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Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds inside the charging case on a wood table

Jabra Elite 7 Active review

A great companion to any workout.
By
February 3, 2022
8
Jabra Elite 7 Active
The bottom line
If you're looking for durable workout earbuds, you should definitely consider the Jabra Elite 7 Active. These earbuds pack in tons of customization options alongside rugged protection, good sound, and solid active noise cancelling. There is still some slight room for improvement, but at this price the Jabra Elite 7 Active is hard to beat.

Jabra Elite 7 Active

If you're looking for durable workout earbuds, you should definitely consider the Jabra Elite 7 Active. These earbuds pack in tons of customization options alongside rugged protection, good sound, and solid active noise cancelling. There is still some slight room for improvement, but at this price the Jabra Elite 7 Active is hard to beat.
Release date

October 15, 2021

Price

Original: $179 USD

Dimensions

19.5 x 16.3 x 18mm (earbud)

40.3 x 25.3 x 69.6mm (case)

Weight

5.5g (earbud)

44g (case)

Model Number

CPB140

Waterproof

IP57

What we like
Great sound quality
Adjustable noise cancelling and HearThrough
USB-C, wireless, and fast charging
IP57 rating
Useful companion app
Bluetooth 5.2
What we don't like
SBC and AAC only, no aptX
Potential pressure/comfort issues
ANC could be better
8
SoundGuys Rating
7.5
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Sound Quality
9.8
7.9
8.0
Bass
9.8
7.7
8.0
Midrange
9.9
7.7
8.0
Highs
9.8
7.9
8.0
Isolation / Attenuation
4.4
7.5
8.0
Active Noise Cancelling
7.3
7.2
7.0
Durability / Build Quality
9.0
7.6
8.0
Value
8.0
7.9
8.0
Design
7.0
8.3
8.0
Connectivity
5.0
6.3
6.0
Portability
9.4
7.1
7.0
Battery Life
6.7
8.2
8.0
Feature
9.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort
7.0
6.4
6.0

Released alongside the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, the Jabra Elite 7 Active positions itself as the ideal workout earbuds. It features most of the key functionality of the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, with some slight modifications to please the fitness crowd.

While the price is competitive, the market is flooded with true wireless earbuds. Does the Jabra Elite 7 Active stand out from the pack?

Editors note: this article was updated on February 4, 2022, with our battery testing results.

Who should buy the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

  • Workout enthusiasts will appreciate the secure fit and waterproof design.
  • Anyone seeking true wireless earbuds should consider this all-around performer with few notable drawbacks.

What is it like to use the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

Jabra Elite 7 Active on table with cable and ear tips
Jabra includes three ear tips and a USB-C charging cable in the box.

Both the Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds and charging case are small and lightweight, and feel sturdy enough to toss in a pocket or gym bag. The earbuds magnetically slot into the charging case, which snaps shut with a nice click. To listen in mono mode, just remove one earbud and it will connect to your phone (assuming you’ve gone through the initial pairing process).

The shape of the earbuds directs the ear tips deep into the ear canal. While this creates a tight seal that prevents sound from getting in or out, it may cause some discomfort. Jabra tries to mitigate this with a pressure-relief vent, but more sensitive listeners still might prefer over-ear or on-ear headphones. Be aware when operating the button on either earbud: pressing the button will shove the bud deeper into your ear.

Read more: How to get the right earbud fit

A silicone rubber material Jabra calls “ShakeGrip technology” coats the earbuds to provide more grip. While this approach isn’t as reliable as using the ear tip wings or a wrap-around design of other workout earbuds, the soft matte finish and deep insertion inside the ear canal create a secure fit for most workouts.

Is the Elite 7 Active waterproof?

With IP57 dust and water resistance, these earbuds can survive nearly any adventure. You can also register the earbuds for two-year warranty protection against water and dust, and rest easy knowing they won’t go down without a fight.

How do you control the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

The buttons on either earbud control music playback, answering calls, or launching virtual assistants. You can select from Alexa, Google Assistant (on Android), or Siri (on iOS) from within the Jabra Sound+ app. Within the app settings, you can also select what combination of button presses will play/pause music or answer/reject calls.

These are the default Elite 7 Active controls:

PRESSDOUBLE PRESSTRIPLE PRESSHOLD
LEFT EARBUD
PRESS
  • Answer call
  • Mute / unmute mic
  • Play / Pause

DOUBLE PRESS
  • Previous track

TRIPLE PRESS
  • Restart track or previous track

HOLD
  • Volume down

RIGHT EARBUD
PRESS
  • Answer call
  • Mute / unmute mic
  • Play / Pause

DOUBLE PRESS
  • Next track

TRIPLE PRESS
  • Restart track or previous track

HOLD
  • Volume up

In-ear detection automatically pauses your music when you take the earbuds out of your ear, and resumes playback when put back in. You can also toggle this setting on or off from within the Jabra Sound+ app.

