Are Jabra’s Latest True Wireless Buds Still the Best AirPod Alternatives?
Product: Elite 75t Wireless Earbuds
Release Date: November 2019
Over the last two-odd years, the Jabra Elite 65t have been widely considered to be the best AirPod alternatives. In my review I stated that they sounded better, were water-resistant (so you can actually run in them) and they one of the best microphone arrays of any wireless earbuds I’d tested (calls sounded crisp and clear). Now, Jabra has released the next-generation models of those wireless earbuds, the Elite 75t, they are better in pretty much every way. So does that mean that they are the new best AirPod alternatives?
The answer is …not really, but not because they have gotten worse! Not in the slightest! The Jabra Elite 75t are a great pair of wireless earbuds and one of the best that I’ve tested, but compared to when Jabra released its Elite 65t, there is a lot more competition in the space; seemingly every tech company — some of whom had never even made headphones before — has released its own pair of wireless earbuds and many of them great, and great at specific things to boot. It’s true that the Elite 75t are awesome all-around earbuds, and are especially good for taking phone calls with. But if you want wireless earbuds for something more specific, whether that’s for working out or traveling you can find specific running headphones like the Jaybird Vista or affordable active noise-canceling headphones that will fit specific use-cases better than the (still terrific but fairly all-purpose) Jabra Elite 75ts can.
The 75ts are smaller, which is better — in most cases.
The main thing that distinguishes the Elite 75t from the Elite 65t is the size. The new earbuds are 20 percent smaller than their predecessors and it actually makes a huge difference in how they feel. Obviously fit is subjective, but my biggest complaint with the Elite 65t was that they were rather large earbuds and, because each earbud fit so snug in my ear, they were at times uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. The Elite 75t don’t have that problem and I find them much nicer to wear.
That said, not everybody is going to like the fact that Jabra’s wireless earbuds have been shrunk down. One of my colleagues who has worn the Elite 65t for the last year — and loved them — immediately noticed that the 75ts have lost the ability for on-ear volume control in service of the smaller form factor. Since the Elite 65ts are larger, they were able to have larger and more versatile buttons on each earbud; you can adjust the volume and forward/rewind tracks directly on the earbud, without touching your smartphone. And with the Elite 75ts you can’t do that.
They’ve finally entered the world of USB-C charging.
A USB-C charging port feels like a prerequisite for wireless earbuds — unless they’re made by Apple — and the Elite 75t finally have it. No more micro-USB. This addition means you can use the same charger to charge your MacBook (Pro or Air) or any USB-C laptop with your Elite 75t, and it also means that they can fast charge.
Another nice little upgrade is that the Elite 75t earbuds actually have a significantly better battery life than the Elite 65t. Each 75t earbud gets about 7.5 hours of playtime, while each Elite 65t earbud gets around 5 hours. And with the charging case, the Jabra Elite 75t earbuds can get up to 28 hours of juice, which 8 more total hours than the Elite 65t.
They’re still great for business professionals.
One of the Elite 65t’s standout features was that the earbuds were excellent for phone calls. They had a four-microphone array, which at the time was more most other wireless earbuds, and so calls sounded crisp and clear. The Elite 75t have the same exact 4-microphone array, despite their diminutive size, so calls sound just as good. If you’re a business professional who’s often taking calls while wearing earbuds, Jabra’s newest offering is a great option.
Additionally, the Elite 75t are just all-around solid wireless earbuds. They’re IP55 rated, which is more sweat- and water-resistant than Apple’s AirPods Pro and Beats’s Powerbeats Pro, meaning it’s safe to run and workout in them. And if you have a particular sound preference, you can tweak the Elite 75t’s EQ via the Jabra Sound+ app.
Jabra provided this product for review.
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