Jabra’s Elite 65t true wireless earbuds were the default recommended alternative to AirPods for a long time. They were one of the first pairs to nail the basics of solid connectivity, satisfactory battery life, and good-enough sound quality. But other companies like Sony, Beats, and Samsung have managed to catch up in recent months. So it makes sense that at IFA 2019, Jabra is ready to unveil what’s next. The Elite 75t earbuds aren’t a significant change of pace from their predecessor, but they combine numerous improvements to make for a nicely upgraded product overall.
Battery life has increased by 50 percent to 7.5 hours on a single charge, they now charge with USB-C, and they’re also 20 percent smaller, which Jabra claims means they’ll be more comfortable in a wider range of ears. They look pretty similar to the 65ts, even down to the charging case, but the nub sticking out from each earbud is less noticeable now.
I haven’t had a chance to hear how the new earbuds sound. However, I’ve been able to get an idea of their fit based on a non-working sample, and I found that they fit snugly in my ears and weren’t too bulky. That said, I’m not someone who’s had any trouble with Jabra’s earbuds in the past, so your mileage may vary.
The new maximum of 7.5 hours of battery life compares well with our other top picks for the best true wireless earbuds. It doesn’t quite match the nine hours you can get from our top pick, the Beats Powerbeats Pro, but it’s better than the five hours you’ll get from the AirPods or six hours from the Sony WF-1000XM3.
As Jabra catches up to what we’ve come to expect from true wireless earbuds in 2019, however, other companies are forging ahead with new ideas and features. Sony, for example, is offering impressive noise cancellation, while Apple and Samsung include wireless charging in their latest pairs. Wireless charging is likely to become even more helpful in the future, if the rumors about Apple adding it as a feature in the iPhone 11 are true.
We wouldn’t say the lack of either of these features in the Elite 75ts are deal-breakers, but it’s still reassuring to hear that Jabra is planning to release a version of these earbuds in early 2020 that will come with a wireless charging case. However, the company was unable to confirm whether the launch 75ts will be compatible with the new case when it releases.
The biggest question now is whether the earphones can maintain the same audio and connection quality in a smaller package. Jabra says the drivers in the Elite 75ts are unchanged from the previous model, but it expects them to have a slight edge in audio quality performance because of how they should fit better in your ears. Still, don’t expect much of a difference: if you didn’t like the 65ts, that’s likely to remain true with the new model.
The Bluetooth antennas have had to be rearranged to fit inside the smaller housing. Jabra says this shouldn’t affect the generally solid connectivity its earbuds have exhibited in the past, but we won’t know for sure until we try a working sample.
Otherwise, the Elite 75ts aren’t far off from Jabra’s last set of true wireless earbuds, and that’s not a bad thing. There’s still a single button control on each ear to control volume, playback, and access to voice assistants. You can still customize EQ via the Jabra Sound+ app, and they still include two microphones per earbud for calls. Along with the change of port and the boost in battery power, the case is now slightly magnetic to help the earbuds stay put while they’re charging. These small additions count; the 65ts definitely could fall to the ground from time to time if you opened the case forcefully. The water resistance is also unchanged from the Elite 65t, with an IP55 rating.
The Jabra Elite 75t earbuds will be available starting in mid-October for $199 in the US and £189.99 in the UK.
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