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Jabra Elite 75t review: ANC makes awesome earbuds better

Jabra elite 75t true wireless headphones

Jabra Elite 75t review: ANC makes awesome earbuds better

“Now with ANC, the Jabra Elite 75t are hard to beat without spending way more.”
  • Super comfortable
  • Full, rich sound
  • Great call quality
  • Very good noise cancellation
  • Tons of customization
  • Bass may be too much for some
  • Average battery life
MSRP $180.00

The Jabra Elite 75t might be coming up on their one-year anniversary, but thanks to a recent firmware update, these true wireless earbuds are even more compelling now that they have one of the most in-demand features: Active noise cancellation (ANC).

This lets the $180 Elite 75t compete with a wide range of true wireless earbuds that offer ANC, from the highly affordable $100 Edifier TWS NB2, to the more expensive $200 Sony WF-SP800N, the  $249 AirPods Pro, and the $230 Sony WF-1000XM3.

So how do the Elite 75t stack up? Do they still offer enough features to justify a place in this exploding market, how well does their new ANC mode work, and are they really as comfortable as Jabra has claimed? We’ve updated our original review with our latest findings.

Crazy comfort

It’s true: The Elite 75t are extremely comfortable. If you’ve ever shied away from in-ear style true wireless earbuds in the past, you need to try the Elite 75t (or their fully water- and dust-resistant siblings, the Elite Active 75t). They are incredibly small and light, which lets them sit snugly within your outer ear and creates less pressure inside your ear canal to keep them there.

Jabra elite 75t true wireless headphones
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

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 don’t need them. Their ultra-low 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.

They’re perfect for watching movies — who needs a subwoofer when you’ve got the Elite 75t?

For some listeners, this is a treat. With 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. For workouts, the bombastic boom is a great motivator, producing rhythms you feel as much as you hear.  And they’re perfect for watching movies — who needs a subwoofer when you’ve got the Elite 75t?

But it can be a bit much at times. Even after copious fiddling with the EQ settings, it was impossible to completely eliminate that bass-forward personality, though I was able to temper it enough that it no longer stole the stage.

Another way to tune the Elite 75t is the MySound feature. It’s an audio calibration tool that uses the results of a hearing test to personalize the Elites to the frequencies you can hear.

I’ve tried a few of these personalized EQ systems in the past. Nura uses one to tune its Nuraphone and Nuraloop headphones, while SoundID attempts to do something similar for a wide variety of headphones. None of them have really improved sound quality for me personally, and Jabra’s MySound didn’t do much either. If anything, I think it de-emphasized some frequencies, leaving my songs with less depth.

The Sound+ app lets you track the Elite 75t’s whereabouts, and you can also force them to produce a high-pitched wail.

In fairness, I used MySound not with the Elite 75t, but with two pairs of Jabra’s step-up Elite Active 75t, and these earbuds have a different EQ than the Elite 75t. Still, assuming that the MySound tuning affects both models in the same way, I can safely say your mileage may vary with this feature. The good news is that if you don’t like it, one tap in the app and it’s gone.

Pocket pals

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. In the true wireless world, only the AirPods Pro and Back Bay Duet 50 Slim offer a smaller package, which makes the Elite 75t perfect travel companions whether you prefer pockets or purses. You only need to look at the Amazon Echo Buds to appreciate just how pocketable the Elite 75t are.

Jabra elite 75t true wireless headphones
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

The charging case lid 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.

Wireless charging would be a nice extra, but if you don’t already own a wirelessly charging phone, I doubt this will matter.

Push your buttons

True wireless earbuds will typically use some variation of touch-sensitive surfaces or good old-fashioned buttons. The Elite 75t feature 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 than their touch-sensitive cousins.

There’s a huge amount of customization — more than on any other true wireless earbuds we’ve reviewed.

Jabra elite 75t true wireless headphones
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

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, ANC/HearThrough mode on/off, volume, and voice assistant. If you don’t like the default actions, the MyControls section in the Sound+ app provides a huge amount of customization — more than on any other true wireless earbuds we’ve reviewed.

