Jabra Elite 7 Pro Review: Excellent All-Rounder



The Elite 7 Pro earbuds mark a minor revolution in Jabra’s branding and product naming, but a curious – albeit welcome – return to the company’s old ways in terms of actual headphone design.

After the Elite 85t – the previous generation of flagship true wireless from the company – saw Jabra experiment with an open design that I’ll admit I never got along with, the Elite 7 Pro return to the previous form factor that Jabra had been iterating on for years.

And then, well, Jabra iterated some more. These are smaller, more comfortable, offer better ANC and HearThrough, and prioritise clearer call audio. The result is a pair of the most well-rounded premium wireless earbuds on the market, with compelling quality in almost every area and genuinely very few flaws.

Design and build

Understated colours
Compact and lightweight design
Snug fit
Physical buttons

I’ve already mentioned that the 7 Pro return to a familiar Jabra design. These are compact, stemless earbuds where the bulk of the bud sits in your outer ear, with a small silicon tip that sits deeper.

You get a choice of three tips to help find your fit, and once I did I was impressed by both how comfortable these are, and how well they passively block outside noise.

It helps that Jabra has made the buds smaller than ever – 16% smaller, so they say – and light at just 5.4g each. That might not sound important, but if you expect to wear your earbuds for more than an hour at a time then this is a huge factor in how comfy they are.

The previous Elite 85t had an unusual design that meant they never felt snug or secure, even if they were, but fortunately the same isn’t true here. Once these are in, you know there in, and across both regular daily use and gym sessions I never felt these slip loose or worried that these might fall out.

One other unusual strength here is that Jabra has stuck with the tried and tested approach of using a button. By which I mean, instead of touch controls or pressure-sensitive areas, each bud simply has a big button on the outside. That slightly simplifies the available control options, but at least means there’s a reliability here – earbud touch controls are notoriously fiddly and over-sensitive, and I really don’t miss them here.

These are fairly durable too, helped by an IP57 rating. That means decent protection against dust and sand, and excellent protection from water – making these a solid option come rain, shine, or buckets of sweat in the gym.

Finally, the 7 Pro are available in three colours, but two of them are black. You can buy both Black and Titanium Black (which is really a little more grey), or Gold Beige if you fancy a splash of colour.

That colour extends to the cylindrical charging case, which like the buds is a little more compact than in previous iterations. It’s a fairly comfortable pocket size, though you will find smaller out there.

I do have two minor gripes here though. For one, the battery and charging indicator LED is unusually dim, meaning it’s all too easy not to spot low battery warnings or miss the fact that the case isn’t charging when you think it is.

The second – and this really is a minor gripe now – is that that USB-C port for charging is on the front of the case, not the back. This is not only very mildly aesthetically displeasing, but also annoying because I always assume the port will be on the back and try to open the case from the wrong side. Weeks in, I still haven’t learnt my lesson – you may well be a quicker study than me though.

Audio and call quality

Strong sound quality
Excellent passive noise cancelling but limited active
Optimised for call quality

Jabra has rarely struggled for sound quality, so I’m not shocked to note that the Elite 7 Pros sound pretty good.

The 6mm drivers here aren’t the largest you’ll find in any true wireless earbuds out there, but they’re enough to get the job done. They show their limitations slightly at the lower registers, so the 7 Pro may not drive dance and hip hop as aggressively as you’d hope, but otherwise these will suit most genres fairly well – think of them as decent all-rounders.

On initial setup the Jabra Sound+ app will guide you through a customisation process that checks the earbud fit, tailors the EQ to your individual hearing, and then customises the active noise cancellation (ANC) to suit you too.

It’s hard to tell how much the customisations from these hearing tests really affect audio quality, especially in the case of the ANC – partly because here the app does little to guide you on what differences you’re meant to be listening out for as you make your selection. It’s a bit like when the optician forces you to pick between two equally blurry sets of letters so you end up just going for one at random.

This may partly be reflected in my broader concern with the ANC on the 7 Pro: it’s really hard to notice. For its part, Jabra insists that this is because the passive noise seal created by the earbuds’ tight fit is so good that there’s little for the ANC to add on top.

This is clearly true to some extent. The passive noise isolation is excellent, so even with ANC off the buds block out most noise. You may worry that this limits your ability to listen out when you do need to, but there’s also a HearThrough mode which uses the microphones to amplify external noise if you want to hold a conversation or stay alert to nearby traffic.

Still, the combined effect of the passive and active noise cancellation falls a little short of Jabra’s biggest rivals. It’s good, don’t get me wrong – but it’s not great, and it’s hard not to feel that the active element isn’t really pulling its weight here.

With a bit of luck, that’s something Jabra can optimise and improve over time though – after all, this is a company that previously used a firmware patch to add ANC to the Elite 75t, which didn’t support it at all at launch, so a few tweaks and improvements should be doable.

