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Jabra Elite 7 Active review

Great workout buds that could use strengthening in certain areas

The Jabra Elite 7 Active held in hand for display
(Image: © Regan Coule/Future)

Our Verdict

The Jabra Elite 7 Active is another high-performance sporty model from the brand.

For

  • Powerful sound with multiple personalized settings
  • Customizable ANC
  • Waterproof
  • Long battery life
  • Excellent wireless performance

Against

  • Underwhelming noise reduction
  • Bass comes on too strong in standard mode
  • Call quality not as good as other Jabra models

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Jabra Elite 7 Active is another high-performance sporty model from the brand.

Pros

  • + Powerful sound with multiple personalized settings
  • + Customizable ANC
  • + Waterproof
  • + Long battery life
  • + Excellent wireless performance

Cons

  • - Underwhelming noise reduction
  • - Bass comes on too strong in standard mode
  • - Call quality not as good as other Jabra models
Jabra Elite 7 Active specs

Price: $179

Colors: Black, Mint, Navy

Battery life (rated): 9 hours (ANC on), 11 hours (ANC off), 35 hours (with charging case), 42 hours (with charging case and ANC off)

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2

Processor: Not stated

Size: 1.58 x 0.64 x 2.74 inches (per bud), 1.58 x 0.99 x 2.74 inches (charging case)

Weight: 0.2 ounces (earbud), 1.6 ounces (charging case)

The Jabra Elite 7 Active is the brand’s latest creation that was designed to replace the market’s best wireless earbuds and best workout headphones: the Jabra Elite Active 75t. These buds boast a ton of functionality, including active noise cancellation, Bluetooth 5.2, built-in Alexa, customizable sound, multiple listening modes, and wireless charging.

Bass performance, while aggressive in standard mode, is ideal for exercising and can be tweaked in the Jabra Sound+ app to achieve balanced audio. The Elite 7 Active is also built for longevity, with a sturdy shell that can survive intense workouts and some of the longest battery life in the category.

Not all features live up to their promise, specifically call quality and ANC, which are downgrades compared to the flagship Elite 85t. However, the overall performance these buds deliver makes for a solid investment. Read our full Jabra Elite 7 Active review to learn all the details.

Jabra Elite 7 Active review : Price and availability

The Jabra Elite 7 Active can be purchased for $179 at major online retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy, or directly from Jabra. It comes in three colors: Black, Mint, and Navy. Inside the box are a wireless charging case, USB-C charging cable, three sets of different sized EarGel tips, and an owner’s manual.

These buds are priced higher than the Elite Active 75t ($149), as well as top sellers like the Beats Powerbeats Pro ($249) and AirPods Pro ($249). If you’re looking for something less expensive with similar features, we highly recommend the $99 JLab Epic Air Sport ANC with noise cancellation and EQ customization.

For all of the latest wireless ANC earbuds sales in the run up to this year's Black Friday, bookmark our Black Friday headphones deals page. 

Jabra Elite 7 Active review: Design and comfort

The Elite 7 Active has a minimalist appearance with a plain-looking exterior, embossed logo, flushed multifunctional button, and mesh-covered mic system. Personally, I find the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 3 more attractive because of their matte finishes.

While these buds lack the flair of other fashionable sporty options like the Powerbeats Pro, they make up for it in build quality. The hard plastic sheath provides enough durability to survive the abuse you’ll put them through at the gym, as well as hard spills to the concrete. These buds are also waterproof, sweatproof, and “workout-proof” (IP57-rated), whatever that means.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds resting on a wooden table

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Jabra also revamped its charging case, going with a flat oval design for enhanced portability. It’s compact, lightweight (1.6 ounces) and more flattering on your attire; there is minimal pocket bulge. The USB-C charging port has been moved to the front, a detail that you’ll find looks awkward when charging the case.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active laid on a yellow and navy blue backdrop

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Since the Elite 7 Active’s design was shrunk down by 16 percent compared to Jabra’s previous smallest earbuds, the Elite Active 75t, you can expect slightly better comfort on this model. The smaller form allows the buds to easily shape to the inner part of your ear and rest pleasantly on the concha. 

I wore them for several stretches throughout the day, both for casual listening and exercising, not feeling any soreness until about 4 hours in. Even then it was minor. Any issues with comfort revolved around the controls, an issue I’ll revisit further on in the review.

