're firmly wedged in your ears, you're guaranteed to need to use Jabra's HearThrough system to have a face-to-face conversation. However, there is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to the constant roar of noises like loud fans, traffic or the white noise of an airplane's engines.

Jabra's newly released ANC feature, while not giving the Elite Active 75t the cone-silence effect that best describes the AirPods Pro ANC, does have a significant impact on the amount of sound that can get into your ears.

There are two things I really like about ANC on the Elite Active 75t. First of all, you can personalize the function with the Sound + app. This is partly because the elite don't have the feedback microphones that hybrid ANC earbuds can use to make adjustments on the fly, but also because our ears are slightly different from one another. If you can adjust the ANC to accommodate these differences, you can dial it in.

Second, you can use the Sound + app to decide how ANC should work. Would you like to switch between ANC and HearThrough? No problem. Do you prefer to ignore ANC and just switch off between HearThrough and ANC? You can do that. Do you wish you could cycle through all three modes simply by pressing the same button? Yes, that works too.

When you consider how effective and well implemented ANC is on the Elite Active 75t, it's amazing Jabra made it available as a free upgrade. If the elites were made by Tesla, you could bet that ANC would be an extra paid.

Control elements and app

Jabra Elite Active 75tSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

We're seeing more and more true wireless earbuds opting for touch controls instead of physical buttons. That's not a bad thing, especially when these touch controls are responsive and easy to use. Some, like Apple's AirPods Pro, are excellent. Others, well, not so much.

That's why I appreciate Jabra's only physical button on every Elite Active 75t earbud. They are easy to find with your fingers (whether in gloves or bare), simple to use (a light press is all that is needed), and they can control all major functions including volume and access to the voice assistant.

If you don't like the standard controls, you can change them in the Sound + app using the MyControls function. I wish every real wireless earbud company would do this.

Portability and Ports

Jabra Elite Active 75t charging caseSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

Even if your real wireless earbuds like the amazing Samsung Galaxy Buds + can last all day, you probably won't be wearing them all day, so a good charging case is important. The charging case of the Elite Active 75t is very small, so it can easily be put in your pocket. The hinged lid can also be easily opened with one hand, but closes with a satisfactory click thanks to a tiny magnet.

A second set of stronger magnets will keep the earbuds docked in their sockets until you are ready to remove them. The overall construction and materials of the case are both superb, and a tiny LED on the back gives you a color-based battery status when you open or close the lid.

The USB-C connection is handy for charging (assuming you're a USB-C person), but there's no wireless charging – a bit of a disappointment given the price.

Battery life

Jabra claims that the Elite Active 75t (without ANC) has a 7.5 hour lifespan before it needs to be put back in the charging case. With the ANC switched on, this number drops to 5.5 hours. I just hit that number when I was playing music between 50% and 75% volume. In today's world, that performance is good – certainly better than anything Apple's products can do (the AirPods Pro get around 5 hours with the ANC off) – but it's still far from the top of the charts.

Is this a problem? It depends on your habits. Few of us will ever want or need to listen with our buds for more than 7 hours. Even so, it's a competitive world out there, and if Sony's WF-SP800N can deliver 13 hours in a set of earbuds that cost the same amount, it tells us what to expect from other true wireless buds.

With a total of 28 hours (including charging case) and a quick charge time of 15 minutes for an additional hour of play time, the Elite Active 75t can still get you through a whole day without the action being interrupted.

durability

The Elite Active 75t isn't the first true wireless earbud to offer the waterproof protection that an IP57 rating does, but we have a hard time finding a kit that hasn't compromised.

This is the real reason you should consider the extra $ 20 when choosing between the Elite 75t and Elite Active 75t. It's like an insurance policy. You pay a little more upfront to reassure yourself that even if these buds opt for an accidental kerplunk, they'll survive to play another day.

Does this insurance policy hold up? I wore them to the gym, in the shower after the gym, and let them sit in a sink for 10 minutes with no problem.

Technically, IP57 means you can float them, which I did, but I advise against it. For one thing, water and Bluetooth are bad bedfellows. You are likely to have connection problems. Second, as safe as the Elite Actives are, you will be a sad pup if one or both of them manage to break free in the ocean. In a pool, I guess the chances of recovery are a little better.

Too close to call

I found the call quality of the Elite 75t to be very good in almost all situations and the Elite Active 75t did equally well. Your callers should have no problem hearing you unless you join your conference call while you're next to a construction site.

The ability to use the correct earbud alone comes in handy for calls, as is the sidetone feature when you're on the phone with two earbuds. It works just like HearThrough mode, so you can hear as much of your own voice as you want.

The ability to set the sidetone and turn it on and off while on a call is the cherry on top.

Warranty information

The Jabra Elite Active 75t comes with a two-year manufacturer's warranty against dust and sweat.

Our opinion

The Jabra Elite Active 75t is identical in almost every way to the excellent Elite 75t, offering a more secure fit and better protection from water for an additional $ 20 investment. They have a flatter EQ that reduces the Elite 75t's strong bass signature, which can seduce those who don't need extra ruggedness but simply want a more neutral sound. And with their new ANC ability, they feel like a 2020 product rather than a 2019 product.

Is there a better alternative?

Sony's $ 200 WF-SP800N is in a dead heat with the Elite Active 75t in terms of price, sound quality, and ANC. They have superior battery life but don't offer as much water protection. Their ear fins provide an extremely secure fit, but they're also much bulkier than the Jabras, both in the size of the buds themselves and in their charging case, which isn't nearly as tucked in.

Before Jabra added ANC to the elite, the Sony were a pretty strong alternative. Now it's up to personal preference.

How long it will take?

Jabra products are solidly made from high quality materials. The Elite Active 75t are no exception. We expect them to last for many years as long as they are not abused.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The secure and comfortable fit of the Jabra Elite Active 75t as well as the excellent sound quality and protection against dust and water make it the perfect companion for everything from daily commuting to the most strenuous exercise. Now that they have ANC too, they are near perfect.

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