Impressive call quality
Great battery and waterproofing
Loaded with features
Updated August 18, 2022: This review has been updated to reflect alternative models and testing with the latest firmware.
About the Jabra Elite 7
Before we get into the details, here’s a quick look at the Elite 7's primary specs:
- Price: $199.99
- Battery life: up to 8 hours with ANC, 35 hours with the charging case
- Rapid charging: 60 minutes of listening on 5 minutes charge
- Colors: Black, Titanium Black, Gold Beige, Blue
- Ambient sound modes: Active Noise Canceling (ANC), HearThrough/transparency mode
- Speakers: 6mm drivers
- Calling: 4 microphones
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2
- Audio codecs: AAC, SBC
- Dust/water resistance: IP57
- Paired devices: 8 total, 2 at a time (multipoint pairing)
- Ear tips: small, medium, and large
- Weight: 5.4 grams per bud, 44 grams charging case
As is Jabra’s way, the Elite 7 comes in two versions, including the Pro variety reviewed here and the Elite 7 Active. The biggest difference, according to Jabra, is the Pro model’s MultiSensor Voice technology designed to enhance calling. The Active skips that tech for a savings of $20, and adds a special coating designed for a stable fit even if you sweat, called ShakeGrip.
Apart from that, the two are essentially identical, and most of our review here can be applied to both models. Both pairs come well-stocked, including a sporty build, mid-level active noise cancellation, transparency mode, and extras like a wireless charging case. Thanks to a firmware update, both the Jabra Elite Pro and Active also feature multipoint pairing, as their predecessors did, allowing you to connect to two devices (such as your computer and mobile phone) at once.
In the box, you’ll find a small USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable, three sizes of eartips, and instructions for pairing and downloading Jabra’s Sound+ app.
What we like
A sleeker and more stable (if more intrusive) fit
While the Elite 75t line has proven incredibly successful, one common complaint is the fit. The small buds are designed to stay in place under duress, but that can be hit-or-miss for smaller ears. Personally, I’ve had no issues with the 75t, but I’ve heard from more than one person in my circle who simply couldn’t get them to sit tight for prolonged periods. The Elite 7 correct for this with a longer acoustic tube and a more ergonomic outer housing, while shaving 16% off the 75t for an even stealthier look. The new case is also flatter and more oval-shaped, though it’s not much smaller.
For me, the new fit is relatively comfortable and quite stable in multiple settings. The deeper dive into my ear canal feels a bit more intrusive, but I got used to it over time and found I could wear the buds for almost a full day without major complaints.
It’s worth noting that, unlike Apple’s AirPods Pro or Jabra’s own flagship Elite 85t, the Elite 7‘s fit is fully sealed in your ear. That means you’ll hear yourself chomping on a potato chip, or clodding along on your dog walk more than those semi-open buds, or even the 75t. That said, Jabra claims to have studied “62,000” ears for the new design, and I’d say it’s an overall success.
Great battery life
The Elite series has always risen above the crowd when it comes to battery life, and that’s the case with the latest iteration—though not quite to the extent we’d hoped. Jabra’s original presser promised a mighty 9 hours of battery life with ANC, but that number’s been drifting it appears. The website currently claims 8 hours, while I squeezed just over 7.5 hours with active noise cancellation/transparency modes engaged at medium volume before the buds shut down.
Even so, 7.5 hours of playback time with noise canceling is very competitive, beating the AirPods Pro by nearly 3 hours, and outdueling Jabra’s pricier Elite 85t by an hour-plus as well. Google's Pixel Buds Pro and Sony's WF-1000XM4 both offer more, but they're also bigger and pricier.
I did notice some quirks in which the Elite 7 Pro's battery level wasn’t registering properly from within the Jabra app, at one point saying the left earbud had 95% while the right bud was at just 8%, and I got a few other weird readings along the way. Despite these oddities toward the end of the battery’s life cycle, the app mostly seemed accurate over a week of testing.
Natural sounding transparency mode (and some solid ANC too)
I was impressed by how natural the Elite 7 Pro’s transparency mode sounds when blending in ambient audio, similar to what you’ll find in the AirPods Pro and Elite 85t (you’ll hear plenty of comparisons to both pairs as they’re not only staples, but also serious Elite 7 competitors). That makes it easy to slip between your tunes and a conversation, as does Jabra’s quick-tap control system.
The Elite 7’s Active noise canceling is very similar (if not exactly akin) to what you’ll hear in the Elite 75t. As with the previous model, ANC must be activated in the app in a loud environment, where you’ll be asked to adjust which sounds it cancels most. Performance is middle-range, comparable to options like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro or even the Galaxy Buds 2, but not as good as what you’ll get from the Elite 85t, let alone top pairs like Sony’s WF-1000XM4 or Bose’s QC Buds).
That said, you’ll generally pay more for the privilege of top-level ANC and, like the Elite 75t, the Elite 7’s tighter seal adds good passive noise isolation into the mix, which makes for some solid tranquility—especially with light music playing.
Jabra’s signature mix of great controls and features
Following in step with their active noise canceling, the Elite 7’s feature set is strikingly similar to the Elite 75t. While I would have liked to see a more aggressive leap forward, that’s not a bad thing in this case, as the Elite 75t arrived surprisingly loaded for bear, and only improved over time.
The list includes IP57 water resistance for both the Elite 7 Pro and Active (meaning the buds are dunkable), a wireless charging case, and a four-piece microphone array. You’ll get the same two-button control configuration as before, letting you tap your way through play/pause/song skip, calling features, swapping between ambient sound modes, and even onboard volume control by default, all of which are customizable via the Jabra Sound+ app.
