Comfortable, customisable and supremely well-protected against the elements, the Jabra Elite Active 75t are a top choice for active types
- Secure and comfortable fit
- IP57 certification
- Lots of customisation options
- Left earbud can’t be used independently
- Bass may be too prominent for some
Jabra’s Elite Active 75t true wireless earbuds launched back in February but have received a few notable upgrades since release. In July, a version featuring a wireless charging case was launched, with support for MySound and MyControls – customisation options within the Jabra Sound+ app – also added.
The biggest addition, however, came in October when Jabra took the unprecedented step of incorporating active noise-cancelling capabilities via an over-the-air firmware update. With ANC now part of the package, the Elite Active 75t have a suite of features to rival similarly priced competitors and, thanks to some sport-specific attributes, are an excellent choice for those wanting premium earbuds for exercise.
Jabra Elite Active 75t review: What do you get for the money?
For the princely sum of £210 you get a pair of true wireless earbuds, a lightweight, wireless-charging enabled charging case, three sets of silicone eartips and a USB-C charging cable. If you’re not fussed about wireless charging, you can pick up the standard model for £190. There are six colours available – navy, copper black, titanium black, mint, grey and sienna (a rusty red/brown) – which will please those after something a bit more exciting than your standard black or white buds.
Connectivity comes courtesy of Bluetooth 5, with both the SBC and AAC audio codecs supported, and the Elite Active 75t can be connected to two devices simultaneously. Active noise cancellation is present, although this does require setting up in the Jabra Sound+ app due to it being added post-release.
Battery life is determined by your ANC usage. With ANC enabled, you can expect up to five-and-a-half hours of moderate volume listening; turn it off and you’ll get an extra couple of hours playback. The charging case provides close to three full charges of the buds, resulting in a total of 24 to 28 hours of use depending on how often you engage ANC.
The earbuds possess an IP57 rating, which means they’re protected from dust, sweatproof and can be immersed in freshwater up to 1m in depth for half-an-hour. You shouldn’t wear them swimming but this is about as good as it gets when it comes to true wireless earbuds, making the Elite Active 75t ideal for workouts and use in rainy weather.
The rubberised earbud housing is also designed with exercise in mind. It makes the Elite Active 75t slightly easier to grip with sweaty fingers than the more basic Jabra Elite 75t, which are coated in matte plastic, only offer IP55 certification and cost £20 less.
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Jabra Elite Active 75t review: What do they do well?
Achieving a comfortable and stable fit is paramount in the world of in-ear audio but is perhaps most crucial when using earbuds during exercise. A poor fit will result in the buds shifting position as soon as you break into anything more than a light jog, significantly hampering audio quality and requiring you to readjust them. Worst-case scenario, you’ll have one or both buds fall out of your ears.
Headphones like the Powerbeats Pro use ear hooks to ensure stability but Jabra has avoided going down that route to keep the Elite Active 75t compact and discreet. Instead, it uses silicone eartips to secure the buds in your ears and they work as well as any earbuds I’ve tested. Regardless of what I was doing – be that sit-ups, star jumps or sprints – the Elite Active 75t didn’t budge a millimeter, ensuring my audio experience remained unaffected. The fit also provides effective passive noise cancellation, which was more important before the addition of ANC but is still beneficial.
Despite the rise in popularity of touch-sensitive controls, the Elite Active 75t use depressible physical buttons to execute commands. They’re sensibly assigned and work very well, with track skipping, volume control and the ability to cycle through sound modes all present. The buttons have a nice click to them and you don’t need to depress them too forcefully to elicit a response.
Another of the Active Elite 75t’s areas of strength is how customisable they are via the Sound+ companion app.
You can create three listening profiles tailored for different situations using what Jabra calls “Moments”. “Commute” and “Focus” are already set up for you (but can be altered), while “My Moment” lets you create a profile from scratch. Simply select the sound mode you want the profile to use – either ANC, HearThrough or Off – create your own EQ or choose from six presets and then save your preferences. They’ll then be stored within the app, allowing you to quickly switch between profiles based on the sonic demands of your environment.
The app also allows you to reassign the controls and create a personalised audio profile, which runs a series of hearing tests before calibrating the buds based on the results. You can customise your experience on phone calls, too, with a slider allowing the adjustment of how loud your voice will sound in your own ears and options to boost either the bass or treble of the person on the other end of the line.
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Sonically, the Elite Active 75t favour impact and energy over detail. This is to be expected given they’re designed for use during vigorous physical activity and I enjoyed the in-your-face presentation. The bass hits with a real thump and the buds get loud – very loud, in fact – at maximum volume. This is great if you’re after a powerful, uncompromising soundtrack to your workouts but you’ll probably want to drop the volume down a few notches when listening casually.
Jabra Elite Active 75t review: What could be better?
I’m including active noise cancellation in this section somewhat begrudgingly as it’s extremely impressive that Jabra has managed to implement it via a firmware update. It’s not bad, either. In fact, it does a very solid job at reducing external sound. It just doesn’t work quite as well as the ANC provided by the industry-leading Bose QuietComfort Earbuds or Huawei FreeBuds Pro.
And although I found the sound profile well-suited to use during exercise, these aren’t headphones for audio purists. The prominent bass reproduction often dominates proceedings and leaves the overall balance feeling a little skewed. Tweaking the EQ levels does help but you still won’t get the same level of detail and clarity that you would with something like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
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I also found the personalised sound profile rather disappointing. The difference between the default profile and the bespoke profile felt negligible, particularly when compared with how well the NuraLoop does audio personalisation.
The “Moments” feature is useful but you are limited to just three of them. That will be enough for most people but those that want specific settings for every eventuality may find three a little restrictive. Similarly, those seeking earbuds offering support for advanced audio codecs such as aptX HD will be disappointed that only SBC and AAC are available.
Another, more annoying limitation, is that the left earbud can’t be used independently of the right. The headphones operate in a master/slave relationship, with the right earbud connecting directly to your device and the left bud connecting to the right. This means the left earbud only kicks into action when in close proximity to its partner. It’s not a huge deal but I’d certainly have preferred it if I could use either bud for mono playback.
Jabra Elite Active 75t review: Should you buy them?
The Elite Active 75t are an easy recommendation for those seeking earbuds for use when exercising. They’re among the most comfortable and customisable buds around and also offer better sweat-, dust- and water-resistance than any of their major competitors. If peace of mind regarding protection against the elements is important to you, you won’t find a more complete pair of true wireless earbuds.
Their default audio profile may be a bit bass-heavy for some but the ability to tweak the EQ should keep all-but the fussiest audiophiles happy. And, while ANC can’t match the Bose QC Earbuds for effectiveness, it’s a damn good attempt considering it was added via a firmware update. All things considered, they’re an excellent pair of general-use earbuds, though if you’re willing to settle for a slightly less impressive IP rating, save yourself a bit of money and buy the standard Jabra Elite 75t instead.