April 18, 2024
Jabra Elite 10 earbuds in front of case.

Jabra Elite 10

MSRP $249.00

“The Elite 10 are the comfiest, best-sounding Jabras to this point.”

Professionals

  • Very comfy
  • Glorious sound high quality
  • Nice controls
  • Absolutely waterproof and dustproof
  • Bluetooth Multipoint

Cons

  • Mediocre name high quality
  • Spatial audio does not wow
  • No Amazon Alexa possibility

Jabra’s newest flagship wi-fi earbuds, the Elite 10, have large sneakers to fill. They’re the official successor to the Elite 7 Professional, a feature-rich product that nailed the candy spot of value versus efficiency.

This makes Jabra’s strategy to the Elite 10 one thing of a raffle. As a substitute of doubling down on the 7 Professional’s success by bettering its efficiency additional, the Elite 10 appear to attract extra inspiration from Jabra’s Elite 85t, an older, costlier, mannequin that emphasised consolation and sound high quality. To this system the Elite 10 provides Dolby Atmos spatial audio with head-tracking and has set the worth accordingly at $249. That makes them Jabra’s costliest buds thus far, and the identical value as Apple’s AirPods Professional, the Elite 10’s nearest competitor.

Has Jabra’s gamble paid off? Let’s test them out.

Jabra Elite 10: design

Jabra Elite 10 in case with lid open.
The Elite 10’s charging case will sit vertically – in case you prop it up. Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

There can be no mistaking the Elite 10 for some other Jabra mannequin. They’re larger, with a vaguely egg-like form, extra contoured on their undersides, and completely wrapped in a velvety comfortable silicone that feels lots just like the ShakeGrip pores and skin Jabra used on the Elite 7 Lively. The Elite 10 hold the distinct teardrop multifunction button Jabra has used on all of its current fashions, although it’s now just a little larger, which makes it simpler to press. Jabra’s construct high quality is really spectacular — apart from the screened microphone openings, as there aren’t any gaps or seams wherever. The Elite 10 additionally are available in quite a lot of shades: Titanium Black, Cocoa (which seems kinda burgundy to me), Matte Black, Gloss Black, and Cream, the latter of which you’ll be able to see within the photographs of our evaluation mannequin.

Jabra Elite 7 Pro and Jabra Elite 10.
Jabra Elite 7 Professional (left) and Elite 10 Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

However the greatest change is the oval eartips, a design that Jabra launched on the 2020 Elite 85t, however seemingly deserted for all of its newer fashions. They’re again, however with a twist: the brand new design is asymmetrical, following an ergonomic form that ought to create a greater, extra comfy seal for most individuals. At a media briefing on the Elite 10 in New York Metropolis, Calum MacDougall, Jabra’s senior vice chairman of promoting, informed me that oval eartips are merely a greater match for the form of our ear canals than spherical suggestions. Which may be so, however Jabra’s persevering with use of spherical suggestions for its different fashions means that it’s not fairly able to guess the corporate’s future on that perception.

If the Elite 10 earbuds are a hybrid of the 7 Professional and the 85t, then so is their charging case, which now resembles the case for Apple’s AirPods Professional, however is beefier. Like Apple’s case, it has light, rounded corners that make it a pleasure to carry, and also you lay it flat on its again to cost, whether or not wirelessly utilizing a Qi-compatible charger, or with the included USB-C cable.

Jabra has deserted the Elite 7 Professional’s clamshell lid in favor of its unique flip-top design. However because of a bigger body-to-lid ratio, it’s even simpler to open the lid one-handed.

The one (very minor) draw back is that — in contrast to Jabra’s earlier designs — the case can now not sit upright with the lid open.

The Elite 10 are rated IP57, successfully making them waterproof and dustproof. Their case, nonetheless, has no safety from the weather, so hold that in thoughts.

Jabra Elite 10: consolation and controls

Side shot of Simon Cohen wearing Jabra Elite 10.
Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

For me, the Elite 10’s new form and oval eartips ship with regards to consolation. They appear to nestle into my conchas (the pocket created by the outer ear) as if they have been made to order. When you’ve ever been bothered by the so-called occlusion impact (that uncomfortable feeling of getting your ears blocked), the Elite 10’s vented design ought to assist lots. In comparison with the totally sealed Elite 7 Professional, it’s a much more pure feeling, which is additional helped by the Elite 10’s silky easy exterior — it’s like a second pores and skin, all however eliminating stress factors that may be attributable to exhausting plastic.

Within the field, you get 4 sizes of eartips from which to decide on — that’s up from the same old three sizes that Jabra has included up to now, resolution contemplating that some folks might want to use completely different sizes in every ear. Sadly, Jabra has eliminated the Match Check function within the Sound+ companion app that helped information you to the eartip dimension(s) providing the perfect match.

