For years, Apple has offered the AirPods lineup, a range of in-ear buds that are available in a variety of models that can be easily identified by their iconic white profile. Apple’s flagship buds have, and continue to be, the AirPods Pro model, and the company has recently graced us with a revamped second-generation of the super popular earbuds — the unimaginatively-named AirPods Pro 2.
As you’ll learn from our full review of these fantastic buds, through an impressive redesign and an all-new H2 chip, they deliver bigger and better sound, more powerful noise-canceling, and other cool features. But how will the new AirPods Pro stack up against Jabra’s impressive Elite 7 Pro, another go-to set of cozy wireless earbuds from a respected brand? Let’s find out!
Further AirPods Pro 2 reading
- AirPods Pro 2 vs. Sony WF-1000XM4
- AirPods Pro 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
- AirPods Pro 2 vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro
- AirPods Pro 2 review
- Should you upgrade to the AirPods Pro 2?
Design, fit, and comfort
The AirPods Pro 2 look pretty identical to the first-gen iteration of Apple’s popular noise-canceling earbuds, with just a couple of subtle differences — mainly that the pressure-relief venting has been moved farther up the buds, and a new wear sensor knows when it’s in contact with human skin versus something inanimate, like the walls of a purse or the confines of a pants pocket.
Unlike the traditional AirPods lineup, the Pro buds come with small, medium, and large-sized silicone ear tips, with the latest Pro shipping with an additional “extra small” tip set for the smallest ears. The AirPods Pro 2 fit really nicely and are pretty comfortable for long-haul listening, whether that means sitting in an office chair, traversing city streets, or listening to a podcast in bed. If you’re unsure, you can always use Apple’s helpful Ear Tip Fit Test.
While they’re IPX4-rated (both the buds and the case), they’re not tailor-made for workout enthusiasts, so even though you can definitely wear them to the gym, you may find yourself adjusting them a lot during a run on the treadmill.
The new MagSafe case is going to be the same size as the original model but will include a lanyard hookup (lanyard sold separately) and an integrated speaker and U1 chip for integration into Apple’s Find My network.
Both the AirPods Pro buds and case are only available in a glossy white finish, an Apple staple.
The Jabra Elite 7 Pro buds are smaller and lighter than Jabra’s Elite 75t model, but have an incredible fit — so much so that we were glad to call them the comfiest earbuds we’ve ever worn. Similar to the O.G. AirPods Pro, users receive three ear tip sizes — and let’s not forget the charging case. Opting for a clamshell design over previous upright iterations, Jabra also decided to place the USB-C port right on the front of the case, making for quick and convenient re-juicing.
In terms of dust and water protection, the Elite 7 Pro outshine the AirPods Pro 2 with an IP57 rating, which means they’re totally shielded from dirt and dust and can even be submerged in a few feet of water for around half an hour (although we wouldn’t suggest testing this out). And, unlike its fruit-named rival, the Elite 7 Pro is available in a variety of color options, including black, mint, gold beige, navy, titanium black, and copper black.
While it’s certainly a close one, we’re going to give this category to the Elite 7 Pro for its range of color options, increased protection against dirt and water, and the inclusion of a USB-C port on the charging case, as opposed to Apple’s Lightning connection.
Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro
Controls and customization
The AirPods Pro 2 buds are equipped with short stems with integrated force sensors — a design carryover from the previous generation. Clicking the tees one, two, or three times will initiate a range of commands, from play/pause functions to track skipping. A long press on either stem can be customized to either cycle through noise-cancellation presets or call upon Siri (which you can also do by saying “Hey Siri”).
This is also the first set of AirPods to include an up-down gesture on the buds for raising and lowering volume, with the option to customize your long-press commands for both the left and right channel in the Bluetooth settings of your iOS device (no customization for Android devotees).
The Elite 7 Pro uses easy-to-press buttons on the outer casing of each bud for all your controls, with single-, double-, and triple-taps handling all your playback, noise cancellation, volume controls, and voice assistant needs, with button customizations available through the Sound+ app (available for iOS and Android users).
While the Sound+ app offers a little more personalization when compared to Apple’s more stripped-down adjustments (that can only be accessed with an iOS device), we’d say that both the new AirPods Pro and Jabra Elite 7 Pro are on equal footing when it comes to overall controls.
We’ve said it before: Apple and audio don’t typically go hand-in-hand, but the current standing of the AirPods lineup (including the holy cans of headphones, the AirPods Max) begs for some reexamining. Since the AirPods 3, Apple has been delivering impressive earbuds and headphones, and the latest AirPods Pro dialed things up a few more notches.
For starters, Apple’s inclusion of the new H2 chip, along with a driver and amplifier revamp, means bigger and better sound across the board. Overall, sound staging is well balanced, and there’s plenty of detail in the mid and high-range frequencies, along with powerful, but not overbearing, bass to pad out the bottom.
