Jabra Elite 85t review - image

Jabra Elite 85t Review

A excellent follow-up, the Jabra Elite 85t offers outstanding noise cancellation and audio quality.
  • Sound Quality
  • Noise Cancellation
  • Comfort and Fit
  • Battery Life
  • Connectivity and Controls
4.8/5Overall Score

Quick Summary

Exceptional audio clarity, noise cancelation that works well, and long battery life combine to make the Jabra Elite 85t a standout. The fit, on the other hand, falls short of the Elite Active 75t's in terms of convenience and comfort.

  • Connectivity: : Bluetooth 5.0
  • Processor: Qualcomm QCC5126
  • Colors: Black, Grey, Copper/Black, Gold/Beige, Titanium Black
  • Battery life :: 5.5 hours (ANC on), 7.5 hours (ANC off), 24 hours (with charging case and ANC on), 28 hours (with charging case and ANC off)
  • Weight: 0.3 ounces (per bud); 1.6 ounces (charging case)
  • Size: 0.9 x 0.8 x 0.6 inches (per bud); 2.6 x 1.6 x 1.1 inches (charging case)
  • It's easy to wear.
  • ANC in a hybrid form.
  • Exceptional acoustics.
  • Controls that react quickly.
  • A case for wirelessly charging your devices.
  • Superior to the Elite 75t in terms of call quality.
  • The frame is bigger.
  • Case that is taller and heavier.
  • It's a bit costly.

True wireless earbuds have becoming increasingly popular, and the Jabra Elite 85t are the company’s most recent offering. They were one of the first true wireless earbuds to enter the market. There’s no denying that this new pair, which replaces the beloved Jabra Elite 75t, is more than capable of competing with the likes of the AirPods Pro and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds thanks to improved active noise cancellation (ANC).

When it comes to wireless headphones, these are among the finest you can purchase right now, but how did they get there? It’s all thanks to the bigger sound, better listening modes, more features, and the gigantic specifications. The Jabra Elite Active 75t, which is now the best-in-class pair of true wireless earbuds, is even catching up to it. Prime members can get them for only $109 during Prime Day. This set of noise-canceling wireless earbuds is nearly difficult to get for the price.

These are Jabra’s most powerful and feature-rich buds to date, and that’s saying something. Although Jabra is releasing a free over-the-air ANC upgrade for the Elite 75t models, many will find the Elite 85t to be well worth the $230 price tag. See how the Jabra Elite 85t compares to other wireless earbuds in our in-depth review.



When compared to the Elite 75t models, the Elite 85t is substantially comparable in appearance to the previous generation. The bigger frame makes the earbuds stick out more when inserted in the ear, which is the only noticeable difference. In contrast to the hanging AirPods or the extended QuietComfort Earbuds, they are far more inconspicuous. These earbuds have a business-class look and feel thanks to their all-plastic construction.

Jabra Elite 85t

The all-plastic construction provides the buds a robust feel, while the smooth matte surface matches Jabra’s many hues. You may now pick from a variety of color schemes, including Titanium/Black, Gold/Beige, Copper/Black, Black, and Grey. I like the Elite Active 75t’s more vibrant hues like Navy, Sienna, and Mint, which are more in accordance with the Elite 75t’s palette.

The redesigned packaging for the Elite 85t is sure to please Jabra devotees. It’s smaller and more compact, making it easier to unpack, from accessories to the user manual flap.

Jabra’s Elite 85t earbuds

The Elite 85t’s charging case is a combination of the 75t and 65t cases, although with just minor modifications. To fit the buds’ thicker structure, clearly the new version is a little larger. The LED charging indication has been relocated to the front, as can be seen in the image. To further ensure a snug fit, the earbuds’ internal magnets have been strengthened. The AirPods Pro case fails to protect the plastic body from scuffs and scratches. It’s also portable, so you don’t have to worry about a bulge in your jeans, unlike the huge casing of the QuietComfort Earbuds.

Jabra Elite 85t price

In terms of general comfort, these buds are somewhat longer and heavier than their predecessors (2mm longer and 1 gram heavier). Because of the oval form of the sound port and the gel tips that don’t go too far into your ears, these earbuds are easier to install and have better on-ear stability. You’ll be able to use the earbuds for roughly 1.5 hours before you start to feel tired.


Ever wonder why Jabra hasn’t included touch controls onto its headsets? Using buttons rather than touch motions was preferred, according to user experience tests conducted by the firm. Jabra deserves credit for making control management less uncomfortable, especially when physical buttons necessitate forcing the buds into the ears, which causes irritation.

There are no obtrusive buttons on the Elite 85t’s control layout; instead, they respond quickly and provide excellent tactile feedback. It’s comforting to know that hitting the left or right button has resulted in a click sound. When the earbuds are taken out of the ear, the music is automatically paused, and it resumes when the earbuds are re-inserted. For the most part, it’s correct. With Jabra’s MyControls feature, you may customize the buttons to suit your preferences even more precisely.

