Aside from the steep price tag, we have a lot of good things to say about last year’s Jabra Elite 85t. Jabra’s newest true wireless earbud model, the Elite 7 Pro, debuts with a cheaper price and retains almost all of the key features from the 85t (including the connection issues, unfortunately).
Let’s see if Jabra’s latest true wireless earbuds are worth your money, or if you should stay clear of these “Pro” earbuds.
See more: The best true wireless earbuds
Who should buy the Jabra Elite 7 Pro?
- Those seeking premium true wireless earbuds will appreciate the elegant design and customization options on the Jabra Elite 7 Pro.
- Students and commuters can benefit from these earbuds’ compact design and long battery life.
- Adventure enthusiasts looking for extremely durable earbuds will gain from the IP57 rating and HearThrough mode for listening awareness.
What is it like to use the Jabra Elite 7 Pro?
Living up to the name, the design of these earbuds certainly feels “Pro.” Available in black, titanium, or beige, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds are elegant and unobtrusive, barely protruding from the ears.
Jabra provides three ear tip sizes, though I find overall this is less comfortable than other true wireless earbuds. The shape of the earbuds forces the ear tips deep into the ear canal, causing pressure and some discomfort. Take the earbuds in or out of your ears too quickly, and you might experience a sharp pain from the sudden pressure change.
These earbuds are incredibly and are made for the gym, or anything you throw at them.
As with the earbuds, the soft-touch charging case is small and portable. It magnetically snaps shut with an affirmative click, though the strength of the magnets and lack of an opening ledge make it nearly impossible to open with one hand.
Read more: How to get the right earbud fit
An IP57 rating makes the Jabra Elite 7 Pro one of the toughest earbuds around, rivaled only by the Jaybird Vista 2. The earbuds handle water and dust like a pro, so you’ll have no problem taking them to the beach, gym, or anywhere in between. You can also register the earbuds for two-year warranty protection against water and dust.
How do you control the Jabra Elite 7 Pro?
Pressing the single large button on either earbud controls playback, but also inadvertently shoves the earbuds deeper into the ear. You can also customize the controls in the Jabra Sound+ app, setting commands for different combinations of button presses during music playback and while on calls.
With the Elite 7 Pro firmware 1.2.0, switching listening modes while playing music makes the music completely glitch out, with playback grinding to a halt. To avoid this issue, you must switch listening modes when no audio is playing through the earbuds.
The earbuds house sensors for in-ear detection that automatically pause music when removed from the ears, and resume when you put them back in.
Should you download the Jabra Sound+ app?
You definitely need the Jabra Sound+ app to unlock the full experience of the Elite 7 Pro. Perhaps the most critical functionality of the app is downloading and installing firmware updates. Fingers crossed future updates will alleviate much of our gripes in this review.
A hearing test is available via the MySound feature, which tests your ability to perceive different frequencies and builds a sound profile accordingly. There’s also music presets and a visual five-band custom EQ, though it doesn’t show you what specific frequencies you are adjusting, or by how much you are boosting/attenuating.
Jabra is one firmware update away from hitting a home run with the Elite 7 Pro
Active noise cancelling intensity is just another thing you can adjust in the app, along with HearThrough mode. Your voice assistant of choice is also selectable, with Siri or Amazon Alexa available on iOS.
Find My Jabra uses the location of your phone to find the last place your device was connected to the earbuds. Other features in the app include white noise soundscapes and an earbud fit test. More and more headset manufacturers realize how important it is for consumers to achieve a proper fit with their earbuds and providing an ear tip fit test is nearly foolproof. We’ve seen other companies like Sony and Amazon do the same thing.
What Bluetooth codecs does the Jabra Elite 7 Pro support?
The Jabra Elite 7 Pro sports Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC and AAC codec support. This should ensure a stable connection, especially with AAC on Apple devices, though connection issues are still present. Even across multiple devices, the Elite 7 Pro often struggles with pairing both earbuds to a device at the same time. Similarly, after switching to mono mode with a single earbud in use, it is impossible to go back to using both earbuds without completely unpairing and repairing both earbuds to the device—brief connection drops also happen.
For earbuds of this price, we would have liked to see some premium features like Bluetooth multipoint to connect to multiple devices, and a higher quality codec like aptX or LDAC. I suppose we can hold out hope for connection fixes with future firmware updates.
How well does the Jabra Elite 7 Pro block out noise?
Active noise cancellation on the Jabra Elite 7 Pro is mediocre. For only a bit more money, you can get earbuds with much more robust ANC technology such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.
