Sequels are typically underwhelming, just watch Ocean’s Twelve, but the Jabra Elite Active 75t boasts an attractive redesign and improved functionality over the debut Elite Active 65t. Let’s find out what makes these exercise earphones so exceptional, and why they’re a great accessory for any workout enthusiast.
Editor’s note: this review was updated on March 27, 2020, to address differences between the Jabra Elite Active 75t vs the Jabra Elite 75t.
Who should get the Jabra Elite Active 75t?
- Athletes of all kinds should get the Elite Active 75t because they’re IP57-rated and provide a secure fit. Battery life is above average, and fast charging is supported which is a necessity for any respectable pair of exercise headphones.
- Anyone with an active lifestyle should get these. You don’t have to be an athlete to get workout earbuds, and the versatile Jabra Elite Active 75t prove that. Even when casually commuting via bike, having one earphone in was easy to do and I never worried about them falling out thanks to the housings’ grippy finishes.
- General consumers will benefit from the Jabra Elite Active 75t because of the ventilation system that filters out some ambient noise. What’s more, the charging case is svelte and small, taking up little space in a pocket or purse.
Using the Jabra Elite Active 75t
Jabra’s updated workout earphones feature a more slender, chic design compared to last year’s Elite Active 65t totally wireless earbuds. Everything from the case to the actual earbuds have been redesigned with a smaller footprint. Despite the down-sizing, standalone and on-the-go battery life is better than the Elite Active 75t’s predecessor.
How listening to music improves your workout
I’m happy to report that these earbuds fit well and include three ear tips (small, medium, large) to accommodate most users. Not only does this provide a more secure fit, but it also optimizes audio quality by keeping external noise out. Both earphones are finished with Jabra’s grip coating, ensuring they stay in place during all your workouts. This coating also makes it easy to remove and insert the earbuds without fumbling them onto the floor, as I tend to do with other true wireless ‘buds.
The Jabra Elite Active 75t integrate a pressure relief vent that simultaneously filters ambient noise out while promoting a strong bass response. It proves an effective system, which is great for athletes. It’s likely too exaggerated for listeners looking who want accurate audio reproduction, though. The earbuds house sensors that allow for automatic ear detection: removing one earbud automatically pauses playback, and re-inserting it resumes playback. This can be toggled via the MySound+ app.
Are the Jabra Elite Active 75t good for working out?
Yes, the IP57 rating, comfortable fit, and effective isolation performance are what make the Jabra Elite Active 75t a superb pair of workout headphones.
I go indoor rock climbing a few times a week and dust-resistance is a must-have feature of any workout earbuds for me. The IP57 rating lets me feel confident that my chalky hands won’t damage the earbuds. Plus the “7” denotes extreme water-resistance whereby the earbuds can be fully submerged for up to 30 minutes. Unfortunately, they lack on-board storage and can’t be used for swimming: Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t hold up underwater. On the off chance that dust or water damage does occur, Jabra backs its product with a two-year warranty, so you’re insured no matter what.
I also appreciate the tactile controls as they’re easy to operate but wish the buttons offered more resistance. There were times I was just trying to adjust my hat and in doing so, I inadvertently paused my music or skipped the track. It was rarely a problem in the gym, but was frustrating when walking about.
Jabra Sound+ app
Jabra Sound+ is among my favorite headphone apps because it offers a range of unique, practical features bundled into an attractive interface. First and foremost, the MySound+ app makes it easy to check for and install software updates. Then there are more fun features like the ability to create and save a custom EQ or switch between six presets, including a speech preset which is great for podcasts. You can even choose between three EQ presets for calls: default, treble boost, and bass boost.
There are other practical options like HearThrough mode, which is easy to enable when you want to remain vigilant, something particularly important for outdoor athletes. You can also choose what virtual assistant to use; I prefer Google Assistant but listeners can also opt for Siri or Alexa.
How do you connect the earphones?
The Jabra Elite Active 75t uses Bluetooth 5.0 firmware which permits a 10-meter wireless range. In practice, connection quality isn’t as reliable as I anticipated: there were many times when playback skipped and stuttered as I walked outside with my phone in my coat pocket. This isn’t a huge issue as the connection was never fully dropped, but may prove annoying to some.
As with other Jabra products, the Elite Active 75t also supports multipoint connectivity, meaning the headset can be connected to two devices at a time. Multipoint is one of my favorite Bluetooth features as it enables me to keep an ear on incoming phone notifications while streaming music from my laptop. The Elite Active 75t remembers up to eight devices at a time, making it easy to manually switch between sources.
The Jabra Elite Active 75t can connect to two devices simultaneously.
The only high-quality Bluetooth codec supported by the Elite Active 75t is AAC, which serves iOS users well. However, this doesn’t provide much benefit to Android users as AAC performance is unreliable on Android OS. Seeing how these are billed as workout earbuds, high-quality codec support isn’t a priority. Other features like durability, comfort, and fit typically take precedence for this variety of true wireless earphone.
