Jabra Elite 3 Review: One Big Compromise


It’s arduous to imagine that the first actual pair of true wi-fi earbuds have been launched as not too long ago as 2015. Since Apple popularised the shape issue with AirPods a yr later, a dizzying array of buds have introduced from virtually each and every tech emblem you’ll be able to call to mind, making opting for only one pair harder than ever.

Danish corporate Jabra has been prolific in recent times, freeing true wi-fi earbuds in a variety of various kinds. The least expensive lately to be had are the Elite 3 buds, which goal to ship the signature Jabra revel in at a fragment of the fee you’d typically be expecting to pay.

But are the options you fail to spot an excessive amount of of a compromise, or is Jabra directly to a winner right here? I spent a couple of weeks with the Elite 3 to determine.

Design and construct

  • Premium bud design, case rather reasonable
  • Very at ease and safe have compatibility
  • Frustrating controls 

There’s not anything modern in regards to the design of the Elite 3s, however I’m now not stunned to look Jabra play it secure at this value level. The buds themselves go for a rounded frame that sits fully throughout the ear, without a AirPods-style stem, one thing we’ve noticed on numerous wi-fi earbuds ahead of. A plastic coating doesn’t save you them from feeling like a top class product, and at simply 4.6g in step with bud they’re impressively light-weight.

Jabra Elite 3 review

Before placing the buds in my ears, I used to be involved I may now not even realize if one fell out whilst at the transfer. Fortunately, I needn’t have nervous – the Elite 3s have a satisfyingly safe have compatibility. There are 3 sizes of silicone ear pointers (or EarGels, as Jabra calls them) integrated within the field, however I discovered the medium measurement already carried out labored absolute best for me.

These cushy pointers additionally lend a hand mitigate any discomfort throughout lengthy listening periods. I’d nonetheless favor a couple of over-ear cans for a long-haul flight, however dressed in them on a two-hour teach adventure wasn’t a subject matter.

It’s additionally nice to look an IP55 ranking right here. This method the Elite 3 buds are safe towards low drive water jets and a small quantity of mud, however submersion in water will nonetheless be problematic. With that during thoughts, I’d counsel one thing from Jabra’s Elite Active vary if you wish to use earbuds whilst understanding.

The Jabra Elite 3 buds are to be had in 4 colors, with Navy, Lilac, and Light Beige joined by means of the Dark Grey fashion I examined. This feels nearer to black in particular person, even supposing the highest of each buds have a lighter gray end.

That’s the place you’ll discover a bodily button for controlling audio with out pulling out your phone, however each and every press simply places extra drive for your ear canal. I actually want Jabra had made this a touch-sensitive panel as an alternative, particularly when the controls themselves are a long way from intuitive.

Jabra Elite 3 review

A unmarried press of the left earbud toggles HearThrough, Jabra’s mode for amplifying the sound round you. A double-press right here brings up your selected digital assistant, with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are all supported. But it’s an uncomfortable press and dangle to show down the quantity – ahead of lengthy, I’d reverted to my phone to try this.

The identical procedure at the proper earbud will increase quantity, whilst a unmarried press here’s for play/pause. However, a double-press skips to the following monitor, whilst a triple-press restarts the monitor you’re lately paying attention to. To make issues much more complicated, you’ll be able to return to the former track with a double triple-press, if you already know what I imply.

It’s virtually unattainable to be informed these kinds of purposes, however there’s some other set of controls fully for those who’re making or receiving calls. I gained’t undergo those intimately right here, however it’s so much to soak up. Combined, they devise a complicated set of controls that imply the general public will simply revert to their phone. Unlike different Jabra buds, those choices cannot be customised the use of the Sound+ significant other app.

A small LED at the most sensible of each and every bud is way more uncomplicated to know. This flashes inexperienced when got rid of from the case or crimson to suggest they’re charging. Magnets in each the buds and the case imply you shouldn’t have any factor with the latter.

The charging case itself has a horizontal pillbox form – suppose AirPods Pro somewhat than usual AirPods. It has the similar shiny end because the buds, however does a excellent activity of resisting fingerprint smudges.

Jabra Elite 3 review

On the entrance, you’ll in finding some other LED gentle, used to provide a coarse indicator of battery proportion. A USB-C charging port is at the again, whilst the lid provides a lovely click on each and every time you shut it. The case’s plastic construct method it feels somewhat reasonable, however at 33.4g I’m now not complaining. Even with each buds provide, that’s a complete package deal weighing most effective 42.6g.

Sound high quality and contours

  • Impressive sound high quality
  • Great for vocals
  • Ambient sound mode however no ANC

Of route, on the subject of audio apparatus, design typically performs 2nd mess around to sound high quality. The Jabra Elite 3s have some spectacular credentials right here: each and every bud has a 6mm motive force that’s in a position to outputting frequencies between 20 and 20,000KHz – that is the most typical vary that people can listen.

In order to successfully take a look at the buds, I listened to a choice of songs from Amazon Music’s ‘Best of Dolby Atmos’ playlist. However, as an alternative of enjoying them on this immersive spatial audio mode, I switched to Ultra HD for the most productive conceivable high quality. This delivers lossless 24-bit sound at 48KHz – round the similar as you’d be expecting from a CD.

Jabra Elite 3 review

In ‘Good 4 U’, the combo of Olivia Rodrigo’s passionate vocals and an atmospheric backing monitor make for a really perfect listening revel in. It’s a identical tale on Dua Lipa’s ‘Levitating’, even supposing some main points are misplaced throughout the booming refrain.

