We’ve tested a number of earphones this year and for the most part, there is very little between any number of wireless in-ear hardware on the market. Almost all are black, comfortable, durable, noise-cancelling here and there, rechargeable cases, and impressive battery life for under $300.
That was until the latest offering from Danish brand Jabra arrived recently – the Elite 85t in Gold Beige.
Much like their baby-brother (the Jabra Elite 75t) the Elite 85t are exceptionally well made and unlike other micro-audio manufacturers, these come in a range of colours for that individual touch.
The impressive features are far more than skin-deep.
Another trick up the sleeve of the Jabra Elite 85t is wireless charging for the case.
Living with these earphones for a few weeks now, I’ve really come to appreciate the design and manufacturing levels that Jabra clearly use on all of their products. For example, the chipset in each bud manages feedback and feedforward for better noise-cancelling whilst keeping your music sounding great with the 6 band audio equaliser and multiple microphones – all packed into two 7g housings.
Even the texture of the charging case is a pleasure to hold in your hand. The right shape with a satisfying magnetic click when closed. A small LED on the front indicates the battery health, charging and firmware update status and a USB-C port at the rear provide cable connectivity for even faster charging.
Speaking of charging – 15 minutes in the case can provide up to 60 minutes of listening time. A full charge takes between 3 and 4 hours.
Another feature worth pointing out with the Jabra Elite 85t is the use of Bluetooth 5.1 which provides faster connectivity and up to 10m of operating range. I have noticed that some of the other Bluetooth devices in the house can interfere with the Elite 85t from time to time.
The Jabra+ app makes customising the Elite 85t to your needs very simple. Create profiles for your commute and when you need to focus. Adjusting the 6 band equaliser means your favourite tracks by Dire Straits or Drake sound amazing every time.
The only shortfall I can find with the Jabra Elite 85t is that like most in-ear buds, the phone-call quality isn’t great – especially if you’re in a noisy environment. I don’t know what it is, but nothing beats over-ear headphones for quality audio for phone calls.
The Jabra Elite 85t are available from $279 at Amazon, JB HiFi, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman and Officeworks in Titanium Black, Black, Copper Black, Grey and Gold Beige.
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