Jabra told the audio industry when the critically acclaimed Elite 65T was released. Excellent communication, even better sound, and lots of smart features packed into a sleek, compact design, the earbuds were a champion of the category and the best alternative AirPods of any price class. Their follow-up, the Elite Active 65T, lifted the ante by adding more sporty features such as sweat-resistant insulation and an integrated accelerometer, making our list of the best wireless earbuds.
Several months later, with the AirPods Pro sweeping all the tech news, Jabra is looking to steal the thunder from Apple with the launch of its latest flagship offering: the Jabra Elite 75T. Such buds have the making of a classic, coupled with the same versatile quality as their predecessor, flexible listening modes, longer battery life, and improved layout.
The Jabra Elite 75T is a reliable pair of wireless buds with high customization in-app and features that improve the listening experience. Bugs also afflict these and in places these shouldn’t come up short.
Jabra did an excellent job designing the Jabra Elite 75T, making the buds 20 percent smaller than the Jabra Elite 65T without compromising on specs. The charging case, three sets of ear tips and a short USB-C charging cable can be found inside the box. These are available in two colors, Black and Titan Blue, which is deep slate gray.
The Jabra Elite 75T is IP55 certified, which means that the buds are resistant to dust and water, but not sweatproof (e.g., Elite Active 65T). Technically, you might be able to use them to work out, but they are really made for leisure. The slimmer model, which is more discreet and ideal for listening to incognito, is another aspect that stands out. The bulkier frame of the Elite 65T makes them stick out like a sore thumb, while the long-standing shape of the AirPods Pro is not very flattering.
The Elite models are not only distinguished by size and IPX ratings. By shortening the tip of the earbuds where the voice mics are placed, Jabra flexed his engineering muscle. The inlays on the front are made smaller and produce similar tactility as the Jabra Elite 65T, which also doubles as the buttons. Having one color buds maintains a fresh, minimalist look, but on the older versions I think the two-tone colorways seemed edgier.
Jabra made something else smaller and more practical: the case for charging. One issue that often irritated me with the previous case was that to open it you had to squeeze both ends and push it up on the small ridge. It’s no longer. The case of the Jabra Elite 7T has a magnetic closure that makes the lid smooth to open and close. Despite losing the rubberized soft-touch coating, which minimized scrapes and bruises, it has a pleasant feeling in the plastic casing that also complements the luxurious appearance of the buds.
COMFORT AND FIT
The Jabra Elite 75T is the lightweight epitome at 0.19 ounces. Compared to the Elite 65T (0.22 ounces), this number may seem insignificant, but you can notice the weight difference while carrying and wearing the two versions. More surprisingly, they weigh the same as the AirPods Pro, and the charging case of Jabra (1.2 ounces) is smaller than that of Apple (1.61 ounces).
The sound port seems to be longer, making it easier for the buds to slip into the ear. The tips of the gel often create an acceptable fit and seal around the pipe. Overall, the buds were an excellent wear that gave my desk and long commutes great comfort.
The slightest humidity, however, gives the plastic casing a slippery surface that reduces grip power. As I bobbed my head to music on the train platform, I could feel the buds moving. There was a time when I was afraid to lose them on the tracks. This also makes them less suitable for exercise; there were more excellent grip and stability in the rubberized layer on the Elite Active 65T.
Through integrating multiple functions into two physical buttons along with on-ear detection, Jabra simplified the controls of the Jabra Elite 75T. Playback, volume, and features are split between each earbud, which appears to be a confusing setup but is easy to master.
The left earbud works as follows: HearThrough mode enables/ disable (1x press), forward path (2x press), previous path (3x news) and lower volume (long press). Play/pause music and answer/end calls (1x press) allow digital assistant (2x press) and increase volume (long press). In the beginning, latency was a significant problem, but after the update, the buttons showed better responsiveness.
One of the biggest highlights of the Elite 65T was vibrant, lively music. The Jabra Elite 75T has more punch to it, while they share the same drivers, which can be overbearing on some tracks. Luckily, the Sound+ software is ideal for audio fine-tuning and is highly appropriate for most music genres.
