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Jabra Elite 8 Active vs Jabra Elite 7 Active

Are the Jabra Elite 8 Active worth the extra cost compared to the Jabra Elite 7 Active?
By

Published onOctober 23, 2023

Jabra Elite 8 Active
MSRP: $199.99
8.3
Check price
Positives
ShakeGrip coating keeps the buds in place
IP68 (earbuds) IP54 (case)
Battery life
Frequency response
Useful equalizer
Negatives
Three ear tips is not enough for workout earbuds
Buttons can be heard and felt when actuated
Deep in-ear fit is polarizing
Jabra Elite 7 Active
MSRP: $179.00
7.9
Check price
Positives
Great sound quality
Adjustable noise cancelling and HearThrough
USB-C, wireless, and fast charging
IP57 rating
Useful companion app
Bluetooth 5.2
Negatives
SBC and AAC only, no aptX
Potential pressure/comfort issues
ANC could be better

In Jabra’s increasingly complex wireless earbud lineup, the Jabra Elite 8 Active are an incremental step up from the older Jabra Elite 7 Active. These newer earbuds bring enhanced durability and new features in the hopes of delivering the best all-around music companion for the fitness enthusiast. However, these feature upgrades come with some strings attached — namely, in the form of a price increase. We’re pitting the Jabra Elite 8 Active vs Jabra Elite 7 Active to see if the extra cost is worth it, or if you are better off saving your money with the cheaper model. 

Editor’s note: this article was published on October 23, 2023, and is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

What’s it like to use the Jabra Elite 8 Active compared to the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

A hand holds the Jabra Elite 8 Active earbud, showing the shape, with the case in the background.
Jabra models the housing off of thousands of different ears.

The Jabra Elite 8 Active retains the same general shape and form of the Jabra Elite 7 Active, with a slightly taller charging case. The defining feature of the earbud design is the ShakeGrip coating that encompasses both sets of earbuds. The rubber coating makes the earbuds a bit grippier than standard plastic models, so most people will enjoy a snug fit during their workouts, despite the lack of hooks or wings. If you find either the Jabra Elite 7 Active or Elite 8 Active don’t fit you well, you can always look to the Jabra Elite 10 for more uniquely shaped earbuds.

The Jabra Elite 7 Active only have an IP57 rating for the earbuds and no rating for the charging case, whereas the Jabra Elite 8 Active have an IP68 rating for the earbuds and IP54 rating for the charging case.

How do you control the Jabra Elite 8 Active and Jabra Elite 7 Active?

The default controls for the Jabra Elite 8 Active are slightly different than those of the Jabra Elite 7 Active, but you can customize each to your liking. To utilize the controls on either set of earbuds requires pressing a physical button on the side of either earbud.

Jabra Elite 8 Active default 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
Triple tap
Left earbud

Right earbud
Previous track
Action
Long tap
Left earbud
Volume down
Right earbud
Volume up
Action
3 seconds press
Left earbud
Manual pairing mode
Right earbud
Manual pairing mode

Jabra Elite 7 Active default 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

Should you use the Jabra Sound+ app for the Jabra Elite 8 Active or Jabra Elite 7 Active?

Whether you have the Jabra Elite 7 Active or the Jabra Elite 8 Active, the Jabra Sound+ app is an important part of the experience (albeit at the expense of some personal privacy). This companion app includes many customization options for your earbuds, including an equalizer to alter the sound, ANC strength control, and onboard control personalization. You can also use the app the download new firmware updates, or find your missing earbuds at the last location they were connected. There are no major differences in the app experience for the Jabra Elite 8 Active compared to the Elite 7 Active.

How do the Jabra Elite 8 Active and Jabra Elite 7 Active connect?

The Jabra Elite 8 Active case, USB-C cable, and ear tips spread out on a wood surface.
Jabra only ships the essentials with the Elite 8 Active including a charging cable and two additional ear tip sizes.

The easiest way to connect either pair of earbuds to your device for the first time is to follow the setup instructions inside the Jabra Sound+ app. Only the Jabra Elite 8 Active have Bluetooth 5.3 which supports Bluetooth LE for lower latency streaming. On the other hand, the Jabra Elite 7 Active only have Bluetooth 5.2. Both earbuds support the AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs.

Both the Jabra Elite 8 Active and Jabra Elite 7 Active can connect to two devices at the same time via Bluetooth multipoint. Simply pair your first device, re-enter pairing mode on the earbuds by pressing and holding the button on each earbud for a few seconds, and then pair your second device.

Is battery life better on the Jabra Elite 8 Active or Jabra Elite 7 Active?

Jabra Elite 7 Active charging case placed on a wood surface.
The USB-C charging port on the Jabra Elite 7 Active.

In our battery testing of continuous playback at 75dB(SPL) with ANC set to maximum, the Jabra Elite 7 Active lasted 7 hours and 10 minutes, while the Jabra Elite 8 Active lasted 9 hours and 28 minutes on a single charge. Combined with the charging case, both sets of earbuds provide over 30 hours of battery life.

You can charge either case with USB-C or Qi wireless charging. Both earbuds have an LED light on the outside to inform you of the case charging status, while the Elite 8 Active also has a light on the inside of the case to let you know the earbuds charging status.

