Jabra Elite 10 review

Jabra Elite 10 review

I’ve been reviewing the Jabra 10 true wireless earbuds for several weeks when the news came through that Jabra’s parent company was stopping the manufacturer and release of its Elite headphones.

Which kind of changes the outlook for these earbuds. Jabra a brand has been producing excellent quality headphones for many years now, and while the Elite 10 also offer good quality performance, they are difficult to recommend given Jabra is pulling out of the high-end audio business.

You get great sound quality, including Dolby Atmos support with head tracking and decent noise cancellation. 

But would you buy a pair of great headphones from a brand that has announced it can’t succeed in that category? I wouldn’t.

Holding the Elite 10 in the case

Design

Jabra has created a truly elegant-air of earbuds here. Available in five colour variations: Brown, cream, matte black, glossy black and a two-tone black/titanium model, the earbuds look good.

Each earbud is a bit bigger than an AirPods Pro earbud, sitting a bit further out from the ear. Each earbud has a button on the side, which can control playback and volume, 

Jabra says it scanned over 62,000 ears to create the unique ear-gel shape. Unfortunately, mine wasn’t one of them because none of the ear-gel sizes prevented the right earbud from feeling loose and falling out frequently.

This is a challenge I face with pretty much any in-ear headphones, but to day I think the AirPods Pro are still the most secure.

Within the earbuds are 10 mm speakers which can support Dolby’s spatial audio with head tracking. 

The earbuds are rated as IP57, meaning they offer limited protection from dust and can handle immersion in clean water up to one metre deep for up to 30 minutes.

You get six hours of battery life with noise cancellation switched on (and head tracking switched off), and eight hours without ANC. The case has an extra 21 hours worth of playback power as well.

You can charge the case on any Qi wireless charger, or via a USB-C cable, which makes it easy to ensure the earbuds are always ready to go.

The earbuds also support multipoint audio, letting you effortlessly switch between your laptop and phone. 

And if you enjoy playing around with the EQ settings to get your music to playback just right, the earbuds have a companion app that lets you control features like head tracking and ANC, adjust the music equaliser and find your earbuds if you lose them.

Image of the earbud in my right ear. No matter what I do, I can't get a secure fit

Performance

The Elite 10 are incredibly well-balanced earbuds. The music sounds clear at all volumes, with plenty of undistorted bass and clear mid-range and trebles.

Listening through Steve Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, you get crystal clear delivery of the funky beats and Wonder’s vocals. 

The Dolby Atmos implementation is a bit confusing, though. When you switch it on, it will turn any music source into a “surround” version, even if it’s not mixed in Spatial Audio. 

This tends to drop the bass level a bit and doesn’t create a true spatial experience. It more places the music in front of you, with turning your head will see the vocals and most of the music shift to the ear facing the front.

However, if the music is mixed in spatial, like Paramore’s This is Whyfor example, the earbuds actually do the same thing. Instead of playing back the Apple Music mix, it applies a virtual spatial effect to the stereo mix.

Which ultimately means it’s not the same experience as listening through my AirPods Pro, even though the Jabra earbuds arguably sound better with more bass and cleaner balance.

Which fundamentally means that the Atmos implementation is a bit of a gimmick. It makes you think you’re getting the full surround effect, but you aren’t really.

Jabra Elite 10 in the case in the sunlight

ANC and battery life

I found the ANC to do a solid job, particularly if you turn up the volume a few notches. 

It will never compare with a pair of overeat headphones like the Sonos Ace, as the earbuds tend to leak a fair amount of sound. But there is an audible difference when it is switched on.

I did find the pass through mode a bit weak, though. With music playing, you still really need to remove an earbud to hear your surrounds effectively.

It’s also impossible to have a conversation with music playing, even at lower volumes. 

Battery life, however, is really solid. I found I could get through most of a workday. Jabra says six hours with ANC switched on and head tracking off, and that’s about right. As mentioned above, you’ll probably switch off the head tracking, as the Atmos implementation is a bit of a gimmick at the moment.

Another photo of me holding the earbuds in the case

Verdict

Under normal circumstances, the Jabra Elite 10 would most likely be a contender for the best wireless earbuds in Australia.

But with Jabra announcing its intention to pull out of the high-end consumer earbud market, these earbuds are tough to recommend.

Sure, they sound great, have reasonably good noise cancellation and can play back Dolby Atmos audio. But with future support up in the air, you are probably going to be better served by buying a new pair of earbuds from a brand like Apple, Bose or Sony.

Cheapest price for the Jabra Elite 10 from our partners

AU $299.00 AU $379.00
18 July 2024 3:41 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
3 new from AU $299.00
AU $379.00
18 July 2024 3:41 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
1 new from AU $379.00
AU $329.42 AU $379.00
18 July 2024 3:41 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
5 new from AU $328.00

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Jabra supplied the product for this review.

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