Ever since the release of the first-ever Apple AirPods, audio companies have been vying to create competent, or better, alternatives. The Jabra Elite 65t was considered one of the most worthy rivals to the first-gen AirPods, especially for those with Android devices or for those whose ears didn’t take too kindly to the one-size-fits-most AirPods design. However, since the release of the Jabra Elite 65t, numerous audio companies have delivered a plethora of worthy true wireless earphones across various price ranges. Finally, Jabra has released a follow-up pair of truly wireless earphones, the Jabra Elite 75t. Priced at Rs 15,999, these earphones are considerably cheaper than the latest Apple AirPods, the AirPods Pro, but skip out on a few contemporary features which the AirPods Pro are equipped with. However, the 75t actually has numerous incremental upgrades over the 65t. Let’s see how these highly-awaited true wireless earphones fared in our review.
Build and design
The design of the Jabra Elite 75t has seen a considerable overhaul from the 65t. Not in terms of aesthetics, but definitely when it comes to form factor and portability. Jabra has successfully shrunk the earbuds as well as the charging case by about 20 per cent. The difference is almost instantaneously felt, with the 75t being significantly more streamlined and comfortable.
The Jabra Elite 65t’s earphones were much clunkier and bulgy and caused some discomfort over extended periods of usage. All of these issues are laid to rest with the shrunk-down, unassuming form factor of the 75t earbuds. Jabra has slashed down the size of the microphone stem and has also made the earbuds less bulky. The result? These bulge out of the ear considerably lesser and also are much, much lighter. The low weight means that you don’t really need silicone wings to ensure the weight doesn’t pull them down.
The 45-degree angled nozzles aid the comfort and fit even further. The box also comes with two extra sizes of silicone buds, but we found the medium ones to fit the best for us. These aid in passive noise cancellation, which is excellent on the Jabra Elite 75t. If you manage to get a good seal, the passive NC easily puts you in your very own private bubble even though these earphones do not come equipped with ANC.
The earbuds sport a dual-tone finish, with a matte black finish on the bottom and eartips and a shiny metallic finish on the top. This area also hosts the microphone grille as well as the physical button on each earbud. The buttons have the Jabra logo stamped on them and LED indicators as well. Overall, the design of the earbuds is very ergonomic and the fit is unreal.
Coming to the physical buttons, we found these to be easy to find and press. Unlike a bunch of other true wireless earphones we’ve tested, where the physical buttons cause you to further shove the earphones inside your ear canal, the Jabra Elite 75t’s buttons barely take any force to press, which massively aids comfort. The physical buttons let you perform numerous music playback or call functions such as –
- 1x press right: Pause/Play or Answer/End call
- 2x press right (on a call): Reject call
- Press and hold right: Volume +
- 2x press right: Voice Assistant
- 1x press left: HearThrough Mode
- Press and hold left: Volume –
- 2x press left: Next track
- 3x press left: Previous track
For the most part, the controls are extremely responsive and work flawlessly. However, the press and hold command for volume levels eradicates any level of granular control over the volume. When you press and hold either side, the volume tends to increase or decrease drastically and we almost always had to pull out our test phone to get the exact volume level we wanted, which is a shame.
Coming back to the charging case, Jabra rectified the fatal flaw in the Elite 65t case. The new model’s case can now be made to stand horizontally while the 65t’s case could only be propped up vertically, which is just odd. The case sports a matte-black finish all over with ‘Jabra’ etched into the front. The matte black finish looks much classier than the glossy black finish on its predecessor. The rear side of the case houses the USB Type-C charging port and an LED battery indicator. Overall, this is one of the most pocketable true wireless earphones charging cases we’ve tested.
Another great upgrade in the Jabra Elite 75t – magnets! The charging case now comes equipped with magnets, unlike its predecessor. The charging case employs magnets for both, the opening/closing process and to secure the earbuds inside them. While opening and closing the charging case on the Elite 75t takes minimum force, you still need to use both hands to open the case, which is unfortunate. Nevertheless, the annoying latch opening/closing mechanism present on the Elite 65t is, thankfully, gone in favour of magnets.
The magnets that secure the earbuds within the case are extremely powerful, to an extent where holding the earphones over the magnets almost pulls the earphones towards them. We inserted the buds in, turned the case over and shook it very violently, still, the earphones stayed put. We also dropped the case once and opening it back up revealed the earphones still sitting snuggly in their allocated space.
Overall, the build quality is stellar on the Jabra Elite 75t. The design is more or less the same as the 65t, however, much more streamlined and sleeker. Additionally, these earphones are one of the most comfortable and secure true wireless earphones we’ve used when working out. The fit is as secure at the end of the workout as it is in the beginning, and no, we’re not exaggerating at all. The earbuds also have water and sweat resistance built-in, which makes them ideal for gymming and running. So, Jabra has really knocked it out of the park with subtle but valuable upgrades to the build and design of the 75t over the 65t.
First off, we’re going to talk about the contemporary features we sorely missed on the Jabra Elite 75t, seeing that earphones that cost half as much or even lesser employ these features. Firstly, Jabra has skipped adding Qi wireless charging support to the charging case. Wireless charging is rapidly becoming the norm for phones and now, true wireless earphones, especially due to the Reverse Charging feature we’re seeing on a few phones now, which will become much more mainstream in 2020. At Rs 15,999, there’s little Jabra can say to justify for giving this nifty and increasingly-prevalent feature the skip.
