Technology

Jabra Elite 4 Active review

I review quite a bit of true wi-fi earbuds, so I’m all the time curious what the subsequent traits can be when corporations supply their annual refresh for brand spanking new merchandise. Over the previous couple of years, smaller sizes, higher battery life and hands-free options have develop into the norm, however there’s solely a lot you are able to do on such a tiny system.

In 2021, Jabra set the brand new commonplace for inexpensive wi-fi earbuds with . At $80, it covers many of the fundamentals fairly properly.Now the company is bettering its mid-range choice with . It’s a extra workout-focused mannequin, full with energetic noise cancellation (ANC) and sufficient moisture safety for the sweatiest of classes. Like it did final year, Jabra is searching for to not solely make its true wi-fi lineup compelling by way of options and efficiency, however to additionally make the worth extra aggressive. This $120 model delivers plenty of choices that we usually see on earbuds that go for $150-$180.

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Comfy match
  • Solid sound high quality
  • Customizable ANC

Cons

  • Noise cancellation is simply okay
  • Cumbersome controls
  • No automated pausing
  • No wi-fi charging

The Elite 4 Active carries Jabra’s new design that debuted on the Elite 3, Elite 7 Active and Elite 7 Pro final year. Instead of a largely round earbud with an elbow that holds the microphones, the company switched to a rounded triangle form that gives a cleaner look. Most importantly, all of Jabra’s newest earbuds are considerably smaller than their predecessors and the Elite 4 Active continues that pattern. The smaller dimension not solely means these buds don’t stand out from your ears as a lot, however they’re additionally lighter and extra comfortable.

I wouldn’t blame you for mistaking the Elite 4 Active for the Elite 3. Aesthetically, the primary distinction is the outer panel on the three is one massive button, whereas that space on the 4 Active is seamless. The button is there, however it’s sealed off. Jabra elevated the water resistance to IP57 for this mannequin, and the onboard controls are one space the place it needed to enhance safety. Of course, Jabra has all the time designed its earbuds with the Active label for exercises. Better sweat safety is normally a part of that components.

Jabra continues to revamp its true wireless lineup with compelling options at affordable prices. With the Elite 4 Active, you get upgrades like ANC and better water resistance over the base model Elite 3. Sound quality is good and battery life is solid, which helps make up for the lack of premium conveniences.

Billy Steele/Engadget

The lack of an outlined panel or button proved to be a difficulty for me when accessing the controls. I needed to practice myself to recollect to press in the course of the earbud as getting too far to the highest or backside wouldn’t register my actions. The outer floor of the Elite 4 Active is totally easy, with out a lot as a raised dot to point you’re in the precise place. Over time I’d get used to this, however after a pair weeks of testing, I’m nonetheless not nailing it persistently.

Like each different Jabra mannequin, you may tailor the Elite 4 Active to your wants by way of the company’s Sound+ app. Since this set is Jabra’s mid-range choice, you get extra options than the entry-level Elite 3, however not fairly as a lot because the Elite 7 Pro or Elite 7 Active. First, there’s ANC and it’s customizable. Notice I didn’t say adjustable. Specifically, the app enables you to set a stage of noise cancellation throughout preliminary setup. You can even tweak the stability in case you want extra on one facet than the opposite. Jabra will let you repeat this course of if it’s good to, however there’s no simply accessible slider just like the Elite 7 fashions.

The company’s transparency mode, HearThrough, may be managed within the app by way of a slider. In truth, you may even set what the on-board management for sound mode does (single press on the left facet). You can have it cycle by means of HearThrough and ANC, HearThrough and off or HearThrough, ANC and off. The app additionally permits you to activate and off Sidetone, which helps you to hear your voice while you’re on a name. Unlike some Jabra fashions, it isn’t adjustable – simply all or nothing. Still, with the ability to hear your self so that you’re a bit much less shouty over Zoom is healthier for everybody. The company’s personal Find My function returns as properly, serving to you find a misplaced earbud in case you’re prepared to offer it the right permissions. And on Android, you may go for one-touch entry to Spotify if that’s your most well-liked streaming service.

Jabra continues to revamp its true wireless lineup with compelling options at affordable prices. With the Elite 4 Active, you get upgrades like ANC and better water resistance over the base model Elite 3. Sound quality is good and battery life is solid, which helps make up for the lack of premium conveniences.

