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A tough pair of true wireless earbuds for workouts, with an enjoyably rich audio performance. Despite a slightly loose fit, if you want a pair of workout headphones that can go the distance, there’s arguably no better option than the Elite 8 Active.


  • Rugged design
  • Compact, comfortable fit
  • Enjoyable, bass heavy sound
  • Long battery life
  • Strong noise-cancelling


  • Fit can get loose during runs
  • No onboard volume control
  • Dolby Spatial Audio doesn’t add much
  • Muffled call quality

Key Features

  • Military grade ruggednessIP68 for the earbuds with passed US Military standard for ruggedised electronics
  • Spotify TapAccess your Spotify music library with one press
  • Shakegrip techSilicone layer that ensures the grippy fit


Built to be one of the toughest (if not the toughest) pairs of wireless earphones, Jabra has taken everything it learned from its 7-series Active earbuds and crammed it into the Elite 8 Active.

There are plenty of wireless earbuds with a focus on workouts, whether they’re from Jaybird, Beats, or JBL. Has the work Jabra’s put into the Elite 8 Active resulted in one of the best workout earphones you can buy? Let’s find out.


  • Rugged design
  • Shakegrip tech
  • Physical controls

In terms of appearance the Elite 8 Active haven’t deviated from Jabra’s established template. Jabra doesn’t provide wing-tips, relying on its Shakegrip tech, a silicone rubber that covers the surface to stop the buds from flying out of your ears.

In a sense, it works, in that on the runs I’ve taken the Jabra on and the gym sessions I’ve used them in, they’ve stayed put. That doesn’t mean they haven’t come loose, especially during runs, but not to the point where they’ve fallen out. They do need to be re-seated every now and then though.

I’ve not had an issue in terms of comfort, and the earphones come with small, medium, and large ear-tip options to help you find a secure fit.

Jabra Elite 8 Active Shakegrip
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Jabra’s placed an emphasis on the Elite 8 Active’s toughness as they’ve passed US Military Standards for ruggedised electronics (810H), as well as Jabra’s own corrosive tests (Highly Accelerated Corrosion Testing); and they’re rated to IP68 (the case is IP54) against dust and moisture.

You could leave these earphones in your pocket and they’ll survive a spin cycle (or few) in a washing machine, although I’m not too tempted to find out myself. I’ve seen them dropped into a glass of water and they seemed to last, with Jabra stating they could survive a depth of 1.5m in water.

Jabra Elite 8 Active charging case
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The case is compact (slimmer than the Elite 10), the earphones easy enough to pluck from their cradle, and there is a small LED light to indicate how much charge is left. Our sample came in a navy blue finish, but there is dark grey (exclusive to Amazon), caramel (exclusive to the Jabra website), and black.

In usual Jabra style, the company’s opted for physical buttons which I prefer for workout earphones as you’re less likely to miss a press due to sweaty fingers. The default controls are easy enough to remember but if you want to chop and change, that can be done through the Sound+ app. There doesn’t appear to be any onboard controls for volume. I’ve told there are controls for volume but haven’t found them yet.


  • Adaptive ANC
  • Bluetooth LC3 Audio
  • Sound+ app

Jabra has several flavours of ANC solutions across its wares. There’s Standard, Hybrid, Adaptive, and Advanced; the ANC getting stronger (or so Jabra says) with each step. The Elite 8 Active employ the Adaptive ANC version.

In real world terms that Adaptive ANC is strong, though dependent on a snug seal because as soon as the grip loosens, more noise comes through. With that said, with the earphones tucked in and at an appropriate volume level, you won’t be hearing much of the traffic or people around you.

In a gym environment the earphones worked well to get rid of the machines whirring in the background, as well as the sound of the music and TV. You can get on with your workout without losing focus.

Jabra Elite 8 Active with water on them
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

On roads I can hear traffic going past, so the experience isn’t an altogether silent one but it’s strong enough that I can run and focus on what I’m listening to. The noise they clear out is substantial enough, though the Elite 10 are a step up in terms of suppression.

On windy days the Elite 8 Active handle those conditions well. Turning a corner and running head on into a blustery wind, there was no distortion and wind noise. You can toggle on Wind Noise Reduction in the app but I didn’t feel the need to, though it’s good to have as wind noise was an issue that affected the Elite 7 Active model.

The HearThrough mode that lets sound in is effective too, finding a good enough balance between what’s around me while still allowing me to listen to audio. If you want to have a conversation I’d be minded to pause music completely.

I’ve not come across any wireless connectivity issues, though I’ve not taken them to same places as I would standard earbuds. Nevertheless, wherever I’ve been, I’ve not encountered an issue.

Jabra Elite 8 Active IP resistance
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Bluetooth 5.3 standard enables multipoint support to connect to two devices simultaneously. Codec support is SBC and AAC, while Bluetooth LE Audio has been added in an update. The latter should offer better quality audio than SBC while preserving battery life.

