The Jabra Elite Active 75t is gunning for the AirPods Pro. It's s a sportier version of the brand’s current flagship model, the Elite 75t, packing most of the same functionality into the same small (now more durable) design. Powerful audio, strong battery life, and waterproof casing already make the Elite Active 75t a contender for our best wireless earbuds list.
However, Jabra has made some virtually imperceptible upgrades, while also announcing new features that are set to enhance the Elite Active 75t’s listening experience in the coming months. Here are our first impressions of the soon-to-be-released Jabra Elite Active 75t.
Elite Active 75t pricing and availability
The Elite Active 75t is currently up for pre-order on Amazon, Best Buy and Jabra’s website. Three colors will be available at launch: Navy, Titanium Black (Best Buy exclusive), and Copper Black (Amazon exclusive). These models are priced at $199.99 and scheduled to ship February 23, 2020. Other colors such as Grey (March), Sienna (April), and Mint (April) will hit store shelves sometime in Spring 2020.
Jabra Elite Active 75t design and fit
My demo unit shipped without a box or any accessories – just the charging case and buds in some bubble wrap. I can only assume what comes bundled is no different than what the Elite 75t offers. That would be three sets of ear tips and a short USB-C charging cable.
The Elite Active 75t retains the sophisticated appearance of the Elite 75t and feels no different, which is impressive since the buds are IP57-rated. Translation: they’re waterproof, as well as dust- and sweat-resistant. Neither the Elite 75t, AirPods Pro, nor the Powerbeats Pro are waterproof.
This is a game-changer for hardcore exercisers and outdoor adventurists, especially since the coating keeps the internals fully protected from all kinds of water damage (e.g. excessive perspiration, rain, splashing). Jabra also built the Elite Active 75t to withstand scratches and scuffs, therefore, the buds should look brand new even after months of abuse. My only complaint is that the casing feels less durable than the Elite Active 65t.
A few workouts in and I’m loving the comfort and stability these buds provide. Initially, their smaller form had me skeptical of how well they would remain on my ears when running outside; the thought of them popping out and falling down a subway grate had me feeling anxious. I’m happy to report this never happened, as the tips created a tight seal in the ear canals that kept the buds safely in place. Sweating didn’t cause any slippage either. While I’m still waiting on confirmation for dimensions, I can say the buds are super-slim and lightweight and won’t weigh down your ears when commuting to work.
Jabra Elite Active 75t sound quality and special features
The Elite 75t delivered great audio performance, but the bass response was too boomy for my liking. I’ve noticed the lows on the Elite Active 75t are better balanced and sound more dynamic. Songs with strong basslines have a warm, neutral presence, fueling my ears with distortionless sound and just the right amount of punch. Mids and highs are also given prominence, which allowed me to take notice of distinctive effects and unique sonic elements in orchestral recordings.
So far, the Elite Active 75t has served as a decent calling headset. Most of my indoor conversations have sounded loud and clear. Taking calls outside has been a 50/50 experience; wind resistance isn’t as strong as on the AirPods Pro. This could change when testing the finalized product, but for now, the buds are demonstrating better call quality than the Elite 75t.
The Jabra Sound+ app has become a fixture for Jabra’s current line of headphones, so it comes as no surprise to see the Elite Active 75t on its list of compatible devices. What is surprising (more so disappointing) is that I had no access to the app during my trial run; technically, the product is still in the beta phase. That meant no access to the built-in EQ, music presets, or even the advanced call settings. Thankfully, the soundstage is so refined that no adjustments were necessary.
Once the Elite Active 75t comes to market, Jabra plans on sharing two new features via the Sound+ app: MyControls and MySound. MyControls will let you assign the controls on both ear buds for personal preference, while also granting the option to use one earbud for mono listening, which extends battery life. MySound is the more promising addition, employing adaptive sound technology to calibrate audio and create a personalized hearing profile. Unfortunately, these features won’t be available until early Q2 of this year.
Jabra Elite Active 75t battery life and charging case
Jabra programmed the Elite Active 75t to hold 89% more battery life than either 65t model. Owners now get 7.5 hours on a single charge and 28 hours with the charging case. So far, so good. I’ve managed to get a solid 7 hours of listening time on a full battery. The charging case has also held up its end of the bargain by blessing me with long-lasting power on the go. The upgrade from micro-USB to USB-C is great and fast-charging helps speed up the process, netting users 1 hour of playtime on a 15-minute charge.
Any differences between the cases of the Elite 75t and Elite Active 75t are highly unnoticeable. About 99% of reviewers will say they are exactly the same, from materials to size. I, on the other hand, believe the Elite Active 75t’s case has a slightly more rugged feel to it, though I wouldn’t expect anyone else to notice this. I’m still waiting for Jabra to confirm whether the waterproof casing used on the buds is the same material used for the charging case. Another feature that stood out was the magnetic connectors inside that keep the buds secured in the case. The AirPods Pro’s case has its own magnetic system, but it doesn’t do the greatest job of protecting the Pods when dropped to the ground.
I also like that the Elite 75t’s charging case can be used to power its sportier sibling!
Based on my hands-on time with the Elite Active 75t, I can say with the utmost confidence that it already stands out as one of the top true wireless sports earbuds. In fact, it has the potential to become the best wireless earbuds overall. Jabra affords so much performance to appease audiophiles and fitness fanatics. Hence why I recommend waiting to hear our final verdict later this month before splurging on any one of Apple’s models.