If you are someone who has looked at earphones online or are looking for one right now, then you must have come across the brand Jabra. The legendary audio brand has recently launched the Jabra Elite 5. Jabra has had a history of releasing fan-favourite audio products, which are praised by many, but criticised by few. And the Digit Test Centre has a few people who daily drive Jabra’s TWS earbuds.
So naturally, when the Jabra Elite 5 showed up at the Digit Test Centre, there was an air of excitement around these TWS earbuds. However, before anyone could get their hands on the earbuds, the reviewer took them for a spin and put them through our rigorous testing process. And the results were, to say the least, interesting. Here’s what we found out when we tested the Jabra Elite 5 TWS earbuds.
Jabra Elite 5: Build and Design
As soon as you get your hands on the Jabra Elite 5, the design and feel of the product just scream out loud – “I was made by Jabra”. The company has been consistent with its case quality and design, including the material and the overall feel. So, it is really hard to ignore the fact that these earbuds are in fact made by Jabra.
Our review unit was in a shade of beige that is being marketed by Jabra as “Gold Beige”. The other colour option available is Titanium Black. So, coming back to our assessment of the case. The front of the case has a subtle Jabra branding, below which is the charging indicator LED. When you flip the case around, you see the USB-C type charging port. The rest of the case is plain and classy, with just a small embossed bit of branding present at the bottom.
Upon opening the top lid of the case, you are welcomed by the glittery button covers of the earbuds with the branding making a subtle reappearance again on the buds. While the magnets holding the top lid in place are strong, we would have loved it if there was a metallic hinge on the case. It adds reassurance and structural strength that we generally appreciate, especially in premium earbuds.
As for the buds themselves, they are lightweight, and thanks to the three pairs of EarGels that Jabra has included, the fit is great. The magnet holding the buds inside the cavity of the case is strong and makes sure that they do not go flying out if you ever drop the case. We did not obviously drop-test the buds or the case, but we did shake the case with the lid open quite a bit, and the buds refused to come out.
The lobes fit snuggly in the ears of most people at the Digit Test Centre. While our testing subset is not expansive in any sense. However, if you are interested in buying these earbuds, then you can very safely take the plunge, as the chances of you getting a bad fit are pretty slim.
Jabra Elite 5: Features
Now coming to the features of the Jabra Elite 5, the only thing we’d say is – Well done! Instead of beating around the bush and including gimmicky features, Jabra has gone for the quality-over-quantity approach. Whatever features are included on the earbuds, they are well implemented.
Starting off with voice assistant compatibility. It was one of the first times in a long period for the reviewer that he got a pair of earbuds, which he actually used for activating the voice assistant on his phone. The pickup of the voice command was almost instant and seamless, with the lag between the command being said and the action being triggered being minimal.
Next, we were presented with the Hybrid ANC that has been advertised by Jabra. We will talk about the performance of the ANC in the next section of the review. However, we would like to preface that with information about how this works. As per the description given by Jabra, the earphones equipped with Hybrid ANC take the reading of noise levels not only outside your ears but also in your ear canal. Depending on the levels, both inside and outside, your ANC levels and intensity would be determined. Spoiler alert: It worked well… Kinda.
Additionally, the case has wireless charging capabilities, with the Qi-certified wireless charging. As for the app, we were presented with the Jabra Sound+ app, which gives us a lot of customisation options. It has a five-band equaliser, which makes sure that you can tune the sound to your liking. The purists at Digit Test Centre are always looking for an EQ with as many bands as possible, but something is better than nothing. And not to forget, these earbuds are rated IP55, meaning you can take these out in light rains and on dusty Indian roads, and you will come back with a functioning pair of earbuds.
Jabra Elite 5: Performance
The part that we spent the most time testing is the performance of the Jabra Elite 5. With Jabra products, we generally expect a decent-sounding pair of earbuds, but despite that, we left no stone unturned to ensure that the buds were put through the entire test suite to ensure that we got the most unbiased results.
As you can see in the graphs that we have made for you, the bass frequencies have a subtle boost, while the mids come pretty close to our baseline reading of the pink noise. In the higher frequencies, we do see a spike in the 2000-4000kHz frequency range. But, when all of this is put together, you get a sound signature that is well-rounded.
We found it to be great for regular content consumption and music listening needs. Be it regular OTT content or heavy metal songs, you will never be left wondering where were the sounds that you were expecting from these earbuds. Again, the purists at the Test Centre were left looking for something more that we are sure Jabra is capable of pulling off. However, that is us. In your use, for the most part, you will find these to be perfect.
As you would be able to see in the comparative graphs linked below, these earbuds hold their ground with ease and grace.
[Click on the pair you want to see the comparison graph of]
In terms of the microphone performance, and ANC performance, these TWS earbuds held their own both in relatively quiet office environments as well as noisy outdoor environments. The ANC cancelled out most of the sound that we were exposed to when using the headphones during our commute to and fro from the office. And, taking calls while stuck in traffic or in office was also a pleasant experience overall, with minimal hiccups.
Jabra Elite 5: Battery
The battery on the Jabra Elite 5 is pretty solid as well. Jabra claims that these earbuds come with 7 hours of battery life in the earbuds. With four more additional rounds of charging from the case, the total battery life comes to about 28 hours.
In our tests, we found that the earbuds lasted for six and a half hours, with the case providing four more charges, bringing the total battery life up to 26 hours. This, complemented by the fast charging capability of these earbuds over USB-C, which as per claims, can provide for an extra hour of listening time in 10 minutes of charging time, makes these earbuds a pair that will get you through a day of work without much hassle. And, when the charge runs out, and you own a wireless charging pad, then you can just pop these earbuds on that, and charge them as they come with wireless charging capabilities baked into the case.
Jabra Elite 5: Verdict
With the Jabra Elite 5, Jabra has reaffirmed its position in the TWS earbuds market. The biggest competitors in this space right now are the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which are slightly more expensive, and the LG Tone Free FP9, along with the Sony WF-LS900N, which are priced similarly to the Elite 5.
While the offering from Samsung is a solid deal and was the winner of the Digit 2022 Zero1 Awards, the cost difference might be a deal breaker for you. This leaves the Sonys, and the LG earbuds, which we’d say are catered towards a specific audience. Read our reviews of all these earbuds to find out more.
The bottom line with the Jabra Elite 5, is that these are a solid offering by Jabra. Everything from the sound signature to the battery life and the build and design of these earbuds is something that some brands are not able to replicate, even with pricier products. So, if you are looking to take the plunge right at the time of launch, then you can go for them.