Jabra pleasantly surprised a lot of folks when it launched the Elite 85h last year. The over-the-ear headphones came with ANC, great sound, very good battery life, and some very neat software touches. However, they also came with a very stiff price tag at the time of launch. Their price tag of Rs 28,999 put the Elite 85h right up against the likes of the Bose QC35 II and the Sony WH-1000XM3. Formidable competitors and ones that had excellent reviews and brand equity in the premium ANC headphone segment.
Well, they evidently seem to have become a whole lot more affordable. Some websites including Amazon are selling the Jabra Elite 85h at a price of Rs 16,499 (Jabra itself has listed it at a slightly reduced price of Rs 24,999 on its own site).
That’s a drop of almost 43 percent from the launch price. And in our books, it certainly makes the Elite 85h one of the best premium ANC headphone options out there.
The headphones are very well designed, and although a bit on the large side, they did not really squash our ears. And what’s more, they are water-resistant (yes, you can stroll in the rain with them). We had found the Elite 85h’s active noise cancellation to be very close to what we got from the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Bose QC 35 II and if that does not tell you how good it was, well, nothing would. It easily killed external sounds in crowded cafes and on the metro train. Jabra claims it can adjust the level of ANC to different conditions – it is not dramatically evident but it does work. And rather remarkably, the set was very good when it came to handling phone calls – even better than Bose or Sony. Jabra claims it was because the Elite 85h has six microphones dedicated to calls.
The headphones come with Jabra’s slightly more bass-y sound signature, which many like. We think it is just a tiny notch below the clarity and smoothness we got from Sony and especially Bose, but let’s get one thing clear – these headphones sound very good indeed. What’s more, they last for more than thirty-five hours on a single charge (USB Type-C port as well) and has fast charging too – fifteen minutes of charging gives you five hours of listening. Super for binge-watching on a commute, in a cafe or on the couch. The headphones are comfortable to use and well, some would say they even look stylish! And then there are some super cool UI touches. Our favorite is how they switch on when you place them on your head and pause (and even switch off later). They support Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant too!
Truth be told, we would have felt that their battery life, water-resistance and calling prowess would have made the Elite 85h a viable alternative to the Bose QC 35 II and the Sony WH-1000 XM3 even at their launch price. At their significantly decreased price, these are a downright steal! If you want a pair of headphones that do it all – deliver great sound, handle calls brilliantly, kill external sound – and can be your companions in the dust and rain, get these.
Rather curiously, the reduced price is available for Gold Beige and Navy variants of the headphones. The Copper Black is retailing for Rs 24,999. Our advice: head for the Navy! And we would advise doing so fast because this price drop does not seem permanent – we have seen a few sites revert to older (and higher) prices after a few days.
Get them here: https://amzn.to/2Iqgga0