You can fast charge either set of earbuds, with the case providing 60 minutes of playback time from only 5 minutes of charging.

Do the Jabra Elite 8 Active or Jabra Elite 7 Active block noise better?

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The Jabra Elite 8 Active uses what the company calls “Adaptive Hybrid ANC” whereas the Jabra Elite 7 Active uses “Adjustable ANC”. This means the Jabra Elite 8 Active will automatically adjust the amount of noise canceling applied based on the level of environmental noise around you.

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As seen represented in our noise isolation charts above, the Jabra Elite 8 Active blocks out significantly more low-frequency noise around 100Hz. That said, it struggles to block out high-frequency noise. Since most high-frequency noise is automatically attenuated with passive isolation from the silicone ear tips, we still prefer the Jabra Elite 8 Active for blocking out environmental noise.

Do the Jabra Elite 8 Active sound better than the Jabra Elite 7 Active?

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Out of the box, both of these earbuds have a sound that very closely matches our headphone preference curve. They come with a nearly identical default frequency response, characterized by a slight boost to bass frequencies below 100Hz and treble frequencies around 6kHz. The mid-range slightly differs, with the Jabra Elite 8 Active dipping by a couple of decibels around 250Hz, whereas the Jabra Elite 7 Active dips around 500Hz. However, you can fully customize the sound of either set of earbuds using the in-app equalizer.

The main difference with the sound quality of these earbuds is that only the Jabra Elite 8 Active supports Dolby Atmos for spatial audio. You can toggle this feature on or off in the Jabra Sound+ app. When enabled, it gives the illusion of sound playing all around you, which you may or may not enjoy compared to the regular listening mode.

Do the Jabra Elite 8 Active or Jabra Elite 7 Active have a better microphone?

The Jabra Elite 8 Active and Jabra Elite 7 Active utilize the same six-microphone configuration. The Elite 8 Active amplifies mid-high frequencies more than the Elite 7 Active, especially when dealing with background noise. In the demonstration below with background noise, the Elite 7 Active sounds more “muffled” as the higher frequencies in the voice are not differentiated from the background noise as well. Listen to the demonstrations below and let us know which sounds better to you.

Jabra Elite 7 Active Microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Jabra Elite 8 Active microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Jabra Elite 7 Active Microphone demo (Office conditions):

Jabra Elite 8 Active microphone demo (Office conditions):

Which microphone sounds better to you?

404 votes

Jabra Elite 8 Active vs Jabra Elite 7 Active: Price and availability

Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds on table with eartips taken off.
The Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds share a similar form factor to the Jabra Elite 8 Active.

The original listing price for the Jabra Elite 8 Active is $199, and for the Jabra Elite 7 Active is $179. However, since the Jabra Elite 7 Active is two years older, you are much more likely to find these earbuds at a significant discount. As of writing, the Jabra Elite 7 Active is listed on Amazon for only $79. As time progresses and the Elite 7 Active slowly marches towards obsolescence, you’ll likely have a hard time finding it in stock at most retailers.

Should you get the Jabra Elite 7 Active or Jabra Elite 8 Active?

Jabra Elite 7 Active charging case on wood table next to product box.
The Jabra Elite 7 Active is a great value buy.

Considering you can now often find the Jabra Elite 7 Active for less than $100, it is clearly the better bang for your buck compared to the Jabra Elite 8 Active. If you don’t care about having the latest and greatest tech, save yourself some change and just get the Jabra Elite 7 Active.

Pricing aside, the Jabra Elite 8 Active is objectively the better set of earbuds. You get stronger noise canceling, Bluetooth LE support, better battery life, better microphone quality, and Dolby Atmos support. Whether or not those features justify spending twice as much money on earbuds is up to you.

See price at Amazon
Jabra Elite 8 Active
Jabra Elite 8 Active
ShakeGrip coating keeps the buds in place
IP68 (earbuds) IP54 (case)
Battery life
See price at Amazon
Jabra Elite 8
See price at Jabra
Jabra Elite 8
See price at Amazon
Jabra Elite 7 Active
1%off
Jabra Elite 7 Active
Great sound
ANC
IP57 rating

What should you get instead of the Jabra Elite 7 Active or Jabra Elite 8 Active?

The Beats Fit Pro noise canceling true wireless earbuds in purple lay in the open charging case against a black fabric background.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The Beats Fit Pro is a great set of workout earbuds for those who swap between iOS and Android.

Depending on your preferences, there are many workout earbuds to consider. On the higher end of the market are the Beats Fit Pro, which have a consumer-friendly sound and offer great active noise canceling for $159 at Amazon. That said, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get good workout earbuds. The JLab Epic Air Sport ANC feature active noise canceling and a secure wrap-around fit at a very affordable price of $89 at Amazon.

Even Jabra has more affordable workout earbuds such as the Jabra Elite 4 Active ($89.99 at Jabra), which with aptX codec support makes for a great option for Android users.

Frequently asked questions

No, while these earbuds can be submerged in water for short periods of time, they are not designed to be worn while swimming, as the Bluetooth audio will not transmit. Check out our best waterproof headphones for swimming to see some better options.

Yes, the Jabra Elite 7 Active and Jabra Elite 8 Active support the AAC Bluetooth codec for a strong connection to Apple devices.