Jabra Connect 5T review: Enterprise buds that mix business with sonic pleasure

These are the buds you want for conference calls and casual listening

Jabra Connect 5T held in hand.
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Despite their lackluster noise cancelation, the Jabra Connect 5T are standout work-from-home earbuds with terrific sound and call quality.

Pros

  • +

    Powerful mic performance for calls and digital assistance

  • +

    Strong ambient listening mode

  • +

    Good sound performance

  • +

    Long battery life

  • +

    Stable fit

Cons

  • -

    Ineffective ANC

  • -

    Missing some Jabra flagship features

  • -

    Slightly uncomfortable

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Jabra Connect 5T: Specifications

Price: $169 / £169 / AU$249

Colors: Titanium black

Battery life (rated): 7 hours (ANC on); 9 hours (ANC off); 28 hours (charging case with ANC on); 36 hours (charging case with ANC off)

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 (codec support: SBC, AAC)

Water resistance: Yes (IP55 rated)

Size: 0.787 x 0.809 x 1.063 (per bud); 1.024 x 1.531 x 2.524 (charging case)

Weight: 0.17 ounces (per bud); 1.4 ounces (charging case)

Before Jabra established itself in the true wireless category, the Danish electronics consumer brand made Bluetooth headsets for the telecommunications market. It's no surprise, then, that it moved into the wireless earbuds sector. Its first offering was the Elite 65t, which was a smash hit that was praised for its deep functionality and superb audio and call quality. That momentum carried over to a succession of models, from the Editor’s Choice Elite Active 75t to the noise-cancelling Elite 85t.

With many of us moving to a home and part office working hybrid and a online meetings, Jabra refocused its strengths on a brand pillar: call quality. This has led to the creation of the Connect 5T.

These wireless earbuds were designed to prioritize both audio and calls, boasting powerful 6-mic call technology, along with numerous key features such as active noise cancelation (ANC), multipoint technology, and call customization settings. Jabra also built these buds on the same architecture as the Elite 5, welcoming many of the same performance hallmarks such as personalized sound, voice-activated commands, and wireless charging. 

The Connect 5T does falter in certain areas, specifically ANC, but excels at its strengths, making these some of the best work-from-home buds available.

Jabra Connect 5T in charging case on a white background

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Jabra Connect 5T review: Price and availability

  • Higher MSRP than most Jabra models
  • Available in black only

The Jabra Connect 5T ANC earbuds are priced at $169 / £169 / AU$249.  In the U.S. they're sold exclusively through Best Buy (opens in new tab), but in other territories they're available from the Jabra website (opens in new tab). Titanium black is the only color option available for this specific model. Inside the box are a charging case, wireless charging pad, USB-C cable, three sets of different-sized EarGels silicone tips, and a quick guide. The Connect 5T are remarkably similar to the Jabra Elite 5 earbuds, which have an MSRP of $149 but don't come supplied with a wireless charging pad.

Despite similar spec sheets, the Connect 5T are priced higher than most other entries in the Elite series, as well as bargain ANC rivals like the $59 1More PistonBuds Pro. They're less expensive than category leaders such as the AirPods Pro 2 ($249) and Sony WF-1000XM4 ($279), however.

Bookmark our headphone deals page to stay up on the latest sales and bag a bargain.

Jabra Connect 5T

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Jabra Connect 5T review: Design and comfort

  • Same chic design as the Elite 5
  • Small and stylish charging case
  • Stable fit, middling comfort

The Connect 5T are an exact replica of the company's Elite 5. Size and weight haven’t changed. Each bud is wrapped in sturdy plastic with IP55 protection against dust, sweat, and heavy water splashing. Details are the same, from the tiny mic openings to the warped, oval-shaped design. Even the same titanium black colorway is used.

No changes were made to the charging case either. It’s still compact and composed of the same materials as the buds. The magnets are strong to keep the buds docked in their charging slots and the lid shut tightly. While the case can survive tumbles to the concrete, that doesn’t make it immune to scuffs or scratches, which the exterior easily attracts.

