Saturday, June 15, 2024

Jabra Unveils Second Generation Elite 8 Active And Elite 10 Earbuds

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Danish audio and headset brand Jabra has announced a major update to the Jabra Elite 8 Active and Jabra Elite 10 true wireless earbuds. These Gen 2 versions of Jabra’s true-wireless earbuds for sport and general listening featurecome with significant enhancements as a result of user feedback.

The Gen 2 Jabra earbuds include the world’s first LE Audio smart case, enabling almost any audio source to be streamed to the earbuds. Both new models also offer an enhanced spatial sound powered by Dolby Audio plus an enhanced Natural HearThrough for improved situation awareness when listening outdoors. Jabra’s Active Noise Cancellation function has also received a major boost with improved mid- and low-frequency noise cancellation by up to -10dB.

To deliver these improvements, Jabra says it has looked beyond the earbuds to engineer the world’s first LE Audio smart case. With its dual USB-C and 3.5mm jack inputs, the Elite 8 ActiveGen 2 and Elite 10 Gen 2 can wirelessly stream almost any audio content at the press of a button on the front of the case.

A chip built into the charging case lets users connect and stream audio from a whole range of audio sources straight to the earbuds. With a lower latency than regular Bluetooth connections from case to buds, users will notice better audio and video synchronisation, alongside audiophile sound provided by the LC3 codec which is standard with Bluetooth LE.

Jabra has included a 2-in-1 cable that transforms the smart charging case for almost any device with USB or 3.5mm aux outputs. Whether the user is on a airplane, using a treadmill or at home watching TV, they can simply plug in the case and enjoy spatial sound directly on the earbuds with any source.

These new earbuds also offer improved spatial sound tuning thanks to Dolby Atmos support. I am not a huge fan of spatial sound as it can often sound over processed, but the implementation on the Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 is so good. There is even the option to turn head tracking on or off. Spatial sound can improve a wider range of audio content, including podcasts. Jabra says that in blind tests, 95% of respondents preferred the spatial sound tuning served up by the new Gen 2 versions.

Both the new models of earbuds offer improved call performance thanks to the use of six microphones for picking up the user’s voice. Enhanced AI call algorithms can distinguish which sounds are background noise and then focus in on the person speaking. Noise-reduction algorithms are automatically switched on to offer clearer calls depending on activity or location.

Jabra has also rolled out improved Active Noise Cancellation on both these new earbuds. Jabra says the new ANC can block out up to twice as much unwanted noise as the previous generation. I’ve tested that claim and they are right. The ANC on the Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 that I tested are much better than the previous version. The noise-reduction of the internal feedback microphone has also been tweaked to provide a better cancelation on noise in the mid-and low-frequency ranges.

Adaptive ANC algorithms used in both earbuds have been enhanced to maximize the adaptive effect for more users. Jabra says the result is stronger noise cancellation in multiple scenarios, including aircraft and gym noise.

These next-generation earbuds also provide better outdoor awareness with a revamped Natural HearThrough function which has been overhauled to reduce wind noise and whistling. Thanks to smart algorithms that increase the frequency range of HearThrough, the surrounding ambient sounds are more clearly reproduced while wind noise has been noticeably cut.

Verdict: I have managed to get a sneak peek of the new Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 true wireless earbuds. I wasn’t totally bowled over by the first generation version and didn’t end up posting a review. However, having had a chance to listen to the new Elite 10 Gen 2, I can confidently say Jabra has done a superb job. The sound of these earbuds is nothing short of stunning. If you like a rich and warm sound, then the 10mm dynamic drivers won’t disappoint. And the improvements doen’t end there. Jabra has significantly improved the ANC function to the point where the earbuds sound even better with ANC turned on. The microphones also pick up sound more clearly when making calls. In fact, they are one of the best for phone call quality. If you want a great all-round pair of premium ANC true wireless earbuds with plenty of bells and whistles, give the Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 a try. And if you are a sporty type, try the Jabra Elite Active 8 Gen 2. Highly Recommended.

Pricing & Availability: The new Jabra Elite 8 Active Gen 2 earbuds are available in Navy, Black and two new colors—Coral and Olive—and will begin shipping in mid-June priced at $229.99 / £229.99 / €229.99. Meanwhile, the Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 will be available in Titanium Black, Gloss Black, Cocoa and two new colors—Denim and Soft White—from mid-June 2024 and priced at $279.99 / £259.99 / €279.99.

Key Features

Jabra Elite 8 Active Gen 2:

  • Bluetooth LE Audio smart case for streaming spatial sound.
  • Improved Spatial Sound powered by Dolby Audio.
  • Improved Adaptive Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation.
  • New Natural HearThrough with enhanced wind-noise detection.
  • Better call performance with six microphones, wind-protecting mesh and noise cancellation algorithm.
  • Fully sweatproof and waterproof with an IP68 rating on earbuds and an IP54 rated dust and splash-proof case.
  • Wing-free fit with Jabra ShakeGrip technology.
  • 8-hour battery life and 32 hours with case (ANC on).
  • Stable Smartwatch connectivity, Swift Pair, Google Fast Pair and Spotify Tap playback.
  • Bluetooth Multipoint connection.

Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2:

  • Bluetooth LE Audio smart case for streaming spatial sound.
  • Improved Spatial Sound with Dolby Head Tracking and immersive Dolby Atmos experience.
  • Improved Jabra Advanced Active Noise Cancellation.
  • Improved 6-mic call technology with noise-reduction algorithms.
  • Natural HearThrough with enhanced wind-noise detection.
  • 10mm dynamic drivers.
  • Semi-open design with Jabra ComfortFit technology.
  • 6-hour battery (27 hours with case) with ANC on.
  • IP57-rating
  • Bluetooth Multipoint connection.
  • Fast Pair, Swift Pair, Spotify Tap playback.

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