Price: $249 / £229 / AU$379
Colors: Cream, cocoa, gloss black, matte black, titanium black
Battery life (rated): 6 hours (ANC on); 8 hours (ANC off); 27 hours (ANC on w/charging case), 36 hours (ANC off w/charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 (codec support: SBC, AAC)
Durability: Earbuds rated to IP57
Size: 0.8 x 0.7 x 1.1 inches (per bud); 1 x 1.8 x 2.6 inches (charging case)
Weight: 0.2 ounces (per bud); 1.6 ounces (charging case)
The recently launched Jabra Elite 10 wireless noise canceling earbuds really do look set to put the company back in the mix for best wireless earbuds. Although we've seen quality models from the brand before from the great-value Elite 3 to the sporty Elite 7 Active, neither model replicated the award-winning success of the 5-star Elite Active 75t. Sadly, that model was discontinued some time ago and after several attempts, the Elite 10 at last looks to be a worthy successor and joins the Elite 8 Active as the company's newest wireless earbud models stirring things up among big-name wireless earbud rivals. They're available to pre-order now from the Jabra website and are expected to be on full retail sale priced at $249 / £229 / AU$379 from mid-September.
Jabra has stuffed as many upscale features as they could into a luxe design, including double the active noise cancellation, spatial audio with Dolby head tracking, seamless Bluetooth multipoint, and several settings that enhance usability on multiple ends. Regardless of their finicky call quality and spatial audio, the Elite 10 stand out as some of the best noise-cancelling earbuds you can buy. Scroll down to see why.
Jabra Elite 10: Great sound and spatial audio support
Let’s discuss the Elite 10’s default sound profile, which is neutral out of the box. Expect excellent frequency response with deep bass that makes contemporary tracks engaging, especially when listening via lossless and hi-res streaming platforms like Tidal — one of the best music streaming services we've heard.
Upbeat R&B records like 112’s “Only You (Remix)” had a nice bop to them. The infectious bassline knocked hard without coming on too strong. Also, the group’s harmonizing and the jingly triangle effect in the background were highly transparent. Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” maintained that same warm, articulate presentation. The reproduction of Ozzy Osbourne’s frenetic vocals was shockingly good, while the pounding drums and speedy strums on the bridge guitar solo had me headbanging at my work desk.
Listening with ANC on slightly increases bass, though you can personalize sound via Music Equalizer in the Sound+ app. You’re given two options: manually adjust frequencies to create your own sound profile or select from six well-engineered presets. The absent MySound feature is more effective for calibrating sound to your hearing. Luckily, you don’t need it since the Neutral preset produces a terrific mix of lows, mids, and highs.
LE Audio is incorporated and SBC and AAC achieve crisp, low-latent audio transmission. However, the Elite 10 could have still benefited from aptX or LDAC codec support to enable the earbuds to deliver high-quality audio streams.
Spatial Sound is the company’s 3D audio format powered by Dolby Atmos. Jabra needs to polish it up more. Some songs sounded immersive, while others sounded dull and tinny.
Most Dolby Atmos tracks on Apple Music were satisfying listens. Hello Yellow’s “Help Again” burst with vibrancy; the striking cymbals and vocoder rhymes enlivened the soundstage. Meanwhile, hip-hop songs like Slaughterhouse’s “Not Tonight” lacked amplification and clarity. The low-sounding vocals felt like I was hearing the group from the nosebleed section in a massive arena.
Using Spatial Sound on Android devices required some adjustments. I often have the Fixed Spatial Audio feature set on my OnePlus 11 smartphone, which works with all headphones and earbuds. Having it on at the same time as Spatial Sound decreased sound quality. Bass levels went haywire on Outkast’s “Rosa Parks,” but limiting 3D audio to Jabra’s version cleaned up the low end and kept it boomy.
Dolby Atmos with head tracking is arguably the Elite 10’s best feature. The head motion detection on these buds is insanely precise. What I like most is that Jabra doesn’t make you take an ear-scanning test to use spatial audio like the Apple AirPods Pro 2 and Sony WF-1000XM5 models do.
