At home, when I want to shut myself off for a while, I use Noice Canceling headphones. I don’t like this on the road. Like many other people, I prefer to have a box of earbuds in my pants or jacket pocket that I can take out when I need them. Read on to find out how I ended up with the Jabra Elite 10 earbuds.
Because I have a mild form of autism, it is important for me to be able to disconnect myself from external stimuli every now and then. I specifically want to have the option of having a good noise canceling option in my earbuds.
I also have another problem that I always encounter when I try a set of earbuds; fit. To date, I have not found in-ear earbuds to be comfortable. My right ear in particular quickly feels clogged, my ears physically hurt or I always have the feeling that my earplugs are falling out.
I have tried quite a few earplugs and have always been disappointed.
After many disappointments, I finally found a set of earbuds where I was less bothered by the disadvantages I experienced in terms of comfort. I settled on so-called open-ear buds, specifically the Galaxy Buds Live from Samsung. Finally I could wear something in my ears for a longer period of time. The big difference with regular earplugs is that they rest on the ear instead of in the ear canal. Unfortunately, I recently dropped these in a puddle of water and one of the earbuds stopped working properly. There was also another disadvantage, due to the lack of passive isolation that you get with plug-ins, the available noise canceling was actually only interesting on paper.
I started reading and looking and looking everywhere again and considered various open-ear alternatives (if there are any). Still, I kept reading about compromises such as poor sound quality and lack of ANC.
Note: open ear is not the same as open back.
Jabra Elite 10
Some time ago I tried a set from Jabra, the elite 4 active. I really liked these for in-ear standards. The shape was slightly different. However, the ANC was not great and there was no multipoint, something that I also find important.
I noticed Jabra released two new models in their upper segment of earbuds and this Elite 10 in came to my attention. In particular, the focus on even better ANC, improved comfort and good sound quality appealed to me. Reason enough to give them a chance.
Technical specs provided by Jabra for the Elite 10
Jabra elite 10 Packaging
The earbuds come in a compact box with some branding and a picture of the earbuds on the front. The earbuds, the various eartips and the case are shown on the back. Here you can also see that the Elite 10 supports both Google and Apple. There is Fast Pair for Google and Spotify tap. Dolby Atmos support is included as well.
Using the Jabra Elite 10 earbuds
After the unboxing it is time to try on the earbuds. I immediately notice that these are earphones that do not have to go too far into my ear. They rest with the flat side against my ear and slope towards my ear canal. This ensures that the pressure is well distributed. It probably also helps that the silicone eartips are more oval shaped. Furthermore, a small amount of a soft, rubbery coating has been applied to the earbuds that seems to improve comfort. Jabra claims to have examined more than 62,000 different ears to achieve the perfect fit.
After a day I noticed that the bud in my right ear in particular was prone to falling out (but this did not happen). Ears are of course never the same and upon closer inspection I also saw that the earpiece cannot rest perfectly on my ear. To be on the safe side, I installed a smaller size of the silicone tips and since then the earbuds have an almost perfect fit for me.
The Jabra Elite 10 has large 10mm drivers and you can hear that.
The sound is fantastic in my opinion. There is sufficient soundstage and sufficient bass. By sufficient I mean not too much bass. If you are looking for a bass-heavy set, you better look further. I personally think the standard setting sounds fine.
I listened to different types of music. Quiet jazz, the C&C soundtrack, classical, 80’s pop, some lo-fi beats, the Blade Runner soundtrack, podcasts, basically everything. Nothing has bothered me. No treble too high, no exaggerated bass, nice soundstage, just enjoy.
The earbuds currently support AAC and SBC, with LC3 and LC3+ lossless audio in the future.
ANC and Hearthrough
The ANC is really, really good on these earbuds. Irritating sounds in the house such as mechanical ventilation or the ticking clock van no longer be heard. But I was also able to relax while waiting in the busy canteen of the swimming pool until my daughter had finished her lesson. The screaming baby, the tapping spoons and screaming children were wonderfully filtered away. Certainly not yet at the level of the Bose QC45 here, but on par with the Sennheiser Momentum 4.
The Heartrough function can be useful while on the road to let your surroundings in. This works fine. While the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro2 sometimes let through a very shrill high tone, this does not happen with these earbuds.
Wind Noise reduction quality of the Jabra Elite 10
The earbuds also offer an option to automatically apply wind noise reduction. This works very well. I was able to enjoy both music and podcasts while cycling without any difficulty. Something that is not pleasant with the Galaxy Buds live, but also with the Bose QC45.
The earbuds also offer an option to automatically apply wind noise reduction. This works very well. I was able to enjoy both music and podcasts while cycling without any difficulty. Something that is not pleasant with the Galaxy Buds live or the Bose QC45.
Jabra Elite 10 Call quality
Call quality has generally been good, but not always. Sometimes I had people complain to me about hearing wind noise when I was having a call outside. Apparantly the wind noise reduction isn’t working so well for others as it is for me. When making calls inside there didn’t seem to be any problems.
The Jabra Elite 10 earbuds use physical buttons. I was a bit hesitant about this, but in practice it works very well. The buttons are easy to press and the earbuds are not pressed hard into my ear. The big advantage is that the earbuds can also be operated with gloves.
You can choose to receive feedback while pressing by means of an acoustic signal or a voice that confirms the input. I personally like the latter, it uses a calm feminine voice. Don’t want to hear any feedback at all? That is also possible.
The Jabra app is one of the better ones I have experienced so far with wireless audio products. There are clear uncluttered segments in the menu without poor translation. There is a 5-point equalizer, the ANC and hearthrough settings can be tweaked here and the functions of the buttons on the earbuds can be adjusted.
Soundscapes in the Jabra Elite 10 app
One of the options in the menu are the soundscapes. These are sounds to help you shut down completely. There is the sound of a babbling brook, a fan, songbirds, the sea, pink noise and many others. I have come to really appreciate this feature and have fallen asleep a few times with one of these sounds on.
Jabra recently released a software update that further improved the ANC. In the near future the intention is to add LC3 and LC3+. As far as I have read on various forums, Jabra usually supports the earbuds with a number of software updates.
Batterylife of the Jabra elite 10
Jabra claims a talk time of 8 hours on a single charge without ANC on. I have noticed that I can usually squeeze out just a little more. Without ANC, Jabra promises 6 hours. The case holds approximately 3 charges. Fully charging the case takes 3 hours via a USB-C connection. It is also possible to charge the case wirelessly.
With the Elite 10, Jabra has really put a very good set of earbuds on the market. The sound is very good and the earbuds offer an ergonomic design. There is less pressure on the ear and a total of 4 pairs of oval-shaped eargels are supplied. It is nice to know that if purchased from Jarba itself, you can return the earbuds within 30 days if they do not fit properly. Many other web shops also offer this option. There is plenty to adjust in the app and the battery life is excellent.
They are not cheap, with a suggested retail price of €249, I don’t think they are good enough for this price. I recommend that you shop around carefully because if you are patient they sometimes drop towards €170 and in my opinion they are certainly wort it at that price.
I purchased these earbuds with my own money. This review was first published in Dutch on tweakers.net and can be found here.