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Jabra Elite 8 Active review

Jabra’s newest exercise-specific earphones have been branded “the world’s toughest buds” by the firm. They live up to that boast on paper. They offer some of the greatest waterproofing on a product of this sort and are composed of robust materials that can endure knocks and drops.

You’ll have to pay $199/£199 for it. However, are the Jabra Elite 8 Active headphones worth the high price? I put each to the test while traveling, exercising, and relaxing at home to help you make an informed selection.

Design and build

  • Four colour options
  • IP68 rating on buds

The Jabra Elite 8 Active is available in four colors: black, caramel, grey, and navy blue.

They feature a spherical form with a closed seal tip, and the box includes three different pairs of ear gels to fit your ear shape. They’re tiny enough to go beneath helmets and light enough to be comfortable at 5g per bud.

The Elite 8 Active buds are IP68 rated, which is unusual for earphones. You could dip them in water or wear them poolside without fear of their breaking. Because they rely on a Bluetooth connection, you won’t be able to swim with them if you do an underwater stroke, as Bluetooth stops working when submerged. Headphones with specialized offline audio storage, such as the H2O Audio Tri Pro Multi-Sport, would be required.

These are quite pleasant to wear, even for extended lengths of time; I even fell asleep with them on. When I found the appropriate tips for me, they stayed largely safe in my ears, however I had an embarrassing time dancing about my kitchen when the buds flew right out, struck the wall, and landed to the floor. Fortunately, this resulted in zero points, demonstrating that the US MIL-810H certification was duly obtained (the buds are rated, not the case).

I wore them for a jog in the rain with the tiniest ear tips, and they held firmly in place, as well as during a rigorous HIIT exercise with burpees and squats. Keep in mind, though, that there are no wings or hooks.

You could submerge them in water, or even wear them poolside, and not worry about them breaking

The rubberised material on the case and buds appears to gather up more marks and muck than other buds I’ve tried. With an IP54 certification, the casing isn’t nearly as tough as the buds. It has, however, withstand a couple knocks and bumps without sustaining any scratches or damage.

Instead of touch controls, the Jabra Elite 8 Active have a button on each bud, with different clicks corresponding to different instructions. While they are responsive, they might be a little painful when you force the bud farther into your ear canal.

Smart features

  • Six EQ modes
  • Clean app layout

It’s a piece of cake to pair the buds with my smartphone. Simply take the buds out of the case, press the buttons for three seconds until the LEDs begin to light blue (showing that they are now in pairing mode), and then go into your Bluetooth settings to connect them.

The Jabra+ app for iOS and Android is required to get the most out of the buds. You may change the ANC, EQ settings, and button controls here.

Neutral, Speech, Bass boost, Treble boost, Smooth, and Energize are the six audio settings offered. There is also a configurable option with sliders where you may manually alter the sounds to your liking.

Even the output of your call audio is customizable, with a sliding scale for sidetone (hearing your own voice during a conversation) and the ability to modify the EQ levels to favor treble or bass. Spotify Tap, Google Assistant on Android, and Siri on iOS are also supported.

Jabra’s app style is sleek and customizable, with no wasted space and no loading or crashing difficulties. It’s of good quality, and it’s one of the best audio products I’ve ever used.

The Bluetooth range is up to 10m, and the connection did not drop when I moved upstairs in my house and left my phone below. There’s also on-ear recognition, so when you remove one or both earphones, the audio will cease. In the app settings, you may enable or disable auto-pause.

Jabra’s layout of the app is clean and customisable … and one of the best user experiences I’ve had with an audio product

Sound quality

  • 6mm drivers
  • Adaptive ANC
  • Dolby Spatial audio

While the Jabra Elite 8 Active’s marketing emphasizes its durability, the sound is also not to be overlooked. They feature a frequency range of 20 – 20000Hz and 6mm speakers. They support conventional codecs like as SBC and AAC, but not high-resolution codecs like those found in Sony WF-1000XM5 earphones.