Our reviewer wearing the Jabra Elite 7 Active after a run

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Jabra re-engineered its proprietary EarGel tips for a more tapered, rounded fit. I loved the stability they provided, creating a tight seal around the canal that kept the buds stable during runs and when performing floor workouts like ab crunches, planks, and push-ups. There’s also the MyFit ear test to scan your ears for optimal fit and audio performance. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near as accurate as Apple’s Ear Tip Fit Test and delivered the same “good fit” results when trying all tip sizes, as well as the time I had the left bud dangling off my ear.

Jabra Elite 7 Active review: Controls and digital assistant

A full suite of media controls is accessible that can be enabled through motion detection (auto-pause/play) or single/multi-press and press-and-hold gestures. The controls consist of playback, call management, volume, digital assistance, and listening-mode activation. You can even assign most of these functions to specific input methods in the MyControls setting in the Jabra Sound+ app. There are no touch controls. 

The good news is that Jabra’s MF buttons register commands with precision, offering reassurance with every press. Using physical buttons often presents a caveat: discomfort. With the buttons placed right on the front, you’re pushing the buds further into the canal with every press, and that becomes painful after a while.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active multifunctional button

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

These buds come with built-in Alexa, so you can utilize its wake-word function (“Alexa”) to instantly activate the feature. Google Assistant, Siri, and Bixby are also compatible with the Elite 7 Active, but they must be enabled manually (2x press on the left bud). All four of these AI bots work incredibly well. Jabra’s mic array is intelligible and demonstrates superb speech recognition, picking up every syllable to execute lengthy verbal inquiries.

Jabra Elite 7 Active review: Sound quality

Jabra’s default sound signature, which is set to Neutral in the companion app, is overly warm and places too much emphasis on lows. That’s not entirely a bad thing, especially if you desire impactful sound during workouts, but you can get solid frequency range and enjoy strong bass by enabling MySound. This feature personalizes the EQ according to your specific hearing needs and evens out audio to get more mids and highs.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active steaming Spotify

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Drake’s “Wants and Needs” increased my energy levels before hitting the streets for a 5K run. The 808 drums knocked hard and felt like Bruce Lee was drop-kicking my eardrums, and I mean that in a positive way. There was a noticeable difference in performance when disabling MySound, as the 6mm drivers and default EQ weren’t equipped to handle that much bass, muddying up the soundstage a tad.

Switching to something a little milder, I played Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” where the iconic bassline rode smoothly and maintained its punchiness, no matter the listening mode. During recovery, I moved onto calmer selections such as Kool & the Gang’s “Summer Madness” and was thrilled to see how well the soundstage handled different instruments, from the steady cymbals to the soaring synths. This all but ensured me that the Elite 7 Active had a skillful frequency range, but only if MySound ran the show.

The customizable EQ and presets for the Jabra Elite 7 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Enter the Sound+ app and you’ll discover a handful of other selectable EQs — Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Energize, Smooth, and Speech — each one suitable for different music genres. Bass Boost and Energize were great for hip hop and rock records, while Speech came in handy for ballads like Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together,” where the piano chords and singer’s voice both shone.

The MySound feature being tested on the Jabra Elite 7 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The app also comes with a customizable EQ to create your own sound profile by manually adjusting the frequencies to your liking. This feature caters more to audiophiles that have a fine grasp of frequency range, but for others, MySound does the hard work of simplifying audio personalization.

Jabra Elite 7 Active review: Active noise cancellation

To use active noise cancellation, Jabra makes you go through its Personalize ANC process to determine the best noise suppression for your hearing. Once completed, you can enable ANC mode on the buds or through the app.

ANC being tested on the Jabra Elite 7 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

I wasn’t impressed with the Elite 7 Active’s noise reduction, mainly because I couldn’t tell much of a difference in performance between passive and ANC mode. The feature is also stronger on the Elite 85t. 

There is enough here to block out gym machinery and talkative exercisers, as well as other common distractions (e.g., doorbells, loud TVs, speakerphones). High-frequency sounds like my baby’s cries caught my attention and gusty winds made their presence felt when listening to music. Other noises like the humming from our AC unit or rumbling from the washing machine went unnoticed.

