Jabra Elite 75t
“With superb fit, comfort, and battery life, Jabra's Elite 75t are small on size, yet deliver a big bass.”
- Should fit most ears
- Full, rich sound
- Very light and comfortable
- Supremely portable
- Great call quality
- Bass may be too much for some
- No hands-free assistant option
- Average battery life
The Jabra Elite 75t are the company’s latest and greatest true wireless earbuds. Originally set to debut at $200, Jabra dropped the price to $180 just before they went on sale in November 2019.
That puts the Elite 75t smack in the middle of a crowded category: They’re cheaper than a set of regular Apple AirPods with a wireless charging case, but more expensive than the ones that use a regular case. They’re considerably cheaper than the $249 Apple AirPods Pro, and yet $20 to $30 more expensive than Jabra’s own Elite 65t, which the company plans to continue selling.
So how do the Elite 75t stack up? Do they offer enough features to justify a place in this exploding market, and are they really as comfortable as Jabra has claimed? We put them to the test to find out.
It’s true: The Elite 75t are extremely comfortable for true wireless earbuds, which is to say, if you hate having your ear canals filled with silicone, they won’t magically make you a fan of that sensation. But they are incredibly small, which lets them sit snugly within your outer ear and creates less pressure inside your ear canal to keep them there. This is not only more comfortable overall, but it might also allow you to enjoy true wireless earbuds if you’ve had a problem with the fit on other models.
Unlike most in-ear true wireless earbuds, the Elite 75t do not come with earfins — the little silicone protrusions designed to anchor a bud and keep it from popping free. That’s because they’re small enough and light enough not to need them. That ultralow weight virtually eliminates the feeling of mass that other earbuds can create during vigorous activities like running; they truly disappear once you pop them in your ears.
Big, bold bass
Given the diminutive size of the Elite 75t, one thing I was not expecting was their huge, deep, and resonant bass. When I first fired them up, it took me by surprise and sent me in search of the EQ settings in the Jabra Sound+ app. The equalizer wasn’t messed up — it was set to the flat factory profile. The bottom line is that the Elite 75t have been tuned to favor low-end frequencies, sometimes at the cost of clear and detailed highs or distinct midranges.
They’re perfect for watching movies — who needs a subwoofer when you’ve got the Elite 75t?
For some listeners, this is a treat. You don’t usually find true wireless earbuds with this kind of bombastic bass response, so if you’ve been hunting for buds that can mimic the kind of boom typically associated with big, over-the-ear cans like Beats Studios, you’ll love the Elite 75t. For some genres, like jazz and classical, this pronounced low-end helps warm the sound and lets you feel the deep vibrations of bass being played in close quarters. They’re perfect for watching movies — who needs a subwoofer when you’ve got the Elite 75t?
Music fans with a taste for balanced and precise acoustics should look elsewhere. Even after copious fiddling with the EQ settings, it was impossible to find a truly neutral setting that allowed my favorite tracks to play without some kind of bias.
One of the first things you notice about the Elite 75ts, apart from the bass, is just how small they are, and how small their charging case is as a result. Both have been shrunken down from the 65t significantly, making them the perfect travel companions whether you prefer pockets or purses, or whether you’re heading to work or to workout. You only need to look at the Amazon Echo Buds to appreciate just how pocketable the Elite 75t are.
The charging case has a lid that snaps closed with a magnetic seal, but even if it should accidentally open, the earbuds are also firmly magnetically latched, making a runaway earbud unlikely. Fortunately, should that happen, the Sound+ app lets you track the Elite 75t’s whereabouts, and you can also force them to produce a high-pitched wail in case they become lodged in the recesses of a sofa or a purse.
I was glad to see the charging case was upgraded to USB-C,as that’s pretty much the standard for all (non-iOS) phones now, but I’d prefer if the charging indicator was located in the front as opposed to the back.
The case isn’t as easy to flip open one-handed as the original AirPods or the ubercool Klipsch T5, but we doubt that will be a deal-breaker for anyone.
Push your buttons
True wireless earbuds will typically use some variation of touch-sensitive surfaces or good old-fashioned buttons. The Elite 75t choose the latter — one on each earbud — and I really like them. They’re easy to use, you know exactly if you’ve pressed them or not thanks to a satisfying click, and it’s much harder to trigger them accidentally.
You may find you need to place a few fingers on the side of your head to provide better accuracy when clicking, but I’ll take that over having to repeatedly tap an earbud into my skull just to pause my music. You get a wide range of activities — four actions per earbud — using single, double, triple, and long-press clicks.