The common adjustments in tempo make ‘Heat Waves’ by means of Glass Animals a problem for any earbuds, however the Elite 3s treated it neatly. But they’re arguably higher fitted to more effective soundscapes, as ‘Wish You Well’ by means of Sofia Valdes highlights.

It’s now not all about fashionable track, regardless that. The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ sounds nice following its 2019 remaster, whilst the intensity of sound captured on ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’ by means of Aretha Franklin is very good.

Marvin Gaye’s vintage ‘What’s Going On’ isn’t moderately as spectacular, sounding rather muddy and washed out in comparison to different wi-fi earbuds. The complicated preparations of tools on London Philharmonic Orchestra tracks additionally method they’re higher fitted to extra tough audio apparatus.

However, at this value level you actually can’t whinge an excessive amount of. In common, track from the buds is obvious and crisp, with an excellent talent to focus on backing tools you may have overlooked ahead of.

I normally discovered it to be missing in bass rather, however there’s a preset inside of Jabra’s Sound+ app which lets you spice up it. Here, you’ll additionally in finding choices for clean, energize, treble spice up, and speech, however that’s about the place the customisation ends. It method the sound can’t be fine-tuned on your liking, whilst there’s no way to cycle between presets with out diving into the app.

Jabra Elite 3 review

However, even the default ‘Neutral’ environment is superb for voices – podcasts and calls are an actual power. Combined with two microphones in each and every bud, it is no marvel Jabra particularly advertises the Elite 3’s name high quality.

As I alluded to within the design segment, Jabra has its personal ambient sound mode referred to as ‘HearThrough’. This does a excellent activity of amplifying the noise round you, easiest for those who’re in a hectic surroundings the place you want to listen to visitors or other folks speaking.

However, the only large function lacking here’s energetic noise cancellation. It’s now not a dealbreaker at this value level, however there have been a number of scenarios the place I needed I may just block out extra of the exterior noise. You additionally fail to spot automated pausing – taking one or each earbuds out gained’t forestall the audio from enjoying.

Sound leak definitely wasn’t an issue regardless that. The safe have compatibility of the Elite 3s signifies that even though any person is sitting subsequent to you, they most likely gained’t have the ability to listen what’s enjoying.

Battery lifestyles and charging

  • Up to seven hours from buds
  • Extra 3 fees from case – 28 hours general
  • USB-C charging now not the quickest

Battery lifestyles is crucially vital on any pair of wi-fi earbuds – not like different tech, they typically can’t be used whilst charging.

Jabra says the Elite 3 buds will supply as much as seven hours of track listening on a unmarried price. That was once kind of in step with my revel in, even supposing gazing movies and phone calls will burn up the battery considerably faster. ANC could also be typically a battery drain, so its absence right here will have to lend a hand.

The charging case provides some other 21 hours of track time, taking the full to twenty-eight hours. Unless you’re a heavy listener, that are meant to very easily remaining you a complete week. With gentle utilization, it’s worthwhile to doubtlessly eke out two weeks ahead of attaining for the charging cable.

This is integrated within the field, even supposing any USB-C cable will paintings tremendous. Waiting 3.5 hours for a complete price is rather disappointing, even supposing Jabra claims simply 10 mins plugged in gets you as much as one hour of use. Remember, that is the utmost time you’ll be able to in all probability get – the truth isn’t moderately as spectacular more often than not.


Price and worth for cash

The Jabra Elite 3s sit down on the extra inexpensive finish of the corporate’s wi-fi earbud line-up. They’re to be had at the Jabra web page for the RRP of £79.99/US$79.99, even supposing you’ll be able to lately get them on Amazon for simply £68/$56 – that is the least expensive they’ve ever been in america.

Even at complete value, Elite 3s are firmly in price range wi-fi earbud territory. Competition stays robust at this value level, with the Enacfire A9, Anker Soundcore A2 NC and Xiaomi’s Redmi Buds 3 Pro all compelling choices.

It’s price choosing a kind of for those who worth noise cancellation, however the Jabra Elite 3s arguably have a sleeker design. They definitely don’t constitute unhealthy worth for cash at this value level.


Jabra has performed it secure with the Elite 3, however it was once a sensible transfer. These price range buds ship spectacular sound for the fee, acting particularly neatly for contemporary track and podcasts. A complete of 4 mics method calls are forged, whilst battery lifestyles is respectable – particularly while you issue within the 3 complete fees introduced by means of the case.

Design hasn’t been sacrificed to succeed in this value level, even though the case feels somewhat reasonable. They’re additionally impressively at ease, with a safe have compatibility taking into account lengthy listening periods.

However, it’s now not all excellent information. Fiddly controls turn out extra irritating than practical, whilst there’s no auto-pausing when you’re taking an earbud out.

But essentially the most important omission is energetic noise cancellation, one thing you are going to in finding on many opponents. Is {that a} dealbreaker for you? If now not, the Jabra Elite 3s are without a doubt price taking into account.


Jabra Elite 3: Specs

  • Driver: 6mm
  • Frequency vary: 20-20,000Hz (track), 100-8,000Hz (speech)
  • Wireless: Bluetooth 5.2
  • Features: Touch buttons, HearThrough transparency Mode
  • Voice keep an eye on: Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant
  • Battery lifestyles: Up to 7 hours (track)
  • Charging case: Extra 21 hours
  • Ear pointers: 3 sizes of EarGels integrated
  • Design: IP55 water and dirt resistance
  • Charging: USB-C, as much as 3.5hrs for complete price
  • Weight: 4.6g in step with earbud, 33.4g charging case


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