Jabra has been releasing some serious competitors in the truly wireless headphones space, and I just wrapped up testing on the company’s latest: the Jabra Elite 75t. These are a follow-up to last year’s Elite 65t, but they are much more than an incremental update. Jabra says they are 20% smaller than the previous model (the charge case has also slimmed down), with improved sound and a dramatic increase in battery life. In fact, if they live up to the 7.5 hours of use on a charge as claimed, the battery life on these would be as good as it gets for truly wireless earbuds.
Do the Elite 75t true wireless earbuds live up to the hype? Read on for my thoughts about the latest release from Jabra.
Fit and comfort
I’m one of those people who often has trouble getting earbuds to fit properly, and with true wireless earbuds (which are considerably larger and heavier), that challenge is even worse.
Jabra’s Elite 75t earbuds use a new ergonomic design and also shave 20% off the physical size. Individual buds weigh in at 5.5 g, which is close to the 6 g for the Elite Active 65t earbuds I reviewed last fall, but in the more compact form factor, the weight is far less noticeable.
I found these earbuds were very comfortable to wear and once in position, they remained firmly in place. I also wanted to mention the physical buttons on each bud. The controls take some getting used to (it all comes down to how many pushes for the button to invoke a specific feature), but the button mechanisms are very responsive and require little pressure to activate. This makes life a lot easier on your ears, which takes the brunt of any force required.
Battery life and charge case
In his review of Jabra’s Elite 65t earbuds, Justin Tse lamented the use of Micro USB instead of USB-C. Jabra has now remedied that and the Elite 75t charge case uses USB-C, which means the end of fumbling to get the cable right-side up. The new charge case is significantly smaller, has a flat bottom so it sits upright, and is easy to open. It supports fast-charge and can get the buds an hour of playtime in 15 minutes. With over 20 hours worth of capacity, the case battery brings the total play time before having to plug into a wall outlet to 28 hours.
What about the claimed 7.5 hours of playtime for the earbuds themselves? That number is always the “up to” top end, and my average was more like 6.5 hours. But that is still excellent! You may do better or worse, primarily depending on how high you keep the volume and how far you are from your music source.
“Strong passive” noise cancellation and voice calls
Voice calls have always been a Jabra strong suit and you can expect that tradition to carry on with the Elite 75t earbuds. They’re equipped with a pair of MEMS microphones on each bud and use the multiple microphones to help reduce ambient noise when talking.
These buds lack active noise cancellation but employ what Jabra is calling “strong passive” noise cancellation. I’m honestly not sure what this entails, other than the earbud physically blocking ambient sound from reaching the ear canal, but I did find they do a better job than most in this respect. Loud background noise isn’t eliminated, but it is significantly reduced.
To counter that if you actually want to hear what’s going on around you, a “hear through” function utilizes the microphones, and this works quite well.
Jabra Elite 75t key specs:
I’m going to preface this part of the review with my usual disclaimer about earbuds. With a single, tiny, full-range driver, earbuds are never going to match the sound quality of a decent set of headphones.
But true wireless earbuds aren’t about audiophiles immersing themselves in a critical music listening session. They’re meant to be a convenient way to have music available when exercising, commuting, working or just hanging around. And for that purpose, the Jabra Elite 75t earbuds perform quite well. I listened to a variety of musical genres (classic rock, alternative and new wave) and the sound was energetic and crisp, with just a hint of bass.
Jabra’s mobile app has an EQ that lets you customize the audio, an option that is far more satisfying than your smartphone’s built-in EQ settings. It works quite well, but even with the low end pushed to extremes, I still couldn’t get the bass presence I was hoping for. That being said, for earbuds, the high energy audio should make most owners pretty happy.
In testing with streaming 1080p video on Netflix, voice synchronization was perfect.
Areas for improvement
The Jabra Elite 75t true wireless earbuds performed very well, but were there any areas where Jabra could improve the experience?
This may sound picky, but I would really like to see them improve the labeling on the left and right earbuds. There’s a very faint “L” painted on the left earbud, but unless you view it in the right light, that marking is virtually invisible. I assume there’s an “R” on the right earbud, but for the life of me, I can’t see it. It’s a big ask, but it would also be great to have just a little more bass on tap. That’s really tough to pull off with earbuds, but a few do manage and I would love to see Jabra tackle this.
Are these your new true wireless earbuds?
A few years ago, when the first generation of truly wireless headphones were becoming popular, I had trouble recommending them. They tended to be big and bulky, battery life was terrible, they fell out too easily, and connectivity/synchronization was often a problem.
The category has improved tremendously in that time and the Jabra Elite 75t true wireless earbuds are a stellar example of this. They are noticeably smaller, more comfortable and more securely fitting than the previous generation. Connectivity is solid and there are no issues with one earbud dropping its connection out and having to be re-paired. With dramatically improved battery life—enough to go for much of a workday without needing a recharge—they are practical as well. So if you’re in the market for a set of true wireless earbuds, the Jabra Elite 75t should be on your shortlist.