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Jabra Elite 10 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2
Whether you should pick up the Jabra Elite 10 or the established Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is the question on the docket. Both currently sit at the top of their manufacturer’s line ups, so let’s investigate which active noise canceling (ANC) buds best strike the balance of form and function for you.
Editor’s note: this article was updated on November 21, 2023, to update information about the Jabra Elite 10 frequency response and formatting.
What’s it like to use the Jabra Elite 10 compared to the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)?
Jabra is known at this point for producing durable earbuds that fit most ears rather well. The Jabra Elite 10 exemplifies this unfussy user experience with a good fit, and four ear tips and a USB-C charge cable. In the box you get uniquely ergonomic ear tips to aid in getting your fit dialed in right. Along with the unusual ear tips, the nozzles have an unconventional shape that feels very comfortable. The buds themselves utilize shallow buttons, which respond well.
Jabra kits out the Elite 10 with a dust- and water-proof IP57 rating for the earbuds. In addition, the charging case receives an IP54 rating. In all, you don’t need to worry about the case collecting dust. You may want to clean the contact points and the USB-C port, as with any set of wireless earbuds, but they’re rather robust.
Apple doesn’t reinvent the wheel of its own design with AirPods Pro (2nd generation). They fit and look like the previous AirPods Pro (1st generation). You get touch and pressure sensitive controls on these buds. The fit is more comfortable and predictable than ordinary AirPods, owing to the ear tips.
Everyone’s ears are different. So we can’t declare with certainty whether AirPods Pro (2nd generation) or Jabra Elite 10 will fit better, but the Elite 10 buds are designed in response to thousands of ear measurements, which is promising.
Depending on whether you get a charging case with a USB-C cable or a Lightning cable you get different levels of durability. The USB-C version has an IP54 rating with the case, and the Lightning version has an IPX4 rating for the buds. In this respect, the Jabra Elite 10 overall boast better durability. But, the daily experience, if you have an iPhone, may feel more integrated with your iOS device due to the H1 chip and baked in niceties like device switching (between Apple devices) and audio sharing on the AirPods Pro (2nd generation).
How do you control the Jabra Elite 10 and Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)?
One of the central differences between the Jabra Elite 10 and Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are their approaches to user controls. On the Elite 10 you interact with shallow buttons where the logo resides, and you can customize these to taste in the Sound+ app. You can pick which voice assistant you’d like in the Sound+ app too. With the Elite 10 you get in-ear detection as well.
|Action||Left earbud||Right earbud|
ANC mode / answer call / mute
Play / Pause / answer call / mute
End call / track forward
Apple uses pressure-sensitive stems rather than buttons. These require some memorization, but they work well. You can also access Siri with your iPhone, of course. In-ear detection works on these as well.
Press and hold
Toggle ANC/Adaptive Transparency modes
Change volume, request directions, playback control, receive messages, and more
Should you use the apps of either Jabra Elite 10 or Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)?
If you get the Jabra Elite 10 you’ll want to download the Sound+ app for updates and to access features like spatial audio, and other settings like listening modes, and sidetone. You can turn on a sidetone for calls. In addition, you get an equalizer. As with virtually all earbuds with apps, this requires some collection of your data. The app is simply laid out and works for both iOS and Android.
With the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation), you probably already have the app, namely, the Settings of your iOS device. In that respect, you don’t need to download anything, and Apple is already collecting your data. You’ll get access to spatial audio, spatialize, settings, EQ, and listening modes, including adaptive noise canceling here.
How do the Jabra Elite 10 and Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) connect?
Both the Jabra Elite 10 and Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) use Bluetooth 5.3 with AAC and SBC codecs. If you have an iPhone that AAC codec is what you want to see, and what the buds ought to default to using. Android users might miss the higher bitrate Bluetooth codecs out there, but AAC performance has improved over the years with Android.
Is battery life better on the Jabra Elite 10 or Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)?
Battery life isn’t the central strength of either the Jabra Elite 10 or the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation), but they’re both fine. Under the same testing conditions with ANC enabled, the Jabra Elite 10 lasts 6 hours and 28 minutes. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) battery life reaches 5 hours and 43 minutes. You’ll likely need to recharge them at some point, if you plan on wearing buds for a full workday.
