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ZDNet's Jason Cipriani loves the Apple AirPods Pro and with the IPX4 water-resistant rating, noise cancellation, and silicone tip options I thought they would be perfect for me too. However, the AirPods Pro fell out of my ears after about 100 yards of running even after testing all three tip sizes. They just don't work for me so I had to look elsewhere for new truly wireless earbuds.
I've been very pleased with the 2018 Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds, but lately I've been using the even more affordable Samsung Galaxy Buds with good success while commuting and jogging. Over the past month I saw reviewers far and wide lauding the performance of the new Jabra Elite 75t and have now spent the past couple of weeks testing them out myself.
The Jabra Elite Active 75t improves upon last years 65t with longer battery life, smaller overall size, USB-C port for charging the carrying case, and slight improvements in audio performance. There is no active noise cancellation or wireless charging of the case, but at the $180 price ANC is really not expected.
Also: Jabra Elite 85h headset review: Competing for the wireless ANC crown with SmartSound tech, for $50 less than Bose and Sony
Check out the CNET review where the earbuds earned an 8.5/10 rating and a headline stating they offer better sound than the Apple AirPods Pro.
The retail package includes the two wireless earbuds, a charging case with integrated battery, a short USB-A to USB-C cable, and small/medium/large silicon gel earbud tips. By default, the medium silicon EarGels are installed on the earbuds and since my ears a bit larger I had to swap them out for the large silicon tips.
The Elite 75t has a similar design to the Elite 65t with a shorter arm for the microphones and smaller overall size. The earbuds are 0.3 to 1 gram lighter than the 65t with a weight each of just 5.5 grams. Curved designs like this are hard to define in numbers, but when you look at the 65t next to the 75t it is clear the 75t is a much smaller form factor that will appeal to a lot more people.
The earbuds rest inside the carrying case with the charging pins resting on the custom fit opening. There are very strong magnets in the case to help guide the earbuds into the proper compartment and lock them in for charging. It takes a bit of a pull to get the earbuds out of the case, but that's not a bad thing when you want your earbuds secure.
The right Jabra Active 75t earbud can be used by itself if you want to have your left ear open for other sounds. The earbud has two mic openings with one at the end of the protrusion that extends towards your mouth. The entire outside panel is a single button so a single-press acts to play/pause or answer/hang-up a call. A double-press of this button will reject an incoming call. When not on a call a double-press will activate your selected voice assistant; Google Assistant, Siri, or Amazon Alexa. A press and hold of this button will increase your volume.
Also: Jabra Elite Active 65t review: Better than the AirPods and designed for active users
The left side has the same large button design as the right earbud, but it cannot be used by itself. Press the left button to mute/unmute a call and while not on a call a single-press toggles HearThrough. A double-press while on a call toggles Sidetone on and off. While listening to music, a double-press jumps to the next track while a triple-press restarts a track and a second triple-press skips back to the previous track. Press and hold on the button to lower the volume level.
The Jabra Elite 75t fit my ears well and I was able to enjoy music for a couple of hours without any discomfort or dislodging of the earbuds. I went running with them and they never once moved around or fell out of my ears.
With the IP55 dust/water resistant rating you can confidently wear these earbuds in most environmental conditions, except for swimming of course. Jabra backs up the design with a two-year warranty against dust and water damage so they are perfect for the commute or gym.
While you do not need to install and use the Jabra Sound+ app for your iPhone or Android device, the app adds quite a bit to the overall experience and I highly recommend you install it on your phone. There was a firmware update available as soon I took the earbuds out of the package and the app is needed to update the earbuds.
With the app, you can control the level of ambience when using HearThrough, volume of your voice when Sidetone is enabled, music equalizer settings, pause toggle for audio, headset audio prompts, and more. The software is needed to choose your preferred voice assistant too.
The Sound+ app lets you customize the widgets and experience for My Moment, Commute, and Focus environments. The Focus environment includes a Soundscape widget that lets you choose options to mask the noise around you or list to sounds of nature. The sounds of nature include ocean waves, rainy day, songbirds, perfect storm, and babbling brook. I like to enable this Focus environment while commuting on my train so that I can read while blocking out the sound of those around me on the train.
We all have different size and form of ears so it's not easy to find one earbud that fits everyone perfectly. My ear canals are larger so the larger Jabra wireless earbuds have never bothered me and stayed securely in place. That said, the Jabra Elite 75t are lighter and smaller so are even more comfortable for my ears.
Jabra is known for making headphones that not only have solid audio experiences for music and video, but also provide good call quality. With the four microphones, HearThrough, and Sidetone functionality callers said I sounded good on their end. I was very pleased with call performance while wearing the Jabra Elite 75t and especially liked the Sidetone technology that lets me control the volume of my own voice on a call.
HearThrough is a great technology when you are working in an office environment, while running in new or dark environments, or when you are in a location where you still want to hear ambient sounds. You can control the amount of sound that goes through as well.
The face of each earbud serves as a large button for all the controls you could want on a wireless earbud. You cannot customize the controls, but after a few days of using the Jabra Elite 75t you will become familiar with the various button press combinations.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Jabra Elite 75t and the improvements are exactly what we all wanted. As you prepare to start off the new year in the gym or on the road, these are clearly truly wireless earbuds to consider.
You can find last year's Jabra Elite 65t on Amazon for about $92 and if the larger size fits you well these are a good option at half the price of the 75t.