Jabra's latest and last wireless earbuds can stream spatial audio from practically any source

Jabra Elite 8 Active gen 2, and Jabra Elite 10 gen 2 side by side
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

UPDATE 12/06/2024: Jabra has announced it will begin to "wind down" its Elite range of wireless earbuds.

Despite announcing two new earbuds earlier this week, Jabra's parent company GN Audio has announced that it will be exiting the competitive consumer wireless earbuds market with the gradual discontinuation of the Jabra Elite range in 2024, along with its Talk line of mono Bluetooth models (which is seeing a decline in demand.)

GN cites that despite the Jabra Elite range being profitable, "the investment required for future innovation and growth in this very competitive space is deemed unjustified in the long-term given associated risks." 

Peter Karlstromer, CEO of GN Store Nord, says: “The decision to gradually wind down the Elite and Talk product lines is part of our commitment to focus on attractive markets where we can deliver profitable growth and strong returns... it is today our assessment that we cannot generate a fair return on investment compared to the many other opportunities we have within our Hearing, Enterprise, and Gaming businesses."

The company will start to "reduce the inventory of the affected products" in 2024, so we can expect to see some hefty deals in the coming weeks and months on Elite models such as the Elite 4 Active, Elite 3 and original Elite 10 - all solid, well-made, enjoyable-sounding and feature-rich models that received four stars from What Hi-Fi?. Existing customers of older or current Elite products will be reassured to know that "GN will continue to service and support customers for several years".

Jabra stresses that the newly launched Elite 8 Active and Elite 10 Generation 2 models will be fully available at retailers as planned throughout 2024 and 2025 while stocks last, and "products will still be supported throughout their lifetime, as normal." They will, however, be "the last two product introductions in this product line". 

ORIGINAL STORY 11/06/2024: It seems like just yesterday that Jabra was introducing the world to its flagship Elite 10 and fitness-focused Elite Active 8 wireless earbuds, but time waits for no tech brand. 

Both of the preceding pairs have received second-generation sequels – the Elite 10 gen 2 and the Elite Active 8 gen 2 – with both hoping to stand out from the crowd thanks to their novel inclusion of the world's first LE Audio smart case. The smart case can be used as a Bluetooth transmitter: use its USB-C or 3.5mm connector to connect to sources as varied as gym treadmills, an airplane's entertainment system, and laptops, and you'll be able to stream audio wirelessly. The case also grants spatial audio streaming from pretty much any source in the same way thanks to an integrated chip. With lower latency, Jabra promises not only a more integrated, versatile system but also better audio and video synchronisation.

That's the big unique selling point for both pairs, but it's only the tip of the iceberg in terms of features. Most of the sonic improvements seem to be related to spatial sound, with the Elite 10 gen 2 and the Elite Active 8 gen 2 offering improved spatial audio powered by Dolby, with only the flagship Elite buds offering full support for Dolby Atmos tracks and Dolby Head Tracking.

Noise cancelling has been bolstered for both models, too. Jabra promises ANC that's up to twice as strong for the second-gen Elite 8 Active and Elite 10 over the previous iterations. Battery life remains unchanged: the Elite 8 Active gen 2 offer a total of 32 hours of playtime with the case (ANC on), while the Elite 10 gen 2 offer 27 hours total (ANC on). Thanks to six microphones and noise-reduction algorithms in both pairs, the new duo also aim for clearer, less noisy voice calls. 

Jabra Elite 8 Active gen 2 and Jabra Elite 10 gen 2 side by side

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Given that these are two pairs of wireless earbuds designed for rather different tasks, aspects of design and overall form factor vary from one to the other. The sport-focused Elite 8 Active gen 2 aim for a deeper, more secure fit aided by Jabra's grippy in-ear materials, while the less intrusive, more open design of the Elite 10 gen 2 strives for comfort over longer periods. 

The Elite 8 Active boast an outstanding water and dustproof rating of IP68, bettering the respectable IP57 rating of the new flagship debutantes. Both sets do, however, offer Bluetooth Multipoint for connecting to multiple sources simultaneously, and both bring Swift Pair for Windows 11, Google Fast Pair and Spotify Tap to the party. 

The sporty Jabra Elite 8 Active gen 2 are available in navy, black, coral or olive colourways at a price of £230 / €229 / $229 / AU$379. The flagship Jabra Elite 10 gen 2 are available in titanium black, gloss black, cocoa, denim blue and soft white, priced at £260 / €279 / $279 / AU$429.


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. During his time at the publication, he has written countless news stories alongside features, advice and reviews of products ranging from floorstanding speakers and music streamers to over-ear headphones, wireless earbuds and portable DACs. He has covered launches from hi-fi and consumer tech brands, and major industry events including IFA, High End Munich and, of course, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or trying to pet strangers' dogs. 

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