Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: CES 2020: The Big Trends for Business

CES 2020: First impressions of Jabra's Elite Active 75t, advanced software in coming months

Jabra followed up its Elite 75t fully wireless earbuds with the Active version for athletes. A few significant software updates will be coming in 2020 that make the Elite Active 75t one of the best wireless earbud options available today.

CES 2020: The Big Trends for Business

My full review of the Jabra Elite 75t wireless earbuds went live last week, but I've also been testing out an early CES media sample of the Elite Active 75t. The Elite model adds a couple of enhancements to the standard Elite model and is intended for runners like me who enjoy good quality music on the go.

Also: More CES coverage at CNET

For most of the past 18 months, I have been running with the excellent Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds. I only had one con in that review, and the new Elite Active 75t model has addressed that, along with other improvements.

While many people love the expensive new Apple AirPods Pro, they fell out of my ears, and I had to return them. I ran with these Elite Active 75t earbuds over the past week, and they never budged while also providing excellent quality sound with flawless Bluetooth connectivity.

Also: Jabra Elite 75t wireless earbuds review: Solid audio and call quality with long battery life

I haven't had time to put together a full in-depth review, and since this media sample has pending software updates, I am just sharing some initial impressions with today's launch announcement.

Improvements over the Elite Active 65t

Those who have the Elite Active 65t may be looking at the new Jabra Elite Active 75t and wondering what is different enough to justify an upgrade. Improvements in the Elite Active 75t include:

  • 22 percent smaller size
  • Increased battery life of 7.5 hours, 28 hours with charging case (89 percent increase over Active 65t)
  • Increased IP rating (from IP56 to IP57)
  • Single large button for headset controls
  • USB-C port for charging, instead of microUSB

The only difference I have found between the Elite 75t and Elite Active 75t is the slightly higher level of dust/water resistance (IP55 vs. IP57). The Active version of the 75t is $20 higher than the Elite 75t. I'll confirm if there is any other difference with Jabra.

Also: Jabra Elite Active 65t review: Better than the AirPods and designed for active users

Initial experiences with beta version

While Jabra sent along with an early beta version of the earbuds, labeled CES media sample, the Elite Active 75t does not yet appear as a supported headset in the Jabra Sound+ application. Thus, I was unable to customize the headset and had to test it as it was configured by default.

That said, the headset worked very well for running and commuting with loud volume, crystal clear audio, and easy single large button control. I've been using bone conduction headphones lately, for safety reasons, so I was very impressed with the high-quality audio experience with the Elite Active 75t. Initial call testing indicates solid performance as well, but since I've been receiving many questions on call quality from readers, I will make sure to check out this capability when I assemble a full review in a couple of months.

Upcoming software improvements

In the second quarter of 2020, Jabra will enable two software features calls Jabra MyControls and Jabra MySound. MyControls will extend the functionality of the headset to include the ability to use just one earbud. This will also then allow you to configure the functions on the left and right earbud to meet your single earbud needs.

The Jabra MySound feature will provide a personalized listening experience, similar to what we have seen on some other headsets before. Jabra will use technology from its sister company, GN Hearing, that will walk users through a simple test to create your personal profile.

I'll confirm if these same software functions will launch on the Elite 75t in Q2 2020 as well.

The new Jabra Elite Active 75t will be available starting in February at Amazon, Best Buy, and Jabra.com for an MSRP of $199. Six color options will include Navy Blue, Copper Black, Titanium Black, Grey, Sienna, and Mint. The last three colors will launch in March and April.

The Elite Active 65t launched last year at $189.99, so we see a $10 higher launch price in 2020. The Jabra Elite Active 75t is $50 less than the new Apple AirPods Pro, but there is no active noise cancellation. Maybe we'll see that functionality in the Jabra Elite 85t.