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Jabra Elite 5: a perfect balance between price and features for active noise canceling earphones


Jabra has a wide range of wireless headphones with the Elite 7 Pro, Elite 7 Active, Elite 4 Active and Elite 3. At IFA, the manufacturer unveiled a new model: the Elite 5. We had the opportunity to test them for a few weeks.

With such a range of products, it can sometimes be difficult to know which Jabra earphones are best for you. That said, the Elite 5 cost €169.99, compared to €199.99 for the Elite 7 Pro at launch. Until September 8, Jabra even offers a discount of 20 euros if you order directly on their site.

Jabra Elite 5

Jabra Elite 5 – Best prices:

  • Amazon

    169.99

  • Fnac

    169.99

  • Baker

    169.99

  • Darty

    169.99

On the other hand, the Elite 5 have a slightly lower autonomy than that of the Elite 7 Pro. The IP (water and dust resistance) certification isn’t quite the same either. Compared to the Elite 3, this model has an active noise reduction (ANC) system and a wireless charging case. A way to mark the differences between each of the ranges.

Features

  • Microphones: : 6 microphones with wind noise reduction
  • Active noise reduction: ANC with Qualcomm QCC3050 chip
  • Loud speaker : 6mm
  • Dust and water resistance: IP57
  • Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
  • Autonomy: 7 hours, with an additional 21 hours provided by the charging case
  • Wireless Connectivity: Multipoint Bluetooth with Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair
  • Headset Weight: 5 grams

Construction and use

  • Secure charging case;
  • 6 microphones;
  • large control buttons.

In the box of the Jabra Elite 5, there are two wireless headphones, a charging case with an integrated battery, a USB-A to USB-C cable and silicone tips in three different sizes. You can charge the case with any USB-C cable, which is nice if you already have chargers at home. The accessory also supports Qi wireless charging, so you can put it on a charging pad and forget about it.

Magnets keep the headphones in place in the case and orient them correctly in the compartment. They’re particularly powerful, almost ripping the headphones out of your fingers. The lid is also magnetized, which helps to close the case securely and prevent the headphones from falling out.

Our test copy displayed a nice beige color that can be found on the case and the headphones. The physical buttons sport a light gold hue. The advantage of the beige model is that the earpieces are easier to find in case of loss.

Three microphones are installed in each earbud, and the wind noise canceling feature helps improve call quality. There’s nothing to complain about here and it’s nice to know that the person on the other end of the line can hear you without problems in most environments.

jabra-elite-5-2

Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNet.

While the Elite 5s don’t have the best battery life of the entire Jabra lineup, the seven hours of endurance plus an additional 21 hours provided by the charging case is enough for most purposes. The headphones also support in-ear detection. So if you remove an earbud, calls will be cut off and music will be paused. You can also enable automatic answering of calls, so that if one or both earphones are placed in your ears, the call will be answered automatically.

A large physical button is placed on the outer part of the Elite 5. This works perfectly well. Some manufacturers opt instead for controls via tap, but not Jabra, which prefers a physical button, simple and effective. This button allows you to play and pause music, skip to the next track, repeat a track, pick up or reject calls, mute, switch between different modes (ANC or not) and the activation of the voice assistant. However, there is no volume control button.

Jabra Sound Plus software features

  • Necessary to take full advantage of the earphones;
  • comprehensive settings and options;
  • ability to customize button controls.

The Jabra Sound Plus app is essential for managing your Jabra headphones. After pairing the Jabra Elite 5 and removing it from its case, all features will be enabled by default. The battery status, percentage of each earbud (they can be used independently) and the charging case are displayed at the top of the screen.

Three sound modes are available with options to enable or disable active noise reduction or ambient sound (HearThrough). A dimming bar appears for ANC, but we’ll get to that later. Also found in the application is an equalizer with six pre-recorded options and the ability to create your own custom setting. Finally, the Soundscape section lets you choose from a wide range of nature sounds, background noises or moods for those times when you’re trying to relax. These four menus can be rearranged or activated/deactivated by pressing the button Edit Widgets located at the bottom of the list.

To access more settings, tap the gear icon in the top right corner. This menu will give you access to firmware updates, headset settings, personalization, voice assistant, Spotify Tap or Find My Jabra. You will also find the quick start guide and the online user manual there. To use a voice assistant (Google Assistant, Samsung Bixby, Amazon Alexa, Siri) on the Elite 5, a long press on the right earbud is enough. However, this action cannot be customized.

Headset settings consist of three main sections: audio experience, call experience, and headset configuration. Audio experience allows auto-pause and HearThrough mode to be set. The call experience manages auto-answer options, auto-mute, and audio feedback (Sidetone) settings for calls. Headset configuration settings include switchable sound modes and in-ear detection options.

Three other features are available in the customization section: setting the ANC mode, changing the control buttons and choosing the language. Unfortunately the ANC setting is a bit disappointing. Clearly, you need to be in an environment with noticeable background noise for the noise canceling slider to have any impact. In an airplane, it is possible to discern a very slight difference, but in a quiet room, difficult to tell a difference, even with very good hearing.

jabra-elite-5-1

Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNet.

Conclusion

At €169.99, the Jabra Elite 5 are efficient headphones as long as you’re not looking for a total active noise reduction experience. Although the ANC is subtle, it is still possible to stop distracting background noise. In a quiet environment it’s a different story, but again some people prefer not to have such pronounced active noise reduction.

Note that the Elite 5 fit differently in the ears compared to the Elite 7 Pro. The latter also offer better optimization for calls and better autonomy.

However, the battery life on the Elite 5 is as advertised, the golden beige color is very elegant, the headphones fit well in the case, charging by cable or by wireless charging mat is excellent, the audio rendering is impeccable and the call quality too.

Other solutions to consider

There are a few Jabra options, including the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 3, but if you’re looking for another brand of wireless headphones, check out these other options:

Source: ZDNet.com





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