Jabra Elite 4 Active review


I review loads of true wi-fi earbuds, so I’m at all times curious what the subsequent tendencies will likely be when firms supply their annual refresh for brand spanking new merchandise. Over the previous few years, smaller sizes, higher battery life and hands-free options have turn out to be the norm, however there’s solely a lot you are able to do on such a tiny gadget.

In 2021, Jabra set the brand new customary for reasonably priced wi-fi earbuds with . At $80, it covers a lot of the fundamentals fairly properly.Now the company is enhancing its mid-range possibility with . It’s a extra workout-focused mannequin, full with lively noise cancellation (ANC) and sufficient moisture safety for the sweatiest of periods. Like it did final year, Jabra is looking for to not solely make its true wi-fi lineup compelling by way of options and efficiency, however to additionally make the value extra aggressive. This $120 model delivers a variety of choices that we sometimes see on earbuds that go for $150-$180.


  • Affordably priced
  • Comfy match
  • Solid sound high quality
  • Customizable ANC


  • Noise cancellation is simply okay
  • Cumbersome controls
  • No automated pausing
  • No wi-fi charging

The Elite 4 Active carries Jabra’s new design that debuted on the Elite 3, Elite 7 Active and Elite 7 Pro final year. Instead of a principally round earbud with an elbow that holds the microphones, the company switched to a rounded triangle form that provides a cleaner look. Most importantly, all of Jabra’s newest earbuds are considerably smaller than their predecessors and the Elite 4 Active continues that pattern. The smaller measurement not solely means these buds don’t stand out from your ears as a lot, however they’re additionally lighter and extra comfortable.

I wouldn’t blame you for mistaking the Elite 4 Active for the Elite 3. Aesthetically, the principle distinction is the outer panel on the three is one huge button, whereas that space on the 4 Active is seamless. The button is there, however it’s sealed off. Jabra elevated the water resistance to IP57 for this mannequin, and the onboard controls are one space the place it needed to improve safety. Of course, Jabra has at all times designed its earbuds with the Active label for exercises. Better sweat safety is normally a part of that components.

Billy Steele/Engadget

The lack of an outlined panel or button proved to be a difficulty for me when accessing the controls. I needed to prepare myself to recollect to press in the midst of the earbud as getting too far to the highest or backside wouldn’t register my actions. The outer floor of the Elite 4 Active is totally clean, with out a lot as a raised dot to point you’re in the best place. Over time I would get used to this, however after a pair weeks of testing, I’m nonetheless not nailing it constantly.

Like each different Jabra mannequin, you may tailor the Elite 4 Active to your wants through the company’s Sound+ app. Since this set is Jabra’s mid-range possibility, you get extra options than the entry-level Elite 3, however not fairly as a lot because the Elite 7 Pro or Elite 7 Active. First, there’s ANC and it’s customizable. Notice I didn’t say adjustable. Specifically, the app helps you to set a stage of noise cancellation throughout preliminary setup. You also can tweak the steadiness should you want extra on one aspect than the opposite. Jabra will assist you to repeat this course of if it’s worthwhile to, however there’s no simply accessible slider just like the Elite 7 fashions.

The company’s transparency mode, HearThrough, may be managed within the app through a slider. In truth, you may even set what the on-board management for sound mode does (single press on the left aspect). You can have it cycle via HearThrough and ANC, HearThrough and off or HearThrough, ANC and off. The app additionally permits you to activate and off Sidetone, which helps you to hear your voice if you’re on a name. Unlike some Jabra fashions, it isn’t adjustable – simply all or nothing. Still, with the ability to hear your self so that you’re a bit much less shouty over Zoom is healthier for everybody. The company’s personal Find My function returns as properly, serving to you find a misplaced earbud should you’re prepared to provide it the correct permissions. And on Android, you may go for one-touch entry to Spotify if that’s your most well-liked streaming service.

