Jabra already makes some very good true wireless earphones, including the Elite 75t, a PCMag Editors’ Choice. For $20 more, the $199.99 Elite Active 75t kick things up a notch in the durability and wearability departments, making them an even stronger buy for gym goers, or anyone else looking for waterproof earphones with a super-secure fit. Everything else remains the same, from a powerful, bass-heavy sound signature to adjustable EQ via one of the best companion apps we’ve tested. All of this makes the Elite Active 75t worth the extra $20, and another Editors’ Choice for true wireless earphones.
Available in black, black and copper, or blue models, the Elite Active 75t in-ears are among the most secure-fitting pairs we’ve tested, despite lacking in extra fit accessories like earfins. They ship with three pairs of silicone eartips in small, medium, and large sizes.
Both earpieces have push button controls with varying functions. The left ear’s button lowers the volume when pressed and held, skips a track when pressed twice, or navigates backward when pressed three times. A single press toggles HearThrough mode (which uses ambient mics to let you hear your surroundings), or mutes the mic when on a call. The right ear’s button controls playback or manages phone calls with a single tap. A long press raises the volume, and a double tap summons your phone’s voice assistant.
Let’s talk improvements: First, the earpieces have more grip and stay in place even better than the already secure Elite Active 75t. The extra-secure fit also provides some additional passive noise isolation—the earpieces really will block out surrounding noise to a notable degree.
The main improvement, however, is the IP (ingress protection) rating. The previous model has an IP55 rating. The Elite Active 75t carries an IP57 rating. Those numbers might seem close, but how they differ isn’t necessarily obvious if you’re not familiar with the IP rating system. The first digit for each rating here is a 5—that’s the number for protection against solids like dust and dirt. So they’re identical on that front. The second number is where the improvement comes in. A 5 rating for liquids is decent, but not excellent—it means the earpieces can handle things like light splashes and sweat. The 7 rating here means the earpieces can be submerged in up to a meter of water without issue, so you can rinse them off in the sink, wear them in a heavy downpour, or even dunk them in water to clean them.
The Jabra Sound+ companion app for Android and iOS has a five-band customizable EQ in addition to several user presets (as well as a separate EQ for phone calls). The app also allows for several customized settings, such as one-touch access to Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, or letting you choose whether you want to automatically pause or play when one earpiece is removed. The earphones are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0, and support AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, but not AptX.
Jabra estimates battery life to be roughly 7.5 hours, with a charging case that delivers up to 28 additional hours, though your results will vary with your volume levels. These battery stats are identical to the Elite 75t.
Internally, a 6mm driver in each ear delivers a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz. On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones produce absolutely thunderous bass depth, and somehow do so without completely upsetting the balance of the mix. Those who prefer a more balanced sound signature with less thump, however, will likely want to dial things back a bit in the app’s EQ.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the general sound signature. The drums are indeed thunderous here, so bass lovers and those motivated by booming lows while exercising will be thrilled. The high-frequency presence is also excellent, and Callahan’s vocals and the acoustic strums get some crisp treble edge. Dialing back the lows in the app can take things from booming to full, round, and natural.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives plenty of high-mid presence, allowing its attack to retain most of its punchiness. We also hear the vinyl hiss and crackle move forward in the mix somewhat—there’s a lot of high-frequency tweaking and sculpting happening here. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are intense, with some of the most subwoofer-like response you’ll hear through a pair of earphones. And yet the vocals are delivered cleanly and clearly, though it sounds as if they are doing battle with the lows if you boost the bass even slightly.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, get more low-frequency boosting than most listeners will want, so you’ll probably choose to dial back the lows somewhat in the app. The higher-register brass, strings, and vocals retain their prominent, crisp place in the spotlight, however.
The MEMS mic array offers excellent intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 8, we could understand each word we recorded cleanly and clearly, with little or no Bluetooth distortion. There was even a little bass presence to the recording. When on calls, the earphones do an excellent job of feeding your voice through the drivers, as well—you hear yourself clearly, and as a result tend to talk less loudly.
We think the Elite Active 75t earphones are worth the $20 premium over the standard model thanks to extra-secure, fully waterproof design. How do they fare against the $250 AirPods Pro? Well, do you want in-ear noise cancellation and seamless integration with your iOS device? If so, the AirPods Pro have the edge there. If it’s a better IP rating, a more secure in-ear fit, and an app with audio and operational customization, Jabra has the edge, and earns our Editors’ Choice. If both of these models are too expensive, we still recommend the slightly less pricey Elite 75t, or, for significantly less, the $80 Anker Soundcore Liberty Air.