Jabra has successfully carved out its place in the competitive market for True Wireless headphones, with 65T, 75T ( Elite version then Elite Active ), and Elite 85T ranges. However, until now, the manufacturer ignored the entry-level, that is to say, the headphones at less than $80. This oversight has now been repaired with the new Jabra Elite 3, small headphones a little simpler than what the brand had accustomed to, which nevertheless managed to retain the atypical Jabra identity. A real good value for money?
|Super-comfortable fit||No AAC support|
|Good battery life||No active noise reduction|
Providing excellent comfort for “standard” ears, the usual Jabra headphones are still a bit annoying for tiny ears, mainly because of their spherical shape. With its Elite 3, the manufacturer has revised its copy and presents lightweight headphones on a scale (less than 5 grams per earphone) in a reduced volume.
Only a small change; its reduced size means that the cannula penetrates slightly more into the ear than the 75T and 85T. This can result in a feeling a little more stuffy in the ear, but hardly.
|Jabra Elite 3|
|Type||In the Ear|
|Colors||Dark Grey, Navy, Light Beige, Lilac|
|OS||Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS|
|Weight||33.5 g case/4.6 g earbuds|
|Dimension||20.1 x 27.2 x 20.8mm|
|Frequency range||20 Hz (Min) – 20 kHz (Max)|
The design is well known from previous Jabra models, with a small, oval case and compact plugs that fit snugly in the ear. The case is relatively identical to the case of, for example, the Elite 75t, but the Elite 3 case still feels a good deal cheaper in the hands. First and foremost, the lid and especially the hinge feel a little less solid. On the outside, the rubberized plastic has been replaced with a completely normal smooth variant – which is also a small place down in the feeling of quality.
|Audio codecs||Qualcomm aptX, SBC|
For this model, Jabra also offers not IPX4 as usual in this price range but IP55 certification, ensuring total resistance to splashing water. What really consider a sports use then. On the other hand, the brand does not certify the Elite 3 against sweat (the IP55 still allows them to be cleaned with a damp cloth); it will be necessary for this to turn to the next Elite 7 Active.
In passing, Jabra has not integrated an induction charge in the box, so it will be necessary to use the very classic USB-C socket.
The call quality is something Jabra emphasizes in the marketing of the Elite 3, with four microphones that will ensure that you are reproduced well through the spout. This is also true, at least as long as you are not in an environment with a lot of noise and/or wind. The wind is especially a challenge for Elite 3, which has a rather aggressive noise reduction that is a bit much of a good thing when the situation is difficult. With wind and traffic around, the other party hardly hears anything – noise reduction removes both noise and voice, and the result is not particularly good. Indoors and in less noisy environments, however, the Jabras is good, although not on a par with the standard we might expect from them after the excellent Elite 85h.
You can also choose to have the so-called “page tone” activated during conversations so that the plugs automatically go into a kind of ambient mode, and you hear your own voice in a conversation. This is arranged in the Jabra app, which otherwise does not have very many functions for Elite 3 – you get six predefined sound modes, the page tone selection, and the option to activate the ambient mode, but that’s it.
As mentioned, the battery life is seven hours per charge, and it seems to agree well with our experiences. 10 minutes of charging in the case should otherwise give an hour of playback, so it is relatively quick to refill if you should run out, and you, therefore, have three extra full charges in the case. IP55 certification also allows you to use them for training and in the rain without harm.
|Battery Life||Up to 28 hours|
|Charge Time||Up to 3.5 hours|
|Qi Wireless Charging||Yes|
|Bluetooth||Yes 5.2 v|
The plugs have small buttons on the outside, and the commands you access are mostly quite intuitive to deal with. One press on the correct pin plays or pauses the music; one press on the left activates the HearThrough mode, which lets ambient sound through. Two presses on the right skip a song, while three presses on the left skip a song. It’s a little strange that the two commands are not the same, but fortunately, it’s easy to learn.
Jabra has also found space for volume adjustment – up by holding down right and down by holding down left. On Android phones, you also get the option to start the last played song from Spotify with two taps on the left plug when you are not playing music.
Elite 3 does not have noise reduction, so that it is mentioned. “Everything” of new earplugs these days almost seems to have noise attenuation in one form or another, but here you have to make do with passive attenuation. It is admittedly quite good, and you probably do not get too much worse out here than from another pair with moderately active noise reduction.
In terms of sound, we also think Elite 3 sounds good for a set that costs less than a thousand kroner. It almost sounds like Jabra has inserted the elements from the previous 65t and turned the levers a little extra. It does not sound as sharp or large as at 75t or 85t, but a good deal more bass-focused and notch-less well-defined and detailed. It Should say that 75t sounds very good, and Elite 3 is just a small notch below.
Also, if you think the Jabra sound is usually a bit flat and dull, this is probably a step up, not down. The bass knob is screwed up many notches, and it makes them fun and engaging to listen to, perhaps especially during training.
However, it must mention that Elite 3 only supports Aptx of sound-enhancing codecs, not AAC, which is a bit opposite of what we are used to from earplugs in 2021. This means that iPhone users have to make do with the basic and qualitatively inferior SBC- codec, without it meaning that the sound quality in practice is so much inferior.
The Aptx sound is probably a bit more well-defined at the top and bottom, so if you have an Android phone or use the plugs with Windows or Mac, you will have a better experience, albeit only marginally.
Without being at the top of the best, the Jabra headphones are generally placed in an excellent average, even in the excellent products in terms of autonomy.
And if they are affordable enough, the Elite 3 do not skimp on this feature and display a solid performance: 7 hours on a single charge. Mainly used in AptX (enabled by default on our Pixel 3), the headphones gave up the ghost a little after 6 hours 15/6 hours 30 of use, but with this codec more energy-consuming than the AAC usually used for measurements. ‘autonomy.
The Jabra Elite 3 is not very spectacular, but we may not expect that for $79.99. That said, they do everything important in a good way.
They sound absolutely approved; they have good battery life and sit very well in place. The call quality is fine as long as it’s not too noisy around you, and it’s easy to control playback and volume through the buttons on the side of each plug.
However, the Elite 75t has come as far down as $140, which means that the price step up to a better Jabra pair is not particularly large. Then you get active noise reduction, better sound, and a slightly greater feeling of quality on the case, which may be worth paying $35 extra for. Another good alternative is Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro, which is also only a few hundred bucks up.
In that sense, Jabra has found its price niche with these, but the difference between other, better products is not very long either. If you have the extra hundred bucks, you should probably use them.