Billy Steele/Engadget

For a $120 set of earbuds, I wouldn’t blame you for not anticipating an excessive amount of within the sound division. However, Jabra has a monitor file of stable audio throughout its true wi-fi lineup. With the Elite 4 Active, the company maintains its status for buds that sound good, however not nice. There’s first rate readability and good element, however they lack the broader soundstage and depth pricier fashions from the likes of and supply.

The Elite 4 Active has fairly good sonic vary, however huge bombastic tracks like Run The Jewels “Mean Demeanor” and Gojira’s “Another World” sound overly compressed. The bass is stable and never muddy, so protecting the vitality up throughout exercises with hip hop, EDM, or isn’t an issue. It’s simply that on the entire, songs lack the dimensional punch you’ll find with an even bigger funding. For $120 although, the Elite 4 Active will get the job accomplished usually.

If you end up craving to tweak the EQ, you are able to do that within the Sound+ app through a set of sliders. If one-tap audio adjustments are extra your model, Jabra additionally presents a set of presets for fast customization. It’s not essentially the most strong set of choices for dialing within the sound, however it’s greater than you get on the extremely reasonably priced Elite 3.

One benefit the Elite 4 Active has over the Elite 3 is lively noise cancellation. As I discussed, you may customise the function to a level, however it’s not as highly effective as what’s on Jabra’s pricer earbuds. Still, the ANC right here will assist block out some distractions, simply don’t count on it to do a variety of heavy lifting.

The Elite 4 Active has 4 microphones for calls. Jabra says they’re lined with a “special mesh” to scale back wind noise if you’re outside. Typically, mileage varies vastly on name high quality with true wi-fi earbuds. Most of the time you simply find yourself sounding such as you’re on speakerphone. With the Elite 4 Active, the decision high quality is barely higher, however nonetheless inferior to should you had a microphone nearer to your mouth – and even pointed extra in the direction of your face. Background noise is decreased if you’re speaking, however any environmental roar is distracting if you’re not.

Gallery: Jabra Elite 4 Active review | 7 Photos

Gallery: Jabra Elite 4 Active review | 7 Photos

Jabra says you may count on as much as seven hours of battery life on the Elite 4 Active, with three extra prices within the case for a complete of 28 hours. The company doesn’t specify whether or not or not that’s with ANC on, however in my checks I managed seven and a half hours with noise canceling lively. It’s on no account the perfect battery life you’ll discover in true wi-fi earbuds, however it’s definitely sufficient to get you thru a workday should you take a break or two. If you run out of juice earlier than you head out the door, a fast cost function offers you an hour of use in 10 minutes.

At $120, Jabra is providing stable mid-range specs on the identical worth as some firms’ price range fashions. What’s extra, most of these don’t supply ANC, not to mention a transparency mode or customizable sound. Samsung put noise canceling inside its most cost-effective true wi-fi mannequin with the . These earbuds are tiny and cozy and wi-fi charging is included, however the ANC efficiency is simply okay. Plus, the Galaxy Buds 2 are solely IPX2 rated, so that you’ll wish to watch out about how moist you get them. Full worth they’re $150, however we’ve seen them .

If you’re seeking to maximize your {dollars}, I’d recommend trying into Anker’s Soundcore line. You can discover a variety of worth, and options, there. Plus, the company’s top-of-the-line flagship ANC mannequin, , is only $170. And should you’re good with passive noise isolation, can get the job accomplished for $60.

If Jabra’s new mission is to ship the identical general high quality as its earlier earbuds at extra reasonably priced costs, I’m right here for it. With the Elite 4 Active, because it did with the Elite 3, the company has managed to supply a compelling set of options at an important worth. It hasn’t reduce corners to take action, enhancing particulars like design and match whereas sustaining its customary for sound high quality. There are some omissions, however all of the fundamentals are lined and for essentially the most half accomplished properly. Once once more, we’ve got extra proof that you simply don’t have to spend over $150 as a way to get a set of excellent true wi-fi earbuds.

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