ANC being adjusted on the Jabra Elite 7 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

HearThrough remains one of the best transparency modes out there and the version on these buds is great for increasing ambient awareness. Working in the living room, I could hear our babysitter communicating with the baby, along with his “feed me” cries. Being able to communicate clearly with my wife without removing the buds was amazing, and so was conveying coffee orders to the barista at Starbucks. More importantly, the mics piped in a lot of noise so I could hear what was transpiring around me when outside; construction tools and traffic sounded distinctive enough to identify. There’s even a setting to mute audio when using this mode (reference the Audio Experience setting in the app).

Jabra Elite 7 Active review: App and special features

Most functionality runs through the Jabra Sound+ app, which hosts all listening features and user settings. I've already covered much of this, including ANC/HearThrough, EQ, MyControls, MyFit, MySound, and voice assistance. However, there are a handful of other modes worth checking out. 

The Jabra Elite 7 Active connected to the Jabra Sound+ app

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The first is Call Experience, a setting that lets users adjust how loudly they hear their voice during voice or video calls, as well as add more treble or bass to callers on the opposite end. It’s an underrated feature that comes in handy when picking up the phone in rowdy areas. Below this is the Headset Configuration setting to assign Sleep Mode, prompts (e.g., voice, tone), and in-ear detection for playback and calls.

Soundscape is available should you want nature sounds or white noise playing in the background for mental relief. There are 12 profiles to select from and each is reproduced well. I just wish they ran on a continuous loop instead of turning off about every 30 seconds; this was never the case with the Elite Active 75t.

The Call Experience feature being adjusted on the Jabra Elite 7 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Another feature that has received little promotion is Video Conference, which you’ll find on the far-right tab at the bottom. This supposedly lets you use the app as a remote control for a Jabra video conferencing device, though it remains unclear whether this is compatible with any of the brand’s wireless earbuds or headphones.

Find My Jabra returns to help locate misplaced buds, along with basic functions like firmware updates and battery level indicators for both buds and charging case. Dig deeper into the app and you’ll find an option to register the buds for two years' extra warranty.

Jabra Elite 7 Active review: Battery life and charging case

Jabra rates battery life at 9 hours with ANC on, which is some of the highest in the category. Only the Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport (10 hours) and JLab Audio Epic Air Sport ANC (11 hours) produce longer ANC playtimes. Nonetheless, the Elite 7 Active provided up to five days of moderate use (1.5 hours daily) before recharging. Listening with ANC off extends battery life to 11 hours.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active charging on a wireless charging pad

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The charging case holds between 35 to 42 hours, depending how you use the buds. Do the math and that’s nearly double the AirPods Pro and Powerbeats Pro cases (24 hours). Quick charging is sufficient, with a 5-minute charge netting you 1.2 hours of use. You can also toss the case atop a Qi-enabled wireless pad to charge it wirelessly.

Jabra Elite 7 Active review: Call quality and connectivity

Jabra’s reputation for call quality is golden. Of the two newest releases, the Elite 7 Pro is the better calling headset. The Elite 7 Active is fairly good, but not something you’ll find on our best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls. For starters, the SAATI Acoustex mesh covering the mics for wind protection doesn’t perform well in gusty conditions. Jabra’s four-mic array did pick up vocals well enough for people to hear me when speaking, but the best results often came when I was in quieter settings.

A video call being taken outside with the Jabra Elite 7 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Jabra always comes correct with connectivity, and if it’s not the instant pairing capabilities of Bluetooth 5.2 that win you over, it’s the super-lengthy range. According to the spec sheet, these buds have a max range of 33 feet, but it’s really double that amount. I was shocked to see that I could leave my phone charging in the front room of the house and walk 60 feet outside towards the pool area without any dropout occurring. 

While the buds can pair up to 8 Bluetooth devices, they don’t come with multipoint technology to pair them to two devices at the same time.

Jabra Elite 7 Active review: Verdict

Are the Elite 7 Active considered Jabra’s best workout earbuds? No. That crown remains with the flawless Elite Active 75t. That doesn’t make this version much less valuable, though, especially since Jabra implemented specific upgrades that will benefit fitness buffs such as lengthier playtimes, waterproof protection, and customizable sound to fuel workouts. 

You will need to play with the MySound setting and some of the app’s other features to get sound properly balanced, especially since the default signature is a bit overzealous with bass. ANC is also better on other sporty rivals, including the AirPods Pro and inexpensive models like the JBL Reflect Mini NC.

If you’re a Jabra fan who wants dynamic sound, new features, and notable improvements in select areas (e.g., battery life, connectivity), the Elite 7 Active is a dependable workout companion.

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.