Monday, June 24, 2024

Jabra updated its Elite earbuds with an LE Audio case, improved ANC and more

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Jabra’s Elite 10 and Elite 8 Active earbuds debuted in August, but the company isn’t waiting for an annual update to unveil a second-generation model for both of those sets. Neither of them will look different, except for some new color options, but there are big upgrades to both. The company has taken this opportunity to make changes to noise cancellation, audio features, spatial sound and other areas.

First, both the new Elite 10 and Elite 8 Active will come with what Jabra calls “the world’s first LE Audio smart case.” This will allow you to plug the charging case into any USB-C or 3.5mm jack to wirelessly transmit sound to the earbuds. While in-flight entertainment might be a primary use case here, other possibilities abound, including audio from workout equipment, TVs and more. The company says the revamped cases are equipped with a new chip to transmit LE Audio with lower latency than similar options already on the market. Jabra also promises better overall sound quality when using the feature, including “Hi-Fi” playback.

Next, Jabra says it also improved the active noise cancellation (ANC) performance on both the new Elite 10 and Elite 8 Active. The company is promising to block “up to twice as much noise” as the previous generations. To do so, Jabra explains that it fine-tuned the internal feedback microphones to provide better noise blocking for mid- and low-frequency sounds. What’s more, ANC algorithms have been updated to better utilize their adaptive capabilities, so the earbuds should handle things like airplane noise and the roar of the gym more effectively.

Jabra also did some fine-tuning to its HearThrough mode. The ambient sound feature on both the new Elite 10 and Elite 8 Active has been tweaked for enhanced sound outdoors with a dedicated Natural HearThrough mode. This new setting offers increased wind noise reduction that’s twice as effective as that of the previous generation, according to the company. Algorithms expand the frequency range of the regular HearThrough mode to make this possible.

Jabra Elite 8 Active can stream sound from cardio equipment thanks to its LE Audio-equipped case.

Jabra Elite 8 Active (2nd gen) (Jabra)

While the Elite 8 Active had Dolby Audio and and the Elite 10 offered Dolby Atmos with head tracking, Jabra says the second-generation models both offer improved tuning for spatial sound. The company explains that during testing, 95 percent of its “expert panel” preferred the new audio profile to that of the previous gen. Lastly, Jabra is promising improved call quality on both the new Elite 10 and Elite 8 Active thanks to updated noise-reduction algorithms that provide enhanced voice recognition in subpar environments.

All of the other stats on both sets of earbuds are holdovers from the previous generation. That includes the IP68 rating on the Elite 8 Active (case is IP54) and the IP57 rating on the Elite 10 (no case rating). You can also still expect up to six hours of battery life with ANC on for the Elite 10 (27 hours total with the case) and up to eight house of noise-cancelling use on the Elite 8 Active (32 hours total with the case). Bluetooth multipoint connectivity is still here, as are Fast Pair, Swift Pair and Spotify Tap. The second-gen Elite 10 can also still connect directly to smartwatches, so long as they support HFP, A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth profiles.

The Elite 10 (2nd gen) will be available in titanium black, gloss black, brown, blue and white for $280. The Elite 8 Active (2nd gen) comes in navy, black, coral and olive green for $230. Both of those prices are $30 more than the first versions that debuted last year and these two upgraded models will be available mid-June.

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