Hands-on review: Jabra Elite 5
The Jabra Elite 5 are the latest pair of true wireless earbuds from Danish audio company Jabra to hit the New Zealand market and come between the Elite 3 and Elite 7 Pro when it comes to both performance and affordability.
The Jabra Elite 5 boasts features such as a 28-hour battery life (for the case), Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and six-mic call technology. On top of that, there’s a IP55 dust, and water-resistant rating and a two-year warranty should anything go wrong.
The Jabra Elite 5 are available with an RRP of AU$219 / NZ$239.
First impressions and setup
Finished in a matte-plastic-like material and available in Gold Beige or Titanium Black, the Elite 5 earbuds and case are very good-looking and modern. The earbuds are quite light at just 5g each and fit right into the outside of the ear canal, so they’re not too big at all, either.
Included in the box are the earbuds, three sets of silicone ‘EarGels’ to help tailor the fit of the earbuds to your ear, the charging case, and a USB-C to USB-A cable.
The Elite 5 earbuds connect to your phone via Bluetooth 5.2, and pairing them is relatively straightforward. Once they’re connected, they easily pair with your device each time you open the charging case and place them into your ears. Connection works well both on Android and iOS devices.
There is also a companion app – Jabra Sound+ - which allows you to do things like change the strength of the active noise cancellation (ANC) and activate HearThrough technology, which uses the buds’ built-in microphones to let you hear what’s happening around you.
There are physical buttons on the earbuds, which I prefer to touch-sensitive ones, although the voice assistant feature (which utilises Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa) can be done using only your voice.
Charging the case takes approximately 180 minutes and can be done either via fast charging with the USB cable, or through a Qi wireless charging pad.
As an everyday pair of earbuds, the Jabra Elite 5s perform to a high standard, although if you are an audiophile, you might want to think of spending a bit more if you want outstanding performance.
Bass is available in abundance, and vocals sound clear and crisp. The sound is rich, and the earbuds get a lot louder than I originally anticipated. Phone calls on Elite 5s are just as impressive, with all six microphones working in tandem to ensure the line is clear for everyone on the call.
The ANC could be a little bit better, but it does make a noticeable difference when you’re using the earbuds in louder environments, such as on public transport or at your local gym. The performance is less sensitive to how you position the buds in your ears, so you do notice better noise cancellation on both your calls and music.
Bluetooth can operate up to 10m away, and I was almost able to achieve this during testing. I was also (virtually) able to succeed in attaining the claimed 28-hour battery life, albeit once ANC was switched off and the volume wasn’t at its maximum level.
The earbuds remember up to six separate connections – perfect if you like to jump between different devices like your work computer, your phone, and your tablet. You can also connect to more than one device at a time, thanks to Bluetooth multipoint.
If you do plan to go out exercising using the Jabra Elite 5, the previously mentioned IP55 dust and water-resistant rating makes them an even savvier purchase.
The Jabra Elite 5 are a worthy purchase if you’re looking to upgrade to a set of wireless earbuds with ANC. They’re just a great all-rounder - the battery life is excellent for the average user and allows you to forget about the case and only charge it once or twice per week (if you’re a moderate user), and the sound quality is more than good enough. The robustness, coupled with the two-year warranty offered by Jabra means these are built to last.
The earbuds are somewhat affordable, although you could look towards the slightly less expensive Jabra Elite 3 should you not require ANC, HearThrough, the six-microphone call technology, or the wireless charging case.