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Hands-on with the new Jabra Elite 7 Pro, Elite 7 Active and Elite 3
Hands-on with the new Jabra Elite 7 Pro, Elite 7 Active and Elite 3 IBTimes / Jeff Li

It would be fair to say that Jabra has successfully made great headway into the consumer headphone space. The Denmark based electronics brand - though better known for their workplace audio solution - made its first mark for consumer earphones on IBTimes with the Elite 65T wireless earbuds. Jabra has since released the Elite 75T - one of our favorite TWS earbuds to date. After the next iteration of the Elite 85T, Jabra has come out with the new Elite 7 Pro, Elite 7 Active and the Elite 3.

Not one to become stagnant in their innovations, can the new Jabra Elite lineup keep up it's endeavor to become one of the top names in consumer TWS earphones? Let's dive in to find out.

Simple Lines, Better Ergonomics

Other than changing their model numbering logic, Jabra has done an overhaul on the aesthetics of its wireless earbuds line. Gone are the metallic paint job, techy look of its predecessor, and in their place is an all new organic trilobular faceplate. The new design resembles classic custom molded in-ear monitors, which are shaped by the natural contours of the ear cavity.


The Elite 7s has a guitar pick-shaped button, while the Elite 3 side button is in a scalene triangle. In either case, the physical buttons look more polished than their predecessors, while being equally functional.


One thing to note is that the latest Elite earbuds went back to the circular silicon tips - which is a great ergonomic choice, as the Elite 85T elliptical tips did not fit as well for me. By going back to the same tip design as the Elite 75T, together with the new ergonomic profile, these fit much better than the Elite 85T.


Fast Connectivity, Top Reliability

After reviewing true wireless earphones for the last three years, if someone was to ask me for earphones with the best connectivity, Jabra would consistently come out top of my recommended list. Some TWS earphones pair up quickly with the phone at times, but take longer at other times.

Jabra Elites have always had that lightning speed in connecting with the phone, that by the time the earbuds leave the charging case, and before they are in your ears, it's connected and ready to go.

The consistency carries over to the actual streaming of the music. There are many earbuds that connect just fine when you're in an office, but once you go into public places where it needs to deal with interference, you end up with constant hiccups in playback.

Jabra somehow overcomes this, even if I leave my phone in the front pants pocket, its signals are not affected by my body, or by surrounding interfering signals. This goes for all three new models of the Elites, and Jabra is keeping their edge in connectivity ahead of its competitions.


Jabra Sound: Bass Rich, Made for Action

Since the whole point of the wireless earbuds is to have complete freedom from wires, in the sound quality department they're not meant for audiophile sound but rather an energetic sound that will spur you along while you're on the move. That would usually mean a decent amount of bass in the overall frequency response, and that's what Jabra has continued to focus on. All three of the new Elite lineups have tight and punchy bass that would satisfy demand for a good low-end on their earphones.


However, between the Elite 7 Pro and Active and the Elite 3, I do hear a difference when it comes to sound staging and high and mid frequencies. Testing the earphones on a FiiO M11 Plus LTD DAP, the 7's sound is more transparent, and has better separation between instruments. This could be caused by the audio codec, as the Elite 3 uses aptX, while the Elite 7 Pro and Active uses AAC. Another possibility is the 7's are using a better driver, but there's nothing in the spec sheets to support that theory.

Conclusively, there is an audible difference between the affordable Elite 3 range and the Elite 7 range. So if you are choosy when it comes to sound quality, it would be worth the extra investment in the Elite 7s.


Charging Case Revamp

Since the Jabra Elite 75T, the charging case design has been similar: a slim and tall profile that stands upright and is easy to slip into the pocket. The Jabra Elite 3 continues that design, but the Jabra Elite 7s changes things up with a new flat but wider profile - which is basically impossible to topple over while standing upright. Since the new cases are Qi-wireless charging compatible, the stability helps with the ease of setting it onto a wireless charging pad without careful placement. The lower profile of the new case also exposes more of the earbuds, making them even easier to take out.


Though the new case seems shorter, it actually has an increased battery capacity. The Elite 7s have a power reserve that increased from Elite 85T's 19.5 hours to 22 hours. That is a total of 30 hour playback between the earbuds and the charging case. In fact, even the Elite 3, Jabra has made battery life improvement to go from a total of 25 hours to 28 hours - a 10% improvement.


Final Verdict

Ever since I tried out the Elite 75T, I look forward to the new TWS earphones from Jabra each year, and the 2021 lineup did not disappoint. The Elite 7 Pro and Active fits better than its predecessor - the Elite 85T, and the Elite 3 now offers a super affordable option that retains the best functionalities like the fast and reliable connectivity and bolstered bass response.

However if you want the works, like a wireless charging case, top-notch sound quality as well as longer battery life: then the Elite 7 Pro is still the one to go for. For those looking to exercise with Jabra wireless earbuds, the soft membrane covered, IP57 rated Elite 7 Active is the way to go.


For business travelers, I would conclusively recommend the Elite 7 Pro. With its 30 hour total playback battery life, serious aesthetics, IP57 rating and a multi-point function in an upcoming firmware upgrade in January, we're awarding the Jabra Elite 7 Pro with the IBTimes Recommended Badge.

Sam is a production engineer turned tech writer who specializes in seeking out gadgets that enhances productivity while still looking sharp. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Business Travelers.