Jabra Elite 5 Review: A Good Value for a True Wireless Earbud

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The Lowdown

Overall, the Jabra Elite 5 earbuds are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a good pair of wireless earbuds that won’t break the bank. They offer good sound quality, effective noise cancellation, and they are exceptionally comfortable to wear. The Elite 5 should be at the top of your list if you are looking for a good pair of earbuds.

Overall
5

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Good battery life
  • IP55 rating
  • Wireless charging battery case
  • Good sound
  • Effective noise cancelation
  • Priced well

Cons

Jabra Elite 5 Review: A Good Value for a True Wireless Earbud Listen to this article

If you’re in the market for a good pair of wireless earbuds, Jabra’s Elite 5 should be at the top of your list. These earbuds offer great sound quality, comfort, and active noise cancellation; they are also very affordable, making them a great value. Let’s take a closer look at what these earbuds have to offer!

A white Jabra Elite 5 case on a pile of books; the case is open and showing the earbuds.

Jabra has been one of the leading innovators when it comes to true wireless earbuds. Their first offer was fairly large, had mediocre battery life, and sounded good but not great. Since then, however, the company has continued to innovate and has refined its true wireless earbuds both in terms of design and sound. Plus, their most recent models all offer active noise cancelation.

A woman with dark hair and an orange leather jacket wearing a pair of Jabra Elite 5

The Jabra Elite 5  earbuds are some of the most comfortable on the market. That’s because the company returned to the design of the Jabra Elite 75t. I preferred that design to the Jabra Elite 85t despite the latter being newer and more expensive.

The difference is that, while the Elite 85t earbuds have a slightly open design and sit a bit further outside the ear, the Elite 75t — and the Jabra Elite 5 — are smaller and sit entirely inside the ear for a tighter seal and, in my experience, greater stability.

A pair of Jabra Elite 5 true wireless earbuds in white

Jabra used data from tens of thousands of ear scans to create the Elite 5 and then used their “unique statistical modeling to optimize them anatomically.” The result is a true wireless earphone that stays securely in your ear without the need for the kind of pressure that often results in discomfort after wearing earbuds for a significant time.

The Jabra Elite 5 earbuds are comfortable enough to wear all day. Of course, you probably don’t want to be completely isolated all day, and that’s where the hybrid ANC comes in; more on that shortly.

The earphones come in your choice of beige gold or titanium black and come with three different-sized ear tips. It is worth trying all three on so you can find the best fit for your ears.

The Jabra Elite 5 earbuds themselves are light and stay in place well, even when you are moving or sweating. In addition, they have IP55-rated dust and water resistance. That means that your sweat is not an issue for them, and neither will a little rain or snow.

Across the board, the first few generations of true wireless earbuds suffered from poor battery life. Over the last few years, that has changed, and the Jabra Elite 5 is no exception. With the active noise cancellation on, you can expect up to 7 hours of playback per charge with an additional 21 hours available thanks to the battery built into the protective case. With the ANC turned off, you can expect up to 9 hours of playback and an additional 27 hours thanks to the battery case.

In addition, the included protective case is Qi-certified, so you can wirelessly fast charge it to get up to an hour of playback in just ten minutes if you are in a rush. Overall, that makes the Elite 5 among the better true wireless earphones from the battery life perspective.

The Jabra Elite 5 can be wirelessly charged inside their Qi-certified case

Jabra has always offered excellent audio quality, and the Elite 5 is no exception. I wouldn’t describe the sound quality as” excellent,” but I enjoy listening to them, and considering the price, they definitely punch above their weight in the audio department.

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The Jabra Elite 5 offer a balanced sound signature with clear highs and mids, as well as punchy bass, thanks to the 6mm speakers in each earbud as well as the included SBC, AAC & Qualcomm aptX audio codecs. Again, I would not put the sound in the audiophile camp, but I suspect most people will find it quite good.

Jabra Elite 5 Review: A Good Value for a True Wireless Earbud

The noise cancellation on these earbuds is also very effective; it does an excellent job of blocking out ambient noise. The tight fit of the Elite 5 creates a seal, so the earbuds block a good bit of sound even before the ANC is turned on. When the ANC is turned on, you can go into your own world for a bit; it works quite well, and, as an added bonus, I find the audio sounds even better with ANC turned on.

Using a combination of inward-facing and outward-facing microphones to cancel noise inside and outside the ear, Jabra says that they get “more reliable noise cancellation across a wider range of sounds.”

When you need to hear what is going on around you, you can turn on the HearThrough feature that grabs the sound around you and digitally feeds it through the earbuds. That’s an important safety feature when you are out walking or riding on busy streets or taking the train or subway in a major city. It also means you can keep the earbuds in and still carry on a conversation with your spouse, child, or co-worker.

Many of these features, as well as the various controls, can be tweaked using Jabra’s free Sound+ app.

Jabra Elite 5 Review: A Good Value for a True Wireless Earbud

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Jabra made the very first Bluetooth headset I ever used. Back then, no one thought about Bluetooth for listening to music. It was all about placing and taking hands-free calls on your cellphone. Jabra has never lost sight of the importance of people being able to speak to one another on the go and has made sure the Elite 5 offer excellent call quality.

That’s achieved thanks to the inclusion of 6-microphone call technology. According to the company, engineers spent hours experimenting with the placement of the six microphones until they found the optimal position. But there’s more. As Jabra explains,

The external microphones are active on all your calls, but the really special part is the internal bonus ones, tucked away on the inside of the buds. They magically activate when it’s windy, so you’ll never have to say “sorry, I’ll call you back” ever again (well, unless you want to).

I’m impressed that they included microphones that usually don’t do anything but when needed, activate to balance out the conditions in the surrounding environment.

A brown-haired man wearing blue jeans and a green shirt listening to music with the Jabra Elite 5 earbuds.

The Jabra Elite 5 use Bluetooth 5.2, which not only translates to a rock-solid connection but it also means the earbuds have Bluetooth Multipoint and can be connected to two devices at once.

Finally, we come to the most impressive “feature” of all — the price. At just $149.99, the Jabra Elite 5 sits in a sweet spot between “budget” earbuds and “premium/audiophile” earbuds.

Overall, the Jabra Elite 5 earbuds are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a good pair of wireless earbuds that won’t break the bank. They offer good sound quality, effective noise cancellation, and they are exceptionally comfortable to wear. The Elite 5 should be at the top of your list if you are looking for a good pair of earbuds.

The Jabra Elite 5 sell for $149.99; they are available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Comfortable; Good battery life; IP55 rating; Wireless charging battery case; Good sound; Effective noise cancelation; Priced well

What Needs Improvement: Nothing — at this price (and especially when you can catch them on sale), they pretty much tick all the boxes

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.