Review: Jabra Elite 85t Earbuds with Advanced Active Noise Cancellation

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Review: Jabra Elite 85t Earbuds with Advanced Active Noise Cancellation

I fell in love with the Jabra Elite 65ts when we reviewed it back in 2019. As such, we could not wait to see what Jabra could do with both active noise cancellation (ANC) and an over ear headset solution. We then got the chance to see just that with the Jabra Elite 85h headset. With wireless ANC earbuds being all the rage, we now revisit Jabra to see their latest product in that realm. Here, we check out the Jabra Elite 85t wireless earbuds, using Jabra’s own adjustable Advanced Active Noise Cancellation technology.

Let’s dive right in…

Jabra Elite 85t Specs
Speaker size12 mm / 0.47 in
Speaker bandwidth
(music playback)
20Hz to 20kHz
Speaker bandwidth
100Hz to 10kHz
Microphone type6 x MEMS
Microphone bandwidth100Hz to 10kHz
Battery LifeWith ANC Up to 25 hours total
(Earbud 5.5 hrs and charging case 19.5 hrs)
Without ANC Up to 31 hours total
(Earbud 7 hrs and charging case 24 hrs)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.1 (Operating range Up to 10 m / 33 ft)
WeightCharging Case: 45.1 g / 1.59 oz
Each Earbud: 7 g / 0.25 oz
Source: Technical Specifications from product page.

The Jabra Elite 85t comes in four colors: Titanium Black, Black, Copper Black, and Gold Beige. Seen here in Titanium Black, a purchase of Jabra Elite 85t earbuds comes complete with a charging case, the earbuds themselves, three sizes of silicone oval EarGels, and a USB-C to USB-A charging cable.

Build and Comfort

The Jabra Elite 85t’s utilize a semi-open design to combat pressure build up while still maintaining an acoustic and noise-canceling seal. You have 12mm drivers to power your listening experiences backed by full EQ control via the Jabra Sound+ companion app. In total, the Jabra Elite 85t uses six microphones, combating wind and promoting voice clarity via phone calls. When using ANC, each earbud uses two microphones that work in tandem to cancel noise from both outside and inside the ear. In terms of durability, the earbuds have an IPX4 rating of water resistance, allowing you to use them carefree in the rain.

Each earbud houses a big and accessible button with the Jabra logo, allowing you to control your media and your calls. By default, the controls are as follows…

From Data Sheet found on Product Page.

However, you can completely change theses controls and as well as other headset behaviors via the companion app, which I will get into later.

The charging case for the Jabra Elite 85t is pretty solid, featuring both wired and wireless Qi charging. The battery life for the earbuds is very impressive, sporting a whopping 5.5 hours of play time with ANC on. That play time can then go up to 7 hours of continuous play with the ANC off. Coupled with the charging case, total listening times sit at 25 hours with ANC on and 31 with ANC off. If you are in a bind and the earbuds’ batteries are fully depleted, the earbuds can quickly get back up to 60 minutes of use from only 15 minutes of charging in the case.

In terms of comfort, the Jabra Elite 85t earbuds sit comfortably and stably in your ears. Where was I was especially surprised was in how that semi-open design combated sound leakage without giving you that “stuffed in” feeling. This was also true even when ANC was active. Handling the controls was also pretty easy. The large “Jabra” buttons on each earbud were easy to access and pressing the buttons did not uncomfortably force the earbuds themselves deeper into my ear canals. To top it off, the Jabra Elite 85t’s have a simple and sleek look to them across all of the available color options.

Features and Performance

The Jabra Sound+ companion app makes a great effort at making itself useful. Starting with the basics, it gives you all the functionality you would come to expect in a companion app for an upper tier Bluetooth headset. You can use the Jabra Sound+ app to manage headset firmware updates, toggle (ANC, HearThrough, OFF) listening modes, flip through canned EQ presets, or even customize your very own personal EQ.

As soon as you take your headset out of the box, you can jump into your settings and personalize your Jabra Elite 85t’s. MyFit tests the Jabra Elite 85t’s to ensure that you have the best size of EarGels installed for the best listening scenario for your ears.

You can also set what single, double, and triple presses control from each earbud button, in case you did not like the default actions. I was glad that this customization option existed as controlling play, pause, forward, and back from the same button is what I am used to. The Jabra Sound+ app allowed me to employ this setting without a hitch.

