Jabra Elite Active 75t - Reviews
EQ and User Experience makes it an easy recommendation for everyday use.
Pros: - Multipoint connection
- Physical buttons
- Responsive EQ in firmware
- High degree of customization in app
- Excellent ANC
- Small
- Good mic
- Current price around $100
Cons: - Excessive subbass out of the box
- Severe compression artifacts due to relay connection
- Single bud only possible on the right side
Jabra Elite Active 75t
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Full disclosure, these were sent to me Jabra for testing a couple months ago, and I've been putting them through their paces since the ANC update.

They have been around for a while now and probably don't need much of an introduction as the last generation of Jabra's flagship buds. I wanted to do more of a revisit following FW2.0 and touch on some details in the process.

Let's start with the strengths. My overall note here is that it plainly works, I never have to fiddle with it and it is always there when I need it, with the app working just as seamlessly alongside to provide useful presets for switching on the go. It is very clear that Jabra has an extensive design process that considers the user experience from many dimensions, and gives that just as much weight as the sound.

Hardware

The case. The tactile quality of the case is immediately apparent. The case feels good in the hand with a subtle indent on the top and bottom surfaces for a natural grip, and is easy to slip in and out of any pocket. Standing up on a surface, it has a very small footprint, and the placement of the charging port on the back allows you to have the earbuds available at all times. There is a small led by the charging port that indicates charging status (along with firmware updates and such). Visually, it is understated and does not stand out, which I appreaciate given the number of devices hanging out on my desk.

The buds. They are easy to grip, feel very solid, and are not fiddly to get in and out of the case, snapping in home magnetically. The outer casing that sits in the concha is fairly small. They have a curving stem that ends in a somewhat complicated nozzle attachment point that makes for a shallow but secure fit. More on the included tips below. My favorite part of the Jabra design is the tactile face buttons. Unlike touch sensitive and haptic counterparts, I always know when and how many times I pressed the buttons. When I need to pause to talk to someone in person, I can rapidly double/triple click the left side to turn transparency on without praying that I touched it with the right cadence and temperance.

Software / Experience

Jabra earbuds are really designed around user experience, I never had a dropped connection, and always have them on multipoint between my ipad and google pixel, switching between the two as I wish. When I want to connect them to something else, I just click both earbuds at once and hold for a few seconds to move to pairing mode without having to remove them from my ears.

The Sound+ app is brimming with features, and offers the same experience across platforms. All settings are stored on the buds and are dynamically updated on app launch and are displayed on a user organized homepage. Unlike many other buds, you can change settings on one device and they will seamlessly sync to the second. There are extensive customization options covering everything from buttons to feedback tones on the interaction front, and three major tuning sections on the sound front. Some preferences can then be mapped to presets. For example you can switch to a particular EQ and ANC for outside, and have a more flat EQ without ANC when you are back home There is even a widget with high quality noise / ambient sound loops.

The app contains a personalized tuning routine that adjusts each bud to match your capacity for hearing by playing randomized tones at liminal volumes, one ear at a time. Similarly, ANC walks you through a simple routine to optimize it for your particular anatomy and preference. On top of these, they have a very responsive 5 band eq with automatic level balancing. I do wish that they at least offered a 7 band with labels to have a little more precision in taming the default elevated bass response, it might be a DSP chip limitation. I asked but couldn't get an answer.

Sound

Out of the box, they are quite bass forward with good detail, something like a Harman Bass+. To my ears -and I might be totally wrong here- there is some DSP going on that enhances perception of detail, differentiating subbass and extended highs a bit to give it all some bite. Thanks to the responsive EQ built into the hardware, simply pulling the first band down in the app (3/4 the way down) flattens it out to a resolving, slight U that is quite enjoyable. In a relatively quiet room, I find them to be quite energetic and fast, delivering a generally pleasing sound across genres.

