Skip to Content

Jabra Elite 5 Review – At £99, these are the perfect gym & fitness earbuds

Jabra Elite 5 Review – At £99, these are the perfect gym & fitness earbuds

Originally posted on mightygadget.com – Follow on TwitterInstagramFacebookMighty Gadget Latest Reviews

I reviewed the Jabra Elite 75t back in 2019 and loved them; they were perfect for my fitness focussed needs. A year later, I reviewed the flagship Jabra Elite 85t, which I was equally impressed with.

I review a lot of earbuds, and I have around six pairs in rotation that suit my personal needs. Even though the Jabra Elite 75t and 85t are a few years old, they remain two of the main options I choose.

The Jabra Elite 75t consistently remained as my main pair of running earbuds for a couple of years due to the overall fit and sound quality. I don't use them as often now, but I will use them for proper running events because I know they won't fall out and if they do, I won't be too upset to lose them, considering they have lasted so long.

I was, therefore, more than happy to receive a pair of Jabra Elite 5 to review recently. These sit somewhere in the middle of the Jabra lineup. You have the Elite 7 Pro, and Elite 7 Active, which sit above them, and the Elite 85t are still being sold.

The Jabra Elite 5 could be the perfect replacement for my ageing Elite 75t.

Specification

  • Active Noise-Cancellation (ANC): Hybrid ANC
  • Adjustable HearThrough: Yes
  • Noise-isolating fit: Yes
  • Speaker size: 6mm | 0.236in
  • Speaker bandwidth (music mode): 20Hz – 20000Hz
  • Speaker bandwidth (speak mode): 100Hz – 8000Hz
  • Audio codecs supported: AAC, Qualcomm aptX, SBC
  • Bluetooth: 5.2
  • Multipoint Connectivity: Yes
  • Microphone type: MEMS
  • Number of microphones: 6
  • Microphone bandwidth: 100Hz – 8000Hz
  • Google Fast Pair: Yes
  • Mono Mode: Yes
  • Battery:
    • Music time with ANC (earbuds): Up to 7 hours
    • Music time ANC off (earbuds): Up to 9 hours
    • Music time with ANC (earbuds and charging case) Up to 28 hours
    • Wireless charging
  • Earbud weight (each earbud): 5g | 0.176oz
  • IP rating: IP55

Design and Fit

All Jabra earbuds have a similar design, with all the components sitting inside the concha part of your ear. They all have a choice of colours; these have the option for Black, Gold Beige or Titanium Black. I was sent the Titanium Black model with the overall design and colour being quite neutral.

I like that Jabra continues to use push-button control rather than touch-sensitive. I find it much easier and less likely to accidentally trigger something when adjusting my earbuds.

Jabra Elite 5 Review5 - Jabra Elite 5 Review – At £99, these are the perfect gym & fitness earbuds

The case is about as generic as you can get, but the appearance of the case is of no importance to me. The earbuds are held in place with a decent-strength magnet, and they are exposed enough that it is easy to remove them from the case.

Jabra Elite 5 Review4 - Jabra Elite 5 Review – At £99, these are the perfect gym & fitness earbuds

I am happy that these include wireless charging, some brands at this price point (Sony Linkbud S) omit it as a cost-cutting exercise. For Jabra, you'd have to drop down to the Elite 3 or 4 before they remove this feature.

Jabra is possibly the best brand to go for if you are a fitness enthusiast concerned about damaging your earbuds through liquid ingress. The Jabra Elite 5 have an IP55 rating, making them more waterproof than the IPX4 you will find on most competing brands. Jabra then backs this up by providing a 2-year warranty which also covers failure from dust and water with Jabra Sound+ app registration.

Jabra Elite 5 Review6 - Jabra Elite 5 Review – At £99, these are the perfect gym & fitness earbuds

I sweat a lot and run in the rain a lot, and I have never had any TWS earbuds die on me, but it is reassuring to have this level of protection. Alternatively, the Jabra Elite 4 Active and Elite 7 Active are rated to IP57, which means you could probably drop them in water fully submerging them, and they will be OK (I wouldn't recommend trying that, though).

