Jabra has released its first true wireless in-ear headphones for under $220 with the addition of the Elite 3 priced at a more attainable $119 – a smart move considering the whopping growth in the market across the spectrum from entry to premium.
When unboxing the Elite 3 earbuds, the first thing you notice is the sustainability message to highlight that Jabra only uses sustainable materials and environmentally friendly inks in its packaging. It might not mean much to some, but there is an increasing number of consumers looking to brands that are doing their part for the planet and this shows that Jabra is taking notice of this trend.
The Elite 3 is simple to set up – just download the Jabra Sound+ app on your smartphone and follow the prompts to connect your buds. The app gives you the option to set up a voice assistant, Amazon Alexa or Spotify as your preferred way to listen to music which allows you to double tap the left earbud to activate your choice, which is beneficial as an avid Spotify user.
The charging case is compact and lightweight and has LEDs to indicate battery status – red for low, yellow for medium and green for high. You must use the USB charging cable included in the box as the Elite 3 do not have wireless charging capabilities.
The earbuds feature Jabra branding in a subtle way on the physical buttons of each bud and in the box, you’ll find small and large ear gels (in addition the medium size that comes on the earbuds) to ensure you find the most comfortable fit – recommended to be light and not too deep into the ear.
Often in-ear buds start giving your ears a bit of grief after a few hours – but this wasn’t the case with the Elite 3. They remained comfortable to wear even after half a day’s work and when wearing them on-the-go, they sit securely with no signs that they may come loose.
The Elite 3 has been engineered with IP55 water rating for rainproof protection and you’ll get up to seven hours of battery or up to 28 hours total with the charging case, but this will depend on volume levels and phone calls. With just a quick 10-minute charge, the buds provide one hour of playback.
The earbuds are available in four colours including lilac, dark grey, beige, and navy – a nice alternative to the usual black or white options from most brands within this price range.
So, what about the sound quality? Disclaimer: I’m no audio aficionado but comparing the Elite 3 to other earbuds I’ve tried in the sub $150 category, they deliver great sound regardless of music genre with good balance, although they do lack a little in deep and punchy bass.
The supporting Jabra Sound+ app is intuitive and simple to use with the quick start guide particularly helpful in learning what each bud controls because the functionality differs between left and right.
The left earbud is used to activate or disable HearThrough to let in ambient noise, and to turn the volume down. The right earbud is used to play or pause music, skip to the next track, restart a track and to turn the volume up.
The button on either bud can be pressed to answer or reject an incoming call, mute or unmute the microphone and end a call. Both earbuds can be used individually for mono music playback or calls by placing the unused earbud into the charging case.
In the app, you can also control music presets including neutral, speech, bass boost, treble boost, smooth and energise, but no adjustable EQ. It also shows you the battery life of the earbuds – another handy inclusion.
You can also activate ‘Find My Jabra’ in case you lose the earbuds and register the product to receive two years extra warranty against damage from water and dust. Tick and tick!
Verdict: Jabra has done a commendable job with the Elite 3 earbuds, offering good audio quality, decent battery life, as well as a secure and comfortable fit. One minor letdown is the IP55 water rating but with a $119 price tag, you won’t be disappointed.