As technology progressed over the last century, the way in which people listened to music changed drastically. At first, people could only listen to professional musicians live in concert, but the advent of recording technology allowed them to start listening in the comfort of their own home. Then came radio and other forms of wireless communication, which allowed music listening devices to become even smaller, which allowed people to listen to their music wherever they went, which led to the advent of private listening devices like the headphones. As music players became smaller and more powerful, these headphones changed with them, but not to nearly the same degree. Now, the cutting-edge headphones are the wireless earbuds: finally, the devices used to listen to music are as small as the devices that store it.
The Jabra Elite Sport is a new entry into the world of wireless earbuds. It provides its own unique take on the portable listening experience based on its unconventional design to the point where it really feels as though the manufacturers of these earbuds are trying to pioneer the next stage in the evolution of headphones. However, the way in which the Elite Sport approaches this task comes with its share of drawbacks, in spite of its numerous benefits.
Something similar can be said for this product’s ability to function in a gym setting since they can easily accompany an individual while they perform weightlifting exercises, gymnastics, plyometrics, and calisthenics. In fact, these earbuds are also fully waterproof, meaning that they can be worn while swimming as well. The lack of any cordage helps them to provide this impressive level of versatility, as does its waterproofing which makes it resistant to damage or odor from sweat.
Since these Jabra earbuds are wireless, they derive their power from an internal power source that needs to be charged regularly. They claim to offer approximately 4 1/2 hours of play time and around 13 ½ hours of standby time, which is reasonable but not necessarily impressive. Using any of the advanced features outlined in the section below will likely further shorten its active play time on one charge, but Jabra has fortunately included a convenient charging case to alleviate this design shortcoming. With this case, owners of the Elite Sport can easily and safely store their headphones and charge them at the same time.
Although this is incredibly useful for training or running in relatively safe environments with a great deal of background noise, it doesn’t help people who want to wear the Jabra Elite Sport in unsafe environments, such as the side of a busy road, where situational awareness is important. To meet the needs of these individuals, Jabra offers a feature they call ‘hear through’ that disables this active noise cancellation, which then allows wearers to hear things going on around them. It isn’t as effective as bone conduction listening devices, but it’s passable and will meet the needs of most customers.
Aside from this, Jabra supplies a few additional advanced features that are less conventional in the world of headphones. One of these features is an in-ear heart monitor which can track the wearer’s cardiovascular rhythm while they exercise. This data can then be synchronized with devices and apps that track statistics like these, such as a FitBit or Apple Watch. Jabra even offers compatibility with their own sports-related app, naturally referred to as Jabra Sport Life.
Something else that is extremely impressive about these earbuds is the fact that they are highly resilient to dust and water. Jabra proudly boasts that the Elite Sport has an IP67 resistance rating, which is a universally recognized standard of rating a product’s resilience to these kinds of hazards. Under this particular rating, these earbuds are capable of withstanding prolonged contact with dust and complete immersion into a body of water at depths as low as one meter for roughly 30 minutes without sustaining any damage at all. This protection also applies to sweat, meaning that any perspiration generated by the wearer after an intense workout session can be easily cleaned off and won’t leave an odor. So long as the wearer keeps these earbuds firmly attached to their head, no harm should come to them during an average exercise session.
- Bluetooth 4.1 wireless connectivity
- Active noise cancellation with hear through support
- IP67 water resistance rating
- Completely cordless design
- Carrying case doubles as charging station
- In-ear heart rate tracker
- Compatible with Jabra Sport Life smartphone app