You can pick your task, assign it to a button-press sequence, and even choose which earbud should trigger it. It’s even possible to assign different tasks based on whether you’re just listening to music or engaged in a phone call. It’s a welcome addition to what was already a great control scheme.

It’s especially gratifying to be able to select the toggle sequence for ANC. Most ANC earbuds force you to cycle through three or four modes e.g. ANC on, ANC off, and ambient. The problem this creates is that when you want the ambient sound to come in, you generally want it right away because someone is talking to you, or you need to talk. Having to repeatedly press a button to get there (with pauses at each step) is far from ideal. The Sound+ app lets you choose from three options: HearThrough and ANC, HearThrough and ANC off, or the option to cycle through all three.

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.

Thanks to the Sidetone feature, you can adjust how much of your voice gets through using the Sound+ app, and this can be turned on or off during a call.

All this combines to make the Elite 75t superb calling companions.

Good (not great) battery

Jabra claims the Elite 75t can last for 7.5 hours on a full charge when not using ANC. That seems about right: In our testing, running the earbuds continuously on maximum volume, we got just under 7 hours of use, so medium volume levels should net you that extra 30 minutes. With ANC on, Jabra says this will drop to 5.5 hours.

7.5 hours is good — especially when compared to the AirPods Pro at just 5 hours (ANC off)– but it’s far from the endurance levels we’re now seeing from other companies. Sony’s WF-SP800N get a staggering 13 hours of life with noise-canceling turned off and it’s not hard to find models that get between eight and 12 hours.

Their charging case carries 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.

Now (you won’t) hear this

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 AirPods Pro have it. Even budget-friendly models like the Amazon Echo Buds, JLab Epic Air ANC, and Edifier TWS NB2 have it. And now, thanks to a surprise firmware update, so do the Elite 75t.

When I first reviewed the Elite 75t, I argued that you don’t really need ANC to fully enjoy these earbuds because their passive sound isolation is so good. This is still true. But the Elite 75t’s new ANC capability enhances that feeling of isolation and creates an even quieter sound floor for all of your audio.

It’s hard to complain: With ANC, existing Elite 75t owners just got a very valuable upgrade for free.

ANC capability falls along a spectrum. Some ANC tech, like the kind you’ll find on the JLab Epic Air ANC, only shaves a tiny amount off the surrounding sounds, while the AirPods Pro offer a magical cone of silence. The Elite 75t’s ANC is somewhere in between. It does a very good job of reducing low-frequency sounds, but can’t quite eradicate as many as the best ANC earbuds.

It’s hard to complain: Existing Elite 75t owners just got a very valuable upgrade for free, while earbud shoppers now have one more reason to pick the Elite 75t versus the competition.

It’s also worth noting that if the ANC mode isn’t producing the sense of calm you seek, the Sound+ app offers a series of background soundscapes designed to help you block out unwanted noises. You can pick from white noise, pink noise, various nature sounds, and two sounds that Jabra calls “comfort ambiance”: Cavern and crowd. Some of these are exceptionally soothing.

Our take

Small in size, but big on comfort, the Jabra Elite 75t  — now with ANC — are a superb choice for anyone who wants a high-performance set of true wireless earbuds. As long as you enjoy a hefty amount of bass, it’s hard to go wrong with the Elite 75t.

Is there a better alternative?

If battery life is of paramount importance, you should absolutely consider Samsung’s $150 Galaxy Buds+, or Sony’s WF-SP800N.

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 better noise cancellation, terrific sound, and they’re a perfect match for Siri.

If you want even better water protection, the $200 Elite Active 75t have the same ANC feature, are gentler in the bass department, and have 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.

I’ve been using my review model for a year, and so far, they’re as good as the day I received them.

Should you buy them?

Absolutely. Even before the ANC upgrade, the Elite 75t were a stellar choice for fans of bone-shaking bass, and now they’re even better. 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 can do that, plus better waterproofing for $20 more.

Find other models at fantastic slashed prices by taking a look at our compilation of the best headphone deals.

Editors' Recommendations