Jabra recently released a new mid-range TWS headphone, the Elite 3. Unlike the top models from the same manufacturer, this one does not have active noise cancellation and a rich assortment of settings. Everything is much more modest, but is it noticeable in real life?
In the box we found the headphones themselves, a case for carrying and charging, a traditionally short cable and a set of replaceable ear pads of different sizes. The case is very compact, which is great. Anyone else, but I like the small size much more than some incredible indicators of autonomy.
The headphones themselves are made with a single clear edge – the butt end. All the rest are cunning flowing shapes, obviously adapted to the auricle. On the ends there are mechanical control buttons.
Here it is necessary to digress and explain how the “mechanics” differ from the more popular sensors. As always, both buttons have fans. I like the mechanical ones more: it’s hard to press them accidentally when you insert or adjust the headphones. But every time you press, you actually press the gadget into the ear canal (because you need to make even small, but efforts). This is sometimes annoying, so I also understand very well who are fond of sensors (it’s enough just to touch).
The edges of the Jabra Elite 3 are triangular in shape. If they are not in the case, at first it is difficult to understand: where are the right headphones, where are the left ones and exactly how to insert them into your ear. The brand name on the button does not add clarity: it is logical that the inscription should be read horizontally, but no. 3-4 times I looked for the letters L and R on the body, but then the realization came.
The test on ears of different sizes and configurations gave an interesting result: all participants noted a secure fit and a comfortable fit. Headphones, when installed, look great and do not stick out even from small ears. Plus, they perfectly isolate from external noise.
When you have only 2 buttons, and you want to implement a great variety of functions, you have to use different scenarios. In the Jabra Elite 3, the most popular are “hung” on the right earpiece. Pressing once turns on and pauses the track, twice – starts the next one, three times – the previous one.
The left earphone is used for smart functions. Press once – the HearThrough transparency mode will turn on. Double-clicking calls up the voice assistant. What about the volume? It can also be controlled, but by holding the buttons. The button on the right earphone will increase the volume, on the left – decrease it.
Traditionally, the rest of the functions are activated via the Jabra Sound + app. And the main one is the ready-made equalizer presets. Initially, the mode, which is called “Neutral”, is activated. But there are options with enhancement of vocals, low or high frequencies, as well as simply “Smooth” and “Energetic”.
Also in the application you can see the remaining battery charge or manually enable / disable HearThrough. Finally, there is also an instruction manual – it will help out, for example, if you forget the algorithm of the buttons. Unfortunately, it is impossible to reassign the functions on the buttons, as on top models.
In general, I would say that the application is optional, but there is an important point. The earbuds are IP55 rated against dust and water, and in order to receive a two-year guarantee that they will fail due to the ingress of dust or water, you need to register your kit in the application. So it’s worth downloading it.
How do they sound
The Jabra Elite 3 uses 6mm speakers and supports SBC and aptX codecs. Now almost all manufacturers of TWS headphones are trying to focus on “deep bass”, because this is what the owners of such gadgets lack. The Elite 3 sounds decent across all ranges, but the bass isn’t particularly impressive even in boost mode. Perhaps this is a consequence of an involuntary comparison: before the “three rubles” I went mainly with the top 85t.
In any case, the Elite 3 sounds better than many competitors in this class. They are quite versatile, they cope well with both instrumental and vocal parts. Here, good passive noise insulation also plays a plus.
The characteristics of the headphones indicate that they can work up to 7 hours, and taking into account the energy reserve in the case – up to 28. The first figure is similar to reality: I had enough charging for a total of 6 hours, that is, with my intensity of listening to music in headphones – for a week. Fast charging is also provided (10 minutes is enough for 1 hour of operation).
But I would focus on one more feature that is rarely given importance to tests. The Jabra Elite 3 features two-channel audio, which means each of the headphones can work in mono mode. If you use headphones for calls (or just turn on music in one earphone in the background), their autonomy without recharging can double. The battery in the right earpiece is empty – just take the left one out of the case and continue talking through it).
Visit jabra.com for more information.
The new Jabra Elite 3 costs about $120. What we definitely liked about them was the compact size (both of the headphones and the case), excellent sound quality and a comfortable fit. Support for aptX can be another bonus for those who really care about it.