The Jabra Elite 75t earbuds last 7 hours, 14 minutes on a single charge. While this falls slightly short of Jabra’s posited 7.5-hour battery life, real-world use is likely to yield a longer duration, so long as you listen with the volume lower than 75dB(SPL). To conserve battery, the earphones automatically turn off after one hour of inactivity, or 15 minutes of without connection.
Since these ‘buds are intended for exercise, quick charging is more important than longevity: 15 minutes in the case yields an hour of listening. The case supplies an additional 2.73 charges, meaning unexpected battery drainage is a rare occurrence. Once the USB-C charging case is empty, you have to set aside 2 hours, 20 minutes to fully charge it.
An emphatic bass response colors the Jabra Elite Active 75t sound signature and in turn, subjects music playback to auditory masking. This frequency response makes sense for a pair of workout earbuds, and if it’s too amplified for you, it can be reduced in the MySound+ app. The elevated response from 600Hz-2kHz helps recover some perceived loss of detail in the midrange, as many important resonances fall within this range. Suffice to say, the default sound of the Elite Active 75t isn’t great for analytical listening but served me well during cardio sessions at the gym.
Isolation is fine, and low-end noises are slightly attenuated. To get the most out of passive isolation, make sure to find the best-fitting ear tips for you. If you really want to hush the world around you, then noise cancelling true wireless earphones are more up your alley.
Lows, mids, and highs
Fun’s song Take Your Time (Coming Home) clearly demonstrates the Elite Active 75t’s bass emphasis within the first few beats of the song. Nate Ruess’ vocals are masked by the low impact sound of the kick drum at 0:06. This is especially noticeable at 1:14 when Reuss sings, “Take your time…” This moment lacks any instrumental underscoring, leaving the vocal harmonic resonances easy to register. However, at 1:16, the band rejoins and renders the rest of the line, “…coming home,” much quieter.
Again, this sound is fine for exercising and something I prefer when running or using my stationary bike. When it comes to casual listening, I take the time to adjust the EQ in Jabra’s mobile app to mitigate the low-end response.
One of our favorite features of the Elite 65t was the microphone array, and that remains a shining star of the Elite Active 75t. The four-microphone system works well with Jabra’s DSP and beamforming technology to relay clear voice transmission while rejecting background noise. This is no surprise as Jabra makes some of the best professional headsets on the market; anyone who prioritizes call quality from their daily earbuds should have these on their shortlist.
Jabra Elite Active 75t microphone demo:
How do the Jabra Elite Active 75t compare to other true wireless workout earbuds?
However, there are good reasons to get the Vista over the Elite Active 75t: for one, you save $20 with the Vista. Also, the on-board buttons are sturdier, making accidental playback adjustments a non-issue. The Jaybird MySound app makes music social by allowing users to test other Jaybird listeners’ sound profiles.
The Bose SoundSport Free still stand as the company’s flagship true wireless earphones, but they’re showing signs of aging. The large housings are difficult to justify as battery life is just ok compared to more recent true wireless releases. What’s more, they aren’t nearly as durable as any of Jabra’s workout headsets. That said, anyone who wants to enjoy a more neutral sound signature should opt for Bose’s earbuds.
Sometimes a standard fit just won’t cut it for workout earbuds. Athletes whose training regiments are particularly vigorous may need an earhook design for added security. In that case, we often recommend the Beats Powerbeats Pro especially for iPhone users, since they house Apple’s H1 chip and use Class 1 Bluetooth. Not only do you benefit from hands-free access to Siri, but you also get extremely long battery life and seamless switching between iOS devices. Although they can’t be fully submerged like the Jabra headset, the Powerbeats Pro received an IPX4 rating, which is the gold standard for general-purpose earbuds for exercise.
Jabra Elite Active 75t vs Jabra Elite 75t: what’s better?
The Jabra Elite Active 75t and Elite 75t true wireless earbuds are indistinguishable from one another. Bluetooth codec support, firmware version, battery life, it’s all the same. The marked difference between the two headsets is durability: the Active model is waterproof and can be submerged up to depths of one meter for 30 minutes. If you tried to do the same with the standard Elite 75t earphones, you’d be left with two expensive plastic ear plugs. Aside from that, the models. are available in different color variants: the Jabra Elite 75t come in black, titanium black, and beige, while the Elite Active 75t are available in navy, copper black, titanium black, grey, sienna, and mint.
If you don’t need the waterproof IP57 rating, then you’re better off saving $20 and getting the standard Elite 75t over the Active version.
Should you buy the Jabra Elite Active 75t?
Yes, the Jabra Elite Active 75t is an excellent set of durable earphones that will withstand almost anything you throw at them. These earbuds do everything well and the design doesn’t scream “workout earbuds,” which is a plus for anyone who wants to use these as their daily drivers. The hyper-sensitive controls are frustrating at times, but that being my greatest nit-pick speaks volumes about the overall headset quality. What’s more, the emphatic bass response can be too much after a while, but it’s easy to temper in the Jabra MySound+ app. If you can accept the high cost of these earbuds, you’ll be extremely happy with them.
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