It’s time for yet another true wireless earbud (or as some would refer to every new product as the “Apple AirPods killer" to flood the market.
In 2019, truly wireless earbuds came with great battery life, good noise isolation, excellent sound output, and some even had IP ratings. While many products launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January are yet to make their way to the Indian shores, we take a look at a product that launched at the fag end of 2019 – Jabra Elite 75t.
The Elite 75t’s improves upon their predecessor – Elite 65t’s – in every way.
Smaller and lighter
Jabra has managed to make the Elite 75t’s smaller and lighter than their predecessor. It isn’t just something that you can see but physically feel as well. The earbuds are now 25 percent smaller and weigh just 5.5 grams each. One can point to the Galaxy Buds (first generation) as a pair of truly wireless earbuds that are smaller and just as light.
Just like the Elite 65t’s, the 75t’s sit as comfortably in the ear and don’t feel like they are going to fall out. Furthermore, they’ve got an IP55 rating - splash proof and dust resistant - and are as rugged as before. Take them out for a run on a hot day, or for an intense gym workout, and you needn’t worry about if they’ll get ruined.
Even the case has been ‘redesigned’. Jabra has slimmed it down so that it doesn’t slip from the pocket and made it look more elegant. It’s also got a USB Type-C port instead of a micro-USB port. With the edges not jutting out, it’s also easier to hold.
Brilliant sound quality
The audio is clear and clean. I got a crisp sound from the podcasts I listen to daily and a subtle, heavy, rumbling bass from many of the songs in my playlist. Sometimes, it makes you feel like you are hearing the band live in concert.
Thanks to the snug fit and isolation, I was able to listen comfortably when the volume rocker was set between 50-75 percent. Above that, it became uncomfortably loud (and also takes a toll on the battery life).
It has a very vibrant sound quality that suits peppy pop numbers as well as softer/classical tunes.
If the sound isn’t up to your standards when taken out-of-the-box, then just download the Sound+ app and tweak the EQ and you’re good to go. The app can also be used to update the firmware on the Elite 75t’s and configure Alexa as the default voice assistant.
Jabra went with good old-fashioned buttons for the Elite 75t – much better than those capacitive touch buttons that hardly work or need repeated clicks.
There is a button on each earbud and they are programmed to do things differently. You can use the buttons to do a single, double, triple or long-press, all of which perform a variety of tasks from play/pause to call answer/end call.
Above-average battery life
I managed to eke out just over seven hours of battery life - as opposed to Jabra’s claim of 7.5 hours - on a single charge. With the case, one gets an additional 20.5 hours of battery support.
With 28 hours of continuous playback (my real-world usage had me closer to 27 hours), one can travel on long-haul flights without having to worry about topping up the case.
Superb call quality
Note: I’ve been oscillating between Airtel and Jio’s networks around Delhi and Gurugram while using the Elite 75t earbuds
In the past couple of months, I’ve been testing a lot of truly wireless earbuds and Jabra is by far at the top of the competition when it comes to the call quality. Jabra is known for having good microphones in its products and that doesn’t at all change when it comes to the Elite 75t. I had close to zero complaints from any of the people on the other side of the call.
The disruptive environmental noise is filtered out thanks to the enhanced 4-microphone call technology. Even in noisy/windy environments, I was able to make many calls without any disruptions.
Additionally, Jabra has a HearThrough feature, which is very useful. Since the Elite 75t’s lack of active noise cancelling, having a software activated feature like HearThrough is the next best thing. It doesn’t just isolate the music but also lets through important announcements when you’re on the go.
Scope for improvement
With the introduction of Bluetooth 5.0 on the Elite 75t’s, I was hoping that neither earbuds would be dominant. The R (right) earbud connects to your device and the L (left) earbud connects to it. This means that you cannot use the L earbud on its own. Other competing earphones like the Galaxy Buds+ from Samsung have this feature and it's a shame that Jabra missed out on it. However, Jabra has confirmed that this feature is coming through a software update at some point.
The “Find My Jabra” feature locates the earbuds to the last location you where you used them. But it’s useless if you haven’t used them for a few minutes/hours and then suddenly realise that you’ve lost them.
Another thing Jabra needs to include in the next version of the earbuds is a wireless charging case. Competitors like the Galaxy Buds (last year’s model) already have this feature.
They can also include active noise cancellation like the Sony WF-1000XM3’s released a couple of months ago. Passive noise isolation, while good, isn’t anything like active noise cancellation. That takes noise cancelling a notch above. It does take up a lot more battery and that’s why manufacturers are hesitant to include it, but it’s 2020 and high time they find a compromise.
Should you buy the Jabra Elite 75t?
Absolutely. For now, the Jabra Elite 75t’s are my favourite pair of truly wireless earbuds. They tick almost every box.
They have a rich sound, a small and light case, fit snugly in the ear, have great call quality, and a battery life that rivals most in the truly wireless earbuds space. What more can one ask for? Get the Elite Active 75t’s if you’re more into fitness.
They’re costly, coming in at an MRP of Rs 15,999, but they’re worth every rupee. There’s almost nothing else in the market - barring the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Apple AirPods Pro. The Apple AirPods Pro retail for Rs 24,900 and the SonyWF-1000XM3’s aren’t officially available (one hopes Sony launches them sooner rather than later) in the country.
With Apple AirPods being the most successful pair of truly wireless earbuds in the market, each product that is launched is instantly compared to them.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)
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