Jabra Elite 4 Active Review: High Performance at Half Price

Right now, it looks as if all {hardware} and software program—together with, however not restricted to, our digital landscapes—has develop into the sufferer of rampant worth inflation. But wi-fi earbuds have completed the other. Gone are the times of annoying connectivity, closed ecosystems, paltry battery life, and excessive costs. For a little bit over $100, you can now get quality wireless earbuds that  work seamlessly with each Android and iOS and will wipe the ground with fashions priced at twice as a lot two years in the past.

Models like Jabra’s new Elite 4 Active are proof that there’s now not a purpose to spend massive cash on on a regular basis earbuds. Noise canceling, good mics, wonderful water resistance, an ergonomic match, and svelte colours make these a number of the greatest round, even at their modest $120 price ticket.

Jabra Reborn

If you’re not apprised of the comings and goings within the wi-fi earbud trade, you in all probability final bear in mind Jabra from its absolute domination within the Bluetooth headset period—the sort your uncle wore in 2006 like an obese Secret Service agent.

In the intervening years, Jabra has made a few of the best wireless headphones round, particularly earbuds. They compete immediately with the likes of Samsung and Apple’s most premium fashions and infrequently outperform them in sturdiness and sound.

But as Apple and others push more premium models with Pro or Max of their names, Jabra has begun to trickle a lot of its top-end know-how downward into extra reasonably priced earbuds. Instead of creating you pay extra to get noise canceling, audio transparency, and the fruits of its work laser scanning 1000’s of ears for an ergonomic match, Jabra is sharing these options, albeit with out the identical total efficiency, in merchandise just like the Elite 4 Active.

The new mannequin dominates at decrease costs, even it’s solely 90 % nearly as good because the higher-end choices from Jabra. It seems like we’re encountering a brand new, third era of the corporate’s headset design: First, it made a number of the greatest Bluetooth earpieces, then a number of the greatest earbuds. Now you will discover its wonderful tech at below-average costs.

Full Spec

Photograph: Jabra

I’m a giant fan of headphones I don’t must really feel treasured about, which is a part of what makes the Elite 4 Active so interesting. I’ve lugged them up ski hills, splashed round on wet Portland runs, and used them outdoors whereas trimming my berry bushes this winter. A two-year guarantee and an IP57 score imply they’re able to deal with nearly something the world throws at them, although they will not auto-pause while you take away an earbud to talk with a neighbor—you’ll wish to use the hear-through function as an alternative, which pipes in outdoors sound by way of a press of the earbud.

Not that you just’ll wish to ever take away them: The Elite 4 Active are so comfy and safe, they really feel like they’re customized molded. They’re additionally holding as much as Jabra’s sturdiness claims, at least up to now: The smooth blue plastic of the buds nonetheless appears model new.

Passive noise isolation—the quantity of noise they maintain out with out lively noise canceling engaged—is great, because of the safe match. With lively noise canceling engaged you’ll hear mainly nothing; I incessantly needed to activate ambient sound mode to listen to my spouse round the home.

There’s an EQ and different settings inside Jabra’s Android app, however I didn’t find yourself needing to mess with the usual tuning or settings a lot. The headphones have tight and punchy bass and a reasonably unobstructed midrange, permitting devices to take a seat away from one another in a superb combine. I’ve been experimenting with Apple Music in the course of the latest Spotify-Joe Rogan debacle, so a lot of the pattern tunes I listened to had been by way of Apple-made playlists and radio. Everything from jazz to indie pop sounded nice, although you will not get the glowing readability you may take pleasure in with earbuds that price greater than double the value.

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