Jabra Elite 5 review defdocx
New from the Danish brand, the Elite 5 complements an already wellstocked midrange offering with the very good Elite 3 and Jabra Elite 4 Active. But with major technological advances, the number 5 Jabra could also outshine the premium Elite 7 Pro and Elite 7 Active models.
Building on its expertise in professional headsets, Jabra is advancing 6microphone calling technology and hybrid active noise cancellation for “stay in your bubble.” Aimed at young active music lovers, the Jabra Elite 5 also offers Bluetooth multipoint connectivity and the promise of good sound with the addition of Aptx, a more efficient audio codec.
The compact and versatile headphones are available in gold beige or titanium black and are currently on sale for a starting price of €169.69. Let’s discover new ones together.
Comfortable headphones if you like intra
In terms of design, the Jabra 5s are nothing new, they feature the triangular shape of the latest Elite Series headphones. Inear models with a smooth profile, the advantage of Elite 5, according to the manufacturer, “Based on an analysis of thousands of ears, to offer headphones that are as comfortable as possible to wear.” To oppose Bose, Apple and Sony, Jabra persists and signs a contract with compact headphones that can be forgotten, both in design and in the comfort they provide to the user. Even lighter than the Elite 7 Pro, the Jabra Elite 5 truly delivers a great sense of comfort and isolation as soon as they fit in your ears.
True to its reputation, Jabra offers some of the most comfortable wireless headphones on the market in this price range. However, it should be noted that due to the design of the Elite 5 headphones, they fit directly into the ear, which can be confusing for people who are allergic to overly intrusive models. But like all inear headphones, they come with 3 sizes of silicone tips for proper fit and good sound isolation.
Ready to go with you wherever you go, the Jabra Elite 5 headphones are IP55 certified, making them resistant to rain and dust. We were even able to test them while running because they don’t move when wedged in our ears, but for purely athletic use we’d rather recommend the Jabra Active 7, which comes with a true antisweat coating.
The Elite 5 case, very compact, is also a model of privacy. Compatible with Qi induction charging, this box also allows you to quickly charge your headphones.
As far as controls go, Jabra stays true to the push button system for managing music, calls, and headphone noise cancellation. Controls that, however, we felt a little less reactive than the Elite 3 and 7 Pro, but not very annoying to use. And we’re happy to find the volume control with a long press on each of the earbuds – on the right to turn up the volume, and on the left to turn the volume down.
More physical ergonomics than touchsensitive headphones, which take a little getting used to but offer real comfort of use even while walking. And, as always with Jabra, all commands are pretty much customizable via their own app, which remains one of the best on the market.
The app is always on top
The Sound+ app (available for Android and iOs) is quite featurepacked and a real musthave to get the most out of your Jabra headphones. It offers a lot of saved settings in the headphones to find their settings on any connected device. We really have the hand to tweak controls, audio settings, calls, and even ANC.
The app also includes a 5band equalizer, which will prove very useful for further enhancing the Elite 5’s sound signature. On the other hand, it’s not possible to create a personal audio profile here, as with the Elite 7 Pro. Jabra wants to segment its range by reserving some important features for premium models, but the app is otherwise excellent.
Noise cancellation is still greatly improved
Despite the manufacturer’s big ambitions to improve noise cancellation, we didn’t notice any major changes compared to the Elite 7 Pro, which no longer excelled in this area. The combination of internal and external microphones (the famous hybrid system) does not work wonders for completely canceling out unwanted noise. This is especially noticeable in transport, where the rumble of subway trains often masks the sounds of music!
But Elite 5 still has resources. By playing around with the ANC settings in the app, we manage to get good results in an office context, even if the audio of conversations is still audible. Inspired by the Elite 3, the Jabra Elite 5 also offers an app to mask ambient noise with natural sounds, but this feature remains anecdotal again.
As is often the case with Jabra, the HearThrough mode is more effective for accurately measuring ambient noise levels with fairly natural reproduction. But, in spite of everything, the Danish manufacturer still has room for improvement. With a somewhat disappointing RBA, especially outdoors, the Jabra Elite 5s can’t compete with competing models like the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 or the much better Oppo Enco X2.
With a promise “with a sound that lasts” Jabra guarantees us 7 hours of use with ANC activated and up to 28 hours with a case that offers multiple recharges. Numbers we can confirm as we exceeded 8 hours of listening at moderate volume using Aptx combined with active noise cancellation.
