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Will there be a Jabra Elite Active 85t?

Jabra to actively abandon its Elite earbuds line.

Published onJuly 5, 2024

The Jabra Elite Active 75t true wireless workout earbuds (navy) covered in water droplets behind a Casio digital watch.

On June 11, 2024, Jabra announced its latest earbud offerings; the Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 and Elite 8 Active Gen 2. However, a few hours later, the company declared its plans to retire its Jabra Elite earbud category. Citing increases in costs and competition, GN (Jabra’s parent company) is pivoting to refocus its resources on more lucrative parts of the business. Notably, the company aims to clear its existing stock of Elite earbuds by the end of 2024. Jabra claims it will continue to bring updates to the products for “several years.” However, given the entire Elite earbuds range is being retired, it is anyone’s guess whether support will continue beyond 2024. The Jabra Elite Active 85t may never come to fruition.

  • Jabra Elite Active 65t — March 18, 2018
  • Jabra Elite Active 75t — February 23, 2020

Jabra has only released two iterations of its Elite Active t-series throughout its tenure. For example, the company debuted the Elite Active 65t ($79 at Amazon) in the spring of 2018. The updated Elite Active 75t ($149.99 at Verizon) were released towards the tail-end of winter 2020. However, Jabra discontinued the Elite Active 75t in favor of its Elite 7 Active buds ($179 at Amazon) in 2021. These serve as a sports-oriented version of the original Jabra Elite t-series.

The company has previously favored a two-year release window before updating its Elite Active t-series buds. For example, the Jabra Elite Active 75t came to market one year and 11 months after the original Elite Active 65t. However, the company’s standard Elite 85t ($167 at Amazon) buds came to market one year after the Elite 75t ($185 at Amazon.) By that metric, we should have seen Jabra’s next-gen t-series buds launch by January 2021. Unfortunately, the company’s exit from the consumer earbuds market means we may never receive the updated Jabra Elite Active 85t.

Should you wait for the Jabra Elite Active 85t?

A picture of the Jabra Elite Active 75t true wireless workout earbuds (navy) on a leather surface with the charging case open in the background.
Jabra’s workout earphones are expensive but well worth it for listeners looking for versatile earbuds with fantastic microphone quality.

Considering Jabra is winding down its Elite earbuds lineup, you should not wait for the Jabra Elite Active 85t. Additionally, the Jabra Elite Active 75t were discontinued in 2021 and no longer retail directly from the company’s website. While you may still fetch a pair of Jabra Elite Active 75t from Amazon, stocks are already sparse.

If you can find them, the Jabra Elite Active 75t ($149.99 at Verizon) are worthwhile and affordable workout earbuds. The buds award a robust IP57 water and dust-resistant rating to protect from sweaty workouts. The Jabra Sound+ app also provides access to practical features, including a custom EQ and six built-in presets. The company’s HearThrough mode is excellent for athletes who prefer to hear their surroundings. There is even an option to choose between virtual assistants, including Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. The buds profit over seven hours of playback time on a single charge and fast charge one hour from a 15-minute top-up. Admittedly, the minimal selection of Bluetooth codecs is a miss. However, most workout buds prioritize a secure fit and bassy sound profile over high-res audio quality.

Android users who enjoy the Jabra brand and want aptX Bluetooth connectivity should consider the Jabra Elite 4 ($79 at Amazon.) While iOS fans lose out on AAC, the Jabra Elite 4 has excellent sound quality. With a minor boost in the lows below 150Hz, its frequency response tightly follows our ideal target curve. Most people will enjoy how these earbuds sound out of the box. To sweeten the deal, the Elite 4 supports Bluetooth Multipoint, Sidetone, and Spotify Tap. Their isolation is also excellent, and the ANC does a decent job of attenuating sounds between 1kHz and 1.5kHz. The company’s Sound+ app provides a custom EQ, and the buds last over five hours on a single charge. The Jabra Elite 4 often retails for much less than the competition.

Jabra Elite Active 75t
Jabra Elite Active 75t
Jabra Elite Active 75t
Bluetooth 5.0, multipoint • Free noise canceling update • IP57 rating
MSRP: $174.95
The Jabra Elite Active 75t is a fantastic value for exercise enthusiasts looking for an all-in-one solution. Its versatility is further improved by the free noise canceling update available through the Sound+ app. These earbuds may not be groundbreaking, but they do a lot and do it well.