Hard rock and hip-hop fans are going to want to change the EQ for the best results from Normal to Treble Boost. The move helped Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” bringing down the lows and adding more energy to the mid-range for a balanced listening. The bass rumble on “Momma Said Knock You Out” from LL Cool J also knocked hard (in the right way) without diminishing the fiery vocal delivery of the rapper.
You will need to be cautious when listening at maximum volume because blasting music causes unnecessary vibration that is uncomfortable to hear. Thanks to bloaty sonics, the Roots ‘ “The Show,” a record that takes the low end of distortion-ville, made the hook and verses inaudible. Bass’s answer on the AirPods Pro felt more balanced but more impactful on the Jabra Elite 75T.
I turned myself into melodic recordings to get a better feel for the musical range of the buds. The “Tell Me a Bedtime Story” by Herbie Hancock was a serene listening sounding amazing on several settings (Smooth did the trick) and superbly reproducing highs. My ears have been filled with crisp strings and hi-hats. Together with the striking piano keys, Mary J. Blige’s “I Love You” made me feel the pain in the voice of the singer. The Elite 65T, while the AirPods Pro failed to match it, was able to maintain this depth; highs were less distinctive.
Podcasts and videos, mainly interviews, are where the Jabra Elite 75T sounds best. I breezed through several ESPN clips and was shocked at how the reporters spoke loud and clear. More surprising was how the buds replicated well background sounds; during pre-game scenes, I could hear off-camera conversations and sneakers screeching on the court.
Jabra rates battery life at 7.5 hours, which is really around 6.5 to 7 hours. It offers more playtime than the Elite 65T (5 hours) and AirPods Pro (5 hours) and Treblab X5 (4hours) but still comes in shorter than class leaders like the Powerbeats Pro (9 hours). All in all, the buds held a charge long enough for me to enjoy music and YouTube videos on daily walks. I managed about 2 hours of wireless listening for 3 days straight before tossing them into the charging case.
The revamped charging case is the true difference-maker for the Jabra Elite 75T. Whereas the Elite 65T’s case carried up to 15 hours of playtime, this one increases it up to 20.5 hours, which is about three full charges. USB-C is finally onboard and fast charging speeds up the process by generating a full hour of use on a 15-minute charge. It’s such a convenient carry on every level.
CALL QUALITY AND CONNECTIVITY
Call quality was a trademark that has always attracted me to Jabra earbuds. The Elite 65 t series allowed loud, crisp calling. I don’t know where Jabra went wrong with the Jabra Elite 75T. Every call I screened before the update sounded extremely low, with the buds and my max volume mobile. With the update, nothing changed.
Each call I monitored, even with the buds and my mobile at maximum volume, sounded extremely low. While talking in quiet environments, I could hardly decide sentences, let alone outside. A few callers complained of the muffled sound of my voice. The mics were very noise prone, picking up tiny details that impeded visibility. Wind resistance was not the highest either, producing unnecessary clatter with the slightest draft. It didn’t help much to change the settings.
Connectivity was my first go-round spotty, but the latest update received a much-needed boost. The most critical change made by Jabra was to improve the relation of the left earbud; it no longer drops out randomly. The range of Bluetooth is more extended and more robust now. Where I had previously experienced a drop-out within 25 feet of my connected device, I can now enjoy wireless listening up to 35 miles.
It was a breeze to connect to portable devices. Multipoint technology allowed simultaneous communication to two devices and made switching between audio sources without unpairing effortless. The ability to play Spotify playlists from my desktop and monitor playback while cooking is empowering on my smartphone.
The Jabra Elite 75T is a nice Elite 65T upgrade. A tinier nature and increased battery life will gravitate to this product for true wireless seekers. The buds look sexy, feel comfortable, and the load case is as compact as they make them: small, robust, with plenty of portable power stores. When PNC and HearThrough perform better than expected, Jabra also deserves props for programming powerful listening modes.
Their unforeseen shortcomings are what keeps buds from winning a perfect score. The new update has patched many of the system’s glitches. Sadly, depending on your computer, the digital assistant is still hit-or-miss. It is also difficult to overlook the poor quality of the call.
Although the Elite 75T does not have the same effect as its predecessors, at a lower price, it is still a fine-looking pair of buds with better sound and battery life than the AirPods Pro. Whether they’re better is a question that we’re going to answer in a future face-off game.