Olli already did last week tested the Jabra Elite 8 Active. These were made at the same time presented with the Jabra Elite 10 model. I was able to listen to the latter in more detail for you over several weeks. Most recently, Jabra had me there with its last flagship, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, disappointed at a high level. Are the Danes returning to form with this year’s top model?
There were two factors that bothered me about the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, one of which was from the previous model Elite 85t has even been made better. The Elite 85t still relied on large drivers with 12 mm, while the Elite 7 Pro slimmed down to a meager 6 mm. “It’s not the size that matters,” you could say, but when it comes to headphone or speaker drivers, there are limits to the sound. This meant that the Jabra Elite 7 Pro was inferior to the previous model in terms of sound.
The second factor that I had to criticize at the time: The Elite 7 Pro still didn’t support high-quality audio codecs like LDAC or aptX. This is particularly surprising since significantly cheaper TWS earbuds, also from Jabra itself, are prepared for aptX. The Jabra Elite 10 improves on one of my points of criticism – unfortunately not on the other.
Key technical data of the Jabra Elite 10
- TWS headphones (in-ear)
- Dolby Atmos with Dolby Head Tracking
- Jabra ComfortFit with a semi-open design to reduce pressure in the ear
- Six-microphone call technology
- 10 millimeter speakers
- Jabra Advanced ANC
- HearThrough with wind noise cancellation
- Up to six hours of battery life (up to 27 hours with charging case and ANC switched on)
- IP57 certification
- Bluetooth multipoint
- Hands-free voice assistant, Fast Pair, Microsoft Swift Pair, Spotify Tap playback
- Ready to support Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) & LC3, LC3plus codec with future firmware update
- Price: 249 euros
The technical data tells you: The Jabra Elite 10 only supports SBC and AAC when it comes to Bluetooth codecs. One has to say clearly: This is simply weak for a flagship model in 2023. On top of that, it is likely to leave some potential customers uncomprehending, because the cheaper Elite 4 For example, you can master aptX. But: Jabra is installing larger drivers again – at 10 mm.
Features and workmanship of the Jabra Elite 10
In addition to the earbuds themselves, the Jabra Elite 10 comes with a charging case, a USB-C cable, some paperwork and eartips in four different sizes. As usual, Jabra Sound+ acts as a companion app. We have already presented the application to you several times in the blog. In the app you can use an equalizer, carry out updates, regulate active noise cancellation and, in the case of the Elite 10, also activate or deactivate Dolby Atmos and dynamic head tracking.
For my test, I received the earbuds in the color beige, which I find very pleasant and unobtrusive. The same generally applies to the earbuds, whose shape has changed slightly when compared to the previous model, but still looks very typical of the brand. It is operated via haptic buttons, which has advantages and disadvantages. This means that accidental activation is less likely, but you always press the headphones lightly into your ear canal when you press the buttons.
As already mentioned, it is charged via USB-C cable or wirelessly via Qi. Thanks to IP57 certification, the Jabra Elite 10 should also survive the occasional rain shower. In any case, their workmanship leaves nothing to be desired, even if the plugs are of course made of plastic. The matte case also appears robust. A small LED on the front shows in color whether the earbuds are charged or what the charging status of the case is.
With the Elite 10, Jabra offers the so-called “Advanced ANC”, which is said to be superior to the hybrid ANC of the Elite 8 Active. At least I can say that the passive noise isolation is already very good. However, ANC noticeably influences the sound: it becomes significantly more bass-heavy with noise cancellation switched on. Since Jabra has left air channels and also speaks of a “semi-open design”, the ANC does not seem to be able to work quite perfectly. Bose and Sony are still superior here.
The transparency mode also works very well, unless you are riding a bike, then wind noise is amplified in your ears. However, competing models also have this problem. Furthermore, playback is automatically paused when you remove the buds from your ears. If you put it back in, it will continue automatically. In addition to Google Fast Pair, the Jabra Elite 10 also supports Multipoint, both of which ran smoothly in my test.
About the innovation: The Jabra Elite 10 support Dolby Atmos with dynamic head tracking. The latter works perfectly, but in my opinion it is a gimmick that I personally can easily do without. It’s more annoying when just listening to music and I don’t tend to watch entire films or series on my smartphone. In combination with streaming services like Amazon With Music Unlimited you can of course also listen to music with Dolby Atmos. However, I found it difficult to see any significant influence on the Jabra Elite 10.
In general, I see Dolby Atmos on headphones more as a marketing label from which Dolby itself earns well through its licenses. However, this does not produce a truly three-dimensional sound on the in-ears. The sound seems a bit more “airy” and differentiated, but also feels less voluminous. In contrast to the Apple AirPods, you can also switch on Dolby Atmos for any content – so the material does not have to be available natively as 3D audio. But that’s also the crux of the matter: Native Atmos content should not be subjected to further post-processing, otherwise the sound quality will deteriorate. That would be a double act, so to speak. So switch on Dolby Atmos in the Jabra Sound+ app if you want to avoid that.
Fortunately, the overall sound on the Jabra Elite 10 is significantly better than on the Elite 7 Pro and, in my ears, even surpasses the Elite 85t. The sound is much fuller, more dynamic and more differentiated. Even without playing with the equalizer, you can achieve a very balanced sound. It is important that you choose the right eartips for you – these can also be different sizes for the left and right ears. Jabra has canceled the hearing test, which in previous models could provide personalized sound that was tailored to your hearing. I don’t know the reasons for this and I think it’s a bit of a shame because I’ve seen or heard added value. Maybe the function wasn’t used enough.
In my opinion, the wearing comfort of the Jabra Elite 10 is the best of a Jabra model to date. I was amazed that I could even use the in-ears for sports without earwings. However, they fail in both aspects the Shokz OpenFit which, in my opinion, retain the crown because of the open design. The wearing comfort is simply unbeatable, as there is no pressure on the ear or in the ear canal. However, every ear is different. Thanks to the air channels, there is no feeling of pressure when wearing the Jabra Elite 10.
However, you may need longer to select the eartips than with previous models: the function for testing the fit, like the hearing test, has fallen victim to the scissors. When it comes to calls, the Elite 10 do well, but not as well as I would have expected. I have the feeling that the Jabra Elite 7 Pro remains the better choice, perhaps because of their bone conduction trick. At least that’s what the people I spoke to told me, especially when I went jogging outside.
As for the runtime, Jabra says around eight hours without and six hours without ANC. You should achieve these values when you listen to music at a volume of 50%. Overall, this is on the same level as previous models, although even when I used them, they often exceeded the specified values. In the case of the Jabra Elite 10, the information is pretty accurate. If you make a phone call, the delivery times will be shortened accordingly.
My conclusion about the Jabra Elite 10
The Jabra Elite 10 are extremely comfortable to wear and offer very good sound even without aptX and LDAC. Still, offering only AAC and SBC on a 2023 flagship headphone is an omission. However, it not only beats the previous models in terms of sound, but can generally hold its own in its price range. The noise cancellation, on the other hand, is rather average and not on par with Bose or Sony.
During phone calls, which is actually Jabra’s specialty, I see the previous model Elite 7 Pro in the front, which could perhaps have been due to its bone conduction implementation. Overall, I prefer the successor model because of the improved wearing comfort, which is also effective during sports, and the significantly better sound.
On the other hand, I see Dolby Atmos as more of a gimmick and hardly see any real added value. How you see it will depend largely on your listening habits. Dolby Atmos on headphones cannot be compared to the sound in a home theater. Overall, with the Elite 10, Jabra delivers a flagship headphone that feels excellent and sounds very good, but has room for improvement in the details.
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