Jabra Elite 85t  perfomance

It’s hard to go wrong with the Elite 85t if you’re looking for virtual assistant assistance because the buds have superb speech recognition. We had a lot of fun playing video games in the office without interruption while utilizing Google Assistant to look up World Series box scores and text our pals. Apple’s macOS version of Siri didn’t miss a beat when it came to opening calendar invitations. A Q1 2021 software update from Jabra will include Alexa.


Last year, abra made a try at ANC headphones with the Elite 85h and came out on top of the competition from Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Sony WF-1000XM3. When compared to the AirPods Pro and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, the Elite 85t’s noise-neutralizing characteristics are comparable.

The six microphones, Qualcomm QCC5126 CPU (the same one found in the Elite 75t), and Jabra’s own specialized ANC chip are all to credit for the exceptional performance. The Sound+ app offers five decibels of noise reduction, each of which may be tweaked via the app.


In order to minimize any outside noise, three of the six microphones have been set to ANC mode (two on the outside and one on the inside). On a windy afternoon, I was amazed at how well the technology on the front porch muted outside noises (such as Amazon delivery vehicles, dog barking, passing automobiles). Wind resistance had little effect on ANC performance, which was also rather high. When the buds were being utilized in the house, there were no distractions like juice blenders, loud sibling conversations, or a cat torturing the buds.

There are now five levels of adjustment accessible in the HearThrough app. Similar to the QuietComfort Earbuds’ Ambient Mode, which combines ANC with ambient listening, external noises are rendered sharper and more apparent. The fact that HearThrough doesn’t perform this task doesn’t diminish its usefulness. No ear buds are necessary for those who want to be more aware of their surroundings or conduct short chats.


Jabra Elite 85t - true wireless earphones with mic

Despite our displeasure with the new appearance, the audio quality is still great. It’s progressed.

In the 85t variant, Jabra quadrupled the 75t’s 6mm speakers to 12mm. This means a wider, better-balanced soundstage and deeper bass, which adds depth to music.

Jabra’s Elite 85t buds are noted for their powerful, booming bass. It compensates for a poor match.

Sound is warm and rich. The noise-blocking ANC enriches the natural sound, creating a clean, vibrant profile with booming bass. Sound quality is good. Not great, but it works.

Volume also goes up to quite a high level, which used to be an issue with true wireless buds as many brands limited this to help preserve battery life. That’s not a problem on the Jabra Elite 85t buds. In fact, some might find them a little too loud when turned all the way up. 

So, if you do like your music to make you feel like your eardrums are bleeding (which we absolutely don’t advise), you’re in luck as audio doesn’t distort at high volumes. The 85t buds do a great job of minimizing fuzzy bass tones ensuring music remains crisp even at full whack.

It’s also worth noting that during our time with the Elite 85t buds, connection was mostly stable, and any calls that we made during use presented no cause for complaint. 


Jabra Elite 85t - battery

Jabra’s Elite 85t earphones lasted almost five hours per charge with noise cancelling activated. This falls short of Jabra’s 5.5-hour battery life, but it’s still on par with other options. AirPods Pro last 4.5 hours per charge.

Without noise cancellation, the Elite 85t lasts around seven hours, like the Jabra 75t. This is also how long batteries last when removed from the charging case. The case extends the buds’ battery life to 25 hours (31 hours without ANC). This should last a few days if you use the Elite 85t buds for an hour per day, such as on your commute.

Quick-charging is another perk. In 15 minutes, you’ll have an hour of listening time. Perfect for reviving them in a hurry.


jabra elite 85t review

Both of Jabra’s most recent models had poor call quality. Even if the Elite 85t is an upgrade, Apple and Bose’s options are still better. When it comes to phone calls, I can only say that the noise cancellation is excellent. Outside, my wife couldn’t hear any of the noises I was making, even the buzzsaw action next door and the fluttering of birds. Using Zoom, my clients were pleased with the volume and clarity of my voice.

The Elite 85t’s Bluetooth 5.0 is stable and dependable. As soon as you remove the buds from the charging case, they appear in the available devices list and are ready to be connected to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. For wireless listening, the range extends roughly 35 feet. You may also use multipoint technology to connect the earbuds to two separate devices at the same time.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Jabra Elite 85t Review

A set of noise-cancelling headphones like the Elite 85t merits respect in the best-of-the-best debate. An excellent feedforward/feedback solution, Jabra’s ANC technology reduces outside noise to a comfortable level. The sound quality is excellent, with well-balanced bass and sharp mid- and high-frequency tones. However, the Elite 85t makes up for its shortcomings in areas like battery life with improved charging and control.

Both the larger design and the numerous software flaws must be addressed, although none of them are dealbreakers. And if we’re going by Jabra’s track record, we can expect nothing less than perfection when the Elite Active 85t is finally released.

Compared to AirPods and Bose QuietComfort, how does the Elite 85t compare? QuietComfort Earbuds are ideal for battery life and ANC, whereas AirPods Pro are excellent all-around earbuds. There are many wonderful alternatives out there, but the Jabra Elite 85t is one of the finest for wireless earbuds that have amazing ANC, sound, and functionality in a small compact.

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Daniel Wisdom
Daniel Wisdom

Writer Daniel Wisdom specializes in technology reporting and evaluation. He works as an independent contractor. He's based in Bleomfontein and has written on smartphones and other electronic devices.

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