Jabra Elite Active 75t are still the best wireless headphones – and it’s been two years since their release

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Two years in the true wireless audio space is five years. During this time, Apple/Beats released three new models: the AirPods 3, Fit Pro and Studio Buds. Bose and Sony have taken active noise cancellation (ANC) on wireless headphones to the next level with the QuietComfort Headphones and the WF-1000XM4. Brands like Anker and Sennheiser are on their third generation flagship models. You even have brands like Ultimate Ears who created the very first self-molding headphones via UE Fits.

As a reviewer, I’ve tested every one of them, and hundreds more. Several are fantastic additions to the category, but none left a lasting impression on me like the Jabra Elite Active 75t. I reviewed them in February 2022 for Tom’s Guidecalling them the best wireless headphones, and I stand by that statement to this day.

Jabra Elite Active 75t CES 2020 demo unit and Jabra Elite 75t charging case

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

But rather than finding out how awesome it is, I want to make my case for the supremacy of the Elite Active 75t and why they’re the best true wireless model, as well as one of the best wireless earbud deals available.

I’m such a fan of the product that I continue to use the CES 2020 review unit that Jabra sent me weeks before launch. And it is still fully operational.

Still setting the true wireless standard for form, fashion and function

The Jabra Elite Active 75t in Siena

(Image credit: future)

Creating wireless headphones that look, work and sound great is a hat trick that few headphone manufacturers can pull off. Jabra was the first. Apple fans might disagree, but even though the AirPods are a fantastic rival with nice comfort and all-around performance anchored by iOS integration, there’s no version that outclasses the Elite. Active 75t in the looks department.

Jabra nailed the true wireless aesthetic from the start, as evidenced by the original Elite 65t. Every entry after that has improved on perfection – the Elite Active 75t being the pinnacle of the series. This is where Jabra mastered wearable design and crafted headphones small enough to hide discreetly and sit nicely on the ear. Silicone EarGels provide excellent sweat absorption and optimal fit.

A variety of colorways – Copper Black, Dark Grey, Navy, Titanium Black, Sienna and Mint – also give these buds some style.

The Jabra Elite Active 75t equalizer with presets

(Image credit: future)

You want something this attractive to be well protected and Jabra hasn’t cut corners on the build. The Elite Active 75t are durable and waterproof (IP57) up to one meter of water. They remain my go-to for workouts and have yet to suffer any moisture damage or scratches. The compact charging case is also sleek and sturdy.

Performance is the most attractive attribute of the Elite Active 75t. Few rivals offer this level of in-depth functionality made up of intuitive features, proprietary technologies, smart controls and adaptive sound, which can be personalized in many ways. And those who offer it do not understand everything. I’m not saying the Elite Active 75t are flawless, but they do everything to a high standard.

The soundstage is crisp, detailed and energetic, making these headphones excellent for casual listening and exercise. The bass has plenty of punch, the mids are convincing, and the highs stand out clearly. Jabra’s built-in equalizer is the flagship feature of the Elite Active 75t, allowing you to create your own sound profile by manually adjusting frequencies or selecting from six well-designed presets.

Jabra's MySound feature is used on the Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

These buds also have their own sound technology called MySound which takes all the hard work out of audio customization. It’s basically a sound test to adjust the sound to your hearing, and it works well. Having so many options to adjust the sound is priceless.

I can’t overlook niche features like Soundscape, which has 12 unique settings that produce nature sounds to help you relax. It has been very helpful in relieving my anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s a reason everyone, from indie names like 1More to luxury audio staples like Bowers & Wilkins, has copied this feature.

Even the battery life holds up well for the two-year-old wireless headphones. Getting 7.5 hours per charge and 28 hours total from the charging case is nothing to scoff at. Solid call quality, passive noise cancellation, and wireless performance highlighted by multipoint technology (pairing two devices simultaneously) round out the package.

Scalability matters

Active noise cancellation on the Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: future)

If Apple taught us anything with the AirPods, it’s that wireless headphones are only as good as their ecosystem. Look at the AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro: two models released in 2019 that continue to receive performance improvements via iOS updates. Instead of rushing the suites out of the factory, Apple has optimized the hardware of their current models to get the most out of their software and extend the life of these products.