Read also : Nothing Ear 2 Review

Nonetheless, audio on the Elite 8 Active is good, with a good combination of bass, mids, and highs. Sebastian Bohm’s remix of New Order’s ‘Blue Monday,’ my hallmark music for testing, includes bright violins and forceful drumming. The instruments stand out and provide a brilliantly integrated listening experience.

The bass doesn’t have that ‘thump’ in regular setting. This can be enhanced in the EQ settings, but you won’t get the same experience as with over-the-ear headphones. I found myself gravitating toward the Smooth and Energize settings the most.

Rock recordings like Beastie Boys’ ‘No Sleep Til Brooklyn’ have precise percussion and snares with no blowing out that you could hear with lesser earbuds. Pop songs like Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Unwritten’ sound warm and vibrant on these buds, while funk music like Cory Wong and Tom Misch’s ‘Cosmic Sans’ have a unique and bouncy bassline that enhances the filtered lead guitar.

Hans Zimmer’s ‘Planet Earth II Suite’ has a fantastic depth to it, highlighting minute elements in the orchestra. I used Speech mode for podcasts, while this makes opening soundtracks seem much softer and strange – voices are great in Neutral mode anyhow. I’ve observed that a few Twitch streams include a slight lag on dialogue.

These buds support Dolby spatial audio. This enhances the atmosphere in movie moments using this sort of music, such as Shallow’s concert performance in “A Star Is Born.” However, I wouldn’t use it on regular music tracks since it makes everything seem like it’s being broadcast down the toilet.

The ANC on the Elite 8 Active has pleased me. They’ve proven powerful enough to soften the sound of jet engines while also making the sound of a wailing newborn less irritating. Because of the larger seal, they won’t deliver perfect quiet as a set of over-the-ear headphones would, but they’re among the finest I’ve used.

The Talk Through/Ambient mode is also enjoyable, however you’ll need to keep the level down to hear conversations, such as if you’re getting your first pumpkin spiced lattes of the year, as am (no judging).

Battery life & charging

  • Up to 32 hours battery life
  • Around 2 hours and 35 minutes to charge

The Jabra Elite 8 Active has a good battery life. The buds may last up to eight hours on their own, which can be extended to 32 hours with the case if ANC is used. This may be increased to a stunning 56 hours without ANC, or 14 hours using only the buds.

In my tests, those statistics were correct. The battery level is included in the app by Jabra, and a continual notification on your smartphone allows for rapid inspection. When the juice runs out, the buds will notify you with a voice prompt.

In my tests, charging time for the Elite 8 Active was 2 hours and 35 minutes from flat to full, however Jabra claims that this might take up to three hours in total. The packaging includes a USB-C connection, and the case also allows wireless charging.

If you only use them to go out the door, a five-minute charge will provide you an hour of listening time.

Charging for the Elite 8 Active is unimpressively slow

Price & availability

The Jabra Elite 8 Active cost $199/£199. American readers can buy them from JabraAmazon and Walmart, whilst those in the UK can buy them from JabraAmazon and John Lewis. Jabra offers a two-year warranty, should anything go wrong.

Specs

  • 6mm drivers
  • Six microphone array
  • Wireless: Bluetooth 5.3, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6, HFP v1.8, PBP V1.0, TMAP V 1.0
  • Button controls
  • Battery life: Up to 32 hours (with ANC and with case), up to 56 hours (without ANC and with case)
  • IP68 rating (buds only), IP54 water resistance (case)
  • Weight: 5g per earphone, 46g case
  • Works with Jabra Sound+ app
  • Supports Dolby Spatial Audio
  • Supports AAC and SBC codecs
  • Siri and Google Assistant support
  • 10m range
  • US MIL-810H certification
Achraf Grini
Achraf Grini
Hello This is AG. I am a Tech lover and I have long been a promoter and editor for a shopping company, I have followed smartphones and headphones and others. I covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.
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