Jabra Elite Sport Wireless Earbuds Review
It seems like just yesterday that fitness enthusiasts had to listen to music through wired earbuds which would inevitably get tangled up or accidentally yanked out of our ears during a workout. Then there was the upgrade to wireless earphones, while no longer tethered to your phone, they still had a short wire attached to both buds and most of the designs were awkward and off putting. Now as most of you know the newest thing is completely wireless earbuds with no wires at all, just the buds and your music. And the market space is growing at quite a quick pace. From Bose to Apple to Jabra, everyone seems to be jumping into the race to make the best sounding, longest lasting, most comfortable, truly wireless earbuds out there.
Jabra recently entered the melee with the Elite Sport wireless earbuds. Taking many of the elements that has given Jabra it’s well known name in the world of sound solutions, the company has crafted a pair of truly wireless earbuds that can handle the affliction of a good workout, while still providing quality sound and comfort to your ears. Let’s take a closer look.
What’s in the Box
When you open the box you’ll get a charging case, the headphones, 3 sets of silicone ear tips, and 3 sets of memory foam ear tips, 3 wing tips, a micro USB cable to charge the case, and a small box with the quick start guide and warranty information inside.
Design and Fit
The Jabra Elite Sport arrives with 3 sizes of foam ear tips and 3 sizes of silicone ear tips, as well as 3 different sizes of ear wings. Mixing and matching the combinations is a bit tedious, but should give most users a nearly perfect match. To be able to find that perfect match the instructions are listed below. After some trial and error I was able to achieve a flawless fit, that managed to keep the earbuds securely in place and deliver optimal sound.
The buds are reasonably large but they don’t stick out of your ears too much. The right earbud is the primary bud that houses the HRM (heart rate monitor) and multi-function controls to answer or reject calls/play or pause music, and a shortcut to the Jabra Sport Life app that can also be pressed during a workout for status updates. The left / secondary earbud houses controls for adjusting the volume and skipping tracks.
The right earbud can be used individually for mono playback or calls, when you want to be able to hear out of your other ear or just want a simple hands-free earpiece. The music plays back in mono in this instance so you don’t have to worry about missing out on the songs that are meant for stereo playback. When using only the right earbud, the volume and skip track controls will need to be accessed from your smartphone. When both earbuds are turned on and are within a 25 cm range, they will automatically re-link.
When the right earbud is out of range or not connected to your smartphone for 15 mins, or has not been active for 1 hour, it will power itself off to save battery. When the left earbud has not had a link with the right earbud for 15 mins, it will also power itself off to save battery.
The earbuds are turned off/on whenever they are placed in the charging case, and the case is closed or opened. The earbuds can also turned off/on individually by holding down the Multi-function button (right earbud), or the Volume down button (left earbud), until the LED flashes.
When the earbuds are used with the Jabra Sport Life app (or your regular sport app) you can control your workout and listen to on-the go workout updates using the Sports button.
Sound and Call Quality
The Jabra Elite Sport wireless earbuds have a high-caliber sound profile for music and calls. There is the just the right amount of bass and the high and mid levels are ear pleasing, which creates a sound profile that is deep and immersive. While the default audio profile will work for most, that is not the only option. It can be changed using either the basic equalizer, moving the ring until the sound suits you or with the use of the more traditional equalizer that allows you to adjust the channels individually.
The Elite Sport’s intuitive design includes two microphones in each earbud that work together to filter out background noise ensuring that only your voice is heard clearly and with no distraction in any environment. Because of Jabra’s credentials in the hands-free phone calling arena, it’s no surprise that callers said I sounded crystal clear when using this headset, while I don’t make many calls while running or working out, it is good to know that the earbuds have the option.
Then there’s the HearThrough technology, which utilizes the in-built microphones to enable ambient sound to come through. With just the touch of a button you can more clearly hear your surroundings while out on a run or ride, for enhanced safety. It also works for engaging in conversation without needing to remove the earbuds. While this works well, this tended to be a feature that I didn’t use, because I could still hear cars coming up the road while listening to my music at normal levels. If you are one that likes to crank the tunes, then this feature would definitely be for you. The HearThrough settings can be configured within the Jabra Sport Life app.
