Jabra Elite 7 Pro REVIEW – Super comfy ear gear

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Summary

Jabra Elite 7 Pro REVIEW

$329.99

PAT PILCHER discovers that Jabra’s new earbuds not only fit like a glove but sound great and work brilliantly for communication.

Jabra might not be a brand that springs to mind when you’re thinking of consumer audio, but they’ve long been a fixture of the office audio/video scene, and now, thanks to their Elite 7 Pro buds, they’re a brand you really should watch out for when it comes to getting gear for your ears.

The Elite 7’s have a curved and almost organic design which means that they fit snugly into your ears and handily provide solid acoustic noise isolation. Adding to their comfortable fit, Jabra added frequency-dependent pressure vents and new EarGel ear-tips. The upshot is that while they offer a tight fit and don’t feel like they’re going to fall out, I didn’t feel like I had an anvil stuck in each ear. They’re available in gold or black, and their charging case is petite, making it easily pocketable.

 

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Driving the Elite 7 pros is done using physical buttons. The good news is that I didn’t have to apply any real pressure to the controls, which handily meant I wasn’t driving them deeper into my ears when tapping them to answer calls or skip/pause music tracks.

Active noise cancellation is baked in, and the good news is that you can tweak its level or switch to hear-through mode, which uses the Elite 7’s built-in mics to improve your situational awareness. The not-so-good news is that when I fired it up, the Elite 7’s ANC still had some audio leakage, and this doesn’t change with ANC on or off, which indicates that much of their ANC chops come down to their fit and physical acoustic sound isolation. Their hear-through performance amplifies a lot of the ambient audio in your proximity, and while this didn’t feel natural, it was dead handy for crossing busy streets with the buds stuffed into my noggin.

A standout feature of the Elite 7’s is the Sound+ app (iOS/Android) which gives you a seriously huge amount of customisation over the Elite 7 Pros. Active noise cancellation levels can be tweaked, and there’s an equaliser plus a generous selection of EQ presets. Another handy feature is the inclusion of a Soundscape mode, which can mask nearby noises by playing a variety of sounds, including waterfalls, ocean, storm noises and so on. If you’re in a particularly noisy environment, the Soundscape mode comes into its own.

However, the app’s standout feature is its ability to tweak the Elite 7’s equalisation to suit your hearing. No two people hear alike; most people accumulate gaps in their hearing over time, and hearing varies by gender. Add in environmental and genetic factors, and how we perceive sound is unique to each person. Jabra uses this to their advantage with the Elite 7 Pros by allowing users to tailor their audio to their hearing. Once the Sound+ app is installed and the Elite 7 Pros are paired, users take a quick test that profiles their hearing, tweaking audio output to suit.

The Elite 7 Pros are tough for ear gear. They have an IP57 rating, which means they’re more than up to a trip to the gym if you fancy getting them all sweaty. They also support Bluetooth 5.2 and multipoint connections, so you can pair them with two devices and switch between them on the go. Codecs support includes AAC and aptX, so hi-res sound is a go too.

I wrung just under a full day of use, which tallies up with Jabra’s stated eight hours. When charged using the charging case, they can get 30 hours of use, and even handier, the charging case supports USB-C and Qi wireless charging. Fast charging is also supported using USB, so five minutes of charging gives you an hour of use.

When it came to their audio, I found that once I’d run the audio customisation, everything seemed crisper, with more dynamism at the top end and plenty of legroom in the bass department. While their soundstage wasn’t as wide as some of the competition, the audio felt solid and was pleasing to my ears. Quiet classical pieces such as ‘Clair de lune’ from Suite Bergamasque (Debussy’s musical tribute to moonlight) sounded poised and soothing. The Fifth Element opera packed a super engaging wallop crammed with audio energy. Pitch Black’s Ape To Angel presented a pleasing wall of electronica and showed the Elite 7 Pros’ pedigree by lifting detail out of the album that I’d long forgotten. All told, the audio from the Elite 7 Pros impressed.

However, the Elite 7’s really shone in taking and making calls and their sheer reliability. Taking them for a wander around the RF-crowded environment that is Wellington’s CBD, which is usually a complete nightmare for Bluetooth connectivity, they were bomb-proof and never once dropped out. Jabra’s heritage in phone speaker and AV tech shone, too, as phone calls were crisp and super clear with the Elite 7 pros for me (and the person on the other end), regardless of noise levels around me.

Thanks to a super snug yet comfy fit, Jabra’s Elite 7 Pro earbuds are highly wearable, even with extended use. Add in a gym-friendly IP rating, solid battery life and decent audio/call quality, and there is plenty to like. Their weak active noise cancellation is the only thing holding the Elite 7 Pro’s back from a perfect 10/10.

https://www.jabra.co.nz/bluetooth-headsets/true-wireless

 

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