Jabra launched its new Jabra Elite 85H headphones at the CES 2019 in Las Vegas this week. The high-end consumer headphones promise to deliver “best-in-class” performance for over-ear wireless headphones, and I’m here to give you some of the details. Note that all 3 colours of these new headphones will be exclusive to Best Buy Canada! These headphones will be coming to Best Buy in March.
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Jabra 85H features
The Jabra 85H is the company’s most premium offering, designed to take on Bose and Sony, who currently dominate the market when it comes to audio devices. The 85H headphones feature wireless Bluetooth connectivity, USB Type-C charging and hands-free voice assistant support. I’m excited by the hands-free feature, because I am an avid user of Google Home, so I’ve gotten quite used to just saying “Hey Google” to get what I want. With hands-free support for both the Google and Amazon Alexa assistant, you’re getting awesome convenience. That means you don’t have to tap a button to wake your voice assistant, as with a lot of current headphones on the market. Instead, you just speak the activation/wake-up word, and off you go.
The 85H also has multiple microphones (eight in total), which help make your calls sound clear as a bell, and also help with the adaptive noise-cancelling technology (Jabra SmartSound) that actually changes according to your environment. Two of these mics are for noise cancellation, two are for SmartSound, and four are for calls and voice assistant control. So, the headphones automatically adjust sound intensity and the audio profile of what you are listening to depending on your surroundings, from being alone in the woods to loud traffic or being on a plane, to wind, rain and beyond. You’ll apparently always be enjoying your tunes no matter what’s happening around you. According to Jabra, this noise-cancelling system is superior to anyone else’s because of the fact it automatically adjusts to your surroundings. The company has stated that the headphone’s technology can detect more than 6,000 unique sound characteristics and then adapt the sounds you hear accordingly.
Of course, when it comes to wireless headphones the big question is how long does the battery last? Let’s face it, if you are investing in some luxury headphones, you want to enjoy your music or chat on the phone for as long as you want. It looks like the Jabra 85H totally delivers, offering a headline-making 32 hours of use—and that’s even with the active noise-cancelling feature engaged. Wow.
Jabra 85H design
From photos and several hands-on reviews of the Jabra 85H, I can tell you the headphones come in black, beige, and navy, each with different colour accents on the arms. The ear cups have a soft leatherette finish and are said to be quite comfortable to wear. Overall, it looks like the 85H is really solidly built, and built for extended wear with padding in the right places.
Jabra Sound+ app
To give you the most from the new 85H headphones, Jabra has its Sound+ app, letting you access SmartSound and other features, enabling you to personalize the way you use the Jabra headphones. You can choose your voice assistant, customize music profiles, modify how much background noise you want to block out and keep your headphones at optimum performance with a simple, visual in-app indicator to track battery usage. You can also install software and device updates directly using the app; no need to plug your headphones into your computer.