Spatial Audio head-tracking also gets a boost with the arrival of Personalized Spatial Audio, an H2 feature that uses your iPhone’s TruDepth camera to create custom listening profiles based on individual ear canal shapes. Do the AirPods Pro 2 match the amazing audio quality of the Jabra Elite 7 Pro though?
Sure, you can find powerful bass on just about any set of earbuds, but when you push the low-end too hard, mids and highs tend to get muddied. This simply isn’t the case with the Elite 7 Pro — or for any set of wireless Jabra buds for that matter. Here, the bass is strong without disrupting the articulation of higher frequencies.
Additionally, you can use the Jabra Sound+ app to customize your listening EQ, choose from one of Jabra’s audio presets, and use the MySound feature to personalize audio based on your listening wants and needs.
This all being said, we’re going to give the win to the AirPods Pro 2 by a nose. While the Elite 7 Pros sound excellent, the AirPods Pro 2 slightly nudge past them here in overall sound quality.
Winner: AirPods Pro 2
Noise cancellation and transparency mode
Apple’s first stab at active noise-canceling was a major success. The O.G. AirPods Pro delivered exceptional ANC that deadens even the harshest of environmental sounds, from buses and trains to whirring HVAC systems and office chatter. With the quick click of a force stem, users can also switch between ANC and Transparency mode, Apple’s take on an ambient setting, where the AirPods’ far-field mics actively amplify environmental sounds.
As mentioned, Apple’s H2 chip is paving the way for improved ANC and Transparency modes, with the company claiming that users can expect double the ANC, along with a much more discerning and detailed ambient setting called Adaptive Transparency. In our own testing of the AirPods Pro 2, ANC was a standout player, eliminating even the most severe of decibel-driven city noise. Plus, Adaptive Transparency is pretty awesome, too.
With Apple’s H2 chip, the AirPods Pro 2 is smart enough to amplify necessary audio like what your boyfriend or girlfriend is saying to you, while also dialing back on the sirens of a passing emergency vehicle.
Over on the Jabra end of things, the Elite 7 Pro offers pretty impressive ANC and transparency listening, along with the ability to dial-in the perfect amount of ANC using the Sound+ app. With the closed design of the Elite 7 Pro, ANC tends to perform better than transparency listening, and we’re guessing it’s because it’s easier for the earbuds to amplify environmental sounds with a semi-open design (like the Jabra Elite 85t).
Both Apple and Jabra are great when it comes to canceling unwanted sounds and putting a mic to the noises you want to hear most, but Apple’s Adaptive Transparency is the big winner here. Thus, another point for Apple.
Winner: AirPods Pro 2
In our run-through of the AirPods Pro 2, we detected little in the way of environmental noise when on a call, with both our own voice and that of the caller coming through remarkably clear. Apple’s H2 improvements also did some pretty wonderful things when it came to cutting down on wind noise, delivering phone call audio that was only slightly compressed outdoors and completely un-phased in an indoor setting, which is where they shine.
But, when it comes to phone calls, nothing beats the Jabra Elite 7 Pro — at least for the price. Applying bone-conduction technology (Jabra bills this as MultiSensor Voice technology), our test calls were completely undisturbed, even though we were standing right next to an annoyingly active construction site. With Jabra’s handy sidetone feature, you can adjust how much of your own voice you’ll hear on your call, and there’s even a microphone-mute option that we wish other audio brands would add to their headphones.
Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro
While we’ve yet to take the new AirPods Pro buds and charge case for a battery-driven ride, Apple has a few words about what’s in store. According to the company, second-gen AirPods Pro users can expect up to six hours of bud battery on a single charge, with an additional 30 listening hours provided by the MagSafe case. That’s a decent improvement over the 4.5 hours of bud life and 24 charge case hours of the original AirPods Pro.
That being said, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro are already the winner in this category. The Elite 7 Pro handles up to eight hours of bud life on a single charge, with an additional 30 hours through the charging case.
Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro
Price and warranty
The second-gen AirPods Pro are priced at $250, with Apple offering a one-year limited warranty on the buds and charge case, along with the option to purchase Apple Care+ for two additional years of accidental coverage.
Right now, you can find the Elite 7 Pro priced as low as $130, down from the original price of $200. You’ll also get a one-year limited warranty for dirt and water protection, and you can easily extend this to two years by registering the buds in the Jabra Sound+ app.
Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro
The bottom line
As it stands, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro takes home the gold for our preferred pair of wireless ANC earbuds over the AirPods Pro 2. While Apple trends close and even beats out Jabra in a couple of categories, comfort, and overall sound quality, the Jabra’s sound is also amazing and highly customizable, their ANC is almost on par, and their superior battery life and a hard-to-beat price go a long way toward making the Elite 7 Pro the better option.
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