Battery Life and Charging
Anyone preparing to embrace the truly wireless technology should be prepared to make sacrifices when it comes to battery life. Just the general size of wireless earbuds limits the battery capacity which in turn limits the hours you will be able to enjoy your music. However, Jabra has come up with a decent solution. With a full charge on the Elite Sports, they will allow you to listen or chat for up to 3 hours, which in my case was more than enough for 90% of my workouts, runs and rides. Should you need more life out of the earbuds, just drop them inside of the on the go portable charging case and within 20 minutes you will have another hour of music playtime.
To recharge the earbuds, simply place them in the charging case and close the lid. The LEDs on the front of the charging case will flash red, yellow or green to indicate the earbuds current battery status. While inside this pocket-able case, the earphones charge until the built-in battery in the case is depleted. It takes approximate 2 hours to fully recharge the earbuds. And generally speaking I was able to get two full charges out of the case, which comes out to be 9 hours of music before I had to reach for a wall charger.
The LED lights on the front and on the side of the case inform you if the earphones are charged and whether the case itself needs plugging into the wall via micro USB to fill it up again. To power up the charging case, simply plug it into a USB power supply. It takes approx. 2 hours to fully power up. The LED above the USB port will light up red when charging, and green when fully charged. It takes approx 3 hours to fully charge both the earbuds and the charging case together.
In Ear Heart Rate Monitor
Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just trying to get fitter, being able to monitor your heart rate is a great way to track, analyze and adjust your fitness goals. With the integrated Sport Life fitness app and the Jabra Elite Sport in ear heart rate monitor you will have that ability and be provided personalized audio coaching in real-time during your workout. You can monitor your absolute fitness level, have your reps counted automatically, predict your race pace and finish time, and get recovery tips to avoid over training.
In the gym and on the cycle the heart rate monitor measured up fairly accurately to a chest strap. As for trail running, it was hit and miss and tended to lose my heart rate all together. I have no doubt that it is do to all the jostling around and crazy uneven trails. While I don’t see this as a replacement for a chest strap, it is nice to know that I can leave the chest strap at home when I go to the gym or out for a ride and still be able to track my heart rate.
Jabra Sport Life App
Like many other wireless earphones, there’s a dedicated app, called Jabra Sport Life that you can download to control various aspects of the Elite Sport earbuds. It allows you to tracking any exercise, and will keep you updated on your distance, speed, cadence and heart rate. The fitness algorithms within the app calculate your fitness levels through a variety of tests. You can set your goals and track your progress. Within the app there is the option to set real-time, in-ear voice coaching that keeps you updated on your workout progress. All the while keeping a comprehensive workout history and achievement log right at your fingertips. It’s not quite as feature rich as a dedicated fitness app, but it can give valuable insights to your body’s health and fitness.
The Jabra Sport Life app is a free app that enables you to:
- Track Heart Rate
- Workout Rep Count
- VO2 Max testing: gives an accurate measurement of your fitness level
- Race Time Predictor: accurately estimates your finish time
- Recovery Adviser: helps detect signs of over-training
Waterproof and 3-year Warranty
The Jabra Elite Sport earbuds are sweat and waterproof (IP67 rated) ensuring that if you go running in the rain, or produce a monumental amount of sweat during your workout sessions, these earbuds will keep working. Jabra even backs this up with a 3-year Warranty against sweat damage once they are registered.
Jabra Elite Sport features
- Comfortable and secure cord free fit with flexible wearing options
- Enjoy for up to 9 hours with the on-the-go charging case
- In-ear precision heart rate monitor and analyzer
- In ear audio coaching
- Sweat & weather proof with IP67 rating
- HearThrough to hear your surroundings
- Voice control to answer calls
- Superior sound quality for music and calls
- Four microphone call technology
- Up to 3 hours battery time with an additional 2 charges
- In-ear heart rate monitor and analyzer
- Advanced personalized fitness (integrated Jabra Sport LifeTM app)
- Single-button Jabra Sport Life app activation
The Jabra Elite Sport earbuds are a fantastic set of truly wireless earbuds for fitness enthusiasts. They have a pretty accurate heart-rate sensor which, when paired with the Jabra Sport Life app, lets you track almost anything. If you hate wires and are in the market for a pair of impressive sound delivering earbuds, then the Jabra Elite Sport is an exceptional choice.
For more information or to purchase, visit www.jabra.com MSRP $250