Jabra has actually put more emphasis on call quality than music in the 7 Pro though, positioning these as earbuds for remote and hybrid workers who’ll use them just as often for Zoom calls as for podcasts and playlists.

There have been a few changes with that in mind. One is that the aforementioned custom EQ is now applied to calls as well as music, which should help you pick out details a little better. The buds also activate HearThrough mode automatically when you start a call, even recognising calls within WhatsApp or Zoom over a laptop, so that you can hear yourself clearly and are a bit less likely to shout to be heard.

On the hardware side, the 7 Pro combine multiple microphones with bone conduction sensors that activate when they detect wind, to better isolate your voice in noisy environments. This is another feature that’s pretty hard to assess directly, but across multiple phone and Zoom calls I had no complaints about the clarity of my audio, so it seems like Jabra has gotten something right.

Smart features

Impressive customisation
Multi-platform support
Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant options
Buds work independently

I’ve already mentioned a few of the customisation options available for the Elite 7 Pro through Jabra’s Sound+ app, but there are more.

After initial setup is complete, you can still set the level of both the ANC and HearThrough modes, as well as selecting from a selection of different EQ options tuned to your hearing profile. You can also tweak various settings specific to call quality, including boosting the treble or bass of incoming audio, or tweaking how much of your own voice you can hear.

The buds’ button controls can also be changed, with the left and right buds customised individually, with different settings for media and calls.

While some earbuds are exclusive to either Android or iPhone, the 7 Pro are fully supported on either platform. With that in mind, there’s also support for multiple voice assistants: Siri for iPhone users, Google Assistant on Android, and Amazon’s Alexa on either. Whichever you choose, it can be set to activate with a simple button press.

One other small change Jabra has introduced in the 7 Pro is support for a mono mode. By default, when you remove one earbud the ear detection tech will pause your music or mute your call audio. But if you hit play again, it will continue going only from whichever bud is still in place – you can even return one to the charging case to top it up while continuing to listen on the other.

As for connectivity, the 7 Pro use Bluetooth 5.2 – the latest standard, and the best for power efficiency and signal quality. They can be paired with up to eight devices, and activating pairing is a simple process of pressing the buttons on both buds simultaneously for a second.

Battery and charging

Up to 8 hours’ battery with ANC
Up to 30 hours’ with the case
Wireless Qi charging

Smaller earbuds usually mean smaller batteries, but Jabra has managed to improve battery life year-on-year with the Elite 7 Pro, keeping them at the upper end of comparable wireless buds.

Even with ANC on, you can expect to get roughly eight hours of battery life out of the buds, which is enough for a full day’s listening or most of a long-haul flight. Factor in the case and you get 30 hours total, meaning you can probably expect to be charging once a week or so.

Charging is solid too. Most of the time you’ll probably use USB-C to charge. Here, five minutes of charging should return an hour or so of music time, while half an hour is enough to get 50% of the battery back.

Just as usefully, Jabra has once again included Qi wireless charging. It’s certainly slower than USB-C, but far more convenient, so if you have any standard wireless charger at home or the office you should be able to use it to top these buds back up.

Price and availability

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro are available now in most countries, both from Jabra directly and from retailers including Amazon, and cost £199/$199.

If there’s a challenge for these buds, it’s that this puts them up in the same territory as some of the best wireless earbuds we’ve tested, like our current favourites the Sony WF-1000XM4, alongside the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and even the Apple AirPods Pro.

The 7 Pros can hold their own here for the most part, especially if you don’t own an iPhone or Galaxy handset which might lead you naturally to their headphones. Each of these rivals has their strengths, but the Jabras are perhaps the winning all-rounders.

Verdict

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro offer an awful lot: good audio quality (especially for calls), excellent customisability, and impressive battery life.

The noise cancellation is fairly impressive taken as a whole, but the impact of the ANC in isolation leaves something to be desired – if Jabra could make improvements here, these could be some of the best noise-cancelling earbuds around.

While these are likely to appeal to anyone who takes a lot of calls from their headphones, whether for work or otherwise, in truth these are excellent all-round performers that will suit most purposes. That’s especially true given that they support both iPhone and Android, with no missing features other than the individual voice assistant support for each.

Specs
Jabra Elite 7 Pro: Specs

Wireless earbuds
6mm speaker
Active noise-cancellation
Button controls
Google Assistant, Alexa & Siri
Accelerometer, Proximity, Hall, Touch, Ear on/off detection
4 microphones & bone conduction sensor
Bluetooth 5.2
IP57 dust- & water-resistance
5.4g per bud, 44g case
Charging case with USB-C and Qi wireless charging
8 hour-battery, 30 hours with case
Black, Titanium Black, Gold Beige



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