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Jabra Elite 8 Pro wishlist: All the features I want to see

The Jabra Elite 8 Pro should bring improved comfort and noise canceling.
By

Published onFebruary 17, 2024

Jabra Elite 7 Pro in case in hand

Jabra makes some of the best wireless earbuds that money can buy. It is also revered for its eclectic and diverse catalog of earbuds, with the Jabra Elite 7 Pro falling somewhere in the middle of its portfolio, offering a tranche of customization options at an affordable price point. They are also the only product in Jabra’s library to adorn the “Pro” title. Given the earbuds have lived up to their name, it is not surprising that fans are excited about the Jabra Elite 8 Pro.

The company announced its Jabra Elite 7 Pro alongside the Jabra Elite 7 Active in 2021. Unfortunately, there was no mention of the Elite 8 Pro at IFA 2023 or CES 2024. Considering the Elite 7 Pro is the first and only of its name, we may not see another Elite Pro model launch. However, if we do, there are some much-needed improvements the company will need to make to its next-gen buds. Here are all the features I want to see included in the Jabra Elite 8 Pro.

A more comfortable design

Jabra Elite 7 Pro
The Jabra Elite 7 Pro is packed full of features.

Jabra’s vast wireless earbuds line sport a stemless, ovoid-style form factor. Whether purchasing from the Elite t-series or an Elite Active model, users receive Jabra’s signature shape across the board. Likewise, Jabra opts for tactile button controls on the flat exterior of its earbuds. These register command prompts more accurately than touch panels. The company also packs more advanced design-orientated technologies into its buds. For example, most of the company’s catalog, including the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, support in-ear detection. Newer models, like the Jabra Elite 8 Active, even provide thoughtful features such as an auto sleep timer.

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro’s design certainly lives up to the name. The buds come in black, titanium, or beige colorways and feel especially elegant and unobtrusive for the price. However, the earbuds’ shape forces the attached ear tips deep inside the ear canal. This can easily lead to pressure-induced discomfort. In particular, taking the earbuds out too quickly may cause sharp pain from the sudden pressure change. Even worse, pressing the Elite 7 Pro’s exterior tactile buttons pushes the buds further inside the ear. If Jabra is to compete with more comfortable earbuds like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) and Nothing Ear 2, the Jabra Elite 8 Pro will need a less invasive form factor. The buds may also benefit from adopting touch panels instead of tactile buttons.

Improved noise canceling

Jabra Elite 7 Pro ANC chart
ANC helps reduce some low-frequency sounds.

Since Jabra’s cheapest Elite 3 earbuds debuted in 2021, the company has bundled noise canceling into all of its wireless earbuds. However, the success of its implementation remains inconsistent. For example, the Jabra Elite 10 adorn what the company calls its “Jabra Advanced ANC.” This claims to be twice as strong as Jabra’s standard ANC feature. It also auto-adjusts the level of noise canceling based on your surroundings. In our testing, the Jabra Elite 10 attenuate intrusive bass and sub-bass frequencies by as much as 35dB. This compares to the popular Jabra Elite 4, which block out bass and sub-bass noises by up to 21dB.

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro house the company’s adjustable ANC feature. This requires a quick download of the Jabra Sound+ app. Here, users can toggle up and down on the slider to alter the strength of noise canceling. When set to max, the Elite 7 Pro make mid-to-low frequency sounds appear 25% quieter than without wearing the earbuds. However, there is a significant drop off around 100Hz. This allows low rumbles from cars and plane engines to penetrate the earbuds’ ANC feature. Instead, users must rely heavily on passive isolation to block out intrusive environmental noise. This is achieved by ensuring the silicone ear tips go deep inside the ear canal and form a pressure-tight seal. However, as stated earlier, this can lead to pain and discomfort. When/if the Jabra Elite 8 Pro launch, I am hopeful they will boast stronger noise canceling.

The aptX Bluetooth codec

Jabra Elite 7 Pro in open charging case outside
The Jabra logo on each earbud serves as a single button.

The Jabra Elite 5 were the company’s last earbuds to feature the aptX Bluetooth codec. This provides Android phone owners up to 352kbps, 48kHz/16-bit audio sampling. While tech-savvy musos and audiophiles may note the similarity in bitrate transfer speeds with the default SBC codec, aptX suffers significantly less data loss than SBC. It also provides a more stable wireless connection and retains greater audio detail. However, those using iPhones benefit most from the AAC Bluetooth codec. This is supported by all of Jabra’s modern wireless earbuds.

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro supports wireless connectivity via Bluetooth 5.2 with the SBC and AAC codecs. The most recent firmware update (2.2.0) also brought Bluetooth multipoint and solved connection problems some initially experienced at launch. It also improved noise canceling and provided Google Assistant support. However, without the aptX or LDAC high-quality codecs, Android fans are left to connect via SBC. If the Jabra Elite 8 Pro are to compete with their rivals, they must include the aptX Bluetooth codec upon release.

