Jabra gained popularity in the consumer audio with their mono headsets in 2000s. They later expanded into stereo headphones which I reviewed with great potential. They continued to improve on their audio signature and met my listening standard with the Jabra Rox Wireless (which I bought). I also later bought the Jabra Sport Pulse, the first wireless earphones with heartrate monitor. Then the Elite series debuted and won many fans. On review here is the new Elite 75t, retailing in Singapore at S$288.
Compared to Jabra Elite 65t
For far, the Elite 75t appears similar to Elite 65t. Improvements over the Elite 65t, the charging case of the Elite 75t is more compact, lighter and can now stand upright, carrying almost double the battery life in total with the buds. The earbuds are now secured on the case with magnets so they do not drop out easily, unlike the Elite 65t. The volume controls operate on both earbuds: press-and-hold the right earbud to increase volume, and the left earbud to decrease. To change tracks, double-click the left earbud to go next track, and triple-click to go previous track. To bring up voice assistant like Google and Amazon Alexa, double-click the right earbud.
When most true wireless earbuds are implementing the Qualcomm QCC302x chipset to transmit audio signals to both earbuds simultaneously, the Elite 75t continues to implement Near-Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) to communicate to the secondary left earbud. With that, the earbuds audio automatically pauses when the earbuds are further than the distance between your ears, a simple but effective solution without the need to build proximity sensors. To pair, user has to power down the earbuds first (press-hold 1 second), then press-hold both earbuds for 3 seconds, and the LED should flash blue.
Another feature not commonly found on wireless headphones is multi-connect: the Elite 75t can remember up to 8 devices, and 2 of them can be connected at the same time. When you are listening audio from one device, you will be able to answer an incoming call from the second device. Very useful for people carrying multiple devices.
I have liked Jabra’s audio quality for the past few years, including the Elite Sport and Elite 65t. While the Elite 75t continues to excel in the higher frequencies, I feel that the lower frequencies are overdone. When listening without comparison, most consumers would easily be impressed with the overall sound. You get clear and transparent treble and deep bass boom that rumbles your ear drums. Even in my case, after listening for a while, they do sound exciting and hyped. But once you switch to another better-tuned earbuds, you would suddenly realise how much musical details you have missed out. The Elite 75t lacks musicality and warmth, relegating the mid-bass to midrange into the unknown regions as if it is ashamed of their existence in audiology.
If you do not have software EQ to compensate this aural blasphemy, your saviour is Jabra Sound+, the smartphone app that provides personalisation of features. So using the app, you can adjust the EQ to tame the sub-bass and elevate the midrange to give more soul to the music. The app only has 5-band adjustment, which is inadequate for finer tuning. Below is the EQ compensation I applied using PowerAmp. Noticed how I reduced 30Hz by over 10 dB, while boosting 125 – 1000 Hz to revive the lost details.
As far as I can see, there are no exclusive features added from the app to the Elite 75t, so just like earlier models, you get to select one of three “Moment” modes, where in each “Moment” mode you can customise the HearThrough mode, EQ, Sidetone (hear your own voice when on a call), sleep timer, and others. The Jabra HearThrough mode is similar to “Transparency” or “Ambient” mode on other earbuds, which lets the users hear what’s going on around them, and a slider from the app adjusts the amount of ambient sound to be heard. To enable HearThrough, single-click the left earbud.
Like all true-wireless earbuds, there is a short audio lag but negligible for video. Gaming would be a risk if you are counting on audio responses to win. Voice calls sound close and rounded.
Compared to BackBeat PRO 5100
I compared the Elite 75t and Plantronics BackBeat PRO 5100. Both have similar design style, price and targets the same segments. The Elite 75t has a slightly smaller case with more battery life, IP55, HearThrough, multi-connect and different personalisation features through the app. The BackBeat PRO 5100 is only IPX4 water-rated, able to customise the tap controls, and can use either earbuds independently for voice calls. When it comes to sound quality, the BackBeat PRO 5100 has a wider sound staging, less packed, while the Elite 75t has a tighter sound, excessive sub-bass, weak midrange. Fit-wise, the Plantronics is slightly more comfortable as the nozzles are more angled and eartips are more contoured. For calls, the BackBeat PRO 5100 sounded a little more distant but clearer, while Elite 75t sounded closer but more baritone, and only the right earbud.
Just like how the new-gen smartphone camera owners who love their image quality in over-saturated over-processed look, the Jabra Elite 75t will win fans who are into this “extreme-V” shaped sound signature. These earbuds sweeten the tracks to sound crystalised with heart-thumping deepness, while lacking in warmth and character. Consumers will love it, audiophiles will despise it, but the Elite 75t will satisfy.
If you are an existing Elite 65t owner, the only reason you should upgrade Elite 75t is if you like all the above-mentioned improvements, especially the new audio tuning, which if you don’t can be easily circumvented with software EQ. For me, I would still go for Elite 65t assuming this outdated model would be on sale. Retails in Singapore at S$288, Jabra Elite 75t carries a 2-year warranty with 1-to-1 exchange. Visit the official product site here.