Tech review: Is Jabra Elite 75t an AirPods killer?

Jabra's new Elite 75t headphones are among the sleekest In the market.
Jabra's new Elite 75t headphones are among the sleekest In the market.PHOTO: JABRA

The true wireless in-ear headphones bandwagon is getting really crowded, with Jabra's new Elite 75t the latest to join the party.

Available currently in titanium black (version tested) and gold beige, these headphones are among the sleekest you will find in the market.

A single circular button with the Jabra logo occupies the exterior of each earbud. This bulbous section extends into a very short stem that leads to the ear tip, making it look really streamlined when you are wearing the earbuds, with none of the unsightly bulge of the Sony WF-1000XM3 or the long stem of the Apple AirPods.

Even the colour-matched charging case, with a USB-C charging port at its rear, is minimalistic. The case's lid flips up easily and closes magnetically. However, it does not support wireless charging.

Three different-sized pairs of ear tips are included. Once I found the right pair, the earbuds fit snugly and stayed in even when I tried to dislodge them by swinging my head.

The earbuds are rated IP55 - good enough for jogs under a drizzle but don't wear them in the shower or pool.

The earbuds also provide a great seal against ambient noise but its lack of active noise cancellation (ANC) means its ability to block out outside noise is not as good as its ANC-equipped peers, such as the Apple AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3.

Pairing is really easy. Just take the earbuds out of their charging case and look for them in the Bluetooth settings of your mobile device or laptop. To pair them with another device, I found that it is better to turn off the Bluetooth function of the first paired device. Then, press and hold the button of each earbud for three seconds.

I found the headphone controls a tad confusing. For instance, you long press the left earbud's button to lower the volume, but doing likewise with right earbud's button will increase the volume instead.

And you can only use the right earbud's button to activate the voice assistant (by pressing it twice).

But I like that the Elite 75t is able to connect to two devices at the same time. I did so with my MacBook Pro and a Samsung Galaxy Note10+. This is great, as I can be transcribing my interviews on the laptop and quickly switch to answering an incoming call.

  • FOR

    • Great sound quality

    • Good call quality

    • Can be paired to two devices at the same time

    • Its Sound+ app allows for custom equaliser settings

    AGAINST

    • Lacks active noise cancelling

    • Charging case does not support wireless charging

    • Confusing button controls

    TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $288

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 5.0

    WEIGHT: 5.5g (earbud), 35g (charging case)

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Note that only one device can be used at a time when two are connected. I have to pause one audio source - the interview recording on the laptop - before I could answer the call on the smartphone.

The call quality of the Elite 75t is superb. I can be heard loud and clear at the other end, whether I am in a noisy cafe or the office.

Music sound quality is really good too, with great bass oomph, pleasing mids and detailed highs. It does not lose details even with the volume cranked up high.

Furthermore, I can customise the equaliser settings to my taste using the Sound+ app (Android and iOS), apart from using the various equaliser presets.

Battery life - rated at 7.5 hours of music playback on a full charge and a total of 28 hours with the charging case - is excellent. I found the rating to be spot on. There was around 50 per cent of battery left after 4 hours of continuous playback during my testing.

At $288, the Elite 75t offers great value for money with its overall performance. It is also cheaper than the AirPods Pro ($379) and WF-1000XM3 ($349), but of course, the Elite 75t lacks ANC.

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