The only take away here is that I wish I had the option to control volume from the buds as well. There are no settings, default or custom, that let you do that. Hopefully, an app or firmware update in the future would provide that very option.

If you rather not try to understand how to customize your own EQ, MySound helps to create one for you. The experience is quite like taking a hearing test at a doctor’s office, where you tell the app when you hear various tones.

In terms of performance, even without engaging the MySound feature, the Jabra Elite 85t deliver a solid, enjoyable, and balanced sound. You have clear vocals with a vibrant bass and crisp highs. However, after going through the MySound automatic EQ customization, music indeed felt clearer and more vibrant. At the neutral EQ setting, low ranges felt as if they were given a subtle boost while highs remained crisp and mids remained clear. It truly became “my kind of neutral”, where I prefer the crispest of percussion with just the slightest of bumps in bass.

Mids and vocals overall came across very clear throughout all of the EQ presets. The Speech EQ preset left the mid-range alone while taking a noticeable chunk away from the bass. Bass Boost further emphasizes an already strong and present bass, highlighting just how well the Jabra Elite 85t’s can handle bass. The bass on these earbuds with and without Bass Boost is especially enjoyable, with a clean presence that is not at all muddy. The Treble Boost EQ preset was nice for giving just a pinch of a boost to percussion sounds while taking away only a negligible amount of bass.

Whether or not it was a matter of personal preference, I did not care much for the Smooth or Energize EQ presets. I got the kind of sound presentation that I loved from Neutral, Treble boost, and Bass Boost, in that order. The “Neutral” I acquired as a result of the MySound function was right on the money. Since the bass on these earbuds project strongly without overwhelming you, Treble Boost was a close second favorite for me since it gave me clearer percussion but with still a very present bass.

Going deeper into listening experiences, the ANC and HearThrough modes in the Jabra Elite 85t’s stand up to any ANC headsets I have tried to date. As mentioned before, the semi-open build of the Jabra Elite 85t’s do well to alleviate plugged or stuffy pressure from wearing them. At times, regardless of the quality of a headset’s ANC, that sensation can sometimes be amplified when you switch on ANC modes. That is not at all the case with the Jabra Elite 85t. They provide solid active noise cancellation without altering the music you are enjoying or upsetting your levels of comfort.

The ANC and HearThrough modes are also adjustable via the app, allowing you to control your listening experience to a tee. Do you want a practically fully silent background? Crank the ANC to the max. Are you walking the streets and want just the right amount of environmental awareness? Toggle away. That said, I took the Jabra Elite 85t’s out for walks and to outdoor socially distanced pubs to enjoy my media. The Jabra Elite 85t’s allowed me to focus fully on my media, making the sounds from nearby patrons practically disappear. Even as I wrote this very review, I am sitting next to a 55-inch TCL flatscreen that is loud enough for people on the couch behind me to hear. To me, with ANC active on the Jabra Elite 85t’s, I feel as I am sitting in a fully silent room. I can only give top marks for the ANC on these earbuds.

Last but certainly not least, the call quality from these earbuds is what you would expect from a company that makes telecommunication products. Whether you are in windy or busy outdoor settings, you can maintain calls with a level of clarity that works well both sides of your calls. Sure, callers on the other side reported being to hear my surroundings as I spoke, but my voice easily overshadowed anything in my background. This allowed for clean and easy to handle phone calls in any environment.

Final Thoughts

As it stands right now, the Jabra Elite 85t’s are my earbuds to beat in terms of sound quality, performance, and features. The Jabra Sound+ companion app truly allows you to make these earbuds perfect for you. If you want more manual control of your sound presentation, you have that as well via the customizable EQ setting. The sound performance both inbound and outbound are top tier, making this the perfect headset for music listening, movie watching, and business. Best of all, you have the kind of ANC and HearThrough functionality that allows you to enjoy your media in practically any setting. With the Jabra Elite 85t’s you are in full control of how much background you want to leak in. Not to mention, these earbuds remain comfortable for the full duration of a full charge.

Coming in at $229.99, the performance and quality of the Jabra Elite 85t’s more than make up for their price point. If you are in the market for wireless ANC earbuds to hold you off for a long time, do check out the Jabra Elite 85t wireless earbuds for yourself by clicking here

† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a Jabra Elite 85t unit for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.