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Jabra Elite 10
Case: 48 x 66 x 25mm
Earbuds: 23 x 27 x 19 mm
Ear tip diameter: 4 mm
Wireless earbuds are an oversaturated segment with expensive options, but one of the more popular mainstays in this arena for many years has been Jabra. After debuting new earbuds at IFA 2023, today we’re listening to the new Jabra Elite 10.
Editor’s note: this is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.
The Jabra Elite 10 is for deep-pocketed earbud enthusiasts who want something that fits and resists moisture better than the AirPods Pro or other competing options.
What’s it like to use Jabra Elite 10?
In short, the Jabra Elite 10 is a set of high-end true wireless earbuds with large drivers, an IP57 ingress protection rating for each earbud, and an IP54 rating for the case. These earbuds have no shortage of integrations like Spotify Tap, Dolby Spatial Sound, Dolby Atmos support, and Fast Pair. Additionally, the earbuds support Multipoint and fairly common features like auto-pause when you take out an earbud or adjustable HearThrough, an ambient sound feature.
Inside the packaging are your earbuds, a charging case, a USB-A to USB-C cable, assorted documentation, and three extra sizes of ear tips. This is pretty standard, but it is a bunch of little things to lose. If you’re the type to misplace little objects (or if you have smaller children), figure out which ear tips fit you best and then stash them somewhere safe.
You may notice that the ear tips aren’t shaped like typical ear tips — and that’s a very good thing, as it leads to extremely comfortable listening. Still, you will want to experiment with the sizes, as this will impact the bass response, isolation, and effectiveness of ANC. These were some of the most comfortable earbuds I’ve ever tried, and it’s entirely due to this departure from the typical nozzle design.
The case of the Jabra Elite 10 is chunky, but it serves its purpose well because it’s water-resistant and features wireless charging. It will fit into skinny jeans only a little, but so few true wireless earphones do. On the bottom is a USB-C charging port, with no buttons on the case. Should you need to reset your earbuds or re-pair them, it will mean setting them inside the case and holding down both earbuds’ buttons simultaneously for ten seconds to reset their memory.
How do you control the Jabra Elite 10?
Although the earbuds are small, the Jabra Elite 10 uses shallow buttons to perform fundamental playback changes, ANC mode toggles, and call controls. However, the array of control options is somewhat limited, and you may want to use your phone for music controls.
|Action||Left earbud||Right earbud|
ANC mode / answer call / mute
Play / Pause / answer call / mute
End call / track forward
You can customize this somewhat with the Jabra app, but if you use your phone’s controls instead of futzing with your earbuds, you won’t find yourself wanting here. Still, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that physical buttons on earbuds are not a great solution for controls, given their penchant for breaking the seal between the ear tip and ear canal. Given the ear tips’ rather good shape and malleability, it’s less of a concern here — but it’s still a somewhat disappointing choice. That said, touch panels can have issues with moisture when working out, so it’s a better choice for that use case.
Should you use the Sound+ app for the Jabra Elite 10?
The Jabra Elite 10 doesn’t work as well as it can without its app. Though that may not be what you want to hear — especially for privacy wonks — you will need the app for some basic customizations and feature tweaks.
You’ll likely want to access the equalizer, so I advise you to use the app if you buy the Jabra Elite 10 because it’s not complete without it.
How do the Jabra Elite 10 connect?
By using the new Bluetooth 5.3 stack, the Jabra Elite 10 has set itself up for longer-term relevancy in the wireless world. Though not a standard feature, the Jabra Elite 10 will eventually support LE Audio and (hopefully) the LC3 and LC3 Plus codecs. For today, though, this set of earbuds will connect to your phone via SBC and AAC.
Though that may not be what you want to hear if you were hoping for a higher-bitrate codec, it’s not the end of the world, as SBC and AAC have improved over the years. You may get some latency on Android, but it’s not all that noticeable for phone calls or music playback.
Connecting the Jabra Elite 10 is as simple as it is with any other true wireless earphones.
- Open your device’s Bluetooth menu and scan for devices.
- Open the case of the Jabra Elite 10 and remove the earbuds.
- Place the earbuds in your ear and follow the instructions it reads aloud to you.
- You may have to hold both buttons down for three seconds to enable pairing.
- Select the Jabra Elite 10 in the available connections list.
How long does the Jabra Elite 10 battery last?