Jabra Elite 10: Comfy design and sharp looks
Whereas the last Jabra flagship the Elite 7 Pro lacked the premium design of some of its predecessors, the all-new Elite 10 look and feel like a premium product. There’s something appealing about the teardrop shape, which also factors into comfort and fit (more on that in a bit). The glossy multifunctional button with laser-etched branding stands out from afar, and the buds’ smooth rubberized texture resembles suede. All color options are gorgeous, especially cocoa with its dark burgundy-like complexion. Furthermore, these buds come with a 2-year warranty and IP57 rating, making them better protected against dust and water than the AirPods Pro 2 and the Sony WF-1000XM5.
Jabra’s semi-open design doesn’t make the buds feel like they’re plugged. New oval EarGel tips sculpt perfectly to different ear shapes, while the curved cavity rests pleasantly on the concha. I wore the buds daily for 5-hours straight and didn’t experience any soreness. The slightest adjustment locked them in place for optimal stability.
The charging case shares similar design traits. Its soft-touch finish and sleek, compact shape complement the buds’ appearance. Even though it has no IP rating (only the Elite 8 Active case comes IP54 splash- and dust-resistant), this version is similarly sturdy, though the chic exterior is sensitive to dirt and scratches.
Jabra Elite 10: Solid ANC and battery life
Jabra’s Advanced ANC technology is introduced on the Elite 10 and delivers 2x more noise cancelation than the company’s standard version. The Elite 7 Pro’s ANC was subpar compared to category titans like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 and Sony WF-1000XM4, but the Elite 10 are a major improvement that are capable of reducing nearly 90% of ambient noise. Advanced ANC silenced the construction work taking place outside and the shrieking sounds my intercom system made during fire alarm tests. Common distractions such as cat meows, household appliances, and high-volume TVs didn’t bother me either.
The ANC technology was most effective outside. Walks to the grocery store were peacefully quiet. I blocked out the bratty tweens complaining about their Starbucks coffee orders, as well as loud portable speakers and trains passing through nearby.
HearThrough remains the best transparency mode out there. Jabra’s six-mic array captures vocals clearly, which made chatting with the missus from across the living room convenient. My awareness was high when strolling around the neighborhood at night; I could hear oncoming traffic from a block away.
The Elite 10 offer up to 6 hours playtime with ANC on, which is pretty standard. Turning it off extends battery life to 8 hours. Keep in mind that high volume and spatial audio reduces playtimes by about 2 hours. This isn’t far off from what the AirPods Pro 2 give (around 5.5 to 7 hours), but it’s noticeably lower than the WF-1000XM5 (around 8 to 12 hours). I got about 3 days of moderate use (2.5 hours daily) before recharging.
As far as the wireless charging case goes, it can hold up to 36 hours, and a 5-minute quick charge generates 1 hour of listening time.
Jabra Elite 10: Downgraded call quality
According to Jabra, the Elite 10’s mics can distinguish between background noise and the caller’s speaking voice, while employing noise-reduction algorithms to adaptively block out noise. This isn’t entirely true. The buds do an impressive job of emphasizing vocal input. Using the Call Experience feature in the Sound+ app can also increase how loud you sound and add more bass or treble to calls. If only the mics and noise-canceling technology didn’t struggle to minimize background noise. My wife couldn’t make out much of what I said when walking home; all the ruckus around me was transparent on her end. Even slight summer breezes reduced clarity.
The Elite 10 work much better for indoor calls. My wife applauded how loud and clear I sounded, though that feedback mostly applied when speaking in quiet settings.
Jabra Elite 10: Verdict
The Jabra Elite 10 are the company's most stylish-looking model in a long time and see the company rank alongside some of the best wireless earbuds around. ANC and sound are superb, while battery life is pretty standard compared to most rival noise-canceling earbuds. Even hallmarks I didn’t touch on like connectivity hit their mark; Bluetooth 5.3 instantly pairs to recognized devices and multipoint technology effortlessly connects the buds to two media sources simultaneously.
What keeps these buds from receiving a higher score is their inconsistent spatial audio performance and mediocre call quality. It’s possible that a software update could fix these performance gripes, and we have it on good authority that one could be around the corner.
Nonetheless, the Elite 10 is the upgrade we’ve been clamoring for and deserves serious consideration from anyone looking for great audio handling in a comfy and handsome package. At the price, they're a strong alternative to the AirPods Pro 2, while being platform agnostic and undercutting Sony's flagship noise-canceling earbuds too.