/Jabra Elite 75t
Jabra Elite 75t

Jabra Elite 75t

Jabra’s latest true wireless earphones, the Elite 75t, aren’t cheap at $179.99, but they have something for just about everyone. Out of the box they deliver a bass-forward sound signature in a secure-fitting, sweat-resistant design. They also work with an excellent companion app that offers 5-band EQ to adjust the powerful bass to more normal levels, and toggle the adjustable HearThrough mode that allows you to monitor your surroundings. We applaud the customizability, and anyone seeking seriously deep lows (or willing to use the app to fine-tune audio) will be pleased with the sonics here, earning the Elite 75t our latest Editors’ Choice for true wireless in-ears under $200.

Design

Available in black or black-and-gray models, the Elite 75t’s earpieces are relatively compact and have no stems or fins. Three pairs of silicone eartips are included, and they stay in place quite well. The outer panel of each earpiece features a button that, when pressed, performs a variety of functions divided between the left and right earpieces.

The left ear’s button controls volume down when pressed and held, skips a track when pressed twice, and navigates back when pressed three times. When not on a call, a single press toggles HearThrough mode (which uses the ambient mics), or mutes the mic when on a call. The right button plays or pauses music with a single tap, or manages phone calls. A long press raises the volume, and pressing it twice summons your phone’s voice assistant (with support for Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant).

All of these controls are easy to operate, but remembering which ear to press and how many times for any given command can be a bit difficult to remember at first. The control layout becomes easier over time, though it’s possible to commit a misfire here or there. For instance, pressing and holding the right button to raise the volume can accidentally trigger your voice assistant if you unintentionally tap it twice while trying to hold it in.

Jabra Elite 75t inline

The rounded, flip-top charging case for the Elite 75t is compact enough to fit in most pockets. On its rear panel, there’s a USB-C port for the included charging cable, and there’s also a status LED that lets you know when the case is charging or the firmware is updating.

Jabra estimates the Elite 75t’s battery life to be roughly 7.5 hours per charge, with 28 extra hours stored in the charging case. These are very solid numbers for a true wireless pair, but your results will vary with your volume levels, and HearThrough mode or EQ adjustments can play a role.

The Elite 75t’s IP55 rating may sound impressive, but keep in mind that only the last digit refers to liquid protection. In other words, the earphones are less water resistant than those with an IPX7 rating. That said, the first 5 means they can withstand limited dust exposure, and the second 5 means they’re protected against low-pressure splashes from all directions. Thus, wearing them in the rain or getting them very sweaty shouldn’t be an issue—be careful rinsing them under a high pressure faucet, though. And remember, the charging case isn’t water resistant; the rating applies only to the earpieces.

The Jabra Sound+ app for Android and iOS devices has a 5-band, customizable EQ, as well as quick user presets. There’s also access to HearThrough mode, which uses the four MEMS mics to allow you to hear your surroundings without removing the earpieces. In the app, you can switch this feature on or off, adjust its levels with a fader, and set whether you want to mute audio playback or not when it is activated. You can also choose whether you want to have auto-pause/auto-play as a feature when one earpiece is removed. (If an earpiece is out for more than 60 seconds, auto-play doesn’t kick in.)

There’s even a call EQ, where you can choose a more treble-focused or bass-focused sound for your incoming audio. You can choose to “prioritize” the Elite 75t for calls, meaning all other Bluetooth devices will be temporarily disconnected when you take or make a call, and will automatically reconnect when the call is finished. In the app, you can also customize one-touch access to Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

The earphones use Bluetooth 5.0, allowing a more secure connection (in terms of dropouts and interference in crowded areas), and support AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, but not AptX.

Performance

Internally, 6mm drivers deliver a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz. On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones deliver what can only be called intense thump. The bass depth here is quite enhanced—boosted to the point that on a track like this, it can upset the balance a bit, though the high-mids and highs are also quite sculpted and crisp. Normally, this level of bonkers bass would be a negative, but you can use the app to dial things back to a relatively natural-sounding place.

Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the Elite 75t’s general sound signature. With no EQ adjustment to help out, as you might guess, the drums sound like thunder rattling the earth. But with the lowest frequencies backed off a bit in the app’s EQ, the track sounds fantastic—bright, crisp, clear, and with a lovely bass depth that sounds natural. The point is—the drivers here can deliver insane subwoofer force, or they can be mellowed to a warm, rich bass presence that doesn’t upset the mix’s balance.

Jabra Elite 75t

On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives perhaps slightly less high-mid presence than we typically hear, so that we notice the loop’s thump more than its punchy attack, but the highs are dialed up—the vinyl crackle and hiss usually relegated to background status steps forward in the mix here. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat sound like they are coming through a club PA system—this is some of the most powerful bass depth you’ll hear in the true wireless realm. Dialing it back is a must for me, but especially on tracks like this, you can see the appeal. The vocals here are delivered cleanly with no added sibilance, though without dialing the bass back, they seem at times like they’re doing battle with the low frequencies for the spotlight.

Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, sound unnatural in the default setting—whoa, that’s a lot of bass depth there. Again, dialing it back in the app takes things to a lovely place—there’s still plenty of low-end in the mix when you do this, but the higher-register brass, strings, and vocals are able to play their starring roles without fighting against the lower-register instruments.

The mic array offers excellent intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 8, we could hear every word recorded cleanly and clearly. There was very little Bluetooth distortion, and the mics put out a strong signal that even picks up a little bit of bass depth. The call experience is far better than your typical true wireless in-ears.

Conclusions

Jabra’s Elite 75t earphones have excellent battery life, a secure fit, a useful HearThrough mode, some of the best mic clarity we’ve heard on a true wireless pair, and an easy-to-use EQ that allows you to sculpt the rest of the sound signature to your heart’s content. Those looking for the in-skull subwoofer experience will likely not need to adjust the EQ, but you can even boost things in the bass department if you wish.

For a hefty $250, we’re fans of the recently released Apple AirPods Pro, which deliver a similarly well-rounded experience to the Elite 75t and are our high-end Editors’ Choice for iPhone users. Under $200, both the $170 JBL UA True Wireless Flash and the $180 JayBird Vista deliver better ratings in the water-resistance department, and they deliver solid listening experiences, as well. But for $180, the Elite 75t offer a complete package that will make just about everyone happy, no matter what type of sound signature you prefer, earning our Editors’ Choice.

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