Next, the Jabra Elite 75t misses out on ANC, which features on some of the most popular true wireless earphones including the Sony WF-1000XM3, Apple AirPods Pro, Amazon Echo Buds and more. Nevertheless, we are still giving Jabra an out here since the passive isolation is nothing short of excellent. We’ve heard ANC headphones that let in more background sounds that the Jabra Elite 75t earphones do. The Elite 75t also misses out on touch controls, but we actually prefer the physical buttons on the Elite 75t over the touch controls on a few true wireless earphones.
Now, let’s get into the good stuff. The earphones come with IP55 water and sweat resistance rating which allows it to shrug off sweat and light sprays. Coupled with the snug and comfortable fit, this makes the Jabra Elite 75t brilliant for gym-goers and runners. However, the upcoming Active version from Jabra could be better, so watch out for that review.
The battery life has also seen a noteworthy boost since the last generation product. The Jabra Elite 75t promises a whopping 7.5 hours of audio playback on the earphones and a total of 28 hours including the charging case. The case can top up the earbuds an additional 2-3 times, as per our testing. However, we recorded a playback time of 6 hours and 15 minutes on the earphones at 65 per cent volume, which is still pretty close to the company claim.
To add to this, the charging case also supports quick charge. So, while charging it to 100 per cent takes about 2 and a half hours, 10 minutes of charge will you get an hour of audio playback. Additionally, the buds charge up to full in about 2 hours as well, which is not bad at all. The earphones come with a USB Type-C charger which is expected for the price they retail at.
While the earbuds do miss out on ANC, they come equipped with a rather proficient HearThrough Mode. This mode on the Jabra Elite 75t competes with the transparency mode on the Apple AirPods Pro and many other true wireless earphones from different brands. It’s safe to say that the HearThrough mode is as effective as the lauded transparency mode on the AirPods Pro. We had music playing at about 70 per cent volume and could still hear the announcements in our surroundings, some conversations as well as sounds of cars, vehicle horns and more.
The earphones can also be paired to the Jabra Sound+ app which gives users access to a cornucopia of features and customisations. There’s an adjustable EQ, several ‘Moments’ or modes for different scenarios such as transport, public, private, and more. Another feature on the app is ‘Find My Jabra’ which basically lets you locate the earphones in case you have misplaced them.
The earphones also let you enable Sidetone when on calls, to hear your own voice better. To manually turn this on/off, you need to double press the left button when on a call. You can also control this setting through the app. The Jabra Elite 75t earphones can also be used in Mono mode (right earphone only).
Yet another nifty feature is the auto-pause/play feature which works by utilising optical sensors within the earphones. When one, or both earphones are taken out of the ear canal, the music automatically pauses and putting them back on will resume the playback. This worked a hundred per cent of the time for us, with no glitches whatsoever and was exceptionally useful when we wanted to have a quick conversation.
Additional features include Bluetooth 5.0, multi-call handling, multi-device pairing, IP55 sweat and water resistance, and AAC and SBC (no aptX) codec support.
In contrast to the Jabra Elite 65t true wireless earphones, the Jabra Elite 75t has a more pronounced bass response. The overall sound signature is warm, crisp and quite detailed. They’re not neutral in any way since the bass and lows are quite boosted on these. The punchy bass response was quite sonically accurate and detailed but could prove to be a bit boomy in certain tracks such as bad guy by Billie Eilish. The thump of the bass beats quite evidently overpowers throughout the track. However, if punchy bass is not your cup of tea, you can easily tune it down in the app using the customisable EQ. Nevertheless, despite being boosted, the bass response is actually quite detailed and crisp.
Unfortunately, the boosted lows and mids do mar the mids, where vocals and even mid-ranged instruments fall prey to auditory masking. Vocals, while clear and precisely rendered in, case sound veiled in bass-heavy songs. This is apparent in Hysteria by Muse, where the drums audibly cloud the vocals. Also, the mids lack a certain drive and enthusiasm unless the volume is set above 60 per cent. Nevertheless, mids are packed with detail when not clouded by overshadowing lows and bass response.
The highs, on the other hand, are not too far extended but they sound detailed and precise. They are usually not tinny or shrill, but at higher volumes (pushing past 80 per cent) you can hear some sibilance in female vocals.
Soundstage, as expected from in-ears, is quite restricted still the imaging and instrument separation is excellent. In crowded tracks such as Selkies by Between the Buried and Me, each instrument is clearly rendered and there’s no discernible overlapping.
Microphone quality, as expected on Jabra products, is quite good. The earphones utilise a 4-microphone call technology which really does a good job at muting external sounds such as noise and wind. However, the Apple AirPods Pro still pull ahead significantly in terms of call quality. Nevertheless, if you are averse to using Apple products, the Jabra Elite 75t mostly won’t disappoint you when it comes to microphone quality.
Unfortunately, one major gripe we have with these earphones, premium earphones at that, is the stability of the wireless connection. Despite featuring Bluetooth 5.0, these earphones are prone to the occasional lags and skips during music playback. This seems to be exaggerated if you have long hair which veils the earphones.
Overall, the Jabra Elite 75t does a good job with audio performance with its punchy bass, clear vocals and precise highs, imaging and instrument separation. However, the auditory masking in the mids can be bothersome and the lags and skips in music playback are definitely frustrating. Still, the stellar battery life, passive noise cancellation and good microphone quality make these earphones a rather lucrative purchase.
If you are foraging the market for a premium pair of true wireless earphones that cost significantly less than the Apple AirPods Pro and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless, the Jabra Elite 75t is a great option. Equipped with excellent battery life, stellar passive noise cancellation, good audio performance and microphone quality, these earphones may be the perfect fit for bass lovers who also have an active lifestyle. The comfort and fit of the earphones are exceptional and do not fatigue the user even after hours of usage. Nevertheless, if you value contemporary features such as wireless charging, you may want to skip out on these earphones.