The Bottom Line
The truly wireless earbud market is here to stay, and now more than ever we are seeing great advancements in what companies can offer. Jabra is no exception to this trend with the release of their Elite Sport earbuds. Designed to allow for greater freedom in the gym and while on the trails, the Elite Sports offer exceptional sound quality, comfortable fit, in-ear heart rate monitoring, and all-day power. Pair that with the popular Jabra Sport App, available on Android and iOS, and Jabra is right in the mix with other top brands.
Following suit with many of its competitors, the Elite Sport are more durable than past earbuds. With a waterproof rating of IP67, the Elite Sport are sweatproof and waterproof up to 1 meter. Following registration, Jabra warranties the Elite Sport from any damage due to sweat for three years. At an MSRP of $249.99, they are on the expensive side when compared to similar wireless earbuds. However, they can be found on Amazon and Best Buy for a bit less and the Elite Sport do include some truly unique features.
For example, the earbuds can work independently from one another, each having a microphone and heart rate sensor. This allows the user to wear one or both earbuds without losing too much functionality. It is important to note that you may give up some functions - such as increasing/decreasing volume - when choosing to wear only one earbud since each is equipped with assigned buttons that control specific functions.
Jabra claims the Elite Sport is capable of all-day power. Each charge of the earbuds allows for 4.5 hours of use. The accompanying portable charging case allows you to fully charge the earbuds two more times - for a total of 13.5 hours of play time.
Simple packaging allows for the earbuds and charging case to be on full display. The earbuds are packaged with one set of EarWings already on. Upon removing the top layer of packaging, the other two sizes of EarWings, three sizes of silicone EarGels, and the three sizes of FoamTips are laying in wait. A micro-USB cable is also included as well as a quick start guide.
As with other truly wireless earbuds, finding the perfect fit is of utmost concern. There is nothing worse than having to constantly worry about losing one of your earbuds. Also, finding the right fit doesn't just ensure great sound quality, it also ensures the built-in heart rate monitors fit snuggly against the skin allowing for more accurate readings. Hence the reason Jabra offers three sizes (small, medium, and large) of EarWings, EarGels, and FoamTips. If you've had any experience with trying to find the right fit, you know it can be a somewhat time-consuming - and sometimes painful - task. However, once you've found your perfect fit, your mind can rest easy, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. Switching between tips and EarWings is a simple process.
The tips do take a little more force to get off than what I was used to, but that ensures they won't come free from the earbuds in your ear. I did notice some soreness after my first use - about 30 minutes of wear time - but my ears have seemingly become accustomed to the earbuds, and I can now wear them upwards of 2 hours without any issues. However, since the earbuds tend to fit so snuggly, pressing the buttons to control the earbuds functions can still be somewhat painful.
As with most earbuds, finding the right fit is also important in terms of sound quality. This is true of the Elite Sport as well. With a snug fit, the sound quality is on par with similar wireless earbuds. The earbuds tend to be slightly heavy on the bass - but since these are marketed as a sport earbud, the bass can help amp up any workout.
Additionally, the Elite Sport is equipped with Jabra's hear through technology. This allows you to filter in sounds from your surroundings with a simple touch of a button, thus allowing you to be more in tune with your environment. Although the surrounding sounds come through slightly muffled, it does allow you to hear subtleties in your environment such as approaching cars.
Since both earbuds are equipped with microphones, the sound quality of hands-free quality is superior to similar earbuds. The microphones can filter out surrounding sounds while allowing your voice to come through crisp and clear. This is true even when only wearing one earbud.
When it comes to performance, the Elite Sport met and exceeded my expectations, especially regarding battery life and functionality. The earbuds can keep up with my workout schedule with very little effort from me. With the portable charging case - which also turns off the earbuds once they are placed inside - I never had to wonder if they'd be ready to go for my next workout. Once the earbuds are placed inside, and the cover closed, a light on the side of the case will indicate the cases charge (green for fully charged, orange to indicate partial charge, and red to indicate the case needs to be charged).
Two additional lights on the front of the case will also offer the same indications for each earbud. It would be nice to get an actual battery percentage - weather on the app or as a voice read out (the app does offer a "time remaining" indicator)- but that's a minor detail. The case is charged via the included micro-USB and is incredibly durable, ensuring your earbuds are safe and sound when not in use.
I initially paired the earbuds with my Apple Watch versus with my iPhone since I don't typically workout with my phone close by. I did notice a few issues with being able to use the Elite Sport to their full potential, additionally, some of the function buttons didn't seem to work when paired with my watch. However, after pairing with my phone, all functions were available.
Jabra's Sport Life app continues to offer some great fitness features to anyone using the sport line of headphones. For a first-time user like me, the app was slightly intimidating at first; however, after a few uses, it is invaluable. The app tracks your workout as well as evaluates your fitness level using the in-ear heart rate monitors. Additionally, the app allows me to customize my workout goals and will give audio coaching along the way.
There are several different types of workout to choose from as well as pre-programmed cross training.
When choosing a cross-training workout, several Jabra circuits are pre-programmed into the app. Additionally, a description of each move is available and linked to a short video.
One of the best features of the Jabra Sport Life app is the fitness tests. The heart rate monitor on the earbuds - in conjunction with the app - allows you to evaluate your fitness levels.
Battery life with portable charging case
Heart rate monitor and accompanying Sport Life app
Control buttons can be painful to press
The Jabra Elite Sport is a great option for any fitness junkie looking for a durable, high quality, great sounding, truly wireless earbud.
The Bottom Line: Great quality, truly wireless earbuds with all of the features that any fitness enthusiast would appreciate.
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