Others finally caught on and started implementing the same strategy, but Jabra was one of the first to act on it. A few months after the Elite Active 75t was released, Jabra announced what would become the key features of the Jabra Sound+ app: MyControls (customize controls) and the aforementioned MySound.

The Jabra Elite Active 75t charging case is charged wirelessly

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Soon after, Jabra did something no one could have predicted; it added ANC via a firmware update. How was this possible if the Elite Active 75t did not initially launch with ANC? According to Jabra, the chipset inside the Elite 75t and Elite Active 75t had the capabilities to run ANC, so engineers tweaked the algorithm to make it work. It was ingenious and a first in the category.

But the improvements didn’t stop there. Jabra has also brought wireless charging to the Elite Active 75t by relaunching the model with a Qi-compatible charging case. It’s not the most revolutionary achievement, but in hindsight it paved the way for Apple to do something similar with the AirPods Pro. Yes, Apple’s noise canceling headphones already supported wireless charging, but they’ve gotten a stealth re-release with MagSafe charging.

Jabra says there are no updates planned for the Elite Active 75t. If there are, they are likely to be insignificant changes to the app, such as a redesign or navigation changes. Either way, we think these buds could still be part of Jabra’s software update chain.

Even the latest Jabra models have not yet dethroned it

Jabra Elite 85t and Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

The Elite Active 75t aren’t recognized as the company’s flagship wireless headphones, but they should be. Jabra has released a handful of new wireless earbuds over the past year and a half. None have proven more valuable than the Elite Active 75t.

Most reviewers thought the company’s first-ever noise-canceling headphones, the Elite 85t, would take the reins. They are definitely Jabra’s best true wireless model for ANC. I even recognized them as a “superb tracker with great noise cancellation and sound”. Unfortunately, a buggy launch, average battery life and high price made it a less than charming option. Not to mention that Jabra announced the Elite 85t and the noise-canceling software update for the Elite Active 75t on the same day, which stole some of the thunder from the former.

The success of the Elite 85t must have factored into Jabra’s decision to revamp its entire range of wireless headphones. Otherwise, why change what is already exceptional?

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

Well, we ended up having not one, not two, but four new versions of the renowned Elite series: the Elite 3, the Elite 4 Active, Elite 7 Active, and Elite 7 Pro. As if naming conventions didn’t already make things confusing, all of these models were released within weeks of each other. Every entry is a solid performance, but none have regained the magic of the Elite Active 75t.

It also doesn’t help that most, if not all, of Jabra’s high-end features are accessible on the Elite Active 75t, while they’re spread across all of the latest Elite versions except of the Elite 7 Pro.

Can we get the Elite Active 85t now?

Jabra Elite 85t

(Image credit: Jabra)

As much as I want it, as much as the Jabra faithful want it, such a model can wait. The Elite 85t has a stronger spec sheet than the Elite Active 75t, but aside from having its own ANC chip, bigger drivers and more mics, neither are drastically different.

Let’s consider what upgrades would be introduced if a sporty Elite Active 85t came to fruition. I can tell right off the bat that they need a higher IPX rating (eg IPX4 to IP57). Second, there must be stronger audio codec support (at least aptX). Longer battery life is a must. Finally, the charging case needs a tougher exterior, something solid and smooth, like the soft-touch rubber material of the Elite Active 75t case.

Outlook – just buy the Jabra Elite Active 75t

The Elite Active 75t are rare these days. Do a search online and you’ll see that Jabra and most online retailers are sold out, have limited stock, or are selling some versions at nearly double the MSRP (limited edition colors like mint (opens in a new tab) and Sienna (opens in a new tab) go up to $325). This tells you a few things:

Jabra Elite Active 75t

(Image credit: future)
  • It remains a hot seller
  • Jabra is probably phasing out the model
  • Supply chain issues could be to blame for lack of restocking at all retailers

As of this writing, Jabra is selling the Gray and Navy versions for $114, and that’s with the wireless charging case. This package normally costs $179, so to get it that low, it’s a bargain too good to pass up.

The market is flooded with AirPods alternatives and sports headphones. You have your choice of litter. Yet none are as well-rounded as the Elite Active 75t, which scores high in all major verticals, from audio and battery life to design and special features. It’s all about value, and whether it’s for the full price at $179 or their current sale price, these buds can’t be beaten.

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