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Beats Studio Buds vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t: Which noise-cancelling earbuds win?

Beats Studio Buds vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

This Beats Studio Buds vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t face-off compares two of the best wireless earbuds, helping you decide which pair best suits your needs and budget.

Recently launched, the Beats Studio Buds conquers new territories for the popular audio brand. Not only are is this Beats’ first-ever  pair of noise-cancelling earbuds in the true wireless category, but its  on also runs a proprietary, platform-neutral wireless chip rather than the usual Apple H1 or W1 processor. This brings adaptive ANC and stronger wireless performance, via Bluetooth 5.2, to the table.

The Jabra Elite Active 75t is Jabra’s greatest pair of wireless earbuds to date, and currently tops our best sport headphones rankings. Attractive aesthetics, dynamic sound, long battery life, and waterproof protection grant it mass appeal. Noise cancellation was even added through a software update several months after its release.

While one is designed for casual listening and the other for fitness, there’s no denying that these are two of the most enticing options in the category. As for which is the better investment, that is what our Beats Studio Buds vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t analysis will answer for you.

Beats Studio Buds vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t: Specs compared

Beats Studio BudsJabra Elite Active 75t
Price$149$149
Wireless chargingYesOptional
ChipNot statedQualcomm QCC5126
Battery life (rated)5 hours (ANC on), 8 hours (ANC off), 15 hours (charging case with ANC on), 24 hours (charging case with ANC off)5.5 hours (ANC on), 7.5 hours (ANC off), 28 hours (with charging case)
Water resistanceIPX4IP57
Case size2.2 x 2.8 x 1 inches2.4 x 1.4 x 1 inches
Case weight1.7 ounces1.2 ounces
Special featuresHybrid active noise cancellation, transparency mode, spatial audio, Headphone Accommodations, customizable sound, Fast Fuel charging, “Hey Siri” and “Hey Google” voice activation, Bluetooth 5.2, Google Fast PairActive noise cancellation, adjustable ambient listening mode, adaptive sound, customizable EQ, extra calling features, Soundscapes, digital assistant support (Google Assistant and Siri),

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t: Price

As far as value goes, each of these releases delivers superb performance for their price.   

Beats surprised the hell out of everyone by launching the Studio Buds at $149, undercutting Apple’s flagship model, the AirPods Pro, as well as other noise-cancelling heavyweights like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and Sony WF-1000XM4

Jabra released the Elite Active 75t originally for $199, though it has gone down in price numerous times; we’ve seen it for as low as $139 at major online retailers. A wireless charging version is available for a premium ($229), thought it can be had for $199 at Amazon.  

For all of the latest Apple, Beats, and Jabra headphones deals, be sure to bookmark our best cheap AirPods deals and best headphones deals pages.

Winner: Tie

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t: Design

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

Beats went outside of its comfort zone, with a traditional in-ear design that deviates from the ear-hook silhouette popularized by the Powerbeats series, and it’s strikingly attractive. Size has been downscaled from the Powerbeats Pro for a more discrete appearance. Small details like the uniquely shaped multifunctional button and signature B logo give the Studio Buds a little pizzaz. The all-plastic construction is also sturdy and stands up to scratches well, plus it is IPX4-rated for sweat and water resistance. Color options include Black, White, and Beats Red.

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Future)

As cool as the Studio Buds look, the Elite Active 75t catches the eye, hitting that sweet spot between business class and sporty. The design is 22% smaller than its predecessor and sits handsomely on the ears, much like its rival. We love the matte finish that comes in six enticing colors: Copper Black, Dark Grey, Navy, Titanium Black, Sienna, and Mint. Jabra made these buds waterproof to the IP57 standard, as well as sweat-resistant. Even tiny functional elements like the built-in magnets on the interior are cool, linking the buds together so they don’t roll off flat surfaces. The Studio Buds do the same, but the magnetism is much weaker.

Beats Studio Buds vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The charging cases are different in appearance and functionality. Most consumers will favor the Elite Active 75t case for its sturdiness; the rubberized exterior prevents scuffing. Its magnetic lid shuts tightly and the magnetic connectors on the inside keep the buds secured. Wireless charging is optional. The Studio Buds case is a welcome upgrade over the monstrous Powerbeats Pro case, being both slim and lightweight for easy carrying. Unfortunately, the magnetic system that keeps its lid shut isn’t particularly strong.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Each pair of buds offers moderate comfort and fit, but we especially like the Elite Active 75t for its sweat absorption. Jabra’s tips keep the buds locked in and reduce slippage whenever exposed to moisture. You’ll feel fine sporting them during hour-long workouts and enjoy a reasonable 2 hours of use for standard listening before fatigue sets in.

