Jabra Elite Active 75t
“For $20 more than the Elite 75t, you get complete protection from water and a super-secure fit.”
- Secure and comfortable fit
- Great sound quality
- Good call quality
- No wireless charging
- Average battery life
When Jabra released its latest true wireless earbuds, the Elite 75t, we knew it wouldn’t be long before it followed them up with the Elite Active 75t. After all, the same pattern occurred in 2018, when the company first debuted the Elite 65t and then the Elite Active 65t.
Yes, history has repeated itself, and the Elite Active 75t are now available for pre-order for $200 — $20 more than the Elite 75t. Though the new models are more expensive their predecessors, the price gap between Active and non-Active versions remains the same.
Unlike the Elite Active 65t, which offered better water protection than the Elite 65t, as well as built-in accelerometers for basic in-app activity tracking, the Elite Active 75t offer only two small improvements. Full waterproofing via an IP57 rating, and a slightly more grippy outer surface. Are they worth the upgrade? Let’s find out.
Design and comfort
We’ll just come right out and say it. The Jabra Elite 75t are the best-fitting true wireless earbuds we’ve ever tried here at Digital Trends, and the Elite Active 75t are identical. They share the same ergonomic shape that feels like it was custom-formed for my ears. I know they won’t fit everyone like a glove, but your odds of getting a good fit are better with these buds than with many of the other options out there.
Rest assured, the Elite Active 75t won’t be unintentionally jarred loose.
The Elite Active 75t double down on those ergonomics with a slightly rubbery outer surface. It’s barely noticeable until you insert it in your ear, when it becomes readily apparent that they won’t be going anywhere unless you pluck them free.
This is true when you first put them in, and it’s still true an hour into your workout as the sweat has gone from a trickle to a torrent. Most people will find the Elite 75t are perfectly secure, but if you want an extra measure of assurance, the Elite Actives offer just that.
I found the default medium tips to be an excellent fit, but Jabra also includes a small and a large set too.
The Elite Active 75t sound great. Some true wireless earbuds, especially at more affordable pricing, feel like a compromise. You get the convenience of going completely wire-free but at the cost of decent sound. That’s not the case here.
The Elite Actives do what good earbuds should: Bring your music closer, letting you discover nuances that you might not have heard through speakers or even some headphones. With low, mid, and high frequencies all fully rendered, the Elite Active 75t compare favorably to mid-range wired earbuds, and the similarly priced but not fully wireless.
To get noticeably better sound, you’ll need to jump up to the $300 Master and Dynamic MW07 Plus.
They bring your music closer, letting you discover nuances that you might not have heard before.
Though Jabra hasn’t discussed the acoustic differences between the Elite 75t and the Elite Active 75t, I can tell you they have unique sound signatures. The Elite 75t are big and bombastic with a bass-forward sound that some might find overpowering. The Elite Active 75t are much more evenly balanced by comparison. You can still tweak EQ to your heart’s content using the free Jabra Sound+ app for Android and iOS, but their default setting is a very pleasant neutral, suitable for most music genres.
You won’t find active noise cancellation on the Elites, as you will on more expensive buds like Apple’s AirPods Pro or Sony’s WF-1000XM3, but the passive noise isolation provided by the silicone eartips reduces most outside sounds to the point where they don’t compete with your music. I guarantee you’ll need to use Jabra’s HearThrough system to have a face-to-face conversation with the Elite Active 75t in your ears.
Controls and app
We’re seeing more and more true wireless earbuds opt for touch controls instead of physical buttons. That’s not a bad thing, especially if those touch controls are responsive and easy to use. Some, like Apple’s AirPods Pro, are excellent. Others, well, not so much.
That’s why I appreciate Jabra’s single physical button on each Elite Active 75t earbud. They’re easy to find with your fingers (whether gloved or naked), easy to use (a light press is all that’s needed), and can control almost all major functions including, volume and voice assistant access.
At the moment, you need to memorize what each button and button-press combination is responsible for, even if they don’t feel intuitive. However, an update to the Sound+ app coming later this year will let you customize what the buttons do.
