The ground beneath the Jabra Elite Active 75t is mostly unbroken but the things that you’d expect to find at this price, like dependable battery life, ANC and better-than-average sound are present and carried out well enough. Are the soft coating and slightly increased IP rating worth the R400 increase? We don't think so. Unless you frequently handle your earbuds over your morning coffee.
The Jabra Elite Active 75t marks yet another true wireless earbud option. Is it just us, or is the market starting to feel a little saturated? If it isn’t the seemingly endless supply of cheap AirPod knock-offs, its companies re-releasing the same earbuds with minor changes under the guise that they’re ‘all new’. That is just what Jabra has done with the Elite Active 75t earbuds. That being said, in this case, they’ve re-released some great-sounding, snug-fitting earbuds, but are they worth the price increase?
As you might’ve guessed from the ‘active’ in the name, these are geared primarily towards those of us that favour a more active lifestyle. While that doesn’t mean only athletes should buy these, it does feel a little wasteful if you’re not. Very few things have changed from their older counterparts, the non-active Elite 75t. So if you don’t mind paying an extra R400 for a grippier coating and a slight bump to the IP rating then these might be for you.
An improved, slender design
Jabra has taken the design from the previous generation 65t and made it smaller and more compact. The sticky-outy bits that house the microphones have been tamed down and smoothed into a more ergonomic design that should fit most ear sizes. They’re also lighter at just 5.5g per bud. Like most in-ear buds, they come with three different sizes of silicon tips, small, medium and large.
Then, because these are the active variants, they’re coated with a soft-touch coating which is supposed to make handling them with wet fingers easier. In our experience, it doesn’t really make that big of a difference as we still managed to drop them into our coffee one morning. Luckily they’re IP57 rated so the quick dip in joe followed by a quick rinse off didn’t do them any harm.
They like to stay where they are
Had they been in our ears instead of our fingers, they would never have fallen anywhere. In fact, during our extensive use, there were times when we forgot they were in our ears. Even purposefully trying to dislodge them with some rigorous headbanging only served to give us a headache.
That being said, it would have been nice to see some winged tips included for the added peace of mind. Although the included tips do well to create a seal in your ear which acts as passive noise cancellation. Depending on the size of your ear and the size of tip used, you may need to insert them rather deep to have the same effect.
Feature-rich enough to justify the price
The standout feature here that distinguishes these from the Elite 75t is the increased durability thanks to the IP57 rating over the IP55 of the cheaper non-active variant. IP57 means they’re dust protected and fully waterproof (or coffee-proof in our case).
Maybe the most important feature for wireless buds like these is the battery life. The Elite Active 75t can manage around 7.5 hours on a single charge. When that gets low the case will provide another 20.5 hours for a total of 28 hours, more than enough to get us through a full week with an average of about four to five hours a day.
When you do eventually need to charge them the case supports fast charging which translates to around 2.5 hours for a full charge. If you’re running late then a quick 15-minute charge will give you an hour of playback time. The only thing they lack in this department is wireless charging.
Although they lacked it when they launched, the Elite Active 75t received a software update that gave them Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). Just as well, because charging a premium price should come with premium features, otherwise, they’ll be hard to justify.
Control from afar
With these buds, most of the features are controlled in the Jabra Sound+ app. With it, you can set up a custom audio experience based on how you perceive certain frequencies for your music listening and one for your ANC, although we struggled to tell the difference with that on and off.
The app also offers you three profiles, called ‘moments’ where you can save a few settings like whether you want ANC on or not and an adjustable 5-band EQ, then switch between them with a single tap. The app is also where you’ll set what to want each button press to do and on which bud you want it.
Something we didn’t expect is the Find My Jabra feature. The buds’ location when they last disconnected from your device is stored locally, enabling you to find them if your memory fails you. To top it off you also get voice assistant compatibility with Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant.
As for the sound, the Jabra Elite Active 75t performs about as well as it should — slightly above average. The standard out-of-the-box sound was a little bass-heavy for our taste but we were able to correct that for the most part in the app with the equaliser and a custom preset. If you’d rather not go through that trouble there are a few presets to choose from, bass boost (we doubt you’ll need it), treble boost, smooth, energise and speech.
Jabra Elite Active 75t – Verdict
The ground beneath the Jabra Elite Active 75t is mostly unbroken but the things that you’d expect to find at this price, like dependable battery life, ANC and better-than-average sound are present and carried out well enough. Are the soft coating and slightly increased IP rating worth the R400 increase? We don’t think so. Unless you frequently handle your earbuds over your morning coffee.