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Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds

7
£179.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Well-priced and well-specced set of earbuds with impressive sound quality, but they suffer more wind noise than others
Pretty good value
Fit in the ear nicely
Decent sound quality
Wind noise
Weight: 
45g
Contact: 

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The Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds are well specced, well priced, comfortable in the ear for hours of use, and produce a good sound, though there is definitely more wind noise here than with others I have used.

Not everyone likes the idea of cycling with earbuds, but modern technology has seen an increasing number with transparency modes built in, which essentially means you can use them while also being able to hear what's going on around you.

I tested this feature in a review of the Bragi Dash earbuds a few years ago; at the time they were groundbreaking, but this technology has become more widely available.

> Buy these online here

These Elite Active 75ts are Jabra's second-tier earbuds, behind the Elite 85ts, although in terms of the specifications listed, the only real differences are in the level of waterproofing at IP57 vs IPX4, and the 85ts have a different microphone.

They come in a range of six colours which is a nice touch, and any colour you choose comes with a matching case.

Sound quality and transparency

The sound quality of these is really good, not quite at the level of the very highest level earbuds but much better than others I have used. For music they offer impressively big sound for something that is so small in the ear. They also bring clarity of voice for podcasts and spoken word, which is the kind of use I tend to focus on while riding.

As with most earbuds with transparency features, these also include Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). This is something that you absolutely want to avoid when riding outdoors, but is a really useful feature when using a turbo or static bike. This feature on the Jabras is really impressive, blocking out pretty much all background noise and making a noisy turbo annoying only for those not using it.

The way ANC works is that the earbuds have microphones facing outwards, which pick up all external sound, and this is then actively countered. This same technology allows for transparency, where the earbuds pick up the sounds around you and play it alongside what you're listening to, so you're still aware of what's around you. It means I can listen to the road.cc podcast and still hear the car approaching from behind.

The transparency mode on the Elite Active 75ts is enabled or disabled by pressing on the physical button on the left earbud. It's simple to operate on the go, especially when using full-finger gloves.

2021 Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds - buds.jpg

Using transparency on the bike works fairly well, but above around 15mph or if cycling into a headwind there is a fair degree of wind rush compared with some I've used. This isn't bad enough to make them unusable on the bike, and I didn't find it too much of an issue when using them for rides of a couple of hours, but there are certainly others that have less wind noise.

Connectivity, technology and usability

Connecting the earbuds to my phone was easy: I simply downloaded the Jabra app for my iPhone the first time I used them, and could find them through the Bluetooth menu.

I didn't lose connection once throughout the review period, which was hundreds of hours in a number of different situations, from riding on broken up roads through to sitting at a desk.

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To connect to additional devices you just hold the button on the right earbud until it enters pairing mode, then you can find it in the Bluetooth menu.

The Jabra app allows you to customise the earbuds, including an equaliser to change how they sound, what the buttons on each earbud does, and to mark on a map the last place they were connected to your phone to help you find them if lost.

Fit and sweatproofing

The Elite Active 75ts have IP57 waterproofing, which basically means they can survive a depth of 1m for 30 minutes. I used these on some very sweaty rides, while running, and in the pouring rain, without there being any issue at all. They are also protected against dust, so if they do get thrown from your ear into a dirt pile, they will still be usable afterwards.

Jabra has included three different sizes of silicone earbud, to cater for most ears. They're simple to change and very malleable.

2021 Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds - box 2.jpg

For me, the medium size that are on the earbuds as standard worked best, offering a very secure fit even when sweaty or wet. The earbuds themselves are impressively small, hardly protruding from your ears at all. I used them in a variety of conditions and for different activities, including running and bumpy rides, without them even feeling like there was ever a danger of falling out or coming loose.

Battery life

The earbuds come in a portable case that acts as a battery pack for charging them. This allows you to charge the earbuds several times before you then need to recharge the case itself.

2021 Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds - in charging case 1.jpg

The earbuds themselves have a claimed battery life of 5.5 hours with ANC turned on and 7.5 hours with it turned off, which is broadly what I found. I had these in my ears for an entire day of DIY, and although that's not a perfect real-world example, these numbers seem about right, and very good.

