Not often does a product gets free updates with features that would normally cost money if you were to buy with a new unit. But Jabra has done it. The Jabra Elite 75t was launched late last year (I’ve done a full review here), followed by the Elite Active 75t early this year during CES 2020. In August, Jabra offered a new variant with the case that supports wireless charging. Two months later, Jabra added yet another refresh: all Elite 75t series can now support active noise cancelling, free of charge.
While Jabra did recently announce a brand new model with dedicated ANC chip on the Jabra Elite 85t, the update on the existing Elite 75t series instantly increases the desirability of this relatively dated product. Suddenly, the value went up, and thousands of existing owners now have this feature that is on everyone’s checklist for a true wireless earbuds. This also makes the Elite 75t series one of the smallest true-wireless earbuds with ANC and HearThrough (ambient mode).
But ANC is not the only feature that makes Jabra Elite 75t series attractive. It already comes with a list of impressive features that not many earbuds have.
Highly Customisable Controls
There are so many areas that the user can customise from the Jabra Sound+ App. For instance, you can enable or disable auto-pause when one of the earbuds are removed from the ear. Or, when you enable HearThrough, you can choose to continue playing audio or mute audio. You can choose what sound modes to cycle on your earbuds, i.e. ANC, HearThrough, and Off. You can also set how long before the earbuds goes to sleep mode. During call, you can turn on sidetone so that you can hear your own voice, and the volume can be adjusted too. You can also set the call equalizer and adjust how you would like to hear the other person on a call. Jabra even has an option to disable all Bluetooth devices during a call to make sure your call is uninterrupted.
That’s not all. With the firmware upgrade, you can adjust the ANC level from a separate menu setting. You can also go through a hearing test to finetune your audio experience from the MySound feature. For button controls, Jabra lets you configure the media buttons, incoming calls, as well as outgoing calls. In each group, you can set single, double, triple presses, choosing from five predefined actions. Finally, you can also activate a feature to track where you last disconnected the earbuds.
And I’m not done yet. On the app main screen or the smartphone notification bar, you can quickly select “My Moments” which are presets which determines the sound mode (ANC or HearThrough) and the EQ. The app even comes with “Soundscape” feature which is basically simulated background noises to mask the noise around you. There are dozens of noise to choose from, like white noise, ventilation fan, waterfall, diving, ocean waves, rainy day, songbirds, even crowd. If you are someone who cannot concentrate in complete silence, this feature will let you enjoy your kind of peace. On this main app screen, you will also see the remaining battery life of the earbuds and the charging case, as well as edit the widgets position.
I don’t think any other earbuds in the market has that much capability. Jabra really takes the cake in this Sound+ App.
Design and Comfort
The Jabra Elite 75t series has one of the smallest carrying cases in the market, pretty impressive when you realise it can carry 24 hours of charge on top of the 5.5 hours with ANC (7.5 hours without ANC) on the earbuds. The earbuds are also relatively tiny and easy to fit. The buttons are mechanical yet they are easy to click without exerting too much force.
The ANC adjustment screen allows you to finetune the intensity and the left-right balance. Setting the highest ANC does not mean the most cancellation effect: I find that setting 2 notches below delivers the best for me, while the maximum setting turns out with heavy hiss sound, similar to what I experience with the Technics AZ70. The ambient frequency is easily removed, and the upper frequency is slightly dulled, the overall environment sounds quieter but does not put you in a quiet room effect like the more expensive headphones. Without ANC, the 75t earbuds already offer passive noise cancellation already.
What I Don’t Like
If you read carefully, basically everything I write up to this point are the things I like about the Jabra Elite 75t series. So here comes the few things I don’t like. First of all, the audio tuning is too aggressively heavy on the sub-bass and upper treble. Even the 5-band EQ on the Sound+ App cannot tweak to my satisfaction. So this is one thing I have to compromise, and I personally would go for quality (of sound) over quantity (of features).
Secondly, the earbuds operate using NFMI (near-field magnetic induction), with the right earbud as the master. This means the left earbud audio gets cut off if it’s too far away from the right earbud. With that, you cannot share your earbud with another person, nor use the left earbud for calls. This also means the right earbud drains batter a little faster.
With the latest ANC feature update, the Jabra Elite 75t series offers an amazing value with its massive amount of customisable features as well as a fun clear sound quality for the modern genre music lovers.
Should you buy the new Jabra Elite 85t or the current Elite 75t series? It depends on whether you need a more powerful ANC which the 85t series offer. Based on my assessment, the 75t with updated ANC delivers quite good ANC already, so if you are on a tighter budget, the 75t series still offer some great price value, especially with the latest ANC update and the massively feature-packed Sound+ app.