- The Jabra Elite 5 are the latest in Jabra’s Elite range of TWS earphones and are closer to the premium segment than the Elite 2,3, and 4 Active.
- The Jabra Elite 5 come with features like ANC, IP55 rating, and wireless charging.
- Launched at $149.99/Rs 14,999, the Jabra Elite 5 are now available at Rs 11,999 and score heavily on audio and call quality, although ANC is not their forte.
The TWS world is more crowded than ever. We see the rise of a new TWS almost every week, and each one turns a new competitive leaf and becomes a proper headache for others. Just like smartphones, it seems there is no real “bad” TWS in the market anymore with respect to their prices.
While there are a number of brands floating in the TWS sea, big and small, one of the bigger names has to be Jabra. Jabra has been consistently releasing TWS, and most of these truly wireless earbuds have managed to leave some kind of mark.
Jabra has recently launched a new pair of TWS, the Jabra Elite 5. The earbuds were launched at a price of $149.99 / Rs. 14,999 but are more often available at a discounted Rs. 11,999. But can the Jabra Elite 5 make significant enough space for themselves in the TWS world?
Table of Contents
Jabra Elite 5 Review: Sticking to the Jabra design blueprint
There are brands that go crazy in trying out new shapes and designs in TWS, and there are those who figure out what works for them and their consumers and stick with it. Jabra comes in the latter category. Some might accuse the brand of a lack of dramatic innovation, but it is an approach that has served it well. Jabra has this very basic design blueprint that it follows through its entire Elite range, and the Elite 5 are no different. They have a very similar design to the Elite Active 4, the Elite 3, and even the Elite 2. They all look very similar.
Having said that, this is a design that works. And works quite well, actually. The Jabra Elite 5 are available in two colors, Titanium Black and Gold Beige, both of which, like the overall design language of the buds, tend to blend in rather than stand out. We received the Gold Beige, which is basically just muddy beige in our books. The matte case and that color leave very little ground for dust and smudges to make it look old or battered, which means they would age quite well, something we cannot say for many shiny, glossy TWS cases in the market.
The case is not too big either and will sit easily in a rather small pocket as well. There is a small LED on the front that is a one and all indicator with very subtle Jabra branding just above it. There is a USB Type C port on the back of the case, and it also comes with support for Qi Wireless charging which is also a plus. The flip-open type case, when opened, reveals the earbuds nestled inside their slots.
The gold and beige color combo comes through in the buds. The flat-backed in-ear buds have a muted gold back, while the rest of the body is beige. Unlike most TWS that come with annoyingly tiny buttons and control options, the flat back of the Jabra Elite 5 buds is one big button that is quite convenient to use almost all the time. The only time it can prove to be a problem is when one needs to shove them back into one’s ear or adjust their position. That’s when we ended up giving accidental commands. These buttons also have a camouflaged LED that indicates connection status.
In the box, you get three different-sized silicone ear tips, and one can try and test which size feels the most snug. We opted to go with medium ones. Even though there isn’t any fin to give the earbuds extra grip when in ears, the buds hold on quite well. We think the fit credit goes to the fact that the buds go quite deep in the ears without hurting them. The buds weigh 5 grams each, and the case is 40 grams which makes them both quite lightweight to use and carry around. The earbuds also come with an IP55 rating. This, when combined with the snug fit, makes the Jabra Elite 5 a great workout partner.
Jabra Elite 5 controls: Preferring buttons to touch, and working just fine
The Jabra Elite 5 case does not come with even a single button which can confuse some about the pairing process, but it is actually quite hassle-free. Instead of the case, the buttons on the buds have to be long-pressed to get them in pairing mode. Once the tiny LEDs blink in blue, you can go into your Bluetooth list on your device and pair them. The buds can be connected to two devices at once and can remember up to six devices which means you do not have to pair-unpair all the time. But if multiple devices are in the vicinity, the buds tend to get a little confused as to which one to pair with.
