The Jabra Elite 5 earbuds are essentially flawless

Jabra Elite 5

MSRP $150.00

“For his or her price, they provide an unbeatable set of features.”


  • Small and comfortable
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Excellent ANC/transparency
  • Custom controls and EQ
  • Hands-free voice assistants
  • Excellent call quality
  • Excellent battery life


  • Not the very best sound for this price

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Jabra’s wireless earbuds. Each recent flagship model that has been released through the years has spent considerable time on our list of the very best wireless earbuds and, more recently, the very best noise-canceling wireless earbuds. But it surely has also been diligently filling out its product line to supply wireless earbuds at quite a lot of prices.

Its latest addition is the $150 Elite 5, a set of energetic noise canceling earbuds that sit in the center — below the $230 Elite 85t, the $200 Elite 7 Pro, and the $180 Elite 7 Energetic, but above the $140 Elite 4 Energetic, and $80 Elite 3.

That’s quite a lot of earbuds and quite a lot of prices. The query is, has Jabra differentiated the Elite 5 enough for them to make sense at $150, or do you have to spend a bit less (or a bit more)? Let’s check them out.

What’s within the box?

Jabra Elite 5 with accessories.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Elite 5 follow Jabra’s history of unpolluted and straightforward packaging that is sort of entirely plastic-free and highly recyclable. Contained in the compact box, you’ll find the earbuds of their charging case, three extra sizes of silicone eartips (the earbuds include the mediums installed), and a brief, color-matched USB-A to USB-C charging cable.

What you won’t find is any type of a quick-start guide or detailed instructions. Jabra wants you to download its mobile app for Android or iOS, which then guides you thru the entire Elite 5’s various features, controls, and settings. There’s also a link to a full manual within the app.


Jabra Elite 5 seen in close-up.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Elite 5 look virtually similar to all of Jabra’s newest models — the single-digit named earbuds — with a straightforward, small, and stylish rounded-triangle-shaped outer surface that doubles because the physical buttons, and a really sculpted, ergonomic shape for the inner portion. The body of the buds uses a smooth plastic that has a faintly grippy quality to it. It hasn’t been designed for sports use per se, nevertheless it’s clear that Jabra has tried to make them fit securely.

Stick ‘em in your ears they usually appear to naturally find their way into the very best position.

Our review model sports the gold/beige color combo, but you can even get them in a more traditional titanium/black. Jabra has given the Elite 5 an IP55 rating for water and dirt resistance, which is good enough protection for workouts, but not quite enough that you could afford to be cavalier about getting them wet, and definitely don’t submerge them the best way you’ll be able to with the Elite 7 Energetic, 7 Pro, and 4 Energetic.

The charging case, which supports wireless charging too, uses the identical tried-and-true wide, flip-top lid design that Jabra has been using for years. The earbuds pop out and in of their charging sockets with a really satisfying and secure set of magnets.

Comfort, controls, and connections

Man wearing Jabra Elite 5.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

I’ve all the time found Jabra earbuds incredibly comfortable, and the Elite 5 are not any exception. Stick ’em in your ears they usually appear to naturally find their way into the very best position. Once they’re in, they rarely need adjustment save for the occasional yawn or chewing of food.

Need to take them to the gym or for an prolonged run? They need to handle that type of activity with no problems in any respect.

I much prefer physical buttons to the touch controls on wireless earbuds, and Jabra’s buttons are the very best. The Elite 5’s controls are easy to search out (it’s principally the entire earbud), easy to press, they usually have excellent tactile feedback — you recognize while you’ve pressed them appropriately because they’ve a definite click that you could feel.

Transparency mode is superb. You’ll hear the whole lot clearly if that’s what you would like.

Those buttons control the whole lot you wish, including play/pause, track skip forward/back, volume up/down, call answer/end, ANC mode changes, and voice assistant access too (more on that in a moment). By default, these are assigned to specific click gestures on each earbud, but for those who don’t like them, Jabra’s excellent Sound+ app enables you to configure them just about any way you would like. I like this feature and it’s one among the ways the Elite 5 improves on the Elite 3 and Elite 4 Energetic, neither of which allow you to do that.

Spotify listeners will appreciate that you could enable Spotify Tap as an optional double-click gesture. Do it once and it immediately starts playback. Do it again and it picks a recent selection for you.

One other great feature over those inexpensive models is the inclusion of wear and tear sensors. These routinely pause your tunes while you remove an earbud — handy for conversations. They won’t auto-resume the tunes while you re-insert them, the best way some earbuds do, but that’s not an enormous deal — a single button press starts your music up again.

You should use each earbuds or simply separately and this works for each calls and music, though you won’t get as many control options while you do that.

The Elite 5 are excellent for calls, each indoors and outdoors where your voice will compete with other sounds.