All the big tasks are covered: Play/pause, track skip/back, call answer/end, HearThrough mode on/off, volume, and voice assistant. The only downside is that — for the moment — you have no say over what each button does. Each earbud and each click combo has a set action, but Jabra tells us that an update to the Jabra Sound+ app coming in 2020 will enable “MyControls,” a button-function customization feature.
It’s your call
Jabra has a long history of making Bluetooth headsets with great call quality, and the Elite 75t do not disappoint. The four-mic array easily contends with a variety of environments, and callers found it easy to hear me (and I, them).
Frequent voice callers will appreciate that you can use both earbuds or just the right earbud for making and receiving calls.
When I initially reviewed the Elite 75t, I commented on the inability to hear oneself while on dual-earbud calls. Turns out I had missed the “Sidetone” feature, which allows just that. Not only can you turn Sidetone on or off from the left earbud, you can adjust how much of your voice gets through using the Sound+ app. Now that I’ve tried it, I’m happy to report it works very well and makes the Elite 75t a great phone call companion.
Asked and answered
On a related note, it’s also very easy to make yourself heard when talking to your preferred voice assistant. A double-press on the right earbud button activates either Alexa or Siri (on iOS) or Alexa or Google Assistant (on Android). As handy as this is, my time with the Echo Buds has made me a hands-free Alexa addict, and I now want to be able to summon any voice assistant just by asking for it.
There are plenty of times when it’s more convenient — and safer — to keep your hands where they are. There could even be emergencies when you simply can’t reach your ears or your phone. Being able to say, “Hey Google, call 9-1-1,” might just save your life. Jabra, if you’re listening, please consider this for the Elite 85t.
Good (not great) battery
Jabra claims the Elite 75t can last for 7.5 hours on a full charge. In our testing, running the earbuds continuously on maximum volume, we were only able to get just under 7 hours of use. While many new true wireless earbuds not made by Apple do better, it’s still a solid upgrade over previous generations and given their tiny size, it’s all the more impressive.
Their charging case is good for just under three full recharges, giving you a total time between plug-ins of about 28 hours. With the quick-charge feature, you can give yourself an hour’s worth of use with only 15 minutes of charging time.
One feature that is beginning to show up more and more on true wireless earbuds is active noise cancellation. Sony has it. Apple’s pricey new AirPods Pro have it. Even the budget-friendly Echo Buds have it. But the Elite 75t do not.
One the one hand, you could make the case that with their near-total noise isolation, these in-ear earbuds don’t really need it. In fact, that noise isolation is so good, the HearThrough mode offers adjustable mic sensitivity to let sounds in when you need greater awareness of your surroundings (or to hear your name called by the barista at Starbucks).
Would noise-canceling be a nice add-on? Yep. But you don’t need it to enjoy the Elite 75t, especially at their price point.
Small in size, but big on comfort, the Jabra Elite 75t are a good choice for small ears or those who want to wear earbuds for an extended amount of time — something their 7.5 hours of battery life makes possible. Their bass-heavy EQ is impressive given their size — but it won’t be for everyone. Overall, they’re a highly portable, high-quality set of true wireless buds, with easy-to-use controls and excellent call quality.
Is there a better alternative?
If you don’t mind a slightly bigger bud, and only 5 hours of battery life, the Amazon Echo Buds offer more features and a less bass-intense sound for a very reasonable $130. If battery life is of paramount importance, you should absolutely consider Samsung’s $150 Galaxy Buds+.
On the other hand, if you’re an iPhone user, you owe it to yourself to check out the superb AirPods Pro. They’re $70 more, but they offer amazing noise cancellation, terrific sound, and they’re a perfect match for Siri. However, none of these earbuds can match the Elite 75t’s IP55 water and dust rating and superb ergonomics. If you want even greater protection from water, the $200 Elite Active 75t will be available soon with an IP57 rating.
How long will they last?
The Jabra Elite 75t come with a two-year warranty, which is better than the average, and they’re IP55-rated for water and dust resistance. This suggests that they’ll be at least as rugged over the long term (if not considerably more so) than many of the other true wireless earbuds out there.
Jabra’s build quality is excellent and the battery is solid (for true wireless buds anyway), so they should last for years.
Should you buy them?
If you’re a fan of bone-shaking bass, look no further — the Elite 75t are the true wireless earbuds for you. They’re also a great choice if you have trouble getting earbuds to fit. If a more balanced sound is what you seek, the Elite Active 75t will be available soon to offer a less bass-heavy EQ in addition to their better waterproofing.
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