Since they have quite a shallow fit by design, they don't offer much passive isolation. When you go outside or anywhere with a modicum of background noise (which tends to be on the lower registers), bringing the bass back up a little helps fill things up a bit to retain some body against the din of the outside world.

Having said all that, they are certainly not for -neither intended for, nor marketed towards- critical listening, especially if you are used to something like Etymotics through a resolving DAC. Partly, that is just the shortcoming of psychoacoustic compression used in bluetooth buds, and cannot be wholly avoided. Perhaps AptxHD+ will prove me wrong in the near future. The compression is certainly not helped by the relay connection. Regardless, it does not bother me for day to day listening for most of the time, and in many instances, I do favor the convenience of wireless over perfect sound. after all, I have spent many years of my life listening to bootleg tapes on earbuds included with my walkman, and enjoyed it just as much.

Distortion periods
  • 0-120hz(flutters)
  • 2000hz-3700hz
  • 8000-10000hz
  • 13500-17000hz(straight up crackling like a campfire)

ANC

This was a surprise. They really downplayed it as a software addition until release, but it is one of the better ANC implementations I have tried so far. It is certainly leaps and bounds better than the likes of Tronsmart and others that just slap on qualcomms or airoha's chip-on-board solutions. To add, it has extensive customization, per channel, of the effect. It also is one of the rare implementations that does not dramatically change the sound signature apart from raising the noise floor ever so slightly.

Weaknesses

Relay Connection: Lower quality signal to left ear.
Unlike newer earbuds that connect to your bluetooth device co-dependently or independently, the left bud connection is relayed by the right bud. Unfortunately, this introduces some compression that is clearly audible in some tracks and synthetic tests playing lower frequencies. At 0-30hz, the left earbud will flutter rather than deliver a clear tone. There is similar artifacts of psychoacoustic compression on the high end as well.
This also means that you can only use the right bud as a solo unit. Jabra said they made this call because they weren't able to guarantee a universal user experience when they experimented with independent-mono connections (if one is to speculate: likely connecting to some devices under one bluetooth identifier and so forth)

Included Tips + Spinfits
At least with my ears, the included tips require care in inserting if I need them to be comfortable over a long listening period. They have a peculiar design with a flat top and a perpendicular skirt, more of a cylinder than a bulb. If I insert them a hair too deep, the trailing edge rubs against my external ear canal and causes discomfort. Thankfully, Spinfit cp360 and cp1025 both fit perfectly and have rounded profiles.
Spinfit actually sent me a set of cp360 and cp1025(normally for APP) to review as I cover various TWSs and I found them to be the only tips that reliably fit a variety of cases. Previously, I had tested Sedna Lite Short and Xelastec tips and had case connection issues in most of the headphones I tested them with. I don't know if it's the bendy stem or the very flexible silicone used for the dome, but spinfits also reduce walking noise / bone conduction quite a bit.
At least for me, they have been essential to enjoy the Jabras to their fullest. I will note that all spinfits (I have tried most of them over the years) are very particular about sizing, with their dome crinkling and breaking the seal if you don't have it just right. I recommend getting a couple sizes and even trying different sizes for left and right if need be. I have included some photos for comparisons.

Conclusion

In the end, these would likely be my recommended buds for the average user. Certainly, they are not for those looking for niche sound signatures that one can seek in Nuarls, MW07s and other rare birds. However, between the consistency of user experience, the multipoint connection, and the easy to tweak sound signature, they are hard to pass on at half the price of Momentum 2s.

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Many faces of the app
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Stock tip vs CP1025
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Stock tip vs CP360
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CP360 vs CP1025
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AudioNoob
AudioNoob
I haven't found great difference between AptX and AAC in listening tests but would be interested in their next generation supporting aptxhd / ll.
jb2unique
jb2unique
Excellent pair and the added ANC is pretty good. Cheers for the review!
AudioNoob
AudioNoob
I have an 85t on the way, will share comparisons and a review soon
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