To say the world has embraced fully wireless earbuds in a big way would be a fair assessment of the current market. Within that market there are a few front runners for best product, but here’s a secret: there’s no one best, and your best may not be my best.
That said my best fully wireless earbuds are the Jabra Elite range, and with the latest Elite 75t now on the market we gave them a look, well listen. Are the Jabra Elite 75t a worth update to some of the best on the market? Read on to find out.
The Jabra Elite 75t are an upgrade to the 65t in basically every way, I honestly can not find anything that’s not superior to their predecessor. In the box you get the charging case, L and R rear buds, charging cable and a range of ear tips to let you customise the fit for your ears.
The earbuds themselves are 20% smaller than last year’s model which makes them fit just a bit better, fall out just a bit less and take up just a little bit less space in your pocket. But overall make them a lot better, while I’m used to wearing earbuds now, the Elite 75t just seem to fade away a little bit more when worn, if they didn’t block out sound I’d likely forget I was wearing them.
Jabra has also updated the 75t to Bluetooth 5.0, this provides clearer audio, longer battery life and increased range. While I can’t category confirm all of this they certainly performed better than the 65t in all of those areas (in fact we suspect BT5.0 may be a big player in the improved battery life).
The Jabra Elite 75t opts for physical buttons instead of capacitive or restive touch controls, and I’m a fan. I like to press a real button, I like to feel the click, I like the tactile reassurance that I have in fact done the thing I wanted to do.
I also use the earbuds while laying down, and not having the touch controls set off by the pillow is great. The 2 buttons can control most features, if you memorise the sequence of single double, triple and long clicks, or double tap for Assistant and it will likely do what you need.
WHAT’S IT GOOD AT?
Most fully wireless earbuds do not include active noise cancellation, it’s a matter of battery life really. What they do offer is sound isolation, otherwise known as block out the noise. I was worried that the smaller earbuds may offer less sound isolation, I was wrong.
Because I got a snugger fit with these than the already good 65t I was actually able to use them as earplugs (with the music off) at a concert I went to recently and had forgotten my regular earplugs. In fact I needed to loosen their fit in order to actually hear the music at the volume I wanted.
The case is also an improvement over last year with the overall size getting slimmed down and the final inclusion of a USB C charging port instead of the Micro USB, hallelujah!! I found the rounded shape of the 65t case actually resulted in the case ejecting from my pocket and hard to set down on a table.
Jabra also made the case easier to open, especially one handed. The combination of a smaller size, reduction of the heavy curves and a flat top and bottom has all resulted in an overall superior case experience.
They have also packed additional battery life into this smaller case giving 20.5 hours of additional battery support. Combined with the 7.5 hours at moderate volume levels per earbud you can get almost 28 hours of continuous playback, that’s enough for most long haul flights, as long as you pause for a quick recharge here and there.
These are headphones, great design, improved cases and modern connectors are not really going to make a difference if the audio is no good. I’m going to make my standard disclaimer here. I have my ears not yours, I have my expectations not yours.
To my ears with my expectations the 75t are excellent. I mainly listen to podcasts now, so the majority of my audio consumption is not going to push the limits of high fidelity sound representation, but when I did test with music I was more than happy,
Audio is clear, concise and loud. Thanks to the sound isolation I never needed to listen at full volume, in fact it was uncomfortably loud if I did. I have not yet gotten to test them on a plane, however I suspect they will combat the drone of an A380s giant engines well in a few weeks.
The Jabra Sound + app provides some basic preset EQ settings if you want to tweak the default sound as well as limited manual tuning for the range of the earbuds. You can have 3 presets “my Moment”, “commute” and “focus”.
These presets let you switch the EQ on the fly and can be accessed via a notification card, along with quick information on the battery status of the Jabra 75t.
Honestly, I never really use the app, I don’t change my preset, I don’t mess with the EQ, and I haven’t lost the earbuds yet. I do occasionally open it to check for firmware updates as Jabra is fairly consistent with updates every few months.
But if you want to do any of those things, or configure Alexa as the default voice assistant, then the app is simple, well designed and is likely something you will want to have installed just in case you do need the location tracking features (more on that later).
How could it be improved?
I initially found it hard to think of any way that these could be improved, my wish list from last year was:
- USB C charging – 🗹
- Case easier to use/ fall out of my pocket less – 🗹
- Longer battery life (of course) – 🗹
Honestly it met all of those things and gave me more I didn’t know I wanted. There was one modern feature I was hoping the 75t would include that it didn’t that Bluetooth 5.0 would have enabled, and that is independent L/R pairing.
With the 75t the right earbud is the “dominant device” it connects to your phone and the L bud then connects to it. What that means is you can not just have the L bud by itself; you can use just the right bud and that’s a shame. Bluetooth 5.0 has enabled this functionality on other earbuds and I like it. I often listen to podcasts via one ear and about 50% of the time I’d prefer my R ear was free to hear what’s happening around me.
The other suggestion I have for improvement is actually the addition of a new feature, location tracking. Via the app you can locate the last place you used your earbuds. However that’s only any good if you lose them directly after putting them in their case.
If you put them away, walk 500m and they fall out of your bag, knowing where you last used them is next to useless. Jabra could easily partner with a company like Tile to include a beacon in the case, if not each earbud. This would mean that the likelihood of recovering a potentially lost and not inexpensive set of wireless earbuds would be significantly minimised. Come on Jabra and Tile, get together!!
I’m going to admit it, having loved the Jabra Elite 65t I walked into this review thinking I might like the new Jabra Elite 75t. I was expecting a slight improvement across the board, and I got it. Everything about the new 75t is just a little bit better.
What I didn’t consider is that when you make a half dozen aspects of a device just a little bit better you actually make the device a whole lot better overall. The minor iterative update of the 75t across the board has resulted in a true successor to what I consider the best earbuds on the market.
Would I advise someone with the 65t to upgrade? Probably not, unless they just want to. But I would not recommend anyone buy the 65t over the 75t just to save a few dollars, unless they needed to. The Jabra 75t is an improvement over last year’s and my new favourite earbuds. I don’t listen to lossless FLAC files, I don’t use these whilst running marathons (mainly because I don’t run marathons). What I do do is use them every day of my life and for me there may be others out there that are just as good, but I’m happy with the Jabra Elite 75t and I think you would be too.
Jabra has allowed Ausdroid to retain the review sample for hygiene reasons.
Grrr. These or wait for the active version? Need to be sure they don’t fall out of my sweaty ears while jogging.
“28 hours of continuous playback […] as long as you pause for a quick recharge here and there” this statement is a big contradiction in my opinion. Simply remove the word “continuous” and it would make better factual sense. I picked these up in a recent OzBargain deal, happy with them so far. No mention of “heart-through” in this article, which lets noise through the microphones. I found it to be slightly jarring when playing/pausing music as there seem to be some lag in re-activating hear-through. I also didn’t get the best feedback for call quality trying them the other… Read more »
My set seem to pop in and out of the Hear Through when it’s enabled and even when there is no audio playing, causing it to be very annoying. Is this a common issue? Or do I possibly have a faulty device?
Just a point of clarification. I’m pretty sure that the 65t had BT5.0 as well. One of the reasons it was so good over a year ago.
If you take a call and turn the volume up on the device does yours crackle/hiss in the left bud? I’m onto my second pair and the both did/do it.
I’ve never noticed that, but I also rarely make calls from that phone number.