Jabra Connect 5T worn by reviewer

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The bundled charging pad is sleek and makes for a nice desktop décor piece.

These buds will stay put on your ears, thanks to proprietary EarGels that form a secure seal around the canal. The tips absorb moisture well and reduce slippage when caught in the rain or working out, though keep in mind that the Connect 5T was specifically designed for work. Jabra does offer an ear tip fit test (MyFit), but only for high-end models (e.g., Elite 7 Pro, Elite 85t).

Comfort remains an issue with Jabra models. The Connect 5T is easy to insert and sits nicely on your ears. Unfortunately, the multifunctional button remains an impractical design choice that pushes the buds further into your ears with every press. This becomes fatiguing after a while.

Jabra Connect 5T configuring controls

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Jabra Connect 5T review: Controls and digital assistant

  • Responsive button controls
  • One-dimensional wear detection
  • Stellar voice activation

Physical buttons make up most of the Connect 5T’s control scheme. Enabled functions include playback, call management, digital assistance, listening mode activation, and Spotify Tap. The MyControls setting in the companion lets you swap out and assign functions to different input methods: single/double/triple tap or long hold. Each button produces strong tactility and accurately responds to intended commands.

Wear detection is available, but only seems to work one way. Taking off the buds will initiate auto-pause, which operates smoothly, but placing them back on your ear won’t resume playback.

Jabra Connect 5T testing controls and digital assistant

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

One of the Connect 5T’s strong selling points is Alexa and Google Assistant voice activation. It was fun firing up the AI bots by speaking their wake word phrases, and the feature worked incredibly well. Jabra’s six-mic array snatched every syllable spoken and demonstrated great intelligibility, responding to long-winded inquiries with precision. Google Assistant can be enabled manually by performing a double press on the left bud. Siri and Bixby are also compatible.

Jabra Connect 5T music app control on phone showing Rudimental album cover

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Jabra Connect 5T review: Sound quality

  • Warm, rich sound
  • Customizable EQ with presets
  • No lossless or spatial audio support

The Connect 5T serves well for music listening. Jabra’s dynamic soundstage is on full display, delivering well-balanced frequencies with an emphasis on bass that adds oomph to tracks. 

The deep kick drum on Rudimental’s “Spoons” was impactful and steady throughout the recording, while the elongated synths and reverbed vocals sounded crisp. I was more impressed by how well Jabra’s 6mm drivers handled heavier bass tracks like Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop,” which carries a monstrous bassline accompanied by a pounding kick and snare rhythm. Taking on that much low end is no easy feat, but the Connect 5T kept the soundscape energetic without producing any distortion. Hearing some of the record’s subtle nuances such as the light two-tap cymbal was a highlight.

Jabra Connect 5T app control showing EQ adjustments

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Those wanting a more personalized listening experience can play around with Jabra’s 5-band EQ to tweak bass, midrange, and treble. Another option is selecting from one of six music presets: Neutral (the default), Speech, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Smooth or Energize. Each of these enhance sound in different ways. Smooth gave instruments a vibrant presence on jazz records; Leroy Hutson’s “Cool Out” was an intimate listen that felt like a live performance. Speech was ideal for ballads and skits (podcasts too), while Bass Boost gave the low end more punch. 

Jabra’s MySound feature, which calibrates sound to your hearing based on audio test results, does not come part of the package.

These buds support aptX, SBC, and AAC codecs, all of which performed well across compatible devices. The exclusion of lossless codecs like LDAC and spatial audio don’t diminish the Connect 5T’s sonic value.

Jabra Connect 5T app control showing noise canceling options

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Jabra Connect 5T review: Active noise cancellation

  • Weak ANC
  • Strong transparency mode

ANC was a letdown on the Connect 5T. Quality noise-canceling buds can block out voices, but these buds struggled to do so. They also let in a lot of mid- and high-frequency noises.

There are two ways to experience the feature: an adjustable 5-level ANC mode or Personalized ANC to tailor noise neutralization to your ears. Neither did much to tame disruptions.