The fully charged case gives you another 20.5 hours without ANC (so 28 hours in total) and 18.5 hours with ANC (24 hours in total), and again this seemed about right – with these things it is difficult to know exactly, but I found that after using these on an hour commute each way and for several hours per day in the office, I would generally need to charge them about once a week.

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Using the charging case, the earbuds are easy to put in and take out, with no wiggling around needed to get them to charge. There's a fast-charging option too, which gives you 60 minutes of playback from a 15-minute charge.

2021 Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds - in charging case 2.jpg

Once the case itself is depleted, you can charge it with a USB-C cable that plugs into the back. You can also get a 'true wireless' version, which allows wireless charging, but our test version didn't have that. From dead, the case took around 2 hours 20 minutes to charge, which is pretty good given how much battery life that gives you. The case also has an LED indicator that shows you how much juice you have left.

Price and competitors

The Elite Active 75ts have an rrp of £179.99, but are currently on offer for £99.99. At rrp they're still fairly good value for money compared to others with a similar spec. For instance, Apple's AirPods Pros, which I'm also testing, are £239 – but they do suffer less wind sound when riding.

Amazon's Echo Buds are cheaper at £109.99, but don't have quite as good noise cancellation or battery life, though their transparency mode is great.

Overall

All in, these are really good earbuds that offer a lot in a small package. They have impressive sound quality, they sit snuggly in the ear, and they have excellent battery life. The only slight drawback for cycling is the wind noise when using transparency, but aside from this there is very little not to like about them.

Verdict

Well-priced and well-specced set of earbuds with impressive sound quality, but they suffer more wind noise than others

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Jabra says: 'We set out to create one special pair of tiny, truly wireless buds that would deliver on everything you wanted.'

This is broadly right; looking at the most important elements of wireless earbuds, these offer almost everything you want.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Jabra lists:

Passive noise-cancellation (PNC)

Yes

Noise reduction on outgoing voice audio

Yes, 4-microphone call technology

Wind noise protection

Connectivity

Bluetooth 5.0

Supported Bluetooth profiles

HSP v1.2 , HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6, SPP v1.2

Operating range

Up to 10 metres

Paired devices

Up to 8

Multi-connect

Two devices can be connected at a time

Auto pause music

Yes, when one earbud is removed from ear

Auto power on/off

'ON' when earbuds are out of charging case

'OFF' after 15 minutes without connection or 60 minutes without activity

Yes

Audio codecs supported

SBC, AAC

Speaker size

6mm

Speaker bandwidth

20Hz to 20kHz (music playback)

100Hz to 8kHz (calls)

Microphone type

4 x MEMS

Microphone bandwidth

100 Hz to 10 kHz

Form factor

In-ear true wireless earbuds

EarGels

Yes - S, M, L

Battery time (with default settings)

Up to 28 hours (earbud 7.5 hours and charging case 20.5 hours)

Battery time (with ANC on)

Up to 24 hours (earbud 5.5 hours and charging case 18.5 hours)

Sleep mode

Auto off after 15 minutes without connection or 60 minutes without activity, configurable in the Sound+ app

Standby time

6 months

Charging time

2 hours and 20 minutes (full charge with dedicated 500 mA USB wall charger)

Fast charge

Up to 60 minutes when charging earbuds for 15 minutes in the charging case

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

They seem well made and have survived very sweaty workouts and torrential downpours without any ill effect.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

They perform very well, although there is more wind noise than with others I've used.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

They survived everything a British autumn could throw at them without issue.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

They offer decent value compared to others that cost more with similar technologies, even more so at their currently discounted price.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They performed well; others offer better performance in the wind, but given the price and the features offered these are impressive.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The size and fit; they are small and sit very securely in the ear, better than the majority of other earbuds I have used.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The wind sounds when riding – you can still hear everything okay, but there's more wind noise than with others.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Apple AirPods Pro come in at £239 but suffer less wind sound when riding. Amazon Echo Buds, which have a great transparency/passthrough mode, are cheaper at £109.99 but don't have quite as good noise cancellation or battery life.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A well-priced and well-specced set of earbuds that do everything they need to without fuss, though there is no getting around the wind noise in transparency mode, which is worse than others.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 33  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,

George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects. 

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