Jabra is one of the audio equipment makers that has come a long way adding finesse to its true wireless earbuds. Latest from the Danish company is the Jabra Elite 85t, which is touted to be as good for calls as it is for music. Besides, it boasts active noise cancelling, wireless charging, and IPX4 rating for protection from water damage. Priced at Rs 18,999, the Jabra Elite 85t seems to be an all-round premium wireless earbuds. But do they work as touted by the company? Let’s find out:
Jabra continues with the simple, minimal and compact design statement with the Elite 85t. Successor to the Elite Active 75t, the Elite 85t are about 1.5g heavier in weight over the predecessor yet they do not feel heavy as the weight distribution is proportionate and not uneven. With each earbud weighing 7g, the Elite 8t are lightweight and comfortable to use.
As for the changes over the predecessor, the Elite 85t has an oval shaped ear gels for snug and secure fit. The earbuds’ in-ear design aids its passive noise cancelling capability. The earbuds’ gel-based ear tips have a thin mesh layer to prevent ear wax from accumulation on the speaker opening.
The Elite 85t charging and storage case is small and compact. It has a lightweight design complemented by a premium matte finish. The case has a tiny LED battery level indicator on the front and a USB-C charging port on the rear side. The case supports wireless charging through Qi-certified chargers (sold separately).
Features and performance
The Elite 85t boasts a 12mm audio drivers, which is by default tuned for balanced output. The earbuds sound good with deep bass, fine treble, and optimal vocals even at high or full volume levels. Speaking of noise, the earbuds are quite loud and have a fuller output at all volume levels. While good, the default audio output setting might not please everyone. Thankfully, you can tweak the audio output through supplementary Jabra app for smartphones. It will not be wrong to say that Jabra Elite 85t is a treat for audiophiles.
Complementing the Elite 85t’s audio output is the earbuds voice call handling capability. The earbuds have six-microphones in total; three on each earbuds. Each microphone has a dedicated job and together they deliver an impressing voice call experience. Jabra has also added sidetone feature, which lets you hear your own voice on calls. Thus, the overall call experience feels natural.
Besides improving the voice calls experience, the microphones also play role in enhancing the earbuds active noise cancelling capability. The microphones filter wind noise, ambient noise, and any other noise from the environment to deliver an unmatched ANC experience. The best experience I had was while I was travelling in local trains in Mumbai and, at no point, the ANC let the noise pass through the earbuds.
The ANC is customisable and there are five levels of ANC to choose from through the Jabra’s Sound+ app for smartphones. At maximum level, it cuts you from outside world, but there are other levels where the ANC experience is mild and not extreme. There is a HearThru mode too, which is another name for transparency mode that lets the ambient noise pass through the earbuds.
There are no touch controls but buttons on each earbud. A tap on the left earbud switches between HearThru and ANC mode. It comes handy if you are out running, cycling, or just commuting for work. You can double press for voice assistant (Google Assistant or Siri) while a long press on the right and left increases and brings down the volume, respectively. The buttons control are customisable through the Jabra Sound+ app.
Jabra recently released two updates to improve the Elite 85t performance. One of the updates added the MyFit feature, which lets you see if the earbuds fits perfectly in ear. The Elite 85t can connect to two devices via Bluetooth, which comes handy if you use multiple devices. Also, the earbuds pause music or videos if you remove the earbuds, this is helpful as you do not miss out on the content.
The Elite 85t supports SBC, and AAC Bluetooth codecs but lacks support for AptxHD and LDAC, which is a dampener considering the price. The earbuds have support for Bluetooth 5.1 and as far as I used them, the connection was stable and even the range is good. Also, audio latency is hardly an issue with these earbuds.
The Jabra Elite 85T offers 5-6 hours of listening with ANC on, with additional up to 25 hours battery in the charging case. The total on-battery time is around 31 hours with earbuds set to not use the ANC. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge the case, along with the earbuds. The Elite 85t supports fast-charging and you get about an hour on-battery time in just 15 min of charge.
The Jabra Elite 85t is a worthy pair of true wireless earbuds. The earbuds are a good deal, considering it offers impressive ANC, good on-battery time, wireless charging support, and exceptional voice call quality. The IPX4 rating for water resistance is off-putting but this is a small compromise in the overall package.
The Elite 85t faces stiff competition from Sony's WF-1000XM3 earbuds, its nearest rival, and also from Apple's Airpods Pro, and Sennheiser Momentum 2. However, the tiny Elite 85t's swings things in its favour, courtesy, an impressive noise cancellation, a punchy sound output, a secure and comfortable fit, and wireless charging support.