The controls are pretty simple. A single click on the right bud allows you to play/pause/ answer calls. While double presses can reject calls or change tracks, while a single press on the left bud allows you to sail through different ANC modes. One can also customize controls using Jabra’s very own Sound+ app, which is available on both iOS and Android. The app is pretty clean and easy to use. It gives you the exact amount of battery percentage left on each bud and the case as well. If you wish to add a voice assistant to the buds, you can do so by using the settings options in the app. It also allows you to change controls, adjust EQ, activate soundscapes, and customize ANC levels.
Jabra Elite 5 Sound: Extremely impressive audio
The Jabra Elite 5 come with 6mm dynamic drivers, which may not seem exceptional at this price, but the buds also come with Bluetooth 5.2 and with support for SBC codec, aptX, and AAC, which means high-quality audio can be experienced on the buds.
The audio on the Jabra Elite 5 is actually quite impressive. The buds offer balanced audio output, which is very surprising in this price range where all TWS want to rumble and give extra attention to the lows. The sound on the Jabra Elite 5 is actually very well-rounded without being flat, which is another issue in some TWS that try to “balance sound.” The audio has a good body which keeps it from sounding flaky. Unlike many other TWS, which can come across as rather aggressive in the audio department, the Elite 5 sound quite firm. The default audio might not appeal to the bass heads, in which case one can tweak settings in the app and customize the sound to their preference.
A small complaint that we have with the Jabra Elite 5’s audio is with the volume levels. Another odd thing about the Elite 5 is that while the music stops when you take one of the earbuds out of your ear, it will not resume automatically when you put the earbud back. You would need to press the button on the buds again. We also wish they were just a teensy bit loud when maxed out, but other than that, the audio on the buds is very good.
Jabra Elite 5 performance: Great calls, decent battery, not-so-good ANC
The same story carries on in the call department as well. The earbuds come with six mics each which do a very good job when handling calls. Not once did we get any complaints about our voice or audio quality when we used the buds for calls.
Jabra claims that the earbuds can stay alive for up to 7 hours with ANC and for up to 9 hours without ANC, which we found more or less true during our review. The buds managed to see 6-6.5 hours of use easily. Turn the volume and ANC down, and they will be able to live a couple of hours longer. The case, on the other hand, offers about 28 hours of battery life, which means you can charge the earbuds thrice before you will need to plug the case in. The battery life both on the earbuds and the case, might not be too exceptional, but it isn’t low either and is pretty decent. The Jabra Elite 5 also come with support for fast charging, where just ten minutes of charging can give you one hour of playtime.
That said, here, the ‘good’ ends, and the ‘meh’ begins. For all its claims, the Jabra Elite 5 do not offer ANC that would be able to drown out all outside noise. Yes, they can easily muffle down the noise, but they cannot completely mute it. The ANC on the buds is more or less like passive isolation than actually an active one. This is disappointing, especially at this price point.
Jabra Elite 5 Review Verdict: Get them if you want good audio and call quality
The Jabra Elite 5 were launched at the price of $149.99 / Rs. 14,999 but are now available for Rs. 11,999 (if not less) and come with a level of sound and call quality that is quite a rarity in this price segment. The TWS perform quite well in all departments, may it be sound, battery life, call quality, or connectivity, except for one– ANC. They do face competition from the likes of the recently released OnePlus Buds Pro 2/2R, the Oppo Enco X2, and even the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, which now have got a price cut. If what you are looking for in a pair of TWS is noise-muting ANC, then the Jabra Elite 5 might not be your cup of audio tea, but they do very well in all the other zones. Get them particularly if you want good audio and call quality.
Buy Jabra Elite 5 (US) Buy Jabra Elite 5 (India)
- Balanced sound
- Good controls
- Great call quality
- Wireless charging
- Uninspiring design
- Mediocre ANC
|Looks & Design||
Launched at $149.99/Rs 14,999, the Jabra Elite 5 are now available at Rs 11,999 and score heavily on audio and call quality, although ANC is not their forte.