It’s probably not the healthiest of habits, but I wear headphones pretty consistently throughout the day. In general, I listen to the following:
- Favorite live radio webstream (from the East Coast) when I wake up in the morning and go to work
- Ambient noise throughout the work day to drown out constant coworker chatter
- Music or podcasts on my run
- Calling my family or parents on the way home from work
While I have a pair of iPhone headphones (which has the benefit of standardized comfort but the drawback of a cord) and a pair of Bluetooth headphones (which has the benefit of no direct wire connection to my phone, but does a wired connection between the two ear pieces), I am mostly pleased with my options, but things could be better.
The Jabra Elite Active 75t is the latest offering from Jabra and is specifically designed with running and sports in mind. For all us runners out there, it’s pretty amazing, right off the bat, that Jabra offers a 2-year extended warranty against sweat damage and dust when you register through the app.
Fit: Each pair comes with 2 buds, a charging case, and 3 EarGels for sizing…and that’s pretty much it. There is no need to worry about affixing extras like wings to keep the buds in place. I much admit I was a little skeptical that they would actually stay put due to their size and was worried I was going to have to continuously press them into my ears on my runs. But I can assure you that during all of my runs and workouts, I have NEVER once felt like these were going to fall out. Their claim that this is their best fit is hard to dispute.
Sound: One of the reasons that many runners choose to go sans-headphones is due to safety concerns. From cars and cyclists to potential attackers or dogs, its important to have an awareness of your surroundings – and most headphones can be a hinderance to that. Jabra has a HearThrough option, which allows you to still hear music, but also allows ambient noise (traffic, other people, etc.) into the headset. During one run, I put in miles on come country roads with zero shoulder. While traffic was minimal, using this option helped notify me of cars coming up behind me, without needing to look over my shoulder every 15 seconds. Though, if you are one who pumps your music super loud, the HearThrough won’t completely fulfill its capabilities. During the times when you may not need HearThrough (say during a home gym workout session), it’s noise isolating fit will keep the world away and you can focus on the music.
Additionally, the HearThrough option can be turned off via the app and utilize their built-in noise reduction technology – which Jabra describes as being able to analyze external sounds and automatically switch to the earbud with least background noise. Therefore it’s easy to make calls in busy locations without being drowned out by the city’s noise.
The Jabra Sound+ app allows each runner to fully customize their listening preferences with a customizable equalizer. I’m not a full audiophile and haven’t really messed around with this too much, but I could definitely see how it may be a fantastic feature for those who are in to that.
Charging: Charging is a cinch – just stick your buds in the heavy-duty charging case (which can, and should, double as a carrying case) and plug it in. That’s it. I was happy to see that there wasn’t a requirement to charge each bud via an integrated port on the buds themselves. This is a great feature. What is doubly awesome is that the case itself can hold up to 28 hours (almost twice as long as their other headphones) WITHOUT being plugged in – it’s essentially a portable charging station! The charging also occurs really fast. It takes no more than an hour or so for a full charge, so if you are strapped for time, a 15-minute charge will net you about 90 minutes of time – more than enough for a substantial run. And it only takes about 2 hours to re-up the charging case to full capacity.
If you are one who is mostly cord-free, there is also a version available for a wireless charging enabled case that would be compatible with all Qi-certified chargers. Just toss the case on the charging pad and it’s on.
Jabra has continually updated the battery life in their headphone line, with the 75t’s being able to play for 7.5 hours (!) on a single charge and 28 total hours if you include the charge case capabilities.
- The Bluetooth connectivity is super strong in these I haven’t had an issue with gaining or maintaining a connection. The range is over 30 feet and these earbuds can actually connect to up to 8 different devices and even two at one time, if desired.
- Speaking of connections, these headphones are out-of-the-box enabled with Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. We have Alexa devices spread around the house (hello government spies!) but probably don’t utilize them to their maximum potential. My mind goes in weird directions when I run, and I am able to just get a quick hands-free answer to some (often random) questions when I am on the run – no needing to pull out my phone and do a search or set a reminder.
Drawbacks: I am really struggling to find any significant drawbacks to these headphones. Historically, my ears haven’t worked well with earbuds that need wings attached to them, but the design of the Elite Active 75t’s have eliminated that concern. The sound is also fantastic and works amazingly well for both listening to spoken word and bass-thumping music.
The closest thing I can find to a drawback comes in the form of the phone calls. While the Bluetooth connectivity has never been an issue, but I seem to have an issue with people hearing me the best on the phone. I don’t make a whole lot of calls via them, but do use them when I am on the road as my hands-free option. I don’t know if it is my parent’s diminishing hearing capabilities or the buds themselves (or a combo?), but they seem to have a more difficult time hearing me on these unless I speak at a louder level (which isn’t the case when I am using my phone in my hand). It’s not a deterrent to the product as phone calls are way down my list of importance, but something to check out for yourself.
At one point, I owned a pair of Jabra Sport earbuds (before losing them somewhere in the wash). It was great and actually had a variety of tracking features for the fitness enthusiast. This was nice, but I found it to be a little overwhelming and found myself steering away from utilizing that portion of the buds and app. Even though Jabra has continued to push things forward in providing perfect headphones for active people, they have steered away from ancially tracking features – which I feel is the right decision. Most runners out there run with some sort of tracker anyways – be it a Garmin, Apple Watch, or any other number of devices, that adding even MORE tech (that will likely look different than the data you already have) is probably overkill. I stand by that this has been the right decision – give me better sound, fit, and usable features and you have won me over.
Products & Price:
- Elite Active 75t ($199; $229 for wireless case)
- Copper Black
- Titanium Black
More about Jabra:
We make life sound better.
Every day, our intelligent sound solutions inspire people in ways they never thought possible.
We inspire athletes, old and young to push boundaries and beat their best, thanks to our innovative sports headphones with real-time voice coaching and intelligent apps helping you stay motivated and in the zone.
At work, we empower you to be even more productive. We can help you concentrate more, communicate and collaborate better, and make conversation easier. We do this by helping you block out noise and delivering crystal-clear sound.
We also enable you to enjoy the music you love while you’re on the move, with rich and immersive sound. And you can effortlessly switch to making a call and back again. All with total clarity.
It’s our life’s work to transform lives through the power of sound.
Thank you to Jabra for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.