As comfy as I discover them, I don’t count on everybody to agree. Regardless of all of their ergonomic benefits, the Elite 10 are nonetheless bodily massive; these with smaller ears could have hassle getting them to suit. That is compounded by the design of the eartips: Jabra has gone with a shorter tower (or horn) — the nozzle half to which the eartips are affixed — which retains the ideas from penetrating the ear canal as deeply as they do with the Elite 7 Professional.

Jabra Elite 10 with accessories.
Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

The outcome will not be solely a more difficult match for small ears, but additionally a much less safe match for all ear sizes. They stayed put for me throughout informal use and strolling, however the brand new Jabra Elite 8 Lively can be a better option for high-impact actions.

So far as I’m involved, Jabra’s controls are the perfect, interval. In an business the place contact controls have develop into the norm, Jabra’s steadfast use of bodily buttons is admirable and the corporate retains discovering methods to make them higher.

The Elite 10’s multifunction buttons click on with surgical precision. They require little or no stress, and but inadvertent presses hardly ever occur. You should use them to regulate each perform by way of the default gestures or you’ll be able to choose your personal utilizing the app. Better of all, in case you stay in a spot that experiences winter, bodily buttons don’t require you to take away your gloves. Jabra additionally enhances these controls with put on sensors that can be utilized to pause your tunes, or reply a name as quickly as you place an earbud in your ear.

As with a lot of Jabra’s newer fashions, Spotify Faucet is an possibility, but it surely comes at the price of voice assistant entry. Talking of voice assistants, the Elite 10 has misplaced Amazon Alexa as an possibility, one thing that earlier fashions gave to each Android and iOS customers.

Jabra Elite 10: Bluetooth Multipoint

Getting the Elite 10 to pair with an iPhone is easy and straightforward. And because of Google Quick Pair, it’s even faster on Android units. As soon as linked, I didn’t expertise any hiccups — they have been rock-solid. Jabra was an early adopter of Bluetooth Multipoint, the know-how that permits you to keep linked to 2 units concurrently, and it continues to supply wonderful, secure Multipoint connections.

I particularly like the way in which Jabra’s earbuds go into pairing mode. There’s no must reinsert them within the case — merely press on each buttons concurrently for just a few seconds and also you’ll hear “able to pair.”

Jabra Elite 10: noise cancellation and transparency

Jabra Elite 10 earbuds in front of case.
Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

Noise cancellation is superb on the Elite 10. It reduces distracting sounds in all kinds of situations, however be cautious of the language Jabra makes use of to explain it. You’ll see “as much as 2x extra noise cancellation with Jabra Superior ANC” listed on the Elite 10 Amazon description, however that’s not twice as a lot ANC as different firms’ fashions and even twice as a lot because the Elite 7 Professional — it’s relative to Jabra’s personal entry-level “customary” ANC, which you’ll discover on the Elite 4.

So far as I can inform, the Elite 7 Professional are nonetheless a hair more practical at blocking out noise (wind noise too) — in all probability as a result of the software program doesn’t need to take care of the Elite 10’s vented design, which naturally lets extra exterior sounds in. And for the reason that Elite 7 Professional have been by no means the cream of the ANC crop to start with, which means you’ll get higher outcomes from the AirPods Professional and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II if absolute silence is what you search.

It’s the same story for transparency (or HearThrough in Jabra’s vocabulary). The Elite 10 let a lot of sound in and you’ll tweak the quantity within the app. It’s excellent for retaining tabs on attainable hazards as you run or stroll, and for the occasional dialog. It’s not fairly pretty much as good for retaining your personal voice sounding pure to you — that is still a feat that solely Apple has perfected — however I like which you could select to pause your tunes routinely once you flip it on.

Jabra Elite 10: sound high quality and spatial audio

Jabra Elite 10 right earbud solo in front of case.
Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

Sporting a set of latest 10mm drivers, the Elite 10 are the perfect Jabra earbuds but with regards to sound high quality. They produce that basic Jabra sound: full and resonant bass layered with clear and detailed mids and highs, however they do it with extra authority and with a wider soundstage than each the Elite 7 Professional and the Elite 85t. It’s a sound signature that appears to be the best companion to any style of music. Jabra has quietly dropped the “MySound” function from its app, which created a personalised EQ based mostly in your listening to profile, however because it didn’t do a lot for my enjoyment of the Elite 7 Professional, I’d be stunned if it’s missed.

