Jabra’s reputation for making the highest quality sound at a premium price has been hard-won. Their name has become synonymous with high-quality audio products.
The Elite 3 and 7 were received with much praise thanks to their compact and lightweight design. Yet, somehow still managed to deliver the excellent sound quality associated with larger and heavier high-end competitors.
While many users and critics alike claim that Jabra’s prices are high, none have ever been able to say that you don’t get what you pay for. For this reason, many Jabra users have confessed to fierce brand loyalty that keeps them coming back for more.
The original 75T
Hailed by many Amazon and YouTube reviewers as one of the year’s (in some cases even the following year), best pair of wireless earbuds.
Still, even amongst those hardcore fans, there existed a few grievances about small things. If those were taken care of, it would elevate these puppies into the stratosphere of value for money.
When the 85T was announced, they quickly garnered massive anticipation. Has Jabra rewarded their loyal, premium paying customers with the updated and smoothed-out version of their much-loved predecessors? It’s time to find out in my in-depth Jabra Elite 85T Review.
Design and Build
First off, you can select one of four color schemes:
- Copper Black
- Titanium Black
- Gold Beige
Regarding the form of the new 85T, Jabra has opted not to change a winning recipe but merely to increase it. The case is identical to the 75T but is slightly larger. Once more, we have a tall, standing oval-shaped case which is by no means a bad thing.
The case is nicely weighted, feels like its lid won’t just pop off in your pocket, and has got to be one of the most comfortable cases inside a pocket. The beautiful matte black finish means fingerprints aren’t showing up too easily either.
Some might have preferred the soft silicone texture that is applied to the Jabra elite active earbuds. But, they might release such a version in the future as they have been known to.
When the case is opened, and the earbuds themselves revealed, one might think that they are the same until you lift them out.
For the most part…
The new 85T is identical to its predecessors, But there is one big difference in terms of the tips. Jabra has opted for an oval-shaped tip for the 85T. Before we get to how this has impacted fit and seal, we need to mention that there is more bulk to the new 85T as well.
That being said, the addition in weight is so small, just holding it in your hand, you’d have trouble feeling the difference between the two.
Fit and Comfort
The new oval-shaped tip on the 85T makes for a pretty decent fit overall. It can’t be said that you can’t tell too much of a difference. The biggest difference is that the oval-shaped tip doesn’t go into the ear canal as deeply. So, there’s less pressure from the tip pressing against the inside of the ear canal.
However, the seal created by the oval-shaped tip is still more than adequate to perform passive noise cancelation. As far as the added weight, it isn’t enough to detrimental affect the secure fit of the 85T. Like its predecessors, these are some of the best wireless earbuds for active use.
Functionality and Battery Life
We can start by justifying the extra bulk as being necessary to make room for the added microphones and ANC technology. I will get to in a bit.
These earbuds have a total of six microphones, three per earbud. They come with an IPX4 rating, which is not completely waterproof. But is still more than adequate for intense workouts as they’re some of the best sweat resistant wireless earbuds you can buy.
A Nice Upgrade
Probably the most requested upgrade is support for Qi wireless charging. Thankfully, the folks over at Jabra have decided to listen. The 85T can deliver five and a half hours of playtime on a single charge.
If the earbuds are charged in the case for 15 minutes, they will deliver one hour of playtime. Total playtime with the charging case is 25 hours. They can additionally be charged via a USB-C cable.
More Useful Features
The Bluetooth connection is seamless and fast to set up. The range is more than adequate for even the most chronic of conversation pacers. Multi-point pairing is also supported.
The 85T also comes with auto-play/pause features which work seamlessly. They don’t have a noticeable lag before the audio begins or stops like some other wireless earbuds with this feature do.
Jabra Sound+ App
Jabra’s creative Sound+ plus app was one of the most talked-about highlights of the 75T. No doubt it will be so again with the 85T. The interface is sleek and minimal but still very stylish with a somewhat distinctive yellow and grey color scheme.
The main use of the App is intuitively linked to the three main profiles or modes, which are, of course, fully customizable. The three modes are “My moment,” “Commute,” and “Focus.” To be even more simple, these can be viewed as three fully customizable slots for different situations.
The user has control over whether the ANC is active or not, and to what degree. The same goes for the “Hear Through” or transparency mode controls. There is a very intuitive 5-band equalizer which is by far one of the best of any app.
There’s a healthy selection of well-thought-out presets. As a result, you get some of the best ANC wireless earbuds on the market.
Finally, there is access to Jabra’s fantastic Soundscapes feature. This allows you to play white and pink noise for whatever reason you may need. There is also a wide selection of high-quality ambient and nature-type sounds to use while sleeping, doing toga, or just wanting to relax.
The app also allows access to the sidetone controls, which allows for your voice to filter in as you speak. This is a very handy feature to have, especially if you’re in public and you don’t want t to speak too loudly.
Also, there is an additional equalizer built into the app, which will apply only to the voice when calls are made or taken. This equalizer can be set to deliver more bass or treble and will operate passively.
The MySound feature will take the user through a series of steps in which a voice prompt will ask you whether you can hear certain elements or not and from which direction, etc. After this calibration has been done, a custom profile will be created for your ears only.
Customize the Controls
Finally, the user has access to all the different button control configurations. So these earbuds are more than capable of satisfying picky users. They can be customized per earbud.
Additionally, you have access to one, two, and three press combos which can have one of six functions. This leads to quite a few possibilities.
One of the main complaints regarding sound quality with the 75T was the lack of aptX codecs. Unfortunately, this is again the case with the 85T. So, users will have to make do with only SPC and AAC.
Jabra proved its love of having a nice boosted low-end with the 75T. However, in some cases, the boosted bass signature on the earbuds became a little too much for the context. Thankfully, the new 85T rolled it back just enough to subdue that low-end but retain plenty of power and definition.
If you are a bit of an audiophile…
You will no doubt notice that the low-end boost does come at the cost of loss of definition and clarity in the mids and highs. Therefore, many details can be lost when listening with a neutral signature.
Thankfully, the EQ is more than capable of sorting out any problems you may have with the sound of a particular mix. Overall, the sound of these earbuds can only be described in the same way as most Jabra earbuds, energetic.
A vibrant and lively sound comes from that powerful and dynamic low-end. Meaning if you’re listening to a pumping workout playlist, everything is going to sound huge. And the result is some of the best sounding wireless earbuds you can buy.
Jabra Elite 85T Review – Pros and Cons
- Great build quality.
- Superb sound quality.
- Excellent App.
- Multi-point pairing.
- Wireless charging.
- Battery life could be a bit better.
Looking for Awesome Earbuds?
We can help. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Most Comfortable Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
Also, take a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Cheap Earbuds Under $100, the Best Wired Earbuds, the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears, the Best Earbuds for Running, the Best iPhone Earbuds, and the Best Skullcandy Earbuds currently on the market.
Jabra Elite 85T Review – Conclusion
For the successor of the 75T, the new 85T has not been disappointing. Overall, most users are likely to agree that for the price, the upgrade is well worth it. Most noticeably, we now have wireless charging and multipoint pairing.
While the battery life isn’t the best, you can do a whole day and a bit if you’ve got the case with you is still quite good. Sound quality is as always vibrant and full of power, and we hope Jabra doesn’t change that.
Just give us some aptX support in the future, and you guys have got a gold mine. The final score is 8 out of 10.
Until next time, happy listening!