As with the 75t, the bulk of the features are unleashed from within the app, one of the most comprehensive in the business. You’ll get all the standards like adjustable (and saveable) EQ settings, firmware updates, and a “find my Jabra” feature, as well as multiple levels of both transparency mode and (new for the Elite 7) ANC—to filter how much sound you let in or block out. You can also do things like set music to pause when HearThrough is engaged, turn up (or off) your own voice during phone calls, and add basic EQ to the caller’s voice. Even the sound is customizable through a personal hearing test.
There are some new features in the Elite 7, of course, including the ability to use either earbud at a time—only the right but can pull off the trick in some Jabra buds. But the biggest change for the Elite 7 Pro specifically (at least the biggest one Jabra is selling) is the calling technology, which uses new software combined with bone conduction tech to make your voice present and clear. While it’s always hard to test such things objectively, the callers I spoke with were generally impressed with my voice quality both inside and out, especially when compared to the Elite 75t. Callers noted less tinniness, more clarity, and a generally better experience on their end.
When I tested the earbuds against the Elite 85t and AirPods Pro the difference was less significant. Callers generally put the AirPods Pro at the same level or better, and the Elite 85t performed close to, if a bit below, the Elite 7 Pro. Again, it’s tough to judge as I’m relying on other ears. The buds are also designed to block out wind and, while I haven’t been able to test the buds in extreme environments, one caller noticed some light wind coming through. They aren’t magic, but suffice to say calling is distinctly improved over the previous pair.
Multipoint pairing (finally) arrives
There was just one feature Jabra is known for that didn't originally make the cut in the Elite 7: the ability to connect to two devices at once over Bluetooth. Thanks to a firmware update (that definitely took some time to roll out), this previous con becomes a plus for both versions of the Elite 7. While it's not something I use very often (and I don't love that the buds auto-connect to my computer once initially paired), if you’re the type who bounces quickly between the computer and your phone, the Elite 7's multipoint pairing could be a big plus.
The ability to easily switch between iCloud devices is a feature we hear praised over and over again with the AirPods and Beats earbuds, and multipoint pairing was something of a coup for both the Elite 75t and Elite 85t. While it took some patience, it's good to see Jabra finally carry the feature over to its latest buds.
What we don't like
The sound is meh
If you’re wondering why you’ve read nothing about the sound quality yet it’s because it’s quite frankly fairly forgettable. To be clear, there’s nothing inherently wrong here, and with better balance and less booming bass than the Elite 75t, it would seem to be almost objectively better to a picky listener like me.
But, although I never loved the 75t’s ultra boom, at least it was a calling card. There’s really not much to hang your hat on with the Elite 7 buds. Sound is balanced and clear, and there’s good expansion in the stereo field, but it’s also tinnier and brasher than expected up top and the midrange lacks both body and tszuj. Electric guitars are too crispy, snares and cymbals are too flat and brittle, and lower-register instrumentation often lacks the warmth needed for a rich foundation.
I did note that taking the personalized ear test improved things for my ears, and further, I think most people will find the sound just fine for most applications; that was certainly the case for the Elite 75t. But if you’re picky about audio, you’ll find better detail, more dynamics, and a more complete sound signature from options like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro or Jabra’s own Elite 85t. A top option like Sennheiser’s Momentum 3 offers much better definition and depth, but it also costs a lot more.
Minor performance quirks
I laid out a few issues with the app when checking the Elite 7 Pro’s battery life above, and that wasn’t the only quirk I experienced over a week of testing. A firmware update has taken care of most quirks, but it should be noted I actually had the right earbud die on me once, though I was able to get it to work again after power cycling the buds and my phone. Jabra’s reps said I had a “pre-production unit” even though the buds are now in stores. I’ll also note there were some similar early jitters with my review pair of the Elite 85t and firmware updates fixed the situation, so I expect the same here but it’s worth being aware of.
Should you buy them?
Yes, especially if you need sporty earbuds
Even though this update is more evolution than revolution, the Elite 7 Pro and Active are built on the shoulders of one of the most feature-loaded, comprehensively badass pairs of true wireless earbuds out there. They’re essentially waterproof, offer very good battery life for their price point, and the Pro's improved calling could be a serious bonus for those always on the line. You’ll have a hard time getting much more from similarly priced options, and a more stable fit makes them even more versatile in the all-important sports-_plus_ earbuds category.
It is worth looking at some other options depending on your use case. If you’re picky about sound, you’ll do better with Jabra’s Elite 85t, and you’ll get improved ANC as well, though the fit isn’t as stable under duress. Google's Pixel Buds Pro are another solid alternative, but again, they're not dunkable and they're also not a good option for iPhone owners.
For iPhoners, the Beats Fit Pro are a good rival with a stable fit at similar pricing, though they're not quite as durable (they can't be dunked in water). Since my initial review, Jabra's cheaper Elite 4 Active also arrived with many of the same features and sound that's arguably more accessible (if less detailed). You won't get multipoint pairing, auto-pause, or a wireless charging case, but you will get a similarly sporty, dunkable design for less money. Luckily, both Jabra earbud models have dropped in price over time, making them all the more enticing for tight budgets.
If you’re looking for a very sporty pair of earbuds with a stable fit, great battery, and features galore, the Elite 7 deliver. It's well worth noting that the buds have only gotten better over time with updates. Especially now that the price has come down, these buds are easily among the top options in their class, and the current best workout buds we've tried, full stop.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Managing Editor - Electronics@ryanwaniata
Hailing originally from Montana, Ryan parlayed his time working as a musician and audio engineer into a career in digital media in 2012. Since then he's had extensive experience as a writer and editor, including everything from op-eds and features to reviews on TVs, audio gear, smart home devices, and more.
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