Jabra has long built some of the best wireless earbuds out there, competing with the likes of Apple, Sony, and others. But Jabra’s best earbuds have also always been on the more expensive side. Now, Jabra wants to fill out its mid-range earbuds with a new pair — the Jabra Elite 5 wireless earbuds.
The Jabra Elite 5 earbuds, on paper, could be a real winner. They offer hybrid noise cancelation, a hefty 7-hour continuous battery life, and six microphones for better call quality and ANC. They even support Bluetooth Multipoint, something that unfortunately still seems to be limited to more expensive headphones.
But they also face some serious competition. At $149.99, the earbuds have to compete against the Klipsch T5 II ANC earbuds, the Bose Sport Earbuds, and the Sony Linkbuds S. Here’s how they fare.
- Nice design
- Excellent fit
- Good audio quality
- App works well
- Good price
- ANC is only fine
Jabra Elite 5 design
If you’ve seen the Jabra Elite 7 or Elite 3 earbuds before, then you pretty much know what the Jabra Elite 5 earbuds look like. They feature the same relatively slim design and feel, with a button on each bud, and the same black or Gold Beige colors on offer by the higher-end Jabra Elite 7 Pro earuds. I’m reviewing the Gold Beige color, and while I generally prefer black earbuds, I quite like the look of the Gold Beige color option.
As mentioned, each earbud has a button on it, and while I often prefer touch surfaces and squeezable stems, the buttons on the Jabra Elite 5 earbuds work great. Unlike many other options, they don’t force you to push the earbuds deeper into your ears to press the buttons. They’re generally very well-designed earbuds.
The charging case is well-designed too. The case isn’t quite as small and slim as the AirPods or AirPods Pro, but it’s still smaller than most and very pocketable. On the back, there’s a USB-C port, and the case supports wireless charging — which is always nice.
Jabra Elite 5 comfort
Jabra is one of those companies that seems to have struck gold when it comes to the comfort level of wireless earbuds. The Jabra Elite 5 earbuds are small and compact, and they seem to fit perfectly in my ears.
Now, of course, not everyone will have the same experience. We all have slightly differently shaped ears. But I think most will find the earbuds comfortable to wear, even for long stretches of time. The stems aren’t very thick, so they’re not as uncomfortable as some other buds can be, and they rest nicely in the outer ear.
The Elite 5 earbuds also come with a few different ear tip options — and I recommend experimenting a little to find the right tips for your needs. The default tips fit my ears perfectly fine.
Jabra Elite 5 software
The Jabra Elite 5 earbuds work with the Jabra Sound+ app, and the app works well. It’s pretty well-designed and easy to navigate, and shows information that can be helpful.
The main screen shows the battery level for each earbud and the charging case. You’ll also be able to select the noise cancelation mode or turn it off, and the level of noise cancelation. And, you can select an EQ preset or create your own.
The interface in general is organized in “widgets,” and you can disable any of the sections as you see fit. Considering there are only four to choose from, I kept them all enabled. Perhaps the more helpful features is the ability to sort them, but regardless, it’s nice that you can hide features you don’t want or need.
You don’t need to use the app, but sometimes you might want to. It’s generally well-designed and worked great in my testing.
Jabra Elite 5 sound
Of course, perhaps the most important consideration to make is how the earbuds actually sound. Thankfully, they sound great — even with default settings. Thankfully, even if you don’t like default settings, you can adjust the EQ.
The earbuds, for starters, offer good bass response. There’s plenty of body in kick drums, and smooth, deep bass guitars. The bass doesn’t overshadow other frequencies too, which is something that can happen in consumer headphones from time to time.
The mids are well-tuned, with a good amount of warmth in the low mids, and high-mids that nicely accentuate vocals without making them sound like an AM radio. And, the highs offer lots of detail, ensuring cymbals shimmer nicely and music is generally exciting.
The noise cancelation on offer here is quite good, though definitely not quite as good as options like the AirPods Pro. It’ll cut out some background street noise and such, but the higher-end earbuds still win for the best noise cancelation tech.
The Jabra Elite 5 wireless earbuds are an excellent option for those who want a great pair of earbuds that don’t break the bank. They boast an excellent design, with great audio quality and a solid app. Generally, Jabra makes excellent earbuds, but the Elite 5 earbuds in particular offer great value for money.
If you live in Apple land, I still think that the AirPods Pro earbuds are the better buy. At list price, they’re more expensive than the Jabra Elite 5 earbuds, but they’re routinely available for around $180, which is only a little more. If you really want the best wireless earbuds for $150 or less, then the Jabra Elite 5 earbuds are definitely the way to go.
Should I buy the Jabra Elite 5 earbuds?
Yes. They’re excellent earbuds for a solid price.
More coverage: Read our SoundPEATS T3 wireless earbuds review.