Jabra’s current headphone lineup
is bigger and better than ever. But how do you choose between models? It’s an especially important consideration when those models are part of the same range. Take the manufacturer’s best-selling sports-focused Elite 7 Active headphones and their newly unveiled Elite 4 Active counterpart, for example.
So, which is the best? Outwardly, they’re almost identical. Yet, upon closer inspection, there are several important distinctions between the two models. From charging methods and battery life to the number of built-in microphones, there’s also a 50 percent difference in pricing.
Jabra Elite 7 Active
Launched last year, Jabra’s Elite 7 Active headphones
marked a follow-up to the Danish company’s already-popular 75t Active model. Jabra designed them primarily for running, cycling, and other sporting activities. And the Active-branded Elite 7s improve upon the 75t Active model in several areas.
One such improvement is a 16-percent size reduction. Sports-focused headphones have long been notoriously bulky, but the Jabra Elite 75t Active earbuds were already one of the most lightweight pairs available. With that, their successor, in the shape of Jabra’s Elite 7 Active variant, immediately became among the smallest—and most comfortable
—on the market.
Featuring a liquid silicone rubber coating to keep them in place, they also boast IP57 dirt-resistance and water-resistance rating, adjustable active noise cancellation, the nine-hour battery life on a single charge, and compatibility with Jabra’s famously impressive smartphone app
. Jabra Elite 7 Active buyers also get six built-in microphones and a wireless charging case.
Jabra’s Elite 7 Active earbuds launched on October 1, 2021, and cost $179.99.
Jabra Elite 4 Active
Unveiled at CES 2022, Jabra’s brand-new Elite 4 Active earbuds
are largely indistinguishable from their older sibling – the fractionally more rounded-looking Active model Elite 7s. While few could argue that the existing model is overpriced at a fraction under $180, the arrival of the latest variant also marks a significant reduction in pricing.
In fact, at just $119.99, they’re a full 50 percent cheaper. It’s a somewhat surprising move considering the continued success of Jabra’s existing pair of similar but more expensive fitness-focused Elite-branded earbuds. So, what’s changed? According to Jabra, the Elite 4s are designed to be “a relatable alternative
” for those who enjoy an active lifestyle but are not looking for the intensity of the company’s more expensive Jabra Elite 7 Active model.
As a result, their Jabra Elite 4 earbuds get a slightly reduced overall battery life and two fewer microphones, meaning four rather than six. They also lack the wireless charging case of the costlier model from the Elite Active lineup. Other than that, there’s very little to separate them
, right down to the newcomer’s same choice of black, mint green, and navy blue finishes, albeit in straightforward hard plastic rather than having a silicone coating.
Built from many of the same components, despite Jabra’s suggestion that the Elite 7 Actives lack the intensity of the Elite 4s, it’s hard to find any difference in terms of sound quality between the two models either.
Ultimately, there’s surprisingly little to differentiate between Jabra’s Elite 4 and Elite 7 Active headphones. The same is true right down to their matching, cleverly angled sound ports and identical IP57 waterproof ratings.
Where a wireless charging case is a must, the costlier model offers this, albeit at a not-insignificant $60 premium. This price difference is also apparent in the Jabra Elite 4 Active model’s hard plastic rather than silicone finish. However, the cheaper Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds will do everything that most buyers are likely to expect.
Aside from their charging cases, in-ear detection is the only other notable difference. A little-talked-about feature of the costlier option, in-ear detection automatically pauses wearers’ music when they take their earbuds out. And they resume playback when they put them back in.
The more affordable Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds miss out on this added degree of functionality, but that’s unlikely to bother the majority of potential buyers, especially considering the $60 saving.
Jabra Headphone Warranty
Upsie offers low-cost extended headphone warranty