Jabra Elite Sport truly wireless earbuds review
Lots of companies make so-called wireless earbuds, but truly wireless headphones are less common. Jabra, the popular producers of headsets and speakerphones is now in the fully wireless headphones game with their Jabra Elite Sport truly wireless earbuds.
Jabra Elite Sport truly wireless earbuds review
Jabra Elite Sport headphones come in a compact package with plenty of eartip and wing options (3 sizes of EarWings, 3 sizes of silicone EarGels, and 3 sizes of FoamTips) plus there’s a handy, durable charging and storage case. Also in the package a power cable for recharging.
Setting up Jabra Sport Elite
The set up on these headphones was pretty easy. Just power them on, head to your phone’s Bluetooth settings, and tap to connect. You can link them to more than one device at a time, which is a feature I like.
Once they’re paired, they’ll automatically connect to the last device you linked them to when you open up the case and put them in your ear.
When you put them back in the case and close the lid, they automatically disconnect and recharge so you should always be ready to listen.
Fit and Feel
Right away I found if difficult to insert the Jabra Elite Sport earbuds; they’re really quite large. it definitely took swapping the ear tips and fins a few times and getting just the right angle for insertion before they went in easily.
They really fill up the ear cavity or concha, but their size means they provide noise isolation from outside sounds. They also have passive noise cancelling technology too – more on that in a minute.
While they were reasonably comfortable for short term wear, I wore them through a 90 minute podcast taping and found that my ears were definitely ready for their removal after that time.
Jabra Elite Sport Sound Quality
I found the sound quality depended on the seal. While I was working my way through the different wingtip and ear gel options I didn’t have a good fit and I wasn’t enjoying the audio quality. I found the audio quality muddy and the bass lacking.
I’d say there a bit more high end than some folks might like, but with that great seal the bass is actually pretty strong.
High – Sir Sly
No Roots – Alice Merton
Rap God – Eminem
Down the Road – C2C
Jabra Elite Sport Battery Life
Battery life has been an issue with truly wireless headphones since they first emerged. Many products that launched a couple years ago provided just a couple hours of use before they needed recharging.
The Jabra boasts 4.5 hours of play time on a single charge and the charging case holds even more power; another 9 hours of battery life. I took the Elite Sport on a trip recently and used them for the duration of the three hour flight, each way. They didn’t need charging the whole trip. After I got home, I continued to use them on and off for a week and there was still plenty of juice left. I was very impressed.
I also need to say I really like the durability of the charging case. It’s thick and rugged and I feel like it’ll keep these delicate (and expensive!) earbuds safe.
Hear through technology
These headphones have excellent noise isolation properties, which is different from noise cancelling. What’s the difference? Noise isolation is the act of preventing noise from bleeding in thanks to padding, or otherwise physically blocking the sound via a great seal, for example.
Noice cancelling is the use of digital technology to emit a signal that cancels out exterior noise so you don’t hear it.
Jabra uses a different kind of technology they call HearThrough. This actually boosts and enhances external noise for safety reasons, for example when you’re running in a busy area or among traffic.
You can turn it off or on using the multi-function button on the earbud, or inside the app in Settings> Headphone Settings> HearThrough.
With this setting off, you can’t really hear much going on around you. I tested these headphones out at work, while traveling and at home. Almost no noise bleeds in. With the HearThrough on, I can clearly hear myself typing, conversations going on around me (perfect at work if I need to be alert to a phone call or the boss) and while walking around taking transit, I can keep tabs on cars and other pedestrians or runners coming up behind me. It’s kind of a weird sensation, but definitely handy when being completely isolated is a bad idea.
Get your Heart Rate
The Jabra Elite Sport headphones have a built in heart rate sensor. Once they’re in your ear, and you’ve launched the Jabra Sport app, you’ll get an audio alert that says, “Heart rate detected”. To see what it is, you’ll need to go to the app and it displays in a small narrow line near the top of the screen. it will update your heart rate every few minutes and let you know via that audio alert. You can also take a Heart rate Test inside the app to learn what your regular resting heart rate is. Just got to Settings> Heart Rate Test and take the two minute test. You’ll sit quietly for 2 minutes and the app will asses your beats per minute.
Fitness guidance and coaching
What does it do? Jabra says, “the in-ear precision heart rate monitor works with the app to track and analyze your fitness as well as provide personalized audio coaching in real-time during your workout. You can monitor your absolute fitness level, have your reps counted automatically, predict your race pace and finish time, and get recovery tips to avoid over training.”
Watching videos is in sync
I was very happy to find that the Jabra Elite Sport allowed me to watch videos on my phone without any sync issues. Audio-video sync is a problem which does often crop up with fully wireless headphones. But not these. Yay!
Overall thoughts on Jabra Elite Sport headphones
I have a love-don’t love relationship with these headphones. I don’t love the fit; they’re very large in my ear concha and feel quite tight. But that ear-filling fit makes for a superior sound experience.
I like how they sound, but when the ear bud loosens or slips, the sound quality is directly affected.
I love the battery life and the case and the heart rate monitor, but don’t love the fact you need to dial up the app to get that data when a voice prompt is already giving me part of the info in my ear.
I’m also not crazy about the price on these. Jabra Elite Sport retails for about $329CAD/$249 USD. They’re pretty pricey, but yes, they are fully wireless, and that technology is costlier, there’s a heart rate monitor built in and this set has a very long lasting battery. So you’re actually getting a lot of features in the package.
The fact that you can watch videos on your phone without any sync issues is also a huge plus for me and makes them much more useful and versatile.
These are an investment to be sure, and if you’ve got the cash and want all the features, they’re for you.