Jabra Elite 85t Earbuds Review
Since we reviewed the Jabra Elite 65t as part of our Best Wireless Headphones of 2019 here at Backcountry Skiing Canada there have been two updates: the Jabra Elite 75t and most recently the Jabra Elite 85t. All three versions of the Elite are excellent headphones in their own right and in fact, the Jabra 65t came out on top of our 2019 comparison review, but let’s take a brief look now at some of the improvements the 85t release brings to the table.
Off the top, one of the main improvements that come with the Jabra Elite 85t is the addition of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). Whereas the Jabra Elite 65t has passive noise cancellation which aids the user in hearing, the 85t adds in ANC which means that when making phone calls any background noise is suppressed so the person on the other end of the line can hear better. If you’re someone who makes phone calls on the go then the addition of ANC to the Elite 85t may be worth the upgrade on its own.
In terms of battery life, the Jabra Elite 85t gains an extra 30 minutes of useable time for the buds themselves from 5 hours in the 65t to 5.5 hours in the 85t. The battery life of the charging case sees a sizeable increase from 10 hours in the Elite 65t to 20 hours in the 85t. One thing to note is that the battery life of the buds with ANC turned off bumps up to 7 hours which is plenty of time for a long trail run or other activity that extends beyond a few hours.
As far as speaker quality goes, the Elite 85t sees an increase in speaker size from 6mm in the 65t to 12mm which means that the speakers don’t have to work as hard to produce great sound. The 6mm speaker drivers on the 65t are no slouches, however, the 12mm size bumps up the sound quality even higher.
Durability wise the Elite 85t actually sees a bit of a decrease in terms of dust and waterproofing. The Elite 85t has a rating of IPX4 vs IP55 on the Elite 65t. IXP4 means that the buds are resistant to water splashes from any direction and are impervious to particles larger than 1mm. So, the 85t buds are not entirely water or dustproof and are even less so than the Elite 65t buds but they’ll stand up just fine to a light shower and a bit of dust.
One issue that cannot be ignored with the Jabra Elite 85t is the cost increase. The Elite 65t earbuds are an absolute bargain at $79.99 CAD but the Elite 85t earbuds definitely take a major jump in price to $299.00 CAD. Some definite improvements were made with the 85t especially with the addition of ANC, an increase in battery life, and an increase in speaker size from 6mm to 12mm. If you are someone who wears earbuds regularly while on the go then the Jabra Elite 85t, with all the improvements that have been made to them, they are an excellent investment even with the bump up in cost.
Updates to the Jabra Elite 85t
Bud battery life: 7 hours
Charging case battery life: 24 hours
Wireless charging case
Charging connector USB-C
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Digital assistant support: Google Assistant, Siri
Speaker size: 12mm drivers
Headset (2 earbuds), Charging Case, USB cable, 3 sets of silicon Ear Gels, Warranty and Warning leaflet
Price: $299CAN / $229US
Dimensions: Earbud 23.1 x 19.0 x 16.2 mm / 0.9 x 0.8 x 0.6 inches; Case 64.8 x 41.1 x 28.5 mm / 2.6 x 1.6 x 1.1 inches
Weight: Earbud 7g / 0.3 ounces, Case 45.1g / 1.6 ounces
Colors: Black, Grey, Copper/Black, Gold/Beige, Titanium Black
Battery life: 5.5 hours (ANC on), 7.5 hours (ANC off), 24 hours (with charging case and ANC on), 28 hours (with charging case and ANC off)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Processor: Qualcomm QCC5126