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Jabra Elite 7 Pro vs. Jabra Elite 85t

Jabra reigns high and mighty when it comes to the world of noise-canceling earbuds, and for plenty of good reasons. The company’s earbuds are snug and comfortable, they sound excellent for both listening to music and making phone calls, they’re easy to set up and pair with your favorite devices, and the controls are completely customizable.

The Jabra Elite 85t are one of the brand’s premier models, offering some of the most advanced features and the inclusion of a fully-hybrid noise-cancellation system. Building on many of the big wins of the 85t, Jabra introduced the Elite 7 Pro. Touting a smaller and lighter design with bone conduction mics for the best in voice pickup abilities, the Elite 7 Pro are another great offering from Jabra.

But between the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 85t, which are the best set of Jabra buds? As audio experts and connoisseurs, we’ve broken down each pair based on criteria like design, controls, sound and call quality, and pricing. Read on to see which buds we like the most.

Design, comfort, and controls

Jabra Elite 7 Pro seen next to Jabra Elite 85t and Elite 75t.

Compared to the Elite 85t, the Elite 7 Pro are both smaller and lighter than the 85t. Jabra’s recognizable multifunction buttons take on a new teardrop shape with the Elite 7 Pro, with the buttons now occupying most of the outer area of the buds.

Let’s be clear: We think the Elite 7 Pro are some of the most comfortable earbuds you can buy right now. Thanks to re-engineered eartips and a less bulky fit (when compared to the Elite 85t), the Elite 7 Pro stay snug for long listening sessions and calls, with next to no discomfort. Being a bit bigger and heavier overall, the Elite 85t don’t fit quite as comfortably, and the oval eartips make it difficult to rotate the buds to find the best fit for your ears.

The charging cases for both the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 85t offer wireless charging and are fairly easy to carry around. With the Elite 7 Pro case, the USB-C connection is located on the front. While not as aesthetically pleasing, it’s much more practical when it comes to quickly connecting your USB wire for recharging.

Read our full review of the Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Jabra Elite 7 Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

In terms of how you control the buds, Jabra offers some of the best buttons in the business. Single-, double- and triple-presses, along with a single long-press command, allow you to play/pause music, make phone calls, interact with voice assistants and toggle active noise-cancelation (ANC) on and off. If you’re not a fan of the default button-mapping of either pair of buds, you can jump into the Jabra Sound+ app (for iOS and Android devices) to re-map commands to your liking.

One advantage the Elite 85t had over the Elite 7 Pro was their ability to have your buds paired to more than one Bluetooth device simultaneously, making it easy to switch between gear in a pinch. When the Elite 7 Pro launched, they lacked this Bluetooth multipoint connection, but a recent firmware update has since fixed this omission, putting the two earbuds on par. Check out the entire list of updates on Jabra’s website.

In terms of color options, the Elite 7 Pro are only available in titanium black. You can purchase the Elite 85t in titanium black, copper black, and gold beige.

While the Elite 85t can be conveniently linked to multiple devices at the same time, we’re awarding the Elite 7 Pro based on fit and comfort overall.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Durability

Thanks to the fully-closed design of the Elite 7 Pro, the buds are almost completely waterproof — netting them an IP57 rating. Because of the semi-open design of the Elite 85t, these buds are only IPX4 rated but don’t let this deter you. The Elite 85t can hold up to the wettest of weather conditions, although we wouldn’t necessarily recommend them for exercising — mostly because of their added bulk.

Thanks to the higher protection rating and tighter fit, the Elite 7 Pro are the more durable and ergonomic of the two sets of buds.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Battery life

Jabra claims that the Elite 7 Pro offer up to eight hours of battery off a single charge (with ANC enabled), with up to 30 hours total playtime with the charging case. When you house the buds in the charging case, five minutes of re-juicing will get you an extra hour of battery.

In our testing of the Elite 7 Pro, our left bud lasted up to the full eight hours while the right bud managed only 7.5 hours. We’re guessing this is because the right bud was the first to connect and pair during setup, making it the ‘primary’ bud.