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Inserting the Studio Buds into your ears is a seamless task, thanks to the new ergonomically titled acoustic nozzle that Beats created. A laser-cut micro-vent was also added to relieve pressure build-up when enabling noise cancellation. The ear tips are OK for on-ear stabilization. Those with a low pain threshold may find the buds unpleasant when worn longer than 1 hour due to the sound port applying unwanted pressure to the concha.  

Winner: Jabra Elite Active 75t

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t: Controls and digital assistant

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Physical buttons, motion detection, and digital assistance make up the control schemes on both models. However, one proves to be the more intelligible pair, that being the Studio Buds. The long-strip multifunction buttons are responsive and produce great tactility when employing multi-press gestures. Whatever it is you’re playing will automatically pause whenever removing the buds. Beats took functionality a step further by including “Hey Siri” and “Hey Google” voice activation, letting you pull either AI bot by speaking out their respective action phrase for hands-free and reliable voice commands.

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

The Elite Active 75t has its own set of responsive MF buttons that deliver accurate results. You’ll hear a nice click sound when pressing the buttons that reassure you when executing intended commands. Taking off the buds will automatically pause music and resume playback when placed back on your ears. Jabra programmed the Elite Active 75t to work with the big three digital assistants – Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri – each one intuitive and responsive to verbal inquiries. The Studio Buds just have the advantage of voice activation.

Winner: Beats Studio Buds

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t: Active noise cancellation

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

These two models appear on our best noise-cancelling earbuds list, but their ANC performances aren’t cuite top-tier. The Studio Buds were engineered with active noise cancellation in mind, and they do a fairly good job of blocking out external sounds. Beats’ digital hybrid ANC uses a “finely-tuned filter with external, feed-forward mics and internal, feedback microphones.” This works to silence in-door commotion such as digital alarms, kitchen appliances, and televisions. 

That’s not to say it won’t work outside because the technology helps drone out talkative joggers and landscaping tools from afar. It is high frequencies that are tough to avoid; crying babies and sirens will break your concentration.   

The Elite Active 75t did not originally release with ANC. Instead, the feature was added through a free over-the-air update. This implies that the buds already had noise-neutralizing technology available, which Jabra was able to unlock by performing a few firmware tweaks. 

The effort deserves a round of applause, but ultimately you can get much better ANC elsewhere — on the QuietComfort Earbuds, for instance. At best, the Elite Active 75t will cancel out low frequencies (like AC unit humming and vehicle engines) and day-to-day disturbances like rowdy commuters and whisking cars. We also can’t stand the annoyingly long 10-minute setup that personalizes ANC to your hearing.

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Both models come with their own transparency mode that performs equally well to gain greater awareness of your surroundings. We often used the Studio Buds in public settings like coffee shops to convey orders clearly to baristas. We did find the Elite Active 75t’s HearThrough mode to be the better communication tool, whether it was stopping for brief chats with neighbors or keeping safe while running outside.

Winner: Beats Studio Buds

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t: Sound quality

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The Studio Buds are arguably Beats’ best-sounding wireless earbuds to date, presenting a more refined sound profile that tones down bass for detailed, well-balanced audio. They feed your ears a nice mix of lows, mids, and highs. Instruments have a lively presence on orchestral tracks, while vocals are given prominence on acoustic recordings. 

Don’t be scared off by the milder bass response, as it’s still tight and punchy to enjoy contemporary music selections. You don't get spatial audio as it functions on the AirPods Pro, with video support and head-tracking, but you can still enjoy 3D sound in many Apple Music tracks — and unlike on most headphones, spatial audio mode is activated automatically when you're using the Studio Buds.

Users can also customize sound by selecting the Equalizer setting in iOS or Spotify, or through Headphone Accommodations, an iOS feature that tailors sound to one’s hearing.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Dynamic sound has been a pillar of the Elite series, and it is in top form on the Elite Active 75t.  These buds don’t skimp on bass and give the low-end excellent representation to fuel your workouts. More so, they do this without distorting the soundstage. But it’s the level of detail produced by the Elite Active 75t that shines. 

High-pitched keys and strings are handled delicately to where you’ll pick up on certain nuances, like fingertip friction or a misplayed keynote. There's also an equalizer setting in the companion app that makes adjusting the frequency levels incredibly simple. Here is where you’ll find a handful of well-engineered presets that cater to specific genres.

As wonderfully as both models perform, Beats has the sonic edge. 