In addition, you can charge the Elite 10 wirelessly with a Qi pad or with the supplied USB-C cable. Apple updated the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with USB-C charging port. You can also use a Qi, MagSafe, or Apple Watch charging mat. According to Jabra and Apple, both sets of earbuds have fast charging with a 5-minute charge providing an hour of battery life.
Do the Jabra Elite 10 or Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) block noise better?
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Isolation on the Jabra Elite 10 blocks more high pitched incidental noises than the AirPods Pro (2nd generation). Assuming the uniquely shaped ear tips fit you, the Elite 10 act almost like earplugs for high frequencies. While the isolation and in-ear fit of the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) prove the value of ear tips compared to the unsealed fit of standard AirPods, they don’t beat out Jabra here.
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Both sets of earbuds reach over 30dB of ANC filtering where it matters with low pitched noises. However, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation)’ adaptive ANC manages to filter out some of the midrange noises that the Elite 10 does not attend to especially well. The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) continue to offer excellent ANC, if that’s your priority.
Do the Jabra Elite 10 sound better than the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)?
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The Jabra Elite 10 modifies the typical consumer style frequency response, with some exaggerations. The default frequency response exaggerates up to 8dB in the lows, dips briefly to meet our ideal around 150Hz and bumps the volume in the mids more than our preference, before dipping down at 500Hz. It matches our curve broadly to 4kHz, and then above there’s a notable treble boost.
In contrast, AirPods Pro (2nd generation) adheres more closely to our headphone preference curve. With the exception of some notable under-emphasized treble at 9kHz and above, these will please most listeners more reliably than the tuning of the Jabra Elite 10. Of course, you can implement some equalization to taste.
Do the Jabra Elite 10 or Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) have a better microphone?
As far as microphone arrays are concerned, the Jabra Elite 10 and Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) sound quite accurate in ideal conditions. Arguably, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) perform slightly better in an office, but the Elite 10 mics aren’t far off. If you listen to the office sound sample, the noise filtering impressively quiets the sound of a blender at the end with the AirPods Pro (2nd generation). Neither set of wireless earbuds replaces a discrete microphone, and neither set excels at retaining your voice when confronted with wind. They do well indoors.
Take a listen and vote.
Jabra Elite 10 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Jabra Elite 10 microphone demo (Office conditions):
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) microphone demo (Office conditions):
Jabra Elite 10 microphone demo (Windy conditions):
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) microphone demo (Windy conditions):
Which microphone sounds best to you?
Jabra Elite 10 vs Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation): Price and availability
The Jabra Elite 10 retails for $249. The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) will run you between $229 through to $249, depending on whether you pick up the Lightning or USB-C case. Jabra tends to discount significantly, whereas Apple rarely puts products on sale.
Should you get the Jabra Elite 10 or Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)?
You can’t go too wrong with the Jabra Elite 10 or the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation), as they’re competent ANC wireless buds. If you have an Android device, skip the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) because you won’t get to experience most of the features. Assuming you’ve got an iPhone, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) offer a more integrated experience due to the H1 chip, and there’s no app to download.
In exchange, you get a worse battery life and worse isolation out of the AirPods Pro (2nd generation), alongside a lower IP rating. By default, the frequency response on the Apple buds sounds significantly better than the Elite 10. You can EQ that problem away on the Jabra buds. Choosing between shallow buttons on the Jabra Elite 10 or pressure sensitive stems is down to personal preference.
The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) feel comfortable, if not extremely stable. If you’re the active type, the Elite 10 make more sense, from the ergonomic ear tips to the IP57 rating. Most other iPhone users may want to weigh their priorities. The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) offer a lot, but they don’t quite reach perfection.
Frequently asked questions
Technically, yes you can use both AirPods Pro (2nd generation) and Jabra Elite 10 with Android, but you would only want to use the Elite 10 with Android. You miss out on every feature that you can’t directly access by using the touch controls on the buds if you connect AirPods Pro (2nd generation) to an Android device.