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The controls for the Jabra Elite 10 are hidden as buttons on each of the earbuds.

Jabra Elite 10 review

Lots of features, little fuss.
By

Published onMay 2, 2024

Originally published on October 11, 2023
7.2
Jabra Elite 10
The bottom line
The Jabra Elite 10 have a lot going right for them, but ultimately don't have amazing sound quality. While they're good earbuds, they're mainly for those looking for features. Their design gets a lot right, but a few notable flaws keep this from receiving a recommendation.

Jabra Elite 10

The Jabra Elite 10 have a lot going right for them, but ultimately don't have amazing sound quality. While they're good earbuds, they're mainly for those looking for features. Their design gets a lot right, but a few notable flaws keep this from receiving a recommendation.
Product release date
2023
Price
$249
Dimensions
Case: 48 x 66 x 25mm
Earbuds: 23 x 27 x 19 mm
Ear tip diameter: 4 mm
Weight
Earbud: 5.7g
Case: 46g
Model Number
100-99280701-98
Waterproof
IP57 (earbuds)
IP54 (case)
What we like
IP57 water resistance
ANC
Bluetooth 5.3
Battery life
Fit
What we don't like
Default frequency response
Price
7.2
SoundGuys Rating
8.1
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Isolation / Attenuation
6.6
7.9
8.0
Active Noise Cancelling
8.3
7.8
8.0
Durability / Build Quality
9.1
7.8
8.0
Value
5.0
8.2
8.0
Design
5.0
8.0
8.0
Connectivity
5.0
9.1
9.0
Portability
9.5
7.8
8.0
Battery Life
6.4
6.7
7.0
Feature
8.5
7.6
8.0
Comfort
9.0
9.6
10.0

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. We first saw these earbuds at IFA 2023, and today, we’re listening to the new Jabra Elite 10 to put them to the test in our review.

What's new?

  • As of March 26, 2024, a software update has added enhanced call quality with new AI-based distractor suppression algorithms that specifically improve noise reduction in the human voice frequency range. The addition of ANC to the Elite 10 provides better background voice blocking, optimizing call clarity for bustling environments like offices, restaurants, and busy streets.

About this Jabra Elite 10 review: We tested the Jabra Elite 10 over five days. The earbuds firmware version 1.3.7, and the Jabra Sound+ app ran version 5.16.0.0.10128. The company provided the unit for this review.

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.

The Jabra Elite 10 come with 4 sizes of ear tips, a USB cable, a charging case, and your earbuds.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
The contents of the Jabra Elite 10’s packaging.

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 differently-shaped nozzle fits ears better than a straight cylinder.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
It may look strange, but this nozzle should fit your ears better than standard earbuds.

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?

The controls for the Jabra Elite 10 are hidden as buttons on each of the earbuds.
Each earbud hides a shallow button behind the logo plate to control them.

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.

ActionLeft earbudRight earbud
Action
Single tap
Left earbud
ANC mode / answer call / mute
Right earbud
Play / Pause / answer call / mute
Action
Double tap
Left earbud
End call
Right earbud
End call / track forward
Action
Long tap
Left earbud
Volume down
Right earbud
Volume up

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.

  1. Open your device’s Bluetooth menu and scan for devices.
  2. Open the case of the Jabra Elite 10 and remove the earbuds.
  3. Place the earbuds in your ear and follow the instructions it reads aloud to you.
  4. You may have to hold both buttons down for three seconds to enable pairing.
  5. 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.

The charging contacts and ear sensor of the Jabra Elite 10.
Ensure the charging contacts shown here (the gold bits) remain clean for effective charging.

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?

For high-end earbuds, there’s a lot to like about the Jabra Elite 10’s sound and some things that simply aren’t to our tastes. But on the whole, any issues with the earphones are largely relegated to matters of opinion — you’ll like the sound, assuming you get a good fit.

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The “Neutral” EQ setting (default) sounds pretty closely to what we think earphones should sound like, but it does have a spike in the highs that are present on many earphones that attempt to hit the Harman Target. If you don’t understand what that means, just know that it’s the most-liked target curve (slightly ahead of ours) in listening tests of many users. It’s a very consumer-friendly sound, but I personally am not a fan of the choice to boost frequencies in the highs this way because it can sometimes make very specific sounds extremely loud. For example, the cymbals in Microwave’s “Grass Stains get to be uncomfortably loud out of nowhere. Though it’s not a song mixed well, it’s a risk you run with pop-punk and older tracks.

To the benefit of vocal content and busy mixes, the hump in the low mids and upper bass makes higher-pitched vocals and lower guitar notes much easier to hear over other instruments that are a little higher or lower in pitch. A good example of this is Metallica’s cover of Bob Seeger’s hit “Turn The Page.” Because the mix has Hetfield’s singing a little bit quieter than you’d expect, the boost here is an improvement to the song, not a hindrance.

The EQ presets offered by Jabra are generally pretty tame, but you may enjoy one over the other. Below is a summary of how each affects your music. Negative values mean a quieter presentation of those sounds, and a positive value means a higher one.

Energize EQ:

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Bass Boost EQ:

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Smooth EQ:

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Treble Boost EQ:

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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?

1122 votes

Should you buy the Jabra Elite 10?

The Jabra Elite 10 being shoved into a pocket.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
The charging case of the Jabra Elite 10 is mercifully small, though it will weigh on any pocket.

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.

Jabra Elite 10Jabra Elite 10
Jabra Elite 10
MSRP: $249.00
The Jabra Elite 10 have a lot going right for them, but ultimately don't have amazing sound quality. While they're good earbuds, they're mainly for those looking for features. Their design gets a lot right, but a few notable flaws keep this from receiving a recommendation.

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 ($199 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.

The Jabra Elite 8 Active has a better ingress protection rating than the Jabra Elite 10.
The Jabra Elite 8 Active has a better ingress protection rating than the Jabra Elite 10.

Of course, if you’re an iPhone user, the AirPods Pro ($239 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.

Yes, the Jabra Elite 10 is good for calls. As Jabra made its name on communication devices, you can expect good call quality from these earbuds. They have a 6-microphone array specifically designed for calls.

Yes, the charging case for the Jabra Elite 10 supports Qi wireless charging.

The Jabra Elite 10 supports Multipoint connectivity, allowing it to connect to multiple devices simultaneously. However, we did not test the exact number of connections it can maintain.

Yes, like other true wireless earbuds, the Jabra Elite 10 can be used independently in either ear.

To increase the volume on the Jabra Elite 10, long-press the button on the right earbud.

To set up the Jabra Elite 10, open the charging case near your device with the earbuds removed. Enable pairing mode by holding both earbud buttons for 3 seconds if prompted. Then, select “Jabra Elite 10” in your device’s Bluetooth menu.

You can use the Jabra Sound+ app to manage connections.