Review: Jabra’s Elite Sport Buds Are Truly Wireless and Truly Elite

Some of you may remember my article about refusing to review any more headphones unless they are truly exceptional. For those who don’t recall, I was flooded with headphones last year. Some made it to the site, some made it to my junk drawer. But I was tired of reviewing the same thing over and over. My new rule is that if you want my to review your headphones, they’d better be darn techciting.

Jabra’s response to that article? Challenge Accepted.

Meet the Elite.
Source: Jabra

Jabra’s Sport line have gotten attention here, but what makes the Sport Elite so impressive is that they combine the tracking function with a pure wireless experience that is just about perfect. Seriously.

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Let’s talk about the fit first. With six different types of ear covers, you are bound to find the fit for yourself. I used the medium foam tips. It took about an hour to get used to them, which is a huge improvement over the Sport Pulse model, which was too uncomfortable to use for longer than an hour. The Sport Elite, once you get used to them, can stay in your ears for ages. Well, for the 2.5 hours that you have a charge. Thankfully, the included charging case holds another 4 hours of juice, and charges them up fast. So while they are designed for working out, you can totally use them as regular earbuds if you plan it out.

What up, buds?
Source: Jabra.

But these are not regular earbuds. Yes, calls are crystal clear for both you and the caller (people did not believe I was on Bluetooth) and music sounds perfect. The no-wires aspect works sensationally. It’s also amusing talking on them in public, as people don’t notice them at first and think you are talking to them, or just talking to yourself. I finally find all those scenes of people using comms on Leverage believable. Still, the focus here is fitness. Finally, let me note that the Jabra Sport Elite stay in your ears during working out, nice and secure. I did fast walks, running, and some jumping in place and all was good.

That fitness aspect requires Jabra’s Sport app. When you first pair up, as with the other Jabra Sport headsets, you will want to do so via the app, not your phone settings. The app has been improved on since I last tried it, with your heart rate right on the dashboard at all times. Oh, and setting up takes about ten minutes, because you need to set some baselines. Just another reminder that this is not a casual device, but a commitment.

The Sport Elite is priced like a commitment as well. At $249 (on Amazon, you can maybe find it a drop cheaper elsewhere but not by much), they are not toys.  This is for the serious fitness devotee who wants to be able to not just listen to music on great waterproof, wireless headphones, but to also use them to track said fitness. If that is you, then these are for you.

Look, I have cheaper Bluetooth headsets, I have Bluetooth headsets with better battery life, and I have ones that connect to multiple devices (the Elite Sport pairs to one thing at a time). Yet ever since these things have entered my life, the rest of the sets have lain unused. These are special.

Note: Jabra sent me these to show me headphones can still be techciting. They win.

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Mordechai is a geek with a teenage geek daughter and geek-in-training pre-schooler. Mordechai has an obsessive interest in comics (especially older ones) as well as tech. He also watches way, way too much television.