One minute review
Jabra launched its latest Active headphones alongside the Elite 7 Pro, with which it shares almost all functionality.
In this review we will focus on the main differences that separate the Elite 7 Active from its ‘pro’ counterpart, namely a rubberized coating on the heads, a lack of bone conduction sensors, a new range of color options. and a slightly lower price.
When it comes to common specs, the Elite 7 Active has a solid 30 hours of battery life (8 in the buds and another 22 in the case) with ANC engaged, and the case itself can be charged wirelessly via devices. Qi compatible.
Their audio quality and ANC are also identical, which means you’ll get decent but not great performance on both fronts. The sound profile is heavily hollowed out and lacks a sense of space, but the prominence of bass and treble can be rectified using the app’s EQ.
The companion app offers a wealth of customization possibilities on audio, voice assistant and button controls and is intuitive to use. These buttons are the same soft click controls found in the Pro, offering the happy medium between capacitive touch buttons and hard click buttons.
While the Active shares the compact and comfortable design of the Pro variant, the sculpted design of the inner surface of the earcup features a rubberized coating that enhances its in-ear purchase during workouts or other sweaty tasks.
The call quality of the Elite 7 Pro is enhanced by the inclusion of bone conduction technology, but this is missing from the Active. While the call quality in the latter is still decent, it’s not as good and doesn’t offer the wind cancellation feature that the Pro does.
The upside for both Jabra Elite 7 units is that they are great value headphones with a host of high-end features, but you should go for the Active if you’re going to sweat or opt for the Pro if you prefer superior call quality to increased in-ear security.
Jabra Elite 7 Active price and release date
As with the Elite 7 Pro, Jabra released its sibling Active in October 2021, with the two products taking the reins of the Jabra Elite 85t. The Jabra Elite 7 Active costs $ 179 / Â£ 169 / AU $ 279 and is available in black, navy blue, or a rather striking mint color option. The Elite 7 Pro, by comparison, costs $ 199 / Â£ 199 / AU $ 299.
In the US, and particularly the UK, the price difference between the Active and the Pro is not to be sniffed at, making it a more attractive option if you’re not desperate for improvement. call quality, but for Australians the cost spread is a bit tighter, making the decision a bit trickier.
Design and controls
- IP57 dust / water resistance
- Lightweight, comfortable and safe
- Excellent controls and customization
As we mentioned, the main advantage of the Elite 7 Active over its Pro counterpart (aside from its lower price) is the rubberized coating that sits inside each ear cup.
We didn’t notice much of a difference between the two models when worn casually – the Active feels “tacky” to the touch – but there’s no doubt they’re more secure, too. during vigorous head movements, especially if there is sweat involved.
Jabra claims that this coating (which he dubbed ShakeGrip) removes the need for wings found on many competing sports headphones, and while we can see that’s a possibility, a lot will depend on how which these buds seal in your ear.
Fortunately, this fit was perfect for us, thanks in large part to the compact size of the heads, light weight, and sculpted interior surface. Jabra says it used data from 62,000 ear scans to design the curved shape of the inside of the headphones, and we think they fit perfectly.
When it comes to durability, the Elite 7 Active shares the Pro’s IP57 waterproofing and feels just as well built, leaving us little doubt about their ruggedness. The charging case is also identical, with its squat pill-shaped shape, although like in the Pro’s situation, it doesn’t share the tightness of the heads.
While the navy blue and black color options are exactly as understated and indescribable as you’d expect, we’re struck by the light blue-green hue of the mint option. Where the Elite 7 Pro featured a distinct trim in different colors on the headphones themselves, the Active is a contiguous tone.
Buttons only require light pressure to operate, avoiding additional pressure in the ear canal, and are not as likely to be accidentally pressed as capacitive touch controls.
Jabra’s MySound + companion app offers an excellent degree of control over these buttons and voice assistant functionality, as well as cool features such as the ability to mute media whenever transparency mode is activated.
Audio and ANC
- Bass and treble too strong
- Adjusting the equalizer helps
- ANC is good but not great
We went into more detail on the audio and noise cancellation front in our full Jabra Elite 7 Pro review because the performance is the same, but in summary the ANC is average and you will have to make a few tweaks to get it. the audio up to the task.
Right out of the box, the bass and treble are boosted and the mids lose clarity, but this can mainly be remedied by using the app’s 5-band EQ and custom MySound hearing profile.
The noise cancellation is on par with most modern competitors, but not heavyweights like Sony and Bose. The solid bud seal provides excellent passive isolation, and the ANC handles static noise quite well, but doesn’t adapt as effectively to other sporadic sounds in your surroundings.
Voice call quality in the Elite 7 Active is on the decline compared to the Pro due to Jabra’s lack of a bone conduction sensor, but it’s still decent enough for true wireless in-ear headphones.
Battery and connectivity
- 8 hours + 22 in case (ANC enabled)
- Qi wireless charging case
- Bluetooth 5.2
Battery life is one of the strengths of the 7 Series – with ANC turned on, you’ll get 8 hours on the earbuds themselves and an additional 22 hours on reserve for the case. In comparison, Sony’s WF-1000XM4 gets 8 hours of buds with ANC engaged and another 16 in the body.
The charging case can be recharged wirelessly via a Qi-enabled device, and fast charging is available via USB-C that can charge an hour of playtime in just five minutes when you’re in a rush.
The Elite 7 Active sports the latest Bluetooth 5.2 standard, though Buds doesn’t support high-res codecs like aptX. At the time of writing, there is no Bluetooth Multipoint functionality, but Jabra promises it will arrive in a firmware update in January 2022.