Using our standardized test, the Jabra Elite 10 provided 6 hours and 28 minutes of audio playback with ANC enabled. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on factors such as your playback volume, enabling or disabling features, or charging habits. In general, this battery life is better than average. That’s good for wireless earbuds, as their tiny cells tend to degrade quickly over many charge cycles. Given the Jabra Elite 10’s resistance to sweat, you may end up using the earbuds in a manner that makes them grodier faster — so if you have issues charging your earbuds, ensure they’re clean before assuming they’re broken.
Should you prefer avoiding cables, the case also has Qi-compatible wireless charging built in, but be aware that the case will charge slower via this method.
Jabra states that the Jabra Elite 10 provides one hour of playback time with a 5-minute charge.
How well do the Jabra Elite 10 cancel noise?
Getting a good seal will make or break your experience the most. We all have weirdly shaped ears, and a regular-old cylindrical nozzle can easily lead to a poor seal. However, the refreshingly oddly-shaped nozzle of the Jabra Elite 10 makes this task easier for some, as it’s better shaped to fit an actual ear.
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Assuming you get a good fit, you can expect results like the chart shown here. Even without ANC, you can expect outside noise above 1kHz to be isolated from your ear up to about 97%. With ANC enabled you can quiet 20-30dB of lower-end noise, roughly equating to a 75 to 87.5% reduction in loudness.
How do the Jabra Elite 10 sound?
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The “Neutral” EQ setting (default) sounds off compared to what we think earphones should sound like. Though the “Energize EQ” option does help this somewhat, I had to take matters into my own hands with the 5-band EQ in the app. It’s not perfect, but boosting the upper bass and mid slider a bit to compensate somewhat improves things.
If there’s a ton of outside noise present where you’re listening, you’ll likely struggle to hear your music without cranking it up. While on the train, I struggled listening to energetic songs like Motion City Soundtrack’s “My Favorite Accident.” Any song that has lots of loud guitars and yelling is going to suffer here.
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This preset nudges bass and highs up but only sometimes fixes the issue in the mids. However, of the presets, it holds to our target the best of the available options.
Bass Boost EQ:
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We don’t recommend using this preset, as the mids issue isn’t addressed.
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Though the Smooth EQ preset underemphasizes highs and lows, it’s pretty weird-sounding, as the mids are far from where they should be.
Treble Boost EQ:
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The Treble Boost EQ preset is true to its word, but you may find that the highs’ relative emphasis is quite grating compared to the extremely quiet mids and bass.
Can you use the Jabra Elite 10 for phone calls?
Each set of Jabra earbuds is complete with a microphone, and as the company made its name on communications devices, you should expect it on its products. The MEMS 6-microphone array of the Jabra Elite 10 sounds like this:
Jabra Elite 10 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Jabra Elite 10 microphone demo (Office conditions):
Jabra Elite 10 microphone demo (Windy conditions):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the Jabra Elite 10?
Coming in at $249.99, the Jabra Elite 10 may be a tough sell for those looking for an AirPods Pro alternative, given the price is so similar. Still, the Jabra Elite 10 offers a more friendly experience if you have trouble fitting earphones — but that’s a lot of money for a personal audio product that will likely last between two and three years, use depending. The Jabra Elite 10 is a very competent and well-designed set of earbuds, but the sound lets them down. If you’re okay tinkering in the app, you may find that the Jabra Elite 10 is one of a select few earbud models that work for you.
I will point out that using the Bluetooth 5.3 stack does mean that future updates will add features and functions to the Jabra Elite 10, so the value proposition is good if you upgrade your phone every couple of years. However, you’ll be unable to make the most of the LE Audio features otherwise.
What should you get instead of the Jabra Elite 10?
Alternatives that offer the same feature set as the Jabra Elite 10 are few and far between, but the primary one worth discussing is the Jabra Elite 8 Active ($149.99 at Amazon). Though they’re a bit different in terms of sound, we think that it will appeal to more people. Additionally, workout junkies will appreciate its improved IP rating.
Of course, if you’re an iPhone user, the AirPods Pro ($199 at Amazon) offer a lot of features at a commensurate price, even if they miss out on the better water resistance of the Jabra Elite 10. You could also opt to spend a bit more money to get one of our favorites, the Sony WF-1000XM5 ($298 at Amazon), as that offers higher-bitrate codecs, much better sound, and much improved ANC.
Frequently asked questions
Most people will want to use the in-app equalizer to make the most of these earbuds.
The earbuds have an IP rating of IP57, which means they can handle brief submersion in water. However, don’t think these earphones can go swimming with you.