Portability and ports
Even if your true wireless earbuds can last all day like the amazing Samsung Galaxy Buds+, you probably won’t wear them all day long, so a good charging case matters. The Elite Active 75t’s charging case is really small, which makes it easily pocketable. The flip-top lid is easy to open even one-handed, yet it closes with a satisfying clack thanks to a tiny magnet.
A second set of stronger magnets do a great job of keeping the earbuds docked in their sockets until you’re ready to remove them. The overall construction and materials of the case are both excellent and a tiny LED on the back gives you a color-based battery status when you open or close the lid.
The USB-C connection is convenient for charging (assuming you’re a USB-C kinda person), but there’s no wireless charging — a small disappointment considering the price.
Jabra claims a 7.5-hour life span on the Elite Active 75t before they need to be returned to their charging case. I managed just under that number when playing music between 50% and 75% volume. In today’s world, that kind of performance is good — certainly better than anything Apple’s products can do (the AirPods and AirPods Pro each get about 5 hours) — but it’s still well shy of the top of the charts.
Is this a problem? No. Let’s be honest. Very few of us will ever want or need to listen with our buds for longer than 7 hours at a time. Still, it’s a competitive world out there, and if Samsung can deliver 11 hours in a set of earbuds that cost $50 less, it tells us what we should be expecting from other true wireless buds.
Still, with a total of 28 hours (charging case included) and a fast-charge time of 15 minutes for 60 minutes of playtime, the Elite Active 75t need not make many apologies on this front.
The Elite Active 75t aren’t the first true wireless earbuds to offer the kind of waterproof protection afforded by an IP57 rating, but we’d be hard-pressed to find a set that has made no compromises to do it.
This is the real reason you should consider the extra $20 when deciding between the Elites and the Elite Actives. It’s kind of like an insurance policy. You pay a little more upfront to give yourself the peace of mind that even if these buds go for an unintended kerplunk, they’ll survive to play another day.
Does that insurance policy hold up? I wore them at the gym, in the shower after the gym, and let them sit in a sink of water for 10 minutes with no issues at all.
Technically speaking, IP57 means you could take them swimming, but I’d advise against it. For one thing, water and Bluetooth make poor bedfellows. You’ll probably experience connection problems. Secondly, as secure as the Elite Actives are, you’re going to be a sad puppy if one or both manage to work their way loose in the ocean. In a pool, I’m guessing the odds of recovery are slightly better.
Too close to call
I found the call quality of the Elite 75t to be very good in almost all situation,s and the Elite Active 75t performed equally well. Being able to use the right earbud on its own is handy for calls, as is the side-tone feature for when you’re making dual-earbud calls. It functions just like HearThrough mode, letting you hear as much of your own voice as you like.
The Jabra Elite Active 75t are backed by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty against dust and sweat.
Identical in almost every way to the superb Elite 75t, the Jabra Elite Active 75t offer a more secure fit and better protection from water for an additional $20 investment. They possess a flatter EQ that reduces the heavy bass signature of the Elite 75t, which may entice those who have no need of the extra ruggedness but simply want a more neutral sound.
Is there a better alternative?
No. If what you want is a set of fully waterproof true wireless earbuds that sound amazing and fit like a glove, you won’t find a better product than the Jabra Elite Active 75t — at any price. If you’re mostly focused on waterproofing and want to save some money, the $150give you the same level of protection from water and longer battery life, but they don’t sound as good as the Jabras and they lack some features like volume control.
How long will it last?
Jabra’s products are solidly built with high-quality materials. The Elite Active 75t are no exception. We expect they will last many years as long as they aren’t abused.
Should you buy them?
Yes. The Jabra Elite Active 75t’s secure and comfortable fit, along with excellent sound quality and protection from both dust and water, makes them a perfect companion for everything from your daily commute to the most grueling of workouts. As long as you’re not looking for active noise cancellation or massive battery life, they’re a great choice.
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