Jabra Elite 65t, launched more than two years ago, were our favorite alternative to Apple AirPods. It delivered good sound, comfortable fit, and decent battery life. However, since its arrival in 2018, the whole market for true wireless earbuds has upended. Every major audio brand now offers a truly wireless earbuds. Even a number of new brands have jumped into the segment with good, if not, the best offering. While Jabra Elite 75t took some time to launch, it seems to be better that its predecessor.
While making the Elite 75t, Jabra had a lot of industry benchmarks. Even Apple had updated the AirPods with a case that supported wireless charging. But the company simply built on the Elite 65t, and made it better in every possible way. For beginners, the Elite 75t earbuds have a new design and improved sound quality. They last longer and have a case that is smaller and thus pocketable. With the pool of true wireless earbuds ever increasing, does Jabra Elite 75t deliver truly good performance? Let’s find out.
Design and Comfort
The best place to start talking about the Jabra Elite 75t has to be the design. Jabra took feedback from Elite 65t users and redesigned the earbuds. These earbuds are 20 percent smaller than their predecessor. The smaller size makes them comfortable to wear for a long duration. Another advantage being that these don’t look chunkier when you wear them. Jabra has also shrunk the microphone stem to give Elite 75t a subtle look.
When compared to other true wireless earbuds in the market, the Elite 75t is compact and comfortable to use. Unlike AirPods, it doesn’t have that on-the-face design. Since they are compact and small, they also weigh less. As a result, they stayed in my ears without any issues. The Elite 65t would come out as soon as I started a run with them. The Elite 75t stayed in my ears and did not feel like exerting any pressure either.
The earbuds come with IP55 water and dust resistance. Jabra tells me the active version, which offers IP57 rating, is more apt for use in the gym. The smaller size does not mean compromise in battery life. The Elite 75t earbuds are rated to last for seven hours. The carrying case can add another three charge cycles, taking the total to 28 hours. I averaged between 25 and 30 hours of use from these earbuds. This is with ambient sound enabled at most times.
Some of the biggest design changes are introduced with the charging case. The charging case is smaller and looks a bit wider in shape. It is still easier to place this case inside the coin pocket of your denim. Compared to Elite 65t, this charging case is easy to open one-handed and the lid closes magnetically. If you like the AirPods case then you will like the charging case of Elite 75t as well. On the back, there is now a USB Type-C port for charging, a departure from microUSB on the Elite 65t.
While Jabra seems to have nailed the design, there is a big caveat – lack of wireless charging. With the Realme Buds Air sporting a wireless charging case, it’s a feature you cannot not have in your true wireless earbuds. Jabra says it instead focused on long battery life and fewer time spent charging. I agree with this philosophy but in this crowded market, it only makes sense to cram in more features.
As I have observed in multiple reviews of truly wireless earbuds before, these are more about convenience than sound. In the case of Jabra Elite 75t, it is also about sound quality. The Elite 75t builds on Jabra’s expertise with wireless headsets and delivers a detailed sound experience. Say you are listening to Doja Cat’s Say So, the sound is fuller and clarity is phenomenal. The Verse 2 of this song is so nuanced that even good headphones cannot deliver clarity. Jabra Elite 75t not only delivers details but also does well with maintaining the R&B spirit of the song.
In other words, you are pushed to start dancing to the track. The same is true for songs like Birthday by Anne-Marie and FML by Arizona Zervas. Even when listening to Lizzo, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, the music always felt alive. It is not just restricted to these hit music. You can also listen to challenging tracks on the Elite 75t without much compromise. Run by Joji is one such example. The bass line built on Guitar is prominent here, but Joji’s voice puts you in a state of trance. The Elite 75t reflects that melancholy with absolute perfection.
Like its predecessor, the Elite 75t supports SBC and AAC codecs. In an interview with BGR India, Amitesh Punhani, Country Marketing Manager, India and SAARC at Jabra, said that with better codecs, the true wireless earbuds will only get better. The Elite 75t are not just about good midrange and treble, they also have prominent bass. The real deal with Elite 75t is the app, which lets you tweak the settings further. You can change the equalizer or select a preset one. There is also an option to create a custom one and save as an option.
Jabra also gives options to customize your listening experience based on the environment called Moments. So you can set one for commute, one for office and another one for focus. These moments also tie in with the HearThrough experience. The Elite 75t is loaded with features but one prominently missing here is noise cancellation. It is difficult to get a good noise cancellation with these tiny earbuds. However, Apple and Sony have shown that it’s not a far fetched ambition. Jabra does not offer noise cancellation but it does offer passive isolation. Depending on the fit and seal, you can get excellent noise isolation.
However, if you want to listen to what’s happening in your surroundings, you can activate HearThrough mode. Single click on the button on the left earbud, enables this mode. It lets ambient sound get through the earbuds. If you try this same feature on an expensive cans like the Bose NC700 or Sony WH-1000XM3, it feels like audio is playing in the background while ambient sound is played in sync. On Elite 75t, it is not as natural. You do hear the ambient sound but the experience is not instantaneous. I think Apple does this better with transparency mode on the AirPods Pro but then, it also costs a lot more.
Almost every tech reviewer who has reviewed the Elite 75t came away impressed. My experience, however, has been far from perfect. I did notice connectivity issues and there was even occasional audio drop. There were even issues when the Elite 75t showed connected to Galaxy Note 10 Lite even after putting them in the case. I mentioned these issues to Jabra and the company said it has been resolved with a software update. While I did get an update and it resolved these issues to some extent, I still face intermittent connection problems.
Jabra has a proven track record and I wouldn’t consider this to be a reason to not get the Elite 75t. The company has the ability to take note of the issues and fix them with consequent software updates. It has also better range than any other true wireless earbuds that I have tested in the past few months. One feature that stands out is the ability to connect two devices at once. Yes, a feature usually seen on headphones and headsets. I had Elite 75t connected to my PC and smartphone at most times. I could listen to music from the PC and take incoming calls on my phone without any issue.
Jabra also offers option to find your earbuds in case you lose them. This uses Bluetooth and GPS to get your last location. Guess what, I had a chance to try this out. During my flight back from Bengaluru last week, I left the right earbuds on the food tray. When the cabin crew came to collect the tray, I gave it without remembering to take the earbuds. When it struck me that I missed one of the earbuds, I quickly opened the app and clicked on Find My Jabra. It showed my seat location, probably using GPS and internet before take off. The cabin crew of Vistara Airlines were kind enough to check and retrieve the earbuds. Yes, I was dumb to keep the earbuds there but I also stress tested the feature.
Verdict: Should you buy?
At the time of writing, the Jabra Elite 75t is listed on Amazon India with a price tag of Rs 14,999. At that price, it may look expensive but it packs a punch. Jabra clearly aspired to make something better than the Elite 65t and it has delivered overwhelmingly. However, the company should have aimed to build earbuds that were as competitive as the AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3. The biggest advantage of Jabra Elite 75t is its ability to connect with two devices and pair with both iOS and Android phones.
It may not offer option to pair as soon as you open the lid of the case, but it is fine. Other reasons for getting Elite 75t over any other true wireless earbuds are the compact shape, long battery life and ability to wear them for long duration. It is not flawless but then, no device is perfect. In comparison to AirPods Pro, priced at Rs 24,900, it is definitely affordable. At this moment, the Elite 75t certainly looks like the best option in the true wireless earbuds market. With Galaxy Buds+ weeks away from being available, it may not have that crown for long.
- 16Feb 2017
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