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Jabra Elite 85h ANC Wireless Headphones Review: Game-Changer In Premium Audio Category
Audio products are no doubt the most sought after smartphone accessories in the market. The Indian market today offers infinite options to choose from when it comes to headphones and speakers (both wired and wireless).
- Good build and comfort
- Loud and powerful audio; delivers rich listening experience
- Long lasting battery
- Fabric mesh on headband and earcups tends to get dirty
- Supports only one audio codec
Lately, the wireless audio accessories have started taking the market by storm, reason being smartphone manufacturers ditching the conventional 3.5mm headphone jack. The majority of users are gradually upgrading to wireless products. Keeping the needs of the audiophiles in the mind, a number of brands have launched quality products.
Jabra, the Danish brand owned by GN audio recently unveiled a premium ANC headset in India- the Jabra Elite 85h. With a price tag of Rs. 28,999, the headphones compete with Sony WH-1000XM3, Bose QC35 II, and Sennheiser PXC550 wireless headphones.
Jabra has offered some good audio products in the past and hopes to grab the attention of audiophiles with its latest launch. We got to use the new ANC enabled Jabra Elite 85h headphones for a while and are sharing the comprehensive review of the unit.
Premium Aesthetics; Ergonomic Design
Jabra Elite 85h is constructed using a high-quality plastic with a fabric mesh layer on the earcups and headband. The headphones are light in weight and feature rotatable earcup design which adds to its portability factor.
You get soft cushioning on both the headband as well as the ear cups which along with the lightweight design makes Jabra Elite 85H super comfortable for long music sessions. The big earcups blocks add to the comfort and block the outside noise passively.
Also, the design is very neat and foolows a minimalistic approach. The headphones come sans the power key and the remaining media control keys are placed on the earcups. You get the virtual Assistant key along with the USB Type-C port and the 3.5mm audio port on the bottom of the right panel.
The volume adjusters and the Bluetooth pairing key are neatly tucked inside the fabric mesh on the rim of the right earcup. On the left, you get the control to toggle between the pre-set sound modes such as ANC on/off and HearThrough.
You might be wondering how to switch on the pair if the power key is missing. Well, it's quite simple; all you need to do is rotate the earcups in wearing position and you are good to go. All the keys are swift in functionality and you will not experience any issues while using them.
Overall, the Jabra Elite 85h is a premium looking device with the sturdy build quality. In terms of appearance, it is no less than the popular premium headsets- the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Bose QC35 II ANC headphones and offers a good comfort level as well.
The ANC wireless headphones pack 40mm drivers aided with 8 microphones (six MEMS and two ECM) to deliver high-resolution audio. Out of the 8 microphones, the device uses 4 of them to block the out the ambient noise.
The headphones block outside noise effectively allowing for a rich listening experience. The audio is loud and clear with some punchy bass and you will enjoy every genre of music on this pair.
Moreover, there is no audio leak at the peak levels, so you can enjoy your favorite tracks on-the-go without disturbing others. I tested the pair with modern as well as folk songs and honestly I was impressed with its output. You can easily distinguish the instruments being played in the background.
The vocals are also clear and don't overlap the music. Also, there is no audio distortion or muffling at maximum levels.
The headphones also deliver a satisfactory performance with online media streaming. Media played on platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Videos is crisp and clear and it definitely enhances video watching experience on any device.
As for the audio codecs, the headset supports SBC audio codec only. This is a bit let down as the competitors like the Sony WH-1000XM3 offers supports multiple codecs like LDAC, aptX, aptX HD, and AAC.
The support for these audio codecs would have further improved the audio output. The call quality is also good and the person on the other end is clearly audible both indoors as well as outdoors.
Pairing With Other Devices:
Pairing the Jabra Elite 85h with other smartphones is fairly simple. The headset ships with Bluetooth v5.0 connectivity option using which you can connect your smartphones, tablets, and laptop, etc.
To pair it with a smartphone you need to turn on the headset by rotating the earcups and then head to the settings menu to complete the pairing process.
The headphones offer a maximum connectivity range of 10m beyond which you will experience audio breakups. The premium headset supports multiple device connectivity and you can pair two devices with the headset simultaneously.
The sensors packed inside the earcups not only power on the device but also auto-pause music when you take them off your head. This saves the headphones from excessive battery drainage when not in use.
Jabra Sound+ App Features:
Jabra Elite 85h can also be controlled using the companion app- the Jabra Sound+. The app is available for download on both Android as well as iOS platforms. The first two options which the app presents you with are the ‘Find My Jabra'and Pair new Jabra'.
You can use the former to find your device remotely using a smartphone, whereas, the second option will allow you to pair a new device with the headset.
The other functions which you can perform using the companion app range from tweaking the equalizer settings to manage music and voice call sound preset. You also get the option to customize the music profiles as per the background and toggle between the ANC and HearThough sound modes.
There are some different sound profiles set within a feature called ‘Moments' where one can select from Commute, In Public, and In Private audio modes.
Notably, these profiles are automatically selected when you turn on the SmartSound feature. Besides, one can tweak various settings using this app to fine tune the audio output. The app also allows you to update the headset so that you can enjoy a flawless performance in the future as well.
Long-Lasting Battery Backup
One of the major factors deciding the success of wireless headphones besides the audio is the battery backup. The Jabra Elite 85h delivers big on the same. The company claims a back up of up to 41 hours with a single charge and in our testing; it came close to the claim.
The backup reduces slightly with the ANC feature switched on. It takes around an hour for the headset to be charged from zero to 100 percent.
However, with over 20 minutes of charge, you can easily get a backup of approximately 4 hours. Overall, the Jabra Elite 85h ANC wireless headphones fairs well in battery performance.
Our Thoughts On The Jabra Elite 85h:
With the launch of the Jabra Elite 85h, the competition in the premium audio accessory segment has stiffened. Until now, the audiophiles largely have the option to choose premium headphones from prominent players like Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser.
Jabra's entry into the space has widen the choices for consumers. The Elite 85h wireless headset is not only good looking but also delivers high on audio which makes it one of the strongest contenders against the likes of Sony WH-1000XM3 and Bose Quite Comfort35 II in India.
Under sub Rs. 30,000 price label, you get ANC enabled wireless headphones with comfortable lightweight design. The clear vocals accompanied by rich bass and balanced treble that enhances the overall listening experience.
You get an effective noise cancellation even when outdoors and the media is audible with loud background noises. If you are looking to upgrade to a premium headset which is comfortable, looks good and at the same time delivers high-end audio then this is one of the best options available in the market today.