Winner: Beats Studio Buds

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t: App and special features

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Powered by an all-new (and undisclosed) chipset, the Studio Buds brings forth both new features and familiar ones from the Powerbeats Pro — while also losing out on popular ones tied to the H1 and W1 chips. We already discussed hybrid ANC, ambient listening, spatial audio, sound customization, Headphone Accommodations, and voice activation. What else is left?

The Studio Buds are the first product in the Apple/Beats line to support both FindMy in iOS and Find My Device on Android for locating misplaced buds. One-touch pairing is here for instant connectivity; Android users can expedite the process with Google Fast Pair. The Beats app is also supported and grants control customization, but that’s about it. Battery level indicators, firmware updates, and toggle controls for the listening modes are all that’s left in the app. No H1/W1 chip means losing out on auto switching between iCloud-registered devices, audio sharing between two Apple or Beats headphones, and Siri Announce Notifications.

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

All of the Elite Active 75’s special features are accessible through the Jabra Sound+ app. Until now, the only big features mentioned were ANC, HearThrough, and the EQ, but there is a lot more to discover. MySound uses adaptive sound technology to create a sound profile tailored to your hearing. Then there's Soundscapes, a unique audio mode that can play 12 different nature sounds for anxiety relief; it is highly recommended for those who want to calm down during stressful times. Another mode that comes in handy is Call Experience, which enhances call quality by increasing how loud and deep your voice sounds during calls.

The MyControls function can be utilized to assign and expand the control scheme on both buds. Jabra also included multipoint technology to easily connect the buds to two devices at the same time, which makes switching from a laptop to mobile device, and vice versa, ridiculously easy. Rounding out Sound+ is the Find My Jabra mode for finding lost buds, firmware updates, toggle controls, and the Moments setting with three different profiles (My Moment, Commute, Focus) to personalize for different scenarios.

Overall, Jabra’s buds have the more serviceable feature set.

Winner: Jabra Elite Active 75t

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t: Call quality

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

You won’t find the Studio Buds or Elite Active 75t on our list of the best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls. Does that make them bad calling headsets? Absolutely not. Both are adequate for phone calls and video chats, but our preference is the Elite Active 75t because of how well its four-mic system relays clear voice transmission and the Call Experience mode. You’ll hear and make out everything said on the opposite end, both indoors and outdoors.

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

We thought the Studio Buds would have provided similar call quality as the Powerbeats Pro, but no luck. The buds do come in handy when in a pinch, but the conversations will be brief due to constant muffling and some cutout. At least the Studio Buds do a reasonable job with minimizing ambient sounds, which helps a little when talking outside or in gusty conditions.

Winner: Jabra Elite Active 75t

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t: Battery life

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Future)

Factor volume, streaming, and special features into the equation and battery life is pretty even on these two models. The Studio Buds has higher-rated playtimes between 5 hours (ANC on) and 8 hours (ANC off), while the Elite Active 75t manages between 5.5 hours (ANC on) and 7.5 hours (ANC off).

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Reagan Coule/Tom's Guide)

Jabra’s charging case holds longer listening times when fully charged, 28 hours, versus the 24 hours given by the Studio Buds case. Wireless charging is something else the Elite Active 75t supports. The Studio Buds doesn’t.

The real determinant is quick charging, which is one of Beats’ hallmarks courtesy of strong Fast Fuel technology that juices up the buds for 1.5 hours on a 5-minute charge. Jabra’s technology is slower and requires 15 minutes for 1 hour of use.

Winner: Beats Studio Buds

Beats Studio Buds vs Jabra Elite Active 75t: Verdict

It was a close call, but in the end, the Jabra Elite Active 75t wins. Mind you, this is a model that has been out for over a yea,r and the fact that it delivers sound and battery life just as good as its competitor shows just how far ahead Jabra is in the category. 

The sturdy construction and waterproof protection make these buds an ideal workout companion, while the sleek aesthetics are a nice touch. We also appreciate that Jabra added ANC, and even though it can use some refining, to get this type of feature in a software update is remarkable.

Beats Studio BudsJabra Elite Active 75t
Value (5)55
Design (15)1213
Controls (10)87
Noise Cancellation (20)1514
Audio (20)1817
Special Features and Apps (15)1012
Call Quality (5)34
Battery Life (10)98
Total Score (100)7980

The Beats Studio Buds deserve recognition for trying different things, many of which they succeeded at. There is much to like about the distinctive design. Any enhancements made to the sound profile were for the better, blessing listeners with full-bodied sound. ANC isn’t upper echelon, but the feature will suffice for commutes and select indoor environments. The new chipset also performs well for instant connectivity to iOS and Android devices. 

Unfortunately, no H1 or W1 processor means losing out on some of the AirPods' coolest features, WHILE the disappointing call quality and lack of wireless charging are missed opportunities.