Essentially the most notable a part of the Elite 10’s listening expertise is the addition of Dolby Atmos processing for spatial audio. Just like the AirPods Professional, the Elite 10 even have head-tracking sensors that can be utilized to offer spatial audio an additional layer of realism by retaining some components (like a lead vocalist or an on-screen actor) anchored in area, whereas the remainder of the sound strikes as you progress your head. In contrast to the AirPods Professional, nonetheless, the Elite 10’s Dolby processing (with or with out the optionally available head-tracking mode) is on the market when listening to any audio, from any supply, not simply audio encoded within the Dolby Atmos format. It’s the identical system that LG was first to make use of on its T90Q wi-fi earbuds, however Dolby says it’s been improved for the Elite 10.

On paper, that sounds fairly good, particularly for followers of the broader and deeper soundstage that spatial audio creates. The Elite 10 ought to be capable of “spatialize” any common, two-channel audio into 3D sound.

Sadly, I simply wasn’t impressed by the outcomes. It presents solely the slightest alteration of the audio, coming nowhere near what a real Dolby Atmos-formatted tune or film soundtrack can ship.

Furthermore, retaining spatial audio turned on whereas listening to precise Dolby Atmos makes the sound high quality worse. It’s counterintuitive, however for the reason that earbuds don’t know once you’re listening to spatial audio content material or when it’s stereo, they apply the identical processing to all audio. And since Dolby Atmos content material has already been processed by your streaming app, the Elite 10 basically processes it once more once you’re utilizing Jabra’s spatial audio possibility.

The result’s a perceptible drop in midrange to excessive frequencies — it sounds muddier than regular Dolby Atmos. You will get most of this readability again through the use of the Sound+ app’s equalizer as yet one more layer of adjustment, however remember that this new EQ will nonetheless be utilized once you change again out of spatial mode.

If the Elite 10’s dealing with of up-converted two-channel audio is a gentle impact, the alternative is true of its head monitoring system. I’m nonetheless unsure I like listening to head-tracked music, but when you prefer it, the Elite 10 may be aggressive of their anchoring of music. On some songs, like Billie Eilish’s Dangerous Man, the vocals stay entrance and middle, whereas the remainder of the observe strikes with you as you flip your head. That is what you’d usually count on from head monitoring. Nevertheless, on Temple Of Ekur by Volbeat, the complete band stays mounted in place as if you have been turning your head away from a set of audio system instantly in entrance of you.

In terms of Dolby Atmos Music, every observe have to be judged by itself deserves. Some mixes actually profit from the know-how, whereas others can sound worse. The identical is true for the Elite 10’s dealing with of spatial audio results.

Jabra Elite 10: name high quality

Rear angled shot of Simon Cohen wearing Jabra Elite 10.
Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

The Elite 7 Professional had distinctive name high quality, whether or not indoors or outdoor, and even sturdy wind didn’t intrude together with your means to be heard by callers. The Elite 10 has simply as many microphones because the Elite 7 Professional, so that you’d count on them to carry out equally, however that’s not the case. Whereas not dangerous for calls, the Elite 10 can’t match the 7 Professional’s total readability and consistency. Background sounds have been nonetheless noticeable and my voice sounded compressed at instances, with a major quantity of sibilance. Actually, in going again over my pattern recordings for different Jabra earbuds, I can’t even say with confidence that the Elite 10 are higher for calls than the $150 Elite 5.

You continue to get Jabra’s adjustable side-tone choice to pipe in a little bit of your personal voice for a extra pure and fewer tiring expertise, plus the helpful one-click mic muting function, which remains to be a rarity on wi-fi earbuds. However total, the Elite 10 aren’t going to be the perfect Jabras if name high quality in quite a lot of conditions issues to you.

Jabra Elite 10: battery life

Battery life on the Elite 10 is in the identical neighborhood as earlier Jabra fashions. You get a claimed eight hours with ANC off (36 hours complete with the charging case), and 6 hours (27 complete) when it’s on. To get these numbers, you’ll must hold the amount degree set to 50%. A quick cost of 5 minutes will lengthen your playtime by an hour. The Elite 7 Professional handle to get virtually eight hours with ANC — I’m guessing their ANC system simply doesn’t need to work as exhausting due to their totally closed design.

There’s lots to love concerning the Jabra Elite 10. They’re very comfy, their redesigned charging case is less complicated to make use of and carry, and so they’re the best-sounding Jabra earbuds to this point. Their inclusion of Dolby Atmos spatial audio will not be for everybody, but it surely’s a enjoyable function that’s price exploring, and their bodily controls are finest at school. Nevertheless, the Elite 10 characterize a step backward in name high quality, battery life, and safety of match when in comparison with the Elite 7 Professional, whereas on the identical time costing $49 extra. The Elite 10 nonetheless get a hearty endorsement, however they cease simply shy of the unbelievable worth Jabra delivered on its earlier flagship.

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