Billy Steele/Engadget

For a $120 set of earbuds, I wouldn’t blame you for not anticipating an excessive amount of within the sound division. However, Jabra has a monitor document of strong audio throughout its true wi-fi lineup. With the Elite 4 Active, the company maintains its repute for buds that sound good, however not nice. There’s respectable readability and good element, however they lack the broader soundstage and depth pricier fashions from the likes of and supply.

The Elite 4 Active has fairly good sonic vary, however massive bombastic tracks like Run The Jewels “Mean Demeanor” and Gojira’s “Another World” sound overly compressed. The bass is strong and never muddy, so conserving the vitality up throughout exercises with hip hop, EDM, or isn’t an issue. It’s simply that on the entire, songs lack the dimensional punch yow will discover with an even bigger funding. For $120 although, the Elite 4 Active will get the job executed generally.

If you end up craving to tweak the EQ, you are able to do that within the Sound+ app by way of a set of sliders. If one-tap audio modifications are extra your type, Jabra additionally gives a group of presets for fast customization. It’s not essentially the most strong set of choices for dialing within the sound, however it’s greater than you get on the extremely inexpensive Elite 3.

One benefit the Elite 4 Active has over the Elite 3 is energetic noise cancellation. As I discussed, you may customise the function to a level, however it’s not as highly effective as what’s on Jabra’s pricer earbuds. Still, the ANC right here will assist block out some distractions, simply don’t anticipate it to do plenty of heavy lifting.

The Elite 4 Active has 4 microphones for calls. Jabra says they’re lined with a “special mesh” to scale back wind noise while you’re outdoor. Typically, mileage varies tremendously on name high quality with true wi-fi earbuds. Most of the time you simply find yourself sounding such as you’re on speakerphone. With the Elite 4 Active, the decision high quality is barely higher, however nonetheless inferior to in case you had a microphone nearer to your mouth – and even pointed extra in the direction of your face. Background noise is lowered while you’re speaking, however any environmental roar is distracting while you’re not.

Gallery: Jabra Elite 4 Active review | 7 Photos


Jabra says you may anticipate as much as seven hours of battery life on the Elite 4 Active, with three extra expenses within the case for a complete of 28 hours. The company doesn’t specify whether or not or not that’s with ANC on, however in my assessments I managed seven and a half hours with noise canceling energetic. It’s in no way the most effective battery life you’ll discover in true wi-fi earbuds, however it’s definitely sufficient to get you thru a workday in case you take a break or two. If you run out of juice earlier than you head out the door, a fast cost function provides you an hour of use in 10 minutes.

At $120, Jabra is providing strong mid-range specs on the similar value as some corporations’ price range fashions. What’s extra, most of these don’t supply ANC, not to mention a transparency mode or customizable sound. Samsung put noise canceling within its most cost-effective true wi-fi mannequin with the . These earbuds are tiny and cozy and wi-fi charging is included, however the ANC efficiency is simply okay. Plus, the Galaxy Buds 2 are solely IPX2 rated, so that you’ll need to watch out about how moist you get them. Full value they’re $150, however we’ve seen them .

If you’re trying to maximize your {dollars}, I’d recommend wanting into Anker’s Soundcore line. You can discover plenty of worth, and options, there. Plus, the company’s top-of-the-line flagship ANC mannequin, , is only $170. And in case you’re good with passive noise isolation, can get the job executed for $60.

If Jabra’s new mission is to ship the identical total high quality as its earlier earbuds at extra inexpensive costs, I’m right here for it. With the Elite 4 Active, because it did with the Elite 3, the company has managed to supply a compelling set of options at an amazing value. It hasn’t lower corners to take action, bettering particulars like design and match whereas sustaining its commonplace for sound high quality. There are some omissions, however all of the fundamentals are lined and for essentially the most half executed properly. Once once more, now we have extra proof that you just don’t have to spend over $150 with a view to get a set of excellent true wi-fi earbuds.

All merchandise really helpful by Engadget are chosen by our editorial group, unbiased of our mother or father company. Some of our tales embrace affiliate hyperlinks. If you purchase one thing by means of considered one of these hyperlinks, we could earn an affiliate fee.

Back to top button