The Jabra Elite 7 Active are great sounding truly wireless earbuds made for exercise with good battery life and useful ANC skills packed into a small package that does stay put in your ears.
- Small form factor
- Great sound once set up in Jabra app
- Good active noise cancellation
- Some more reliably secure sports buds out there
- Need to tinker with sound profile for best results
- ANC still struggles with wind
- Active Noise CancellationSupports ANC with adjustable levels
- Sound+ appOffers added customisation with equaliser settings and Hear Through mode
- ShakeGrip technologyDesigned to keep the earbuds rooted during workouts
The Jabra Elite 7 Active are Jabra’s latest set of truly wireless earbuds built for working out.
The successor to the excellent Elite Active 75T, Jabra has refined the design so occupy less space in the ears while still promising a secure fit even during tough exercise sessions. There are also features like active noise cancellation, the ability to handle calls and onboard controls.
At £169.99, the Elite 7 Active is by no means a budget buy. Does it deliver where it matters to make it the buds you should have in your ears when it’s time to run or hit the gym?
The Jabra Elite 7 Active is available to buy in three colours for £169.99 / $179.99 from Jabra’s website as well as other retailers.
- IP57 waterproof design
- Comes in three colours
Put the Elite 7 Active side-by-side with the Elite Active 75T and you can see that Jabra has sought to make its latest sports buds sit smaller in the ears and still offer a strong fit that holds up for vigorous exercise. They weigh 5.5g per bud and Jabra says they’re 16% smaller than its last generation buds.
Jabra gives you a pick of black, mint or navy colours and once again opts against a wing tip-style design for its own ‘ShakeGrip’ design. It’s using a silicone rubber that it says helps to keep the buds in your ears and keep that profile low. There’s also three different sized sets of ear gels to make sure you can get an optimum fit.
I would say the experience of wearing these earbuds is that they do stay put and they sit pleasingly in the ears than most other sports earbuds. I ran, did indoor HIIT workouts and indoor rowing sessions and they did not fall out. While they didn’t budge I did often get that sense that maybe they could, and that’s why I’d still think some might still favour the more reliable wing tip-style earbuds. It’s worth making use of the MyFit test here as well, which is available in the Jabra Sound+ app and helps to determine if you have the optimal fit.
While the form factor has shrunk, it’s protection against water and sweat remains unchanged. You’re still getting IP57 certification, which technically means they’re equipped to be submerged in water up to 1 metre. In reality, it means they’re better equipped to handle sweat from a workout and running in the rain.
On the outer side of the buds is a single LED light to indicate battery status. There’s also a set of physical controls that you press to handle calls, skip music tracks, play/pause and toggle through HearThrough and ANC modes. You can also use those controls to summon your smart assistant and press and hold to adjust volume.
Physical controls always feel like a better fit than touch ones, particularly on earbuds made for exercise, and the Elite 7 Active controls work very well from that perspective. Even when you’re moving at speed and having to reach for them.
Those buds sit in a charging case that’s noticeably flatter than the one included with previous Jabra buds, making it a lot easier to slip into a pocket. That case can be charged via USB-C or wireless charging pads.
It’s worth noting that these buds can be used independently, which is good to hear. What’s not so great is that you can’t pair them two devices simultaneously. It seems support for that will be added in the future.
- Adjustable active noise cancellation
- Use earbuds independently
You’re getting 6mm drivers powering the audio performance with presets and an equalizer inside the companion Sound+ app letting you tinker with the sound profile. I’d say you’d definitely need to do that to get the most rewarding sound from these Actives.
That’s because out of the box, they sound very unbalanced. Take the time to perform the MySound test to personalise the earbuds and you’ll get something far more rewarding. There’s great bass depth though some might want to reign things in on the app if it feels a little on the heavy side. There’s a nice sharpness in the treble and you get a good, wide soundstage despite the small stature of these buds.
You can play around with the bass, mid-range and treble in the equalizer or go to the music presets instead where you can also make your own if you need something better suited to speech or something more relaxed sounding.
Jabra includes both active noise cancellation and HearThrough modes depending on whether you want to entirely block out the world or let more of it in. The ANC can be adjusted in the app to control how effective that noise cancelling works.
At its full powers I found that for running outside it did a pretty good job muting traffic but did have more of a challenge entirely blocking out wind. It does keep it at bay but it doesn’t remove it. You have similar control with the HearThrough letting you adjust how much exterior sound you let in. You can actually turn off both of these modes too, which will improve the battery life.
The Elite 7 Active are set up to take calls too. There’s four internal and external microphones included that use a special mesh to protect against wind and improve call quality. I can’t say that I get many calls these days, but on the few that I did use these with, that call quality was fine overall and the wind wasn’t a total nuisance outside.
One surprising feature to find inside the companion app is a series of soundscapes that let you pump in things like white noise, the sounds of waterfalls, ocean waves or crowd noise to mask noise around you. It’s probably not going to get used by many, but it’s a nice addition.
In terms of battery life, Jabra is giving you up to 8 hours with ANC in use and 10 hours without it. With a fully charged case, you’ll get 30 hours in total. There’s also an improved fast charge feature that now gives you an hour’s listening time from just a 5 minute charge. It was previously 15 minutes. I’d say those battery numbers ring true in my time with them. An hour’s worth of running with ANC enabled dented the battery by 10%.
There is a sleep mode to help better conserve battery life that will turn off the buds when they are out of range from your phone or not in the charging case for 15 minutes. If they’ve not been used for 30 minutes, they’ll jump into that sleep mode too.
Should you buy it?
You want headphones for sweaty exercise The strong water and sweat resistance rating coupled with the good fit make these buds well suited to more energetic exercise time.
You have problems with earbud fit It’s clear that despite the promise of a secure fit without wingtips, these might still pose fit problems for some.
The Jabra Elite 7 Active is another great sporty earbud instalment from Jabra that packs more of the same tech inside of a smaller yet still secure fit design. They sound great, offer battery life in line with the competition and offer good ANC as well. That being said, you could pick up the Elite Active 75T with a similar feature set albeit with a slightly larger design for less and still get a great pair of buds if you don’t want to spend big.
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Tested with real world use
Tested for more than a week
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According to Jabra, ShakeGrip uses a special Liquid Silicone Rubber compound to hold “the buds more securely in the ear without the need for ear wings”.
Indeed they do, and you can adjust the HearThrough ambient sound mode in the Sound+ app.