You also get Google Fast Pair for a quick connection to an Android device. Microsoft’s Swift Pair is also onboard but there’s no iOS equivalent, unfortunately.

Voice assistance is supported through Siri for iOS or Google Assistant and Alexa; although on Android only Google is built-in. Spotify Tap also features, allowing users to head straight to their favourite playlists or music in the app with – you guessed it – the press of a button.

Jabra Elite 8 Active app Sound Plus customisation
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Battery life is around eight hours per charge and 32 in total. The battery drain I did over two hours at around 50% volume (using a combination of ANC and HearThrough modes), saw it fall by 15%. That would put battery life at over 12 hours, which is a really good result. I think the Elite 8 Active sound better at higher volumes, so that overall figure might come down. Regardless, I’ve never felt as if I’ve had to charge these earphones too often.

The Sound+ app is a fine one in terms of layout, information and customisation. You can swap between audio presets, toggle on Dolby’s Spatial Sound feature or listen to one of Jabra’s soundscapes (although I’m not sure who would listen to pink noise). If you lose the Elite 8 Active there is a Find My feature, though obviously you’d need to activate it before they’re lost.

Jabra Elite 8 Active app Sound Plus
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Call quality is above average. The noise cancellation excludes pretty much any sound it comes across, but it’s the voice pick up that’s shaky. The person on the other end of the line commented that my voice sounded muffled.

Sound Quality

  • Bass-forward performance
  • Dolby Spatial Sound
  • Solid levels of detail and clarity

It’s easy to discern what Jabra is going for on the sound front. The Elite 8 Active skew towards a bass heavy profile common for workout true wireless. Bass doesn’t dominate at the expense of the midrange, though I’d say that in terms of overall tuning the treble isn’t quite as nuanced or present in the soundstage.

You can switch things around with the Treble Boost EQ in the app and that does bring clarity and a focus to the top end of the frequency range but there’s no getting past that the Elite 8 Active are primarily a smooth and rich-sounding pair of earphones. If that’s what you like in your headphones, especially workout earphones, there’s much to like here.

Jabra Elite 8 Active earphone design
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Raising the volume only serves to increase bass presence and I’d say the Jabra scale rather nicely – at least up to a point. Bass does get bigger and more emphatic, but midrange clarity is retained with voices and not overwhelmed by the Elite 8 Active’s bass power.

There’s not a point – at least when listening to Noah Cyrus’ Stand Still – where the bass hardens and becomes uncomfortable, though I feel that depends on the song. Something more punchy like Nia Archives’ Baianá might have you squeezing the volume down button on your mobile device to more palatable levels.

While most of what I’ve written has been about that bass, the Elite 8 Active carry enough insight and detail to bring out the soft, delicate tones of Anette Askvik’s voice in Liberty, as well as portray a convincing sense of dynamism with the instruments in that track. Though the earphones warmth and richness gives the low frequencies a boost in every song, they’re still versatile enough to enjoy a range of music genres.

The Dolby Spatial Sound feature is odd at first in that it doesn’t make audio wider or taller but seems to be going for more depth. It’s fine enough, though instruments can lose a little definition and sound slightly distorted, and the same applies with video content as voices sound a little less natural.

Jabra Elite 8 Active in charging case
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

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Should you buy them?

You should buy for their strong, all-round performance

A high level of ruggedness, solid ANC, and enjoyably bassy audio output.

You should not buy because of that slightly loose fit

Something tells me that the fit is meant to be a little loose to aid comfort, but during runs the seal does slip and that affects the ANC performance.

Final Thoughts

The Elite 8 Active are strong in terms of ruggedness, strong in their feature set, strong in the sound (especially that bass) and ultimately strong in appeal.

They launch at the same price as the Beats Fit Pro and open-eared Cleer Arc II Sport, and are slightly more expensive than Jabra’s own Elite 7 Active, but the level of ruggedness on tap is a step up on all those models, and the consistency of its performance makes them an excellent choice.

The few caveats I have concern the fit, which becomes loose during runs, the lack of any onboard volume control and, if you use them for calls, slightly muffled pick-up.

Despite that, at the time of review they’ve fallen to £180 and of the workout true wireless I’ve tested around that price, they’re one of the best options you can get.

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How we test

We test every set of headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

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Tested over six months

Tested with real world use

Battery drain carried out


What’s the battery life for the Elite 8 Active?

Jabra states that battery life is up to eight hours with ANC on, but in our tests we found they could last a few hours more than that.

Full specs

IP rating
Battery Hours
Wireless charging
Fast Charging
Release Date
Audio Resolution
Driver (s)
Noise Cancellation?
Frequency Range
Headphone Type
Voice Assistant

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