At 5g these are on the lighter and smaller end of the spectrum, and I would say the overall fit is similar to the Elite 75t. I find them more comfortable and secure fitting than the chubby Elite 85t. So far, I have used them in the gym, and one long 16-mile run. So far, I have not had to adjust them, this is particularly important to me while running. I was impressed at how well the Sony LinkBuds S fitted in my ears, but I think these might be better.

App and Features

I have reviewed a lot of excellent earbuds from Chinese brands such as Anker, Edifier and Earfun. They almost never have the advanced features that are gained from Google Fast Pair and Bluetooth 5.2, and often no form of voice assistant feature. The quality of the apps also varies wildly, Anker has a good app with lots of features, most don't.

With these, you're getting Bluetooth Multipoint for seamless dual-device connectivity, plus Google Fast Pair, Microsoft Swift pair and Google Assistant (from an Android device), and hands-free Alexa.

Thanks to these features, within the Android settings, you get the battery percentage of both earbuds and your case. You can use Google Find My Device, and you can send a ring signal to your earbuds if they are connected at the time (if you drop them and can't see them).

The Jabra Sound+ app is well-designed, and I find it more intuitive to use than the Sony Headphones app. The homepage has all the main settings you will likely want to use for daily use, such as ANC and EQ.

The earbuds can also be used to play various types of masking noises such as white noise, pink noise and nature noises.

You have an extensive range of settings to tweak how the earbuds work, including auto pause, auto-answer calls and setting up Spotify Tap. The Jabra app also has its own version of find my earbuds.

Sound Quality

These support Qualcomm aptX, which provides superior quality to the standard SBC or AAC. Weirdly, it is the Elite 5, 4 and 3 that all support it, not the Elite 7 Pro or older Elite 85t.

Within the Bluetooth settings, they also appear to support Spatial Audio. I can't see any marketing material suggesting this, but I assume it is part of the deeper Android integration that comes with Google Fast Pair.  

The out-of-the-box performance with no EQ applied was a bit flat to my personal tastes. The sub-bass seems to be under-emphasised, which is the opposite of what I experienced with the older models.

The slight recess on the bass allows mids and highs to come through with plenty of detail. Upper highs tail off a little, and I find this avoids the sharpness that some earbuds can have. Some people will like this overall sound profile; my brother has criticised my reviews due to my preference towards bass-forward earbuds.

With the Jabra app, you can customise the sound, either manually or with one of the presets. The bass boost helps achieve a much more lively sound at the cost of some detail. I personally enjoyed them in this mode, I mainly use them for fitness, so this sound profile works well. I am not too concerned about analytical listening in the middle of a 16-mile run.

I did find the EQ settings to be a bit more subtle than those on the Sony LinkBuds S or the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4. The Sony LinkBuds S went from hardly having any bass in the bright mode to being on the excessive side with the excite mode. Similarily, the EQ presets are much more limited compared to Anker.

Noise Cancelling

The active noise cancelling is perhaps one of the weaker elements of the Jabra Elite 5. I wouldn't say it is bad, but there are a growing number of affordable earbuds with excellent ANC, and these are not quite as good.

For general ambient noise, the ANC performance is good enough; they remove irritating noises like my PC and air purifier. They also work well at reducing outdoor noise, such as cars.

In my synthetic test of playing airplane cabin noise on my Edifier S3000 Pro, they don't perform quite as well as others. They let through a moderate amount of the very low-end rumble but do OK with the low to mid-end of the engine noise. Like all ANC earbuds, you have the higher-end hum.

I'd say the ANC is good enough for most day-to-day use, but I would perhaps look at other options if you want excellent performance for things like flying.

Microphone

Microphone performance is adequate. They work well indoors with a moderate amount of ambient noise; however, with louder environments, they have a tendency to pick up quite a bit of ambient noise, making in-car use or windy conditions less than ideal.

Page 2 for battery, price & alternative options and conclusion