For the past month or so, I’ve been carrying two sets of earbuds with me everywhere I go. In a compact, instantly recognizable white case, there are the $250 AirPods Pro. In a similarly sized, nondescript black case, there are the $180 Jabra Elite 75t. They’re the best earbuds I’ve gotten my hands on this year, and I almost can’t decide which ones I like better. Almost.
Here’s the long and short of it: based on price and performance, the Jabra Elite 75t are hard to beat. Based on cachet and convenience, the AirPods Pro are hard to beat. Which set is best for you, depends on what you value most. Personally, I would spend my money on the new Jabras. Aspirationally, the AirPods Pro sure are slick.
As I outlined in my review, the Jabra Elite 75t earbuds fix almost everything that I didn’t like about their wildly popular predecessor, the Elite 65t. They’re smaller. The case is better. The battery life is longer. (Seven hours on a single charge!) And thanks to Bluetooth 5 support, the Elite 75t also work better. They turn on when you put them in your ears, and so far, I’ve never had a connection issue. I also love that they have physical buttons you can use to control your music.
These are also all the ways the Elite 75t beat the AirPods Pro. The Jabra earbuds are slightly more compact than the AirPods Pro and certainly more subdued in their design. They’re not bright white, for one, and they lack that jaunty little arm on the front of the earbud. The Elite 75t offer phenomenal battery life: 7.5 hours on a single charge which is almost double the 4.5 hours the AirPods Pro get. Using the Jabras is also easier thanks to those physical buttons. For example, playing or pausing a track on the Elite 75t requires a single push. To do the same thing on the AirPods Pro, you have to squeeze the stem-like section of the earbud which never works as well as I want it to. I should also point out that holding the left or right Jabra earbud allows you to adjust the volume. To adjust the volume on the AirPods Pro, you have to use your phone.
These little things add up. And to some Apple diehards, they won’t matter. Plenty of longtime AirPods lovers will want to upgrade in order to keep that familiar Apple-centric experience but add some new features like noise-canceling and water resistance. (The AirPods Pro have an IPX4 rating, which is lower than the Jabra Elite 75t’s IP55 rating.) The new wireless Apple earbuds, like the old ones, are a pleasure to use. They fit neatly in your ears and offer decent sound quality on phone calls. (I tested the call quality between the AirPods Pro and the Jabra Elite 75t and found them both to be equally good.) In other words, the AirPods Pro offer almost all the same features as the Jabra Elite 75t but with crappier specs and a higher price.
It’s the money that makes this buying decision easy for me. If Jabra will sell me a superior set of earbuds for $70 less, sure I’m going to pick the Elite 75t over the AirPods Pro. I like both sets! I’ve used them both for hours upon hours, and aside from the specific gripes listed above, most people will love them both. Apple fans might love the AirPods Pro a little more because, well, they’re the fancy new AirPods. I think this hype is silly. Save yourself some money and some pride, and get the Jabra Elite 75t.