Louder bass and mid-frequencies

Jabra Elite 7 Pro frequency chart
The Jabra Elite 7 Pro has a consumer-friendly frequency response.

Many of the best workout buds feature an accentuated bass response. This is desirable, given many athletes enjoy extra “oomph” when powering through a workout. It also increases the prevalence of auditory masking. This occurs when the perceptive loudness of one sound is affected by the presence of another sound. Bass frequencies are particularly effective at disguising otherwise intrusive environmental noises. This is useful for blocking the sound of car engines, busy streets, and the hum of a train. That said, too much bass has the potential to cause ear fatigue or noise-induced hearing loss over long periods.

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro have a pleasing frequency curve that should satisfy most listeners. In particular, the earbuds are excellent at reproducing a broad range of musical genres. Those wishing to tinker with the default sound can adjust the company’s custom EQ in the Jabra Sound+ app. To that end, the Elite 7 Pro suffer from underpowered bass and mid notes. This trend continues up to roughly 1kHz, making many fundamentals like vocals and guitars sound quiet. This also makes hi-hats and top-line synths sound comparatively loud relative to the lows and mids. The Jabra Elite 8 Pro would serve gym enthusiasts and bass heads better if they adorn a frequency curve with louder bass and mids out of the box.

A more detailed custom EQ

The Jabra Sound+ app is paramount to unlocking the full potential of the Elite 7 Pro. Here, users can toggle between sound modes, adjust the strength of noise canceling, install firmware updates, and much more. It is also home to a custom EQ. Unlike equalization presets, this allows you to hone your sound to your unique specifications. Housing the custom EQ within Jabra’s companion app also streamlines the user experience. Deciding between hundreds of available third-party EQ apps can be time-consuming and arduous.

With all that said, Jabra’s custom EQ is not perfect. For example, many third-party apps provide ten adjustable frequency bands. Some, such as the Boom: Bass Booster & Equalizer, offer 16 bands. By comparison, Jabra’s custom EQ offers only five. While there are markings for Bass, Mid-range, and Treble, there is no clear indication for which frequencies these bands adjust. It also remains unclear how many decibels you can increase or decrease the volume by for each specific band. While the company’s inclusion of a multiband EQ is welcome, the Jabra Elite 8 Pro would benefit from a more detailed custom EQ at launch.

What would you like to see Jabra bring to the Jabra Elite 8 Pro?

21 votes

Will there be a Jabra Elite 8 Pro?

Jabra Elite 7 Pro
The compact charging case fits easily into most pockets.

Jabra remains desirable due to its broad list of feature-rich and good-sounding wireless earbuds. Alongside the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, the company makes some of the best buds for running. Chief among them are the Jabra Elite 8 Active, which debuted on August 31, 2023. These buds brought a highly durable design, Jabra’s proprietary ShakeGrip coating, and excellent sound quality. Given these most recent buds made waves upon launch, I see no reason for the company not to update its earbuds catalog in 2024. Unfortunately, there was no official announcement of the Jabra Elite 7 Pro at CES 2024. Instead, the company unveiled firmware updates for its Elite 8 Active and Elite 10 buds.

There is also no guarantee Jabra’s next-gen upgrade will be called the Jabra Elite 8 Pro. Strangely, the Elite 7 Pro are the only buds in the company’s library to adorn the “Pro” title. With no previous iterations, it is hard to gauge whether this line will continue. It is entirely plausible that the Jabra Elite 7 Pro will be the only of its name.

  • Jabra Elite 7 Pro — October 15, 2021

Regardless, Jabra released the Elite 7 Pro in the fall of 2021. This chosen season of release coincides with its other earbud models. For example, the Jabra Elite 85t came to market in the autumn of 2020. Likewise, the Jabra Elite 5 launched in September 2022. The company also favors a one-to-two-year window before updating its earbuds. For example, the Jabra Elite 8 Active hit shelves one year and ten months after the Elite 7 Active. Likewise, the Jabra Elite 10 came to market one year after the Jabra Elite 5. By that metric, we should have seen the Jabra Elite 8 Pro launch by the end of 2023. Whether we will see the company bring an upgrade to its Elite Pro line is anybody’s guess at this stage.

Should you wait for the Jabra Elite 8 Pro?

Jabra Elite 7 Active next to Jabra Elite 7 Pro
Similarities between the Jabra Elite 7 Active and Jabra Elite 7 Pro run deep.

