Jabra produces some of the best wireless headphones on the market. Now, they’ve announced a new best-in-class offering, the Jabra Elite 85h. The Elite 85h takes Jabra’s years of experience and packs it into relatively small over-the-ear headphones. With great sound, amazing battery life and powerful ANC, the Elite 85h are in a league of their own.
The new Jabra Elite 85h offer:
- Best-in-class headphones set new standards with maximum battery life, custom engineered 40mm speakers and advanced six-microphone call technology for crystal-clear sound
- SmartSound technology: AI for adaptive sound environments
- Digital Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation for total calls and music immersion
- 100 percent hands-free Voice Assistant access
- Certified rain-resistant durability with a two-year warranty against water and dust
We will be getting a pair for review but, for now, let’s unpack these features just a bit.
The Elite 85h headphones have what the company refers to as “Jabra SmartSound.” Jabra SmartSound is a combination of audEERING’s context intelligence technology, Jabra’s HearThrough technology and include Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). That’s a long-winded way of explaining that the new headphones let users control how much of the outside world gets through to them as they enjoy their music on the go. As they explain,
Whether you are commuting, concentrating at work or are in a crowded place, SmartSound ensures the audio of the Elite 85h offers the best calls and music experience by automatically adjusting to your surroundings.
The Elite 85h headphones deliver an amazing 32-hour battery life with ANC activated. That alone is impressive since, more often than not, the battery life rated for most headphones is significantly shorter when ANC is active. That’s not the case with the Elite 85h and means I could have used these headaches for both legs of my recent trip to Israel and still had almost ten hours of battery life remaining.
Also, thanks to advanced six-microphone call technology, the Elite 85h offers crystal-clear audio when taking calls. That’s not a surprise since Jabra first made their mark producing some of the best Bluetooth headsets for calls. The Elite 85h is not, however, just for calls. The headphones have 40mm custom-engineered speakers and, as a result, promise to deliver an amazing acoustic experience. Combined with the headphone’s advanced ANC, the Jabra Elite 85h are ready for the real world. As they explain:
Like every Jabra device, the Elite 85h has been engineered to meet the challenges that users face in the real world. In today’s digitally-connected society, noise overload is considered a critical factor affecting personal wellbeing, and Jabra’s SmartSound technology tackles noise pollution in a way like never before. Through an exclusive partnership with the intelligent audio analysis company audEERING, the world leader in audio AI technology, Jabra introduces environmental adaptation into the new Elite 85h headphones, creating a personalized audio experience that goes beyond all current Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) solutions available in the market.
Two aspects of the Elite 85h deserve some extra attention. First, there is SmartSound. SmartSound is driven by AI technology and lets the headphones adjust to a changing environment. It is for this reason that Jabra describes them as “the smartest ANC headphones on the market.” I have not had a chance to check the headphones out yet, so I’ll let Jabra explain this technology in a bit more depth.
Jabra SmartSound is based on audEERING’s context intelligence technology, which uses real-time acoustic scene analysis of environmental sounds. The technology can detect more than 6,000 unique sound characteristics and uses this to adapt audio output to each specific context. This means that when moving from a noisy train station into a quiet train carriage, the context intelligence technology will take notice and will automatically adjust the audio to the changed surroundings. It will select one of the three moments: ‘Commute,’ ‘In Public’ or ‘In Private’ to guarantee a consistent quality for your audio experience. Users can personalize their calls and music settings even further through Jabra’s Sound+ app, which will remember your preferred settings for future similar situations.
Then there is the inclusion of smart assistants. As one might expect, the Elite 85h work with Siri and Google Assistant. Also, however, the Elite 85h also work with Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant. More than that, however, the innovators at Jabra have found a way to have great battery life AND offer 100 percent hands-free voice control. There’s no need to push a button to access the smart assistant of choice but, instead, users simply need to say the trigger word to activate Sir, Google Assistant or Alexa. As they explain:
The microphone solution combined with the Jabra Sound+ app creates a 100 percent hands-free Voice Assistant access experience. Users no longer need to touch a button on the headphones to interact with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant – all users need to do is speak, to be connected immediately.
The company notes that they are among the first to allow users to access Alexa by invoking the wake word.
- SmartSound: Audio that automatically adapts to your surroundings
- 100 percent hands-free: Voice Assistant access without pushing a button
- Four color variations: Black, Titanium Black, Gold Beige and Navy
- Battery: Up to 32-hours of battery with ANC activated and 35 hours without ANC
- Microphones: Eight microphones in total. Six dedicated for calls, four for ANC and two hybrid mics for both calls and ANC.
- Speakers: 40mm custom-engineered speakers
- Durability: Unique IP52 dust and rain resistance, backed by a two-year warranty against water and dust
- Personalize: Jabra Sound+ app for SmartSound features, including customized settings
As René Svendsen-Tune, CEO at Jabra puts it:
One of the biggest challenges for people on-the-go is consistency in voice, call and audio quality in every environment, while ensuring the best voice interaction and connectivity that allows for either total concentration or relaxation. Our Elite range represents the best-in-class products for calls and music. We developed SmartSound, to ensure we can continue to deliver quality calls and music experience wherever our customers are. The Elite 85h is a revolutionary headset that will change the way we experience sound and cope with noise in the future.”
The Jabra Elite 85h look amazing. They will be available in Black, Titanium Black, Gold Beige and Navy and will arrive in stores later this spring for 299 USD. You can learn more about the Jabra Elite 85h and SmartSound here on the product page.