I’m still searching for the best running headphones that don’t fall out of my ears.
When I tried AirPods Pro for running at the track, I spent less time exercising than retrieving plummeted buds. Then, I replaced AirPods Pro with Powerbeats Pro and came close to ending my quest, but those hooked headphones had their own setbacks.
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Now I’ve turned to the Jabra Elite Active 75t, the best wireless earbuds according to the audio experts here at Tom’s Guide. More than that, more than one Twitter friend called the sporty Jabra buds their go-tos for all things exercise.
Unlike Powerbeats Pro, the Jabra Elite Active 75t offer active noise cancellation — an AirPods Pro feature I didn’t really need at the track, but I need when working out indoors. An endless week of rain in the northeast meant my running would need to take place on a treadmill, and knowing my Jabra Elite Active 75t would block out distractions from my fellow gym-goers came as a relief.
And while I missed the effortless Apple setup via H1 chip, the Elite Active 75t earbuds are completely sweat-proof and rated for 7.5 hours of nonstop tunes. So are Jabra Elite Active 75t my ideal running headphones? Read on to find out.
Running with Jabra Elite Active 75t: Comfort and security
I’m not going to lie, the Jabra Elite Active 75t design didn’t make me optimistic at first. They looked no less secure than AirPods Pro, even without stems hanging out from my ears. I tried on the pairs of included ear tips to find my best fit, and surprisingly the medium size provided the right snug. With the Powerbeats Pro, I liked the smallest ear tips more. Of course, AirPods Pro offers a special fit test to pick the proper size for you.
I did a hype-up dance to double-check my choice, and the Jabra Elite Active 75t stayed put. Since I went to the gym for this workout instead of the track, I warmed-up on the elliptical instead of walking my usual half-mile. Though I wasn’t convinced of earbud’s security, the Elite Active 75t surprised me in terms of comfort. It felt like I had nothing in my ear. At just 0.19 ounces, they’re as lightweight as AirPods Pro, and significantly less hefty than the 0.36-ounce Powerbeats Pro.
Alas, after I transitioned to the treadmill to pick up my pace, the Jabra Elite Active 75t in my left ear fell out within my first quarter-mile running at 5.5 miles per hour. My cat-like reflexes caught it against my shoulder before I had to stop moving, but the tumble changed my perception of security. Luckily, the earbuds stayed put for the rest of my run, but I often adjusted them out of instinct, pressing them firmly into my ear canals to avoid any further problems
Running with Jabra Elite Active 75t: Sound quality
Jabra is one of the most respected names in the audio game, so I had high hopes for sound quality. I had no idea just how curated my sound could be, though. In the Jabra Sound+ app, I explored presets and other cool features that enhance both sound and call quality. I like toying with customizable EQ for running — heavy bass keeps me motivated.
Pressing play on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s “Can’t Stop” got me through a particularly tough rut about a mile in, when I considered giving up. But the reverberation I felt from the introductory bass riff and pounding drum beat boosted my energy levels. Similarly, rhythmic thumps of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Can’t Hold Us” carried me right to the end of my two-mile run.
As I mentioned earlier, noise cancellation in the gym is a big deal. I realized if I were to run inside again, I wouldn’t reach for the Powerbeats Pro. The Jabra Elite Active 75t drowned out someone else in the gym taking a phone call, as well as the odd jangles of free weights located behind my treadmill. And when I wanted to ask another gym-goer how much longer they’d need a machine, one tap switched my earbuds to pass-through mode, so I could carry a quick conversation without taking a bud out.
Running with Jabra Elite Active 75t: Verdict
The Jabra Elite Active 75t are officially my new gym headphones. The long-lasting battery life, lightweight design, impressive active noise cancellation and customizable audio options prove why these earbuds are so beloved.
That said, they’re still susceptible to falling out, which is my biggest gripe with AirPods Pro. I tried breaking up with wireless earbuds entirely last year knowing this is a very “me” problem. I think if I’m on the go, or at the track moving around, I need to know my headphones won’t disappear down a subway grate or into the turf. Powerbeats Pro provided that guarantee. I just wish they offered ANC.
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