Should you download the Jabra Sound+ app?

To get the most out of the Elite 7 Active, it is critically important to immediately download the Jabra Sound+ app and install the latest firmware updates. Early firmware versions struggle with connection issues and lack some key features entirely, such as Bluetooth multipoint—all of that is fixed with an update.

Once connected to the app, you’ll have the option to adjust the noise cancelling and equalizer, and view earbud battery information. Tap the settings icon in the top right corner of the app and you can dive into seemingly endless customization options. You can adjust everything from in-ear detection, sidetone, and onboard controls to voice assistant, voice feedback, and call equalizers.

It is critical to download the Jabra Sound+ app and install the latest firmware updates when first using the Jabra Elite 7 Active

The MySound feature utilizes a hearing test to create a unique sound profile for your ears. Much like the Beats Fit Pro and Sony WF-1000XM4, the MyFit feature plays tones through both earbuds to ensure you are using the right size of ear tips. Moreover, you can personalize the active noise cancelling (ANC) to target more low or high-frequency sounds.

Jabra differentiates itself from other headphone apps with its selection of white noise and soundscape files. Additionally, the Find My Jabra functionality tracks the last location your earbuds were connected to your phone. There are enough features baked into the app to write a whole article about, but in short, you won’t run out of customization options anytime soon with the Jabra Elite 7 Active.

How long does the battery last on the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

Jabra Elite 7 Active charging case placed on a wood surface.
USB-C or wireless charging powers the charging case.

Jabra claims the earbuds last 8 hours on a single charge, with up to 30 hours of total playback time including the charging case. In our testing of continuous playback at 75dB(SPL) with ANC set to maximum, the earbuds lasted 7 hours and 10 minutes. This is slightly above average for earbuds in this category, and ensures the earbuds last a full day of regular use.

Five minutes of fast charging provides an hour of playback time, while it takes up to 150 minutes to fully charge the case and earbuds. The case supports wireless charging, or you can charge it the traditional way over USB-C.

What Bluetooth codecs does the Jabra Elite 7 Active support?

Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds in the rain.
With IP57 water and dust resistance, you can take the Jabra Elite 7 Active nearly anywhere.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active features support for AAC and SBC. While we would like to see support for higher-end Bluetooth codecs such as aptX, AAC and SBC work well enough across most devices. Apple device users will get the most benefit from AAC, while Android device owners should try switching to SBC within the developer settings if they experience connection issues.

Read: Understanding Bluetooth codecs

The Bluetooth 5.2 connection is steady up to a 10-meter wireless range, and should allow the Jabra Elite 7 Active to support the new incoming lower latency LC3 audio codec. As long as you’re up to date with the latest firmware, you shouldn’t experience too many connection issues with these earbuds. As we mentioned above, the Elite 7 Active also now supports Bluetooth multipoint, so switching back and forth between different devices should be pretty smooth.

How well does the Jabra Elite 7 Active block out noise?

A chart showing the isolation and ANC performance of the Jabra Elite 7 Active with at least 20dB of attenuation throughout most of the audible frequency spectrum.
ANC attenuates low-frequency sounds, while passive isolation from the ear tips blocks out most high-frequency noise.

Noise cancelling performance on the Elite 7 Active is great, in no small part due to the passive isolation from the tight fit. Even without turning on ANC, the Jabra Elite 7 Active attenuates most noise above 500Hz by at least 50%. Set ANC to the maximum level, and low-frequency noise (such as the rumble from an airplane engine) will also only sound about half as loud.

See also: The best noise cancelling true wireless earbuds

Alternatively, the Jabra Elite 7 Active also features HearThrough listening mode, which amplifies environmental noise. This mode is especially useful for jogging when it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings. A single press of the left earbud activates HearThrough mode, which can also be set to pause your music when enabled.

How does the Jabra Elite 7 Active sound?

A chart showing the frequency response of the Jabra Elite 7 Active closely aligning with our house consumer curve.
The Jabra Elite 7 Active (cyan) closely follows our target consumer curve (pink).

Most people will enjoy the sound of these earbuds. The Elite 7 Active hardly boosts bass and treble notes over the midrange, so you shouldn’t experience much masking. the earbuds don’t stray far from our ideal target curve for consumer headphones. If you’re used to consumer headphones, you’ll be pleased by the way the Jabra Elite 7 Active sounds with most genres of music.

There’s also five-band EQ in the Sound+ app, so you can customize the frequency response to your exact preferences.

Lows, mids, and highs

Using the default sound, the Elite 7 Active emphasizes notes in the sub-bass frequency range (60-100Hz). This is prominently heard on the 808 bass lines of hip-hop tracks such as Better Now by Post Malone. You may notice the kick drum or bass lines in these tracks sound a bit loud, but it is not egregious to the point of causing auditory masking of vocals or mid-range instruments.