Compared to the Elite 7 Pro, the Elite 85t lags behind a bit when it comes to battery. For instance, you’ll only get seven hours of juice across both buds with ANC disabled, and only 5.5 hours with ANC turned on. In terms of on-the-go powering, the charging case will get you up to 24 hours of extra performance — about nine fewer hours than the Elite 7 Pro case. You’ll also need to charge the buds for an extra ten minutes (compared to the Elite 7 Pro) to get a full extra hour of performance.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Sound and call quality

Man wearing Jabra Elite 7 Pro.

Both the Jabra Elite 7 Pro and Elite 85t offer excellent sound quality. Before the release of the Elite 7 Pro, the Elite 85t were some of the best-sounding noise-canceling earbuds you could find (at least in our opinion). Compared to older Elite models, specifically the standard 75t and Jabra’s Elite Active lineup, the Elite 85t reins in the mighty low-end offered by the regular 75t, while delivering impressive accuracy across the entire EQ.

What we’re left with is a set of earbuds that prioritize rich sound-staging over loudness and unrelenting bass. That being said, if you’re looking for a little more thump in your sound, you can dial into the Jabra Sound+ app to adjust the EQ based on your preferences.

The Elite 85t are also great for making and receiving phone calls. In our testing of the buds, voices on both ends of the call were clear and articulate, with environmental noise providing little to no interference.

We had a tough time when comparing the sound and call quality of the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 85t, side-by-side. The Elite 7 Pro truly matches the audio accolades of the Elite 85t, offering detailed sound-staging and customizations through the Sound+ app. Listening deeply, we think the 85t offers a little more detail across the overall EQ, but the leg-up is nothing significant.

That being said, the Elite 7 Pro takes the prize when it comes to call quality. Thanks to the inclusion of bone-conducting mics, voice pickup is better than previous Jabra earbuds. In fact, we think the Elite 7 Pro are some of the best buds for those that spend a lot of time making and receiving calls.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Noise cancelation and transparency

The Elite 85t were Jabra’s first earbuds to include a hybrid ANC system, thanks to the addition of feed-forward and feedback mics that pick up unwanted sounds and then filter them out (the Elite 75t and Active 75t only received ANC through a firmware update).

From the ground-up, the Elite 7 Pro uses the same hybrid ANC system as the Elite 85t, but with slightly better noise-canceling capabilities. We think this is because of the completely closed design of the Elite 7 Pro, making for a tighter seal against environmental sounds. With the semi-open design of the Elite 85t, outside noise is a bit easier to hear, as well as a little tougher to cancel out.

Switching between HearThrough (transparency) and ANC modes with both models is quick and easy, especially compared to leading ANC buds of today, such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 and AirPods Pro. With a pair of Jabra buds, all you have to do is press your left earbud once. No long-presses or multi-presses are required.

In terms of overall ANC, you can also use the Sound+ app to adjust exactly how powerful your noise cancelation is (with both sets of earbuds).

Because the Elite 7 Pro are just a bit tougher on canceling unwanted noise, we’re going to award the buds another point.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Price and warranty

Right now, you can purchase the Jabra Elite 7 Pro for $199. The Elite 85t currently sell for $189 on Amazon but could be more, depending on where you shop. Both sets of buds also include a two-year warranty (registration required).

Conclusion

Jabra Elite 7 Pro.

It’s no mystery: We think the Jabra Elite 7 Pro are the superior set of Jabra earbuds. That’s not to say that we don’t think the Elite 85t are also exceptional. The latter still offer amazing performance and powerful noise cancellation, but these are great features and technologies that the Elite 7 Pro borrowed from and improved upon.

The Elite 7 Pro fit nicely, sound awesome, and offer better battery life overall when compared to the Elite 85t. If the money was coming out of our pockets, the Elite 7 Pro are the Jabra buds we’d go home with.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Editors' Recommendations