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro remain on sale from the company’s website and most major retailers. The 2.0.0 firmware update released on April 20, 2022, elevated these buds into contention with the best wireless earbuds on the market. However, with no upgrade visible on the horizon, fans are rightly toying with purchasing their next buds elsewhere.

That said, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro ($199 at Amazon) come jam-packed full of features. Aside from the many adjustable parameters within the Sound+ app, the Elite 7 Pro wear an IP57 rating. This protects against dust and small solid objects and means the buds can withstand 30 minutes of submersion in 1m of water. Additionally, those who loathe frequent charging will enjoy eight hours of battery life. A quick five-minute top-up also begets 60 minutes of playback time, and the buds support USB-C and wireless charging. Office workers and hands-free enthusiasts can use Google Assistant and Jabra’s MultiSensor Voice technology. This reproduces clear-sounding vocals for taking phone calls on the go. Even when subjected to noisy street sounds, the Elite 7 Pro projects your voice while attenuating everything else.

For best-in-class noise canceling, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($179 at Amazon.) In addition to up to 47dB of noise canceling, these buds make an excellent companion for Samsung smartphone owners. Those embedded within the ecosystem can enjoy automatic device switching and the Samsung Seamless Bluetooth codec. The latter provides variable bitrate transfer speeds of up to 512kbps and 44.1kHz/ 16-bit audio sampling. This reduces audio-visual lag and retains greater musical detail when listening wirelessly. The buds also run Bluetooth 5.3 and support the SBC and AAC codecs. Gym-goers receive a robust IPX7 rating to protect against sweat, and Samsung fixed the overly sensitive touch panels worn by their predecessor. Sound quality is pleasing, with a roughly 8dB boost to sub-bass frequencies. Media that is optimized for Dolby Atmos can be streamed with Samsung’s 360 audio surround sound feature, although iOS users miss out.

However, Apple fans need not fret. The AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) ($239 at Amazon) are an excellent alternative to the Jabra Elite 7 Pro. Apple’s upgraded H2 chip brings up to 35dB of noise canceling, over five hours of battery life, and the company’s Adaptive Transparency mode. The case also sports Apple’s U1 chip and an integrated speaker to help you locate your buds through the Find My app. The AirPods Pro 2 and charging case also wear an IPX4 water-resistant rating to protect from sweaty workouts and light rainfall. The pressure-sensitive stems are easy to operate with pinch and sliding controls. That’s not to mention the buds are some of the most comfortable on the market. For example, users gain an ergonomic fit and four ear tip sizes out of the box. The buds also support wireless, MagSafe, and Apple Watch-compatible charging.

Those searching for a more affordable option should consider the Sony LinkBuds S ($148 at Amazon.) Released on May 18, 2022, these earbuds bring good sound quality and noise canceling for a fraction of the competition. While an uninspiringly anonymous design, the LinkBuds S are comfortable and seal the ear canal successfully. This provides excellent passive isolation above 1kHz. The buds keep bass frequencies around 200Hz under wraps by attenuating up to 35dB of noise. Sound quality is outstanding and marks a giant leap forward from the wonky frequency curve of their predecessor. The buds run Bluetooth 5.2 and support the SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs. Firmware update 2.0.2 also brought Bluetooth Multipoint, and the LinkBuds S should last just under six hours on a single charge. Gym-goers will respect the IPX4 water-resistant rating, while audio tinkerers will get the most out of the comprehensive Sony Headphones Connect app.

Jabra Elite 7 ProJabra Elite 7 Pro
Jabra Elite 7 Pro
VPU sensor • Bluetooth 5.2 • IP57 rated
MSRP: $199.99
The Jabra Elite 7 Pro focus on making your voice calls clearer
The Jabra Elite 7 Pro feature a Voice Pick Up (VPU) sensor that helps make your voice clearer during phone calls. When you combine this with the usual audio and comfort features of a Jabra Elite product, you've got some great TWS earbuds.

FAQs

The Jabra Elite 8 Active ($199 at Amazon) are some of the most compelling workout earbuds on the market. These buds wear Jabra’s proprietary ShakeGrip coating for added security, an IP68 water and dust-resistant rating, and excellent sound quality. However, flagship features beget flagship prices that some may find too dear.

Jabra is home to a confusing list of named audio products. For example, the company released its Jabra Elite 10 on August 21, 2023. However, their predecessor were named the Jabra Elite 5 and were released on September 1, 2022. Given the Jabra Elite 4 already came to shelves on March 21, 2023, we may see a Jabra Elite 8 in the future. However, I hope the Jabra Elite 8 Pro will launch in 2024.

No small consumer electronic device is fully waterproof. However, the Jabra Elite 8 Active wear an IP68 water and dust-resistant build. This protects against total dust ingress and submersion in 3m of water for up to 30 minutes. However, we do not recommend putting any electrical product deep underwater.