My favorite cut at the moment
So here we go again, diving deep into the seemingly endless world of wireless headphones. I feel like I’ve stuck more in my ears this year than all the other years combined – and it’s not even November!
But, like most tech, just when you think they can’t improve it, they find a way to improve it, sometimes in ways you didn’t even know possible.
Recently, Jabra released not one but three new models in its line of headphones. I reviewed the entry level Elite 3s a few weeks ago and was really impressed with what was on offer. What made me wonder how much could things improve on the other end of the Jabra price scale? …
Jabra’s premium offering this year is the Elite 7 Pro.
Here’s the thing though … The more I try headphones – and I remember it; I make sure I spend at least a few weeks using them in real life, exercising, playing games, streaming, video calling, doing housework – plus I’ve become obsessed with one feature above all else; how do they adapt?
This is because, especially in this price range, all other elements are pretty much a given. For example, once you pay over $ 300, excellent battery life should be a minimum expectation. In this area, the Elite 7 Pro lives up to this expectation, then exceeds it. Promising up to 8 hours of continuous gaming – even with the ANC turned on – and 30 hours of total gameplay with a fully charged case, these are numbers I’m more used to seeing with full-size on-ear headphones, no tiny little buds like these. It’s great to have the convenience of a case that also charges wirelessly, especially since Jabra made the odd decision to place the USB-C charging port on the front, just below the indicator light. dump. This makes it a bit difficult to see when you’ve plugged it in, so wireless is a better option (albeit slower).
Sound quality is another characteristic to take for granted. Yes, yes … I know there are sound nerds out there who insist on breaking down every frequency range and are determined to compare every genre of music so they can create the ultimate headphone ranking list by sound performance. only, but IMHO, as long as you can customize the EQ to your preference, which you certainly can through the Sound + app, if there is a half-decent driver setup, you’ll be pretty happy with the results .
6mm doesn’t sound big, but for headphones this speaker size is quite a feat of engineering. And it’s not just the EQ that you can manipulate through the app – you can create a personalized listening experience based on the MySound test results. As a result, sparse tracks like Lily Allen’s “Apples” remain intimate, but with a nice spacious feel that is much more reminiscent of larger on-ear headphones. Soft voices, finger-picked guitar chords – tenderness is there. Meanwhile, if that’s the bass punch you’re looking for, the Elite 7 Pro is definitely at the party, too. The bassline driving Jason Mraz’s almost maniacal “Dynamo of Volition” borders on frenzy, but each note resonates in all its frenetic glory.
In addition, Jabra has completely redesigned the microphone configuration; This is a 4 mic array with VPU bone conduction sensors that take over in windy conditions to ensure the clearest voice quality you could ask for in your calls while on the go.
Active noise cancellation is another area that can be somewhat subjective and, again, many critics are determined to find some sort of scientific metric with which to rate one system against another. As far as I’m concerned, again the ANC on the Elite 7 Pro is top notch. I was running today when a child fell off his bike right in front of me and started screaming. I never heard anything as I ran past.
(Hey, don’t judge me – his parents were with him. I’m not completely heartless)
Then when I got home, the domestic manager was calling me from our second floor balcony and I never heard her either – not until I looked up, anyway. She was annoyed. I was impressed. This ANC definitely does the trick.
As I say though, with every new pair of headphones I try (and yes, just this morning a bundle containing two more sets landed on my doorstep) the only thing that really sets the rest apart is their fit.
For starters, the Elite 7 Pro are more compact than ever; 16% smaller than their Elite 75t predecessors. Apart from anything else, it makes them more subtle-looking at buttons that I wore too, barely sticking out of my ears. Smaller also means lighter and the scale once inserted borders on weightlessness.
Jabra claims to have scanned over 62,000 ear holes in order to refine the shape and my fear was that this more intrusive design might seem odd and uncomfortable, but it’s quite the opposite. Because the weight is distributed more evenly, the sensation is almost like you’re not wearing them at all – even after hours of listening.
You can also confirm that you are using the correct size headphones with the MyFit test in the app. Again, these are the best eargels I have tried so far – very difficult to swap out as they fit snugly over the headphones themselves, but the tapered, rounded shape and soft, flexible material creates a seal. almost airtight which dramatically improves noise cancellation and bass response. Plus, they just don’t move. At all. It doesn’t matter if I’m running, working in the garden, or nodding my head vigorously to make the house manager feel like I’m listening to every word she says, these puppies stay firmly in place until I tear them off.
Don’t be put off by my use of the phrase “Airtight”: there’s nothing of that in-the-ear claustrophobia that some people complain about. Jabra engineers have included “frequency dependent decompression vents” to make sure this is just not a problem and therefore comfort reigns supreme.
As I sit here listening to the remastered deluxe version of The Rolling Stones’ “Tattoo You” in all its glory via Apple’s lossless audio stream, I hear every shock of high-hat and feel every shock. bass drum kick that Charlie Watts played, as he was still alive and in the room with me.
In terms of controls, Jabra is a bit of a lonely ranger, always opting for physical buttons on each bud as opposed to the invisible, capacitive controls that other manufacturers seem to prefer. Personally, I feel reassured to have a button that is either permanently pressed or not – each fully programmable via the app of course.
While pricey, at NZ $ 319.00, this actually puts them below several other competing products with similar specs, so it becomes a matter of priorities. There might be headphones with better battery performance – but not by much. Would a purist consider them to be the best examples of high fidelity reproduction available? No, but I don’t have a degree in sound engineering, so I don’t care. The same goes for the ANC – if it’s good enough to drown out the noise of my robot vacuum cleaner running in the same room, what more do I need?
My priority is fitness and as of today, this is where the Jabra Elite 7 Pro comes in number one.
Click here for more information on the Jabra Elite 7 Pro.