Athletic Android owners wanting iOS-friendly workout buds may enjoy the Beats Fit Pro ($159 at Amazon.) While these buds wear a comparatively inferior IPX4 water-resistant rating, the Fit Pro adorn tapered, angled wing tips. These help to secure a robust and comfortable fit for long workout sessions. The Beats app also hosts an ear tip fit test, and you can toggle automatic ear detection on and off. Apple’s H1 chip also provides high-end features such as spatial audio and adaptive ANC. The headphones cancel noise well, attenuating up to 37dB around 80Hz. They also calibrate the intensity of noise canceling in real time. With over six hours of ANC-enabled listening time, the Beats Fit Pro are still some of the best workout buds on the market.

Finally, those wanting the best IP rating available should grab a pair of the Jaybird Vista 2 ($117 at Amazon.) Regarding comfort, the Jabra Elite Active 75t have Jaybird beat. However, the Vista 2 wears an IP68 water and dust-resistant design. This is in addition to a military-grade MIL-STD-810G certificate. The charging case is also IP54-rated, protecting from water splashes and small particles. The Jaybird app hosts handy features, including hundreds of Jaybird users’ EQ presets, adjustable noise canceling, SurroundSense, and Find My Buds. The earbuds also have a consumer-friendly sound, with minimal attenuation in the mid frequencies between 300Hz and 900Hz. Unfortunately, noise canceling is mediocre, and many people will find it hard to secure a comfortable fit with the company’s proprietary ear tips.

All the features we want to see

It is a shame to see the legacy of Jabra’s Elite-series earbuds end like this. The emergence of the first Jabra Elite earbuds in 2018 set a new, high-quality standard for true wireless earbuds. While it looks unlikely now, we have little choice but to keep our fingers crossed that Jabra will return to the fore. If it does, we have no doubt it will bring a list of notable improvements. Here is everything we want to see if and when the Jabra Elite Active 85t come to market.

Stronger noise canceling

An active noise canceling chart for the Jabra Elite Active 75t, which shows a decent degree of passive isolation and minimal noise cancellation.
You will not notice much of a difference with the noise canceling enabled.

Many people who enjoy working out prefer to use open-ear headphones. These allow environmental sounds to reach the eardrum while simultaneously streaming music unimpededly. This ensures a safer listening experience while out running or cycling. However, some of the best workout earbuds also champion noise canceling technology. This also has its uses, like blocking out unwanted loudspeaker music while exercising at the gym.

At launch, the Jabra Elite Active 75t had no ANC capability. However, the company brought noise canceling to the earbuds as part of a broad software update in the fall of 2020. Unfortunately, there is no notable difference when ANC is enabled. It suffers particularly among frequencies below 150Hz. Here, most low rumbles from cars, planes, and trains circumvent the undulating 10dB attenuation. It fairs better above 250Hz, but the earbuds’ excellent isolation does most of the heavy lifting. The Jabra Elite Active 85t would benefit from effective noise canceling. This would help them compete with the 85.1% noise reduction ceiling of the company’s flagship Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 ($279.99 at Amazon.)

More resistant tactile controls

A macro picture of the Jabra Elite Active 75t true wireless workout earbuds (navy) ventilation system.
The pressure vent effectively reduces external noise while maintaining an accentuated bass response.

Most wireless earbuds are controlled by operating one of three button types; touch, pressure-sensitive, and tactile controls. However, some earbuds, like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation,) are commanded by touch and pressure-sensitive stems. This provides greater control customization and improves the user experience substantially. That said, many of Jabra’s wireless earbuds opt for tactile buttons on the flat of their exterior. These are often much easier to operate than touch controls, as there is less risk of accidental song skipping.

However, while the intentions are good, the Jabra Elite Active 75t adorn overly sensitive tactile buttons. This makes adjusting the earbuds difficult without accidentally pausing or skipping your music. There is also very little space around the button to pinch the earbuds, making finer alterations harder than they should be. Jabra must implement easy-to-use tactile buttons with greater resistance if the Jabra Elite Active 85t come to market.

The aptX Bluetooth codec

A picture of a hand holding a smartphone with the Jabra MySound+ app pulled up for the Jabra Elite Active 75t true wireless workout earbuds (navy).
The MySound+ app has a “find my earbuds” function for when the buds are misplaced.

