At a webcast press event today, Jabra showed off its new wireless earplugs, 85t, where the big news is that these now get active noise reduction, which we have not seen on earplugs from Jabra before.
But just as interesting is that existing products, 75t and Active 75t, actually also get active noise reduction via a software update. Talk about gift packages for customers!
– The reason why we are not first, is that we wanted to be the best, said Jabra’s representative at the presentation and emphasized that Jabra would manage this without making the earplugs much bigger. The conclusion was that 85t weighs only one gram more than 75t and protrudes two millimeters further out of the ear.
In total, the Jabra Elite 85t has six microphones, three on each ear, with two of them on the outside and one on the inside. The noise reduction can be adjusted in five steps via the app, and the same applies to the HearThrough function (which lets in sound from outside).
The design is somewhat different from the 75t models. Where these have a closed construction, the Elite 85t is semi-open and therefore sits somewhat differently in the ear.
But they should still sit well, something Jabra has long been known to score high on. Their parent company, GN Hearing, is a major player in hearing aids and has scanned the shape of tens of thousands of ears so that you can find the construction that fits best with as many people as possible.
The six microphones will also contribute to a greatly improved hands-free experience, where they also have wind protection to prevent noise when it blows.
While the 75t and 75t Active have 6 mm speaker elements on board, this size has now been doubled to 12 mm in the Elite 85t, which should be able to give even deeper bass. Not that there has exactly been a problem with the 75t models.
As before, you can change the equalizer settings in the phone app, create your own sound profile by taking a hearing test and adjusting the pressure on your right and left ear to your liking.
The battery life is stated at 5.5 hours with noise reduction, with a total of 25 hours with extra battery from the case. Without noise reduction, the battery life in the plugs is seven hours and the total is 31 hours. The case can be charged wirelessly.
However, the Elite 85t is less waterproof than the 75t models, with an IPx4 certification.
The model will be launched in Norway in November with a recommended retail price of NOK 2,699.
Updates existing models
Owners of 75t and 75t active can thus update their earplugs so that they get active noise reduction. This is done via Jabra’s Sound + app.
Since these only have two microphones per ear (both externally), the noise reduction is not of the same quality as the 85t model, but in particular low-frequency sounds must be blocked quite effectively. Here you also do not get to choose different degrees of noise reduction, but either wear it on, off or let in sound from outside (HearThrough).
But still – this is the star of the book of Jabra in our eyes. Nuraphone also updated the headphones after the start of sales to include active noise reduction.
With active noise reduction activated, the battery life is reduced from 7.5 to 5.5 hours. If you buy a 75t model after mid-October, they will have support for active noise reduction right out of the box – ie in practice be completely updated.