And, of course, to increase autonomy, you can use only one earbud while the others are charging, since they are independent. As you may have guessed, the Jabra Elite 5 is reliable enough to take you all day long into outer space without having to worry about the battery.
Please note that you will have to wait about 2.5 hours for the earphones to fully charge, but 10 minutes in the case will give you an extra hour of music, which was already with the Elite 3, but is still very noticeable. For its part, the Elite 5 case charges via USBC, but it’s also compatible with Qi wireless induction charging. With very good battery life for RBA headphones, the Jabra Elite 5 is nothing to be ashamed of by the competition, even better than some of the more expensive models like the Enco X2 or the AirPod Pro.
Bluetooth 5.2 multipoint connection
In terms of connectivity, the Jabra Elite 5 offers just about everything you’d expect from Bluetooth headphones in 2022: 5.2 multipoint connectivity (for connecting up to 6 devices) and quick pairing of Android phones and PCs via Google Fair and Microsoft Switch Pair. Jabra headphones are also compatible with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant and give you quick access to your playlist with Spotify Tap.
And a small bonus over the Elite 7 Pro, the Elite 5 supports Aptx, a higher quality audio codec than regular SBCs and AACs. And furthermore, the test with these headphones is quite convincing, which benefit from a very stable connection without any audio dropouts even with Aptx, which nevertheless requires more bandwidth. This is very well done by Jabra!
The lag, on the other hand, is quite noticeable in videos, and it’s impossible to fix anything in the companion app. While most platforms, such as Netflix, will automatically compensate for picture/audio lag to ensure a quality viewing experience, this is not the case with video games. From this point of view, the Jabra Elite 5 may not be recommended for gamers.
Muted sound quality
In terms of sound, the Elite 5 has small 6mm drivers and in the Elite 3 and 4 succession they support Aptx in addition to the mainstream SBC and AAC audio codecs. This technology, developed by Qualcomm, delivers a higher quality audio stream for more detailed sound. But to take advantage of this, you must have a compatible phone (with Qualcomm Socs), which was the case for this test with the Huawei P30 and Samsung A52 5G.
But what about the sound of the Elite 5? Unsurprisingly, we find Jabra’s distinctive sonic signature: quite prominent in the mids with a slight bass lag. Sound transmission of good quality, pleasant to the ear, but without much relief. And when switching from SBC to Aptx, the difference is small, but not overwhelming. We perceive certain instruments better, but we do not necessarily acquire spatiality.
It all lacks a bit of breadth and personality, which can be frustrating if you’re a fan of big, punchy guitars like we are. Despite the obvious qualities, Jabra headphones need a little musical upgrade to reach their full potential.
Luckily, you can play around with the Sound+ app’s 5band equalizer to energize everything, boost bass, or highlight voices to fully immerse yourself in your favorite TV series. And in addition to the factory presets – which is very good – you can also store your personal presets in the headphones. Enough to create a sound that really suits you and follows you around. Another good moment for Jabra!
Headphones that are good for calls
The Jabra Elite 5 also handles handsfree calls very well. Equipped with 6 microphones (compared to 4 for the Elite 7 Pro), the Elite 5 does a good job of reproducing voice, including in noisy or windy environments. Once again, special attention should be paid to the Jabra app, which offers many opportunities to improve the sound quality in calls and listening conditions.
Faced with the Jabra Elite 5, there are many competitors in the midrange including the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro, Google Pixel Buds Pro, Oppo Enco X2 and even the Jabra Elite 7 Pro. Waterproof and very comfortable, Samsung models offer highdefinition audio with good handsfree performance, but no multipoint connectivity. Besides a very good sound level, the Pixel Buds Pro offer a decent RBA at a very attractive price. For its part, the Oppo Enco X2 impressed us with an overall performance that surpasses the Elite 5 in many ways. And if we’re looking for a more professional model, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro seems like the best alternative to the Elite 5 for remote use, with good sound reproduction but no Aptx.
The Jabra Elite 5 are True Wireless headphones that offer a good midrange compromise with decent sound quality, good battery life and real comfort of use if you like inear headphones. Compact headphones, very good for calls, with many features that will appeal to a wide audience: multipoint connection, customizable controls and a very complete app. But they also have a few small drawbacks: slightly frustrating noise cancellation and an audio signature without much relief, which we can thankfully improve with the Jabra app, which works wonders. But despite these small caveats, the Elite 5 are allround wireless headphones that offer very good value for money.