True wireless earbuds have exploded in popularity in recent years. With no wires whatsoever, just two buds you pop in your ears, they offer unrivalled convenience, whether you’re working out, commuting, taking calls or just relaxing with some tunes. But for the uninitiated, there’s a lot to get your head around.
Terms like active noise-cancelling (ANC) and its various forms, Multipoint, IP rating and more can confuse even seasoned technophiles, let alone those asking What are Bluetooth earphones? But we’re here to help. Below we’ll break down the main features to look for in a pair of true wireless earbuds and show you why the Jabra Elite range is the best for work and play, with a feature set that covers all bases.
What is ANC? Standard, Hybrid and Adjustable
Active noise-cancelling technology does as the name suggests – cancels out background noise. This lets you hear your music, podcasts or calls clearer without having to crank up the volume, or lets you enjoy some peace and quiet if you don’t have anything playing.
So how does it work? It uses microphones outside of the earbuds – called feedforward mics – to detect and analyse the pattern of incoming sound, then generates an “anti-noise” mirror signal to cancel it out.This results in a drastically reduced level of noise and blocks intrusive, low frequency sounds such as engine noise or office chatter, so you can immerse yourself in music and stay in the zone.
Now, ANC comes in various guises. Hybrid ANC combines the external (feedforward) microphones with microphones inside the ear canal (feedback) to cancel even more noise across a wider range of frequencies and sounds. This provides a more powerful ANC experience compared to regular ANC.
Adjustable ANC creates a fully immersive experience and puts you in complete control of how you hear (or don’t hear) your surroundings. You can choose from one of five optimised levels of ANC in the Jabra Sound+ app, depending on what you’re doing, where you’re doing it and what kind of mood you’re in.
ANC combines with HearThrough technology to keep you aware of what’s going on around you. Hearthrough gives you more awareness of your surroundings by controlling how much of the outside world you let in. Jabra Sound+ lets you control how much noise you remove and hear at the tap of a button.
All-day comfort, all-day battery life
It’s not often talked about, but comfort plays a big part in any great true wireless earbuds. In fact, market data suggests it's the most important factor, even before sound quality*!
Jabra is the world's leading professional audio brand for work and life**, with decades of experience in making headsets for business environments like call centres, where the devices are worn all day. So it knows a thing or two about comfort and how to get a great fit for all different ear shapes and sizes. In fact, nine out of 10 customers are satisfied with the comfort of Jabra true wireless earbuds.
All of its Elite wireless earbuds are comfortable, but the Elite 7 Pro take comfort to the next level. In making them, Jabra drew on data from 62,000 ear scans to create a bud that’s perfectly shaped for all-day wear. The result is a minimalist, non-intrusive form factor that makes them an excellent AirPods alternative.
Of course, all-day comfort isn’t much use without all-day battery life. And that’s what you get from Jabra’s Elite range of true wireless earbuds.
The Elite 4 deliver five-and-a-half hours of runtime, which increases to 22 hours when using the charging case. The Elite 5 raise this to seven hours (28 hours with the case), while the Elite 7 Pro keep going for an astonishing eight hours, or 30 hours with the case. Given the sophistication of their noise-cancelling skills, that’s nothing short of staggering.
Bluetooth Multipoint: multitasking made seamless
Wondering what is Bluetooth Multipoint? Put simply, it’s the ability to pair your wireless headphones with two devices at once. That means that when you’re listening to music tracks streamed from your laptop and a call comes in on your phone, you can take it through your headphones without having to pair them with your phone again. Neat. It makes for a truly seamless experience, able to switch between different ways of working – or playing – effortlessly.
You might be wondering: What earphones are best for Android/iOS devices? While all true wireless earbuds work with both Google and Apple’s mobile operating systems, they don’t all allow every feature to work with both. So do your research before you buy.
Jabra’s Elite true wireless earbuds work with Android and iOS, as well as all manner of tablets, laptops and desktop computers. And with both Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift pair onboard, connectivity is a doddle. These let you connect to your Android device or Windows computer in seconds, so you spend more time connected and less time connecting. Looking for a pair of earbuds that are great for Android? You just found them.
Wireless earbuds are designed to be worn out and about, and sadly, the sun doesn’t always shine. But that’s ok, because Jabra’s Elite range will withstand the elements.
The Elite 4 and Elite 5 are rated IP55, which means they can endure both dust and low pressure water jets. The Elite 7 Pro, meanwhile, are rated IP57, which means they have the same dust resistance as the other pairs, but are waterproof in up to 1m of water for 30 minutes. So no need to panic if you drop them in the pool.
Sound that suits you
We’ve only really scratched the surface of what true wireless earbuds can do. There are many more features available, like the ability to use one earbud (for sleeping on your side, say) while the other charges, handsfree voice controls via Google Assistant, and customisable sound that not only adjusts to your unique hearing profile (on the Jabra Elite 7 Pro), but can also be tweaked to your liking using the mobile app. The Elite range offers all these and more.
So whatever your needs – and your hearing profile – there’s a Jabra Elite model of true wireless earbuds for you.
* Global Quantitative Research, US & Germany, N= 2882 headset users, July 2022
** Visit www.jabra.com/claims