Bluetooth codecs remain elusive and unimportant for most everyday music fans. Nevertheless, they are vital to achieve the best listening experience over wireless headphones. SBC is the mandatory default codec for all consumer A2DP-enabled Bluetooth devices. This handles up to 320kbps, 48kHz/16-bit audio sampling. However, it is a lossy format, and manageable transfers are often delivered at the expense of significant data loss. On the other hand, Qualcomm’s aptX codec supports reliable 352kbps, 48kHz/16-bit LPCM audio sampling. While still a lossy format, it is leagues ahead of SBC.

The Jabra Elite Active 75t runs Bluetooth 5.0 and supports the SBC and AAC codecs. AAC works well when connected to iOS but often performs unpredictably when paired to Android phones. With no other high-res Bluetooth codecs, Android users wearing the Jabra Elite Active 75t are likely forced to pair via SBC. This often leads to audio-visual lag, stuttering music playback, and random signal dropouts. Jabra should incorporate the aptX Bluetooth codec into its Jabra Elite Active 85t if and when it comes to fruition.

A flatter frequency response

A frequency response chart for the Jabra Elite Active 75t (cyan) against our house curve (pink) shows the earbuds output amplified bass notes.
The Elite Active 75t (cyan) outputs bass notes louder than our house curve (pink) suggests.

Most of us enjoy extra oomph when busting through an exercise. Luckily, workout earbuds tend to have an emphasized bass response around and below 100Hz when reproducing music. This helps to mask distracting environmental sounds that otherwise interfere with your music mix. Combined with robust isolation and noise canceling, wireless earbuds can make a great companion to your exercise regimen.

However, more bass can lead to less auditory detail. This is the case for the Jabra Elite Active 75t. These earbuds accentuate sub-bass frequencies around 40Hz by roughly 5dB more than our target curve above. There is also a significant -10dB drop in the mids between 200Hz and 1kHz. This leads to many fundamentals sounding comparatively quiet compared to the emphasized bass response. The highs between 3kHz and 8kHz also take a backseat to the bass. This adds to the perception of a very bassy sound profile with minimal audio clarity. The Jabra Elite Active 85t would reproduce a broader list of genres well if they adorn a flatter frequency curve.

An IP68 water and dust-resistant rating

The Jabra Elite Active 75t true wireless workout earbuds (navy) submerged in a Pyrex bowl of water.
You can submerge the Elite Active 75t true wireless workout earbuds for up to 30 minutes.

Most modern true wireless earbuds feature an Ingress Protection (IP)-rated build. This denotes a device’s resistance to dust and water and is popular among exercise enthusiasts. Many earbuds receive an IPX4 rating. This indicates resistance to omnidirectional water splashes with no dust ingress. While not the most robust build, this should protect the earbuds from sweaty gym workouts. Others, like the Jabra Elite Active 75t, are IP57-rated. This shields the earbuds from complete submersion in 1m of water for up to 30 minutes and is dust-protected.

Athletes are always on the lookout for the most resilient headphones. For example, total dust-ingress is vital if you play beach sports or enjoy indoor climbing. For example, the Jabra Elite 8 Active wear an IP68 water and dust-resistant design. This protects the earbuds from complete submersion in 3m of water for up to 30 minutes and is dust-tight. If the Jabra Elite Active 85t are to stand out, they should wear a more robust IP rating than their predecessor.

What would you like to see Jabra bring to the Jabra Elite Active 85t?

13 votes


The Jabra Elite 7 Pro will make a better companion for most people than the Elite 85t. For example, the Elite 7 Pro wear an IP57 build, weigh 5.4g, and own excellent call quality. By comparison, the Elite 85t own an IPX4 water-resistant build, weigh 7g, and suffer occasional connection issues.

The Jabra Elite 85t are excellent earbuds. For example, they own excellent noise canceling, an IPX4 water-resistant build, and ergonomic ear tips to secure a comfortable fit.

Jabra’s Elite Active earbuds are a sport-oriented version of the original Elite-series buds. For example, the Jabra Elite 75t wear an IP55 water- and dust-resistant build. Conversely, the Jabra Elite Active 75t own a more robust IP57 water- and dust-resistant form factor.

For most people, the improved noise canceling of the Jabra Elite 85t will justify the upgrade. That said, some may find the ($167 at Amazon) price tag too dear to spare. Jabra is also winding down its Elite earbuds line, making it less likely that fans will receive support in the long term.

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