With Bluetooth 5.2, pairing with iOS devices is fast and simple, but even faster on Android handsets because of Google Fast Pair. I had no stability issues during my time with them, and their wireless range was kind of what you’ll be able to expect from most earbuds — around 20 feet indoors and as much as 40 feet when outside, in clear line-of-site to your phone.

The Elite 5 are also the least expensive set of Jabras to support Bluetooth Multipoint, the tech that enables you to connect the earbuds to 2 devices directly, so if a call is available in in your phone whilst you’re listening to music in your laptop, just answer the decision and the audio routinely switches. For years, Jabra was one among the one firms to supply multipoint on wireless earbuds and it’s still a master at it — switching between devices was utterly seamless.

Sound quality

Jabra Elite 5 seen in close-up.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Like other Jabra earbuds, the Elite 5 deliver clear and balanced sound, which works with a wide range of genres. Unlike the workout-oriented Elite 4 Energetic, which has a more bass-forward signature, the default tuning on the Elite 5 is decidedly neutral or “flat,” as some audiophiles wish to say. This shouldn’t be to say that the Elite 5 lack bass — they don’t — but you’ll have to dive into the Sound+ app’s EQ settings if you must really crank up the low end.

This emphasis on balance goes beyond mere tuning — it could actually even be used to explain the earbuds’ soundstage, which leans toward a narrower presentation. When you like your music with traditional stereo sound, free from the so-called 3D immersion that’s becoming increasingly popular, you’ll appreciate what the Elite 5 are all about.

In comparing them with the Elite 7 Pro, it’s remarkable how close the 2 are. I find each models very satisfying for each day listening, whether it’s podcasts or pop. The Elite 5 might even have an edge: they feature Qualcomm’s aptX along with AAC and SBC codecs, whereas the 7 Pro only have the last two.

But for those who’re after something with a more critical listening slant, I like to recommend the Technics EAH-AZ40 and Final Audio ZE3000. They’re a greater listen for a similar price because the Elite 5, but you’ll need to simply accept some missing features like wireless charging and wear sensors, or in some cases, ANC.

Noise cancellation and transparency

Jabra Elite 5 seen in close-up.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Keeping annoying noises at bay is simple with the Elite 5. Their hybrid ANC system works to suppress a big selection of irksome sounds, from loud chatter in a coffee shop to the droning of airplane or city transit engines. Despite not being as advanced because the ANC system on the Elite 7 Pro, I felt it performed just as well, and in contrast to some ANC earbuds, the Elite 5 handled wind very effectively.

Transparency mode, which you’ll be able to adjust to let in just a little or quite a lot of outside sound, is superb. You’ll hear the whole lot clearly if that’s what you would like. Your individual voice remains to be a tad muffled, but that tends to occur with most transparency systems.

Better of all, you’ll be able to flip between the 2 modes quickly with only a click, and the Sound+ app gives you a selection over ANC, transparency, and off options, letting you cycle through all three, or any two.

Call quality

With six mics in use for calling (greater than every other Jabra model), the Elite 5 are excellent for calls, each indoors and outdoors where your voice will compete with other sounds. I discovered that even with loud traffic right beside me, only the faintest background sounds got here through.

All of the while, my voice sounded full and natural — never compressed or tinny.

Jabra gives you a side-tone adjustment, which permits more of your individual voice during a call, but for those who find it’s not enough, you’ll be able to all the time activate full transparency mode too.

Voice assistants

Jabra has been pretty good about giving us access to our phone’s assistants, and even third-party assistants, like Amazon Alexa. However the Elite 5 go further, with the choice to summon either Alexa or Google Assistant hands-free, with just their respective wake-word.

It’s really convenient, but for those who use Google Assistant, volume control shall be disabled. And for those who’re using an iPhone, your only hands-free option is Alexa, as Google now prevents any headphones/earbuds company from offering hands-free Google Assistant when used with an iOS device.

Battery life

Jabra Elite 5 charging case bottom, Qi logo visible.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

With ANC turned on, you get a really acceptable 7 hours of listening time per charge, and up to twenty-eight hours total while you include the charging case’s capability. That handily beats the AirPods Pro at 5/25 respectively. But it surely gets even higher for those who use the Elite 5 without ANC: 9/36 hours, which must be enough for even the longest listening sessions.

Should they tap out before you’re finished, a fast-charge system gives you an additional hour for 10 minutes of time within the charging case.

With such a powerful constellation of features, great comfort, and tons of customization, the Elite 5 not only justify their price premium over the Elite 4 Energetic, but in addition seriously raise the query of whether you must spend as much as $50 more for the Elite 7 Energetic or 7 Pro.

When you need the additional protection of their IP57 rating, or perhaps the 7 Pro’s even higher call quality, it may be price it, but for most individuals, I believe the Elite 5 sit within the true wireless sweet spot.

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