Despite limited ANC, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro still blocks out a ton of noise due to excellent passive isolation. Since the silicone ear tips go deep into the ear canal and create a pressure-tight seal, the buds significantly reduce environmental noise, even without turning ANC on.
A slider in the Jabra Sound+ app adjusts the strength of the ANC. When turning ANC to the max setting, mid to low-frequency sounds are attenuated more than with the passive isolation from the ear tips alone. The combined effect leaves most noise to sound about 25% as loud compared to without the earbuds in at all.
How does the Jabra Elite 7 Pro sound?
No major complaints from us here; the sound of the Jabra Elite 7 Pro should satisfy the bulk of listeners. Out of the box, the earbuds have a relatively pleasing sound that will make most genres sound good. The great thing about Jabra headsets is that you can also customize the sound to your liking from the app.
If you don’t like the sound of the earbuds out of the box, try slightly boosting the first and second EQ bands to add more presence to bass and low-mid sounds.
Lows, mids, and highs
Low frequencies aren’t very loud on the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, leaving some bass notes to sound underpowered. This trend continues up to 1kHz, so vocal frequencies and other mid-low frequency sounds are a bit lacking.
Relative to the lows and mids, all the high frequencies above 1kHz sound quite loud. On Red Eye by Justin Bieber (feat. TroyBoi), the hi-hats and top synth lines are loud to the point of masking Justin’s vocals in the chorus.
How long does the battery last?
Jabra claims the earbuds last 8 hours on a single charge, with 30 hours of total playback including the charging case. That was pretty spot on in our testing, with the earbuds lasting 8 hours and 48 minutes of continuous playback at 75dB(SPL) with ANC set to max.
It takes 150 minutes to fully charge the case and earbuds, with 5 minutes of fast charging providing 60 minutes of playback time. The charging case is powered via USB-C or with a Qi wireless charging pad.
How good is the microphone on the Jabra Elite 7 Pro?
Jabra MultiSensor Voice technology reproduces clear vocals for taking calls on the go. Two onboard mics focus on your voice, while two focus on cancelling out background noise. A voice-pickup (VPU) bone conduction sensor works with algorithms to project your voice while attenuating everything else. It’s a lot of fancy tech and jargon, but all you need to know is that you won’t have to worry about call quality on the Jabra Elite 7 Pro.
Take a listen for yourself and let us know what you think.
How does the Elite 7 Pro compare to other Jabra earbud models?
Alongside the Elite 7 Pro, Jabra released the Elite 7 Active for athletes. At the same time, Jabra continues to offer the Jabra Elite 85t as its flagship true wireless earbud.
The Elite 7 Active is slightly cheaper than the Elite 7 Pro and features Jabra ShakeGrip for a more secure fit. The earbuds don’t have the MultiSensor Voice technology though, so call quality won’t be as clear. If you want a cheaper model with a similar design, look into the Jabra Elite 3 which boosts bass more than the Elite 7 Pro, but has a similar midrange and treble frequency response.
The Elite 85t has larger 12mm drivers, Bluetooth multipoint, and the strongest ANC of the bunch. However, it has shorter battery life than the Elite 7 Pro, Bluetooth 5.1 instead of 5.2, and only IPX4 durability. Still, if you want very good active noise cancelling without straying from the Jabra brand, consider the Elite 85t.
Should you buy the Jabra Elite 7 Pro?
If sound quality and call quality are most important to you, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro might be for you. These earbuds sound great and deliver clear microphone audio for calls on the go.
The Elite 7 Pro is great for any adventurer since it has great battery life and the durability to last. The Jabra Sound+ app is also always a big plus, as it is packed full of customization and features.
Our biggest gripe with these earbuds right now is the connection issues but hopefully, Jabra can work those out in a firmware update. If so, these could turn into one of the best all-around true wireless earbuds under $200.
Editor’s note: this Jabra Elite 7 Pro review was written with firmware version 1.2.0 and app version 5.1.2.
What are some alternatives to the Jabra Elite 7 Pro?
Jabra isn’t the only manufacturer offering premium true wireless earbuds for under $200 USD. Samsung has the Galaxy Buds Pro which offers solid noise cancelling, great sound, and some bonus perks like 360 Audio. For those unfamiliar with Samsung 360 Audio, it works similarly to Apple’s spatial audio on the AirPods (3rd generation), Pro, and Max headsets.
The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) is a great option too. The earbuds have great active noise cancelling for the price alongside an IPX4 rating—oh, and you get tons of integrations with the Alexa app.
If you’re deep in the Apple ecosystem, you should consider the AirPods Pro, which can often be found on sale for under $200.