The Connect 5T could handle low frequencies like the humming sounds from an AC unit. However, I could hear other noises like truck engines and cars splashing through water puddles. Higher-pitched sounds like iPhone ringers and my son’s cries entered the soundscape as well.

Jabra Connect 5T earbuds on a white surface

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Personalized ANC slightly reduced low- and mid-frequency noises, but several still made their way through. Wind resistance was also mediocre. 

HearThrough remains one of the best ambient listening modes. It’s been my go-to since Jabra introduced it and does a fantastic job of increasing environmental awareness. You can adjust between 4 levels. Setting it to max opens the mics wide and lets in noises from long distances. Hearing pedestrian chatter from across the street and train horns a few blocks away was impressive. I was most satisfied hearing my wife comfort our baby on the balcony, while keeping tabs on deliveries.

Jabra Connect 5T noise canceling options

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Jabra Connect 5T review: Special features and app

  • Several customizable tools
  • Cool shortcut menu to enable ANC
  • Some Jabra features are unavailable

The Connect 5T is compatible with the Jabra Sound+ app, meaning you have access to most of the same features as previous Jabra releases. Many have already been discussed, including ANC/HearThrough, EQ, MyControls, music presets, Personalized ANC, Spotify Tap, and voice assistant selection. There are a few more features worth checking out. 

Soundscapes acts as a meditative tool that plays different ambient sounds to mask distractions around you. There are many profiles ranging from comfort to nature to standard background sounds like white noise or waterfall. Some of these helped during stressful times. Ocean Waves made me feel like I was sitting near rocks on an oceanfront and Cavern had me immersed in a deep cave where the echo of water drops sounded surreal.

Jabra Connect 5T app showing Spotify Connect

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Call Experience is another feature I highly advise playing with since it enhances call quality. You can adjust how loud you sound on calls and turn on functions like auto-answer or mute through wear detection.

Rounding out the app are a Find My Jabra (earbuds) function, firmware updates, quick start guide, and battery level indicators for each bud and the charging case.

You can set up a shortcut menu to appear on the notifications bar of your phone. This lets you toggle the listening modes, monitor battery life, and grants instant access to the app. 

Some of Jabra’s premium features like MyControls and MyFit are MIA.

Jabra Connect 5T on charge via wireless charger

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Jabra Connect 5T review: Battery life and charging case

  • Solid playtimes
  • Charging case holds plenty of portable power

Jabra rates battery life at 7 hours with ANC on and 9 hours with ANC off. My testing showed these playtimes to be mostly accurate. Keep in mind that high volume can decrease them by about 45 minutes. Any pair of buds that last longer than the AirPods Pro 2 (5.5 – 7 hours) is good in my book. I got 4 days of moderate use out of them (2 hours daily).

The charging case holds between 28 to 36 hours, depending how you use the buds. A 10-minute quick charge generates 1 hour of use. You can also charge the case wirelessly via Jabra’s wireless pad.

Jabra Connect 5T worn by reviewer sat in front of a laptop

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Jabra Connect 5T review: Call quality and connectivity

  • Great for voice and video calls
  • Stable wireless performance
  • Connects to two devices at once

These are some of the best wireless earbuds with a mic for voice and video calls. All my conversations were met with praise, especially during video conferences. My clients were surprised by how loud and clear I sounded on Zoom calls. ANC didn’t perform well, but my voice remained prominent over background noise.

The Connect 5T operates on Bluetooth 5.2. Connectivity was fast, especially on Android devices via one-tap Google Fast Pair. Range extended up to 50 feet in open spaces. Multipoint technology also let me pair to two devices simultaneously, something the average businessman will appreciate when switching from a smartphone to laptop and vice versa.

Jabra Connect 5T review: Verdict

These are Jabra’s best buds for call quality and a great productivity companion to have, be it working from home or in the office. Sound is vibrant, battery life is lengthy, and cool features like multipoint technology allow for seamless switching between devices. Had noise cancellation and comfort been better, these would have earned a higher rating, but a 4-star review still makes them worth checking out.

Next: Want quality buds for a bargain? Here are the best cheap wireless earbuds right now.

Alex Bracetti

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.