Jun 16, 2023
Jabra's latest wireless earbuds have Dolby spatial audio
Jabra has launched two new models of wireless earbuds — it’s new flagship, the Jabra Elite 10 ($249), and a new ultra-rugged model, the Elite 8 Active ($199) — targeted at those with active
Jabra has launched two new models of wireless earbuds — it’s new flagship, the Jabra Elite 10 ($249), and a new ultra-rugged model, the Elite 8 Active ($199) — targeted at those with active lifestyles. Each is equipped active noise cancellation (ANC) and Dolby audio — the Elite 8 Active get Dolby spatial sound, while the Elite 10 get Dolby Atmos with head tracking for an even more immersive listening experience.
They replace the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, Elite 7 Active, and Jabra Elite 85t, which will remain available until Jabra’s existing inventory is depleted. The Elite 8 Active is available immediately via jabra.com and select retailers, while the Elite 10 will make its retail debut in September.
Both models have Bluetooth Multipoint, Fast Pair, Swift Pair, and Spotify Tap playback, and both are targeted to be compatible with Bluetooth LE Audio (with LC3 and LC3plus codec support) after a future firmware update.
You can check out our full review of the Jabra Elite 10, and we expect to review the Elite 8 Active shortly. Here are the highlights for each model.
The Elite 10 look like a hybrid of the Elite 7 Pro and the older Elite 85t. They sport the 7 Pro’s teardrop-shaped multifunction button, but they’re slightly larger and use a vented design like the 85t to help reduce the so-called occlusion effect (that feeling of having blocked ears). Jabra has revised the shape of the eartips, making them an asymmetrical oval shape instead of the company’s usual round design. A soft silicone finish has been applied to the entire body of the earbud and it’s more egglike shape is meant to provide a more comfortable fit.
The 85t was also intended to be more comfortable, but it gave up ruggedness to do so, with a limited IPX4 rating for water resistance. The Elite 10 are much hardier by comparison, with a fully waterproof IP57 rating, the same as the Elite 7 Pro it replaces.
Jabra says the Elite 10 get its best level of advanced ANC performance — it claims it’s twice as effective as the entry-level Jabra Elite 4 — and that the three-mic-per-earbud system will deliver better call clarity in any environment.
However the big addition to the earbuds is the inclusion of an optional spatial audio mode powered by Dolby. You’ll be able to switch to Dolby Atmos processing, which will enhance normal, two-channel stereo sound to be more immersive. You can also enable head tracking, which will anchor certain parts of your audio to the “front” of your space as you move your head.
The Elite 10 has a redesigned wireless charging case and the earbuds get a claimed six hours of battery life with ANC turned on and a total of 27 hours when you include the case.
The Elite 8 Active have an almost identical shape to the Elite 7 Active, and they use the same ShakeGrip rubberized silicone to create a very secure fit. They may look the same, but Jabra has improved the ruggedness of these earbuds, which now sport an IP68 rating — the highest dustproof, watertight, and sweatproof protection you can get in a personal audio product. The case has also been ruggedized with an IP54 rating — a rare level of protection for a charging case in the wireless earbuds world.
Jabra also claims that the Elite 8 Active have achieved the 810H U.S. military standard for ruggedized electronics, and that they’ve undergone Highly Accelerated Corrosion Testing (HACT), which requires the earbuds to pass 11 cycles of testing, including enduring two hours in 104-degree Fahrenheit temperatures with 93% humidity, a 15-minute splash test in saltwater, and a 15-minute drying test at 104 degrees to prove their anticorrosion credentials.
The Elite 8 Active also get an option for Dolby Audio with spatial sound, but it’s not quite as immersive an effect as the Elite 10’s Dolby Atmos and there’s no option for head tracking. They get Jabra’s adaptive hybrid ANC system, which though a step down from the best advanced ANC tech, should still deliver excellent sound suppression thanks to the fully sealed design of the earbuds.
Battery life is slightly improved from the Elite 7 Active. You still get a claimed up to eight hours of playtime, but now the total time has been extended by two hours to 32 hours.