Though more and more affordable options are hitting shelves, true wireless buds with active noise cancellation cost a pretty penny. They’re worth it more often than not, but hard to justify when you’re on a budget.
Fortunately, high-quality earbuds like the Jabra Elite 2 still provide a high-quality experience, and the omission of ANC while slightly disappointing means they’ll only set you back R1,000.
Elite 2: Electric Boogaloo
By the name alone you might have guessed that these buds have contemporaries, in this case, the Elite 3. Aesthetically, they’re almost identical, which is great because these fit amazingly well, but the 2s and 3s have a few major differences in their guts.
The 3s have two microphones in each bud for clearer calls in comparison to the 2s single mics. The 3’s case also holds an additional 7 hours of charge over the 2’s. And the 3s have a hear-through mode if you want to let some outside noise in.
So what do the 2s have in their own right? Well, as mentioned, they’re designed brilliantly. The Elite series is geared towards active folks, runner and gym-rat types so they’re meant to hold on tight while you throw your body around. And man, do they. Whether I was running, skipping or hanging upside down from a pull-up bar, in all my time with the Elite 2s they never fell out.
The particularly snug fit does get a little uncomfortable after long periods of time, but it’s also in service of sound quality. These don’t offer ANC, so they keep the world and its noises out by sealing off your ear canals with their silicone tips. As far as non-ANC noise cancelling goes they’re great. So we’d say a little discomfort is worth it.
Sound-wise, they’re brilliant for their price. Each bud packs a 6mm driver with a frequency range of 20 to 20, 000Hz. For you non-audiophiles, this means you get crisp highs and booming lows depending on what you’re listening to. There’s an app that lets you change the equalisation, but only using a handful of presets. That, and the fact that you have to download the app to use the buds leaves us a little peeved.
Battery-wise, you’re looking at around 7 hours out of a full charge. The case gives you 2 additional charges for a grand total of 21 hours. Mileage varies with usage, naturally, but Jabra does vaunt that 10 min’s in the case will give you an hour of charge, which is pretty handy.
The only major headache here is connectivity. Once you’ve done it once, it becomes easy, but the initial setup was a bit of a nightmare compared to other earbuds. As mentioned, you need to use the Jabra app, and navigating between that and our device’s Bluetooth settings was a little dizzying.
Jabra Elite 2 Verdict
Honestly, any criticism we can give these wireless earbuds (and there’s very little) is largely offset by their quality-to-price ratio. Value for money is a fairly substantial understatement here. They may struggle to hold a candle to ANC devices in terms of noise cancellation (duh) but blow them out of the water value-wise. The Jabra Elite 2s are an easy recommendation from us if you’re looking for budget buds.