The app's MySound feature creates a custom listening profile based on the results of the in-app hearing test.

There’s a dip around 500Hz, which makes some guitar and piano parts sound a bit quiet in the mix. When listening to the chorus at 0:45 of Undeniable by Kygo (feat. X Ambassadors), the upper notes in the piano chords sound slightly quiet compared to the vocals and percussion.

How good is the microphone on the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

The Elite 7 Active has six microphones that feature noise reduction and wind reduction, though it lacks the bone conduction technology of the more expensive Jabra Elite 7 Pro. In the second microphone demo below, the earbuds attenuate most background noise in a simulated office environment. While these aren’t the best microphones we’ve ever tested, most people should be able to understand you on the other end of the line, even when walking around busy streets.

Microphone demo (Ideal):

Microphone demo (Office):

How does the microphone sound to you?

1782 votes

Should you buy the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds on table with eartips taken off.
The 6mm drivers deliver great sound out of this small package.

If you’re looking for workout earbuds, you should definitely consider the Jabra Elite 7 Active. Even without a wrap-around design or wings, the earbuds stay firmly in place in the ears due to the grippy coating and deep fit. The lightweight design and rugged durability make this a great companion for exercise in any environment.

While the ANC and sound quality don’t blow us away, the layers of adjustment within the Sound+ app provide the necessary customization for anyone to attain an enjoyable experience. We would like to see more high-quality Bluetooth codec support, though these earbuds aren’t really meant for critical listening anyways.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active provides much more value than the more expensive Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Unless you need the best microphone quality, the Jabra Elite 7 Active provides much more value than the more expensive Jabra Elite 7 Pro. There are alternatives from other manufacturers worth considering, but if you’re in the market for mid-tier workout earbuds, the Jabra Elite 7 Active should surely be near the top of your list.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active in navy against a white background.
Jabra Elite 7 Active
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.<br />

How does the Elite 7 Active compare to other Jabra earbud models?

Jabra Elite 7 Active next to Jabra Elite 7 Pro
Similarities between the Jabra Elite 7 Pro (black) and Jabra Elite 7 Active (blue) run deep.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active is nearly identical to the Jabra Elite 7 Pro. The Elite 7 Pro features Jabra MultiSensor Voice technology with a voice-pickup (VPU) bone conduction sensor. We’ve seen this same technology in the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live and it works rather well.  Aside from that, the Jabra Elite 7 Active delivers the same features, performance, and design for $20 USD cheaper.

On the other hand, the Jabra Elite 4 Active delivers many of the same features in an even cheaper package. It maintains an IP57 rating, active noise cancelling, and customization through the Sound+ app. However, these earbuds have a slightly smaller battery, no wireless charging, no in-ear detection, and no Bluetooth multipoint.

Then there’s the Jabra Elite 3, which is Jabra’s most affordable pair of earbuds to date, at $79 USD. You get plenty of great features with the Elite 3 like an IP55 rating for the buds, SBC and aptX support (no AAC), and good sound quality with a comprehensive in-app experience. Listeners who want a great pair of earbuds for less than $100 USD should seriously consider the Elite 3.

How does the Jabra Elite 7 Active compare to the Jabra Elite Active 75t?

The Jabra Elite Active 75t is a few years old and a bit harder to find compared to the Elite Active 7. These earbuds have an IP57 rating, use Bluetooth 5.0 (instead of 5.2), and have less effective ANC. Still, you can get the Elite Active 75t for just $89 USD refurbished depending on the colorway, so it might be worth sacrificing the wireless charging and more ergonomic fit of the Elite 7 Active.

What are some alternatives to the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

The Jaybird Vista 2 in black on top of a wood surface.
The Vista 2 includes a slew of proprietary wing tips, which keeps the buds in place but makes it difficult to find replacement ear tips.

A close competitor to the Jabra Elite 7 Active is the Jaybird Vista 2, which features extreme IP68 and MIL-STD-810G durability ratings for the utmost protection. If your ears are the right size and you’re willing to drop the cash required, the Jaybird Vista 2 is certainly worth consideration.

On the other end of the price spectrum is the Anker Soundcore Life A1, which only costs $49 USD. You’ll miss out on ANC and some other high-end features, but the performance and durability of these earbuds will meet the demands of most athletes.

What are some frequently asked questions about the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

The older Jabra Elite 85t can now frequently be found on sale for around the same price as the Jabra Elite 7 Active. While the Elite 85t has great ANC, it doesn’t have the same durability or battery life of the newer model.

As outlined in our full headphone buying guide, different types of headphones work best in specific situations. If you’re frequently on the go or moving around during a workout, you should go for true wireless earbuds since they are lightweight, portable, and free of any distracting wires.

This is highly dependent on your ear anatomy, but we found it fit our test head well and Chase, our reviewer. Still, enough user reviews have cited a poor fit on various online vendor forums, so if you’re doubtful, try and find a vendor with a good return policy.