Why the Jabra elite active 75t earbuds deserve a place in your gym bag

Why the Jabra elite active 75t earbuds deserve a place in your gym bag
We tested the Jabra elite 75t wireless earbuds for sound, fit, noise cancellation and more – did the buds built for fitness deliver? Here’s our review

There are plenty of runners, gym-goers and general sweat heads who found a firm favourite in Jabra’s elite 75t wireless earbuds when they were released. The buds quickly became known for providing a motivational soundtrack to any fitness journey, thanks to their combination of snug fit and excellent sound quality.

But the elite 75ts weren’t specifically designed with fitness in mind, which prompted Jabra to release another “active” incarnation that was specifically tailored towards the rigours of getting ripped or tracking down that elusive PB.

The actives are 22 per cent smaller, weighing in at just 5g, and boast 89 per cent more battery life than their predecessors, plus they’ve been covered with what Jabra has called a grip coating, which ensures an even more secure fit in-ear and less fumbling out of it. Jabra has also increased the IP rating (from IP56 to IP57) which makes them even more sweat, dust and waterproof – in terms of the latter, they can be fully submerged for up to 30 minutes.

These upgrades have had an impact on price and the actives are £30 more expensive than the original 75t. So are the add-ons worth the extra outlay?

We put the buds through their paces to find out.

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Jabra elite active 75t

Buy now £124.90, Amazon.co.uk

  • IP rating: IP57
  • Waterproof? Yes
  • Weight? 5g
  • Drivers? 6mm
  • Battery life? 7.5 hours (28 hours with charging case)
  • Warranty 2 years
  • Rating: 9/10

The fit

Jabra has stuck with a teardrop shape for these buds which makes for a very comfortable fit. It has also, ever so slightly, streamlined the design to make them feel even less bulky in the ear. The package includes three different-sized ear tips to further personalise the fit so that they are not only easy to get in with a minimum amount of fiddling and adjustment, but stable even when running.

The only time we experienced any slight wobble from the buds was when we were doing some box jumps – the leap up to the box seemed to slightly dislodge one of them.

Read more: 12 best Bluetooth speakers for every budget

The gold standard for stability is probably the ear hook design that you get with earphones like the Beats powerbeats pro (£219.95, Beatsbydre.com), although many users don’t like how the hook feels. We would confidently say that the actives are almost as stable as this design, and it’s easy to forget that you have them in – combine this with the dry grip coating that makes them easy to handle and you have some impressive in-ear physicality.

In use

Like most active buds these days the actives feature automatic ear detection, so that if you take one out the music will be automatically paused, with playback resuming when you put it back in.

In terms of the controls, there is one physical button on each bud which makes it very easy to skip tracks or cancel a non-urgent call when you need to focus on your exercise.

Some users found that with the original 75t buds, pressing on the physical buttons caused a weird vacuum sensation in their ears for a second, however the fit of the actives seems to have neutralised this.

Of course, there’s nothing more frustrating than connection dropouts when you’re in the middle of a set or are starting to hit your stride when you’re running, but we didn’t have any issues and there was never any audio stutter.

The “hear through” transparency mode allows the sounds of your surroundings to creep in, which many users like if they exercise in busy areas, and you can activate this mode from the buds themselves, without having to fiddle around with the app.

Read more: 10 best wireless headphones 2021

There is also active noise cancellation, which can be useful if you don’t want the screeching spin class instructor to leak into your playlist. However, we found this was one of the letdowns of the actives because it’s really not that great, although the seal in the ear is so good that you’ve probably got all the noise cancellation you need anyway.

Battery life is impressive and we managed to eke out over seven hours of usage on a single charge, but if you haven’t charged the buds sufficiently and are about to lace up your trainers then there’s a quick charge of 15 minutes, which will give you an hour of usage from a completely outed battery. Finally, the nicely designed, grippy case, which is smaller than an AirPods pro charging case, supplies another two and a half charges and takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to power up.

The sound

The actives feature the same 6mm drivers used in their predecessors. These are the units that convert the electrical signals (audio energy) that the buds are receiving into “Eye of the Tiger” in your ears. However, there might be something in the positioning of the drivers in the actives, because we found the sound signature to be cleaner and more impressive than before, with big, booming bass that’s exactly what you want for exercise.

It’s easy to tweak the sound settings in the accompanying Sound+ app with five presets (bass boost, treble boost, smooth, energise and speech) or a customisable slider to find the bass and treble levels that suit you best.

The sound can also be personalised through the app in the form of a hearing test, the results of which are translated into a sound setting.

The verdict: Jabra elita active 75t earbuds

Ultimately, wireless earbuds tailored towards fitness are all about getting you motivated with your music with minimum hassle, and the Jabra elita active 75t earbuds do this really well. They have a secure, “put ‘em in and forget about ‘em” fit, and house quality internals that deliver great sound, so if you’re serious about your fitness goals you should seriously think about purchasing a pair.

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Prefer cans to buds? Check out our edit of the best noise-cancelling headphones

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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