Jabra might be a bit boring, but boy do they know their stuff.
When talking about Jabra, it's often in a very functional tone of voice. We here at Gamereactor are guilty, if nothing else, of boxing them into this office sphere where we consider products designed primarily for the office, rather than life outside of it.
But you have to examine yourself, because that's actually wrong, and the manufacturer's in-ears are excellent proof that they can do much more than appeal to the ears of an unimaginative office manager. The Elite 10 are the latest addition to the line-up, and they really do deserve everyone's attention, even in a market that's almost saturated with sensible investments.
Okay, so Jabra doesn't manage to sneak under their main competitors on price, charging around £230 for the Elite 10. That's only slightly less than the AirPods Pro 2 and quite a bit more than Google's Pixel Buds Pro. On the other hand, you get pretty much all the coveted features you could realistically expect in a set of in-ears. We're talking IP57 certification, Bluetooth 5.3 with support for SBC and AAC, 27 hours of playtime, wireless charging, effective active noise cancellation and 10mm drivers.
There's also support for the rarer LC3 audio format, multipoint connectivity, a fairly in-depth app with solid EQ presets and a build quality that's hard to match, even for the established giants.
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Jabra are good at making nifty hardware, no doubt about it, and the case on the Elite 10 is so small that it makes, say, Bose's take on a set of luxury in-ears look comical by comparison. There are rock-solid magnets to keep everything in place, efficient, reliable wireless charging and even the planet has been considered, with the devices and case made from 75% recyclable plastic.
The sound is another highlight, because while there's no specific, distinct signature as such, like Apple, B&O and Marshall, there's a balance here that's hard to beat. There is also support for Dolby Spatial Audio, for those who want more directional sound, but it remains a matter of taste in my opinion.
The part of the Jabra philosophy that is hard to measure in a review like this is that they are designed and manufactured with reliability in mind. This is obviously reflected in the IP57 certification, which is a few notches better than you'll find elsewhere, but the Jabra devices we've tested over a longer period of time have generally withstood wear and tear better and have a lower failure rate.
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Add to this the six microphones on each device, which combine smart software to eliminate background noise on conversations in a rather unique way. What you get as a result is one of the most versatile sets of in-ears on the market, even if you have to pay quite a lot for the pleasure.
None of us should write off Jabra's products as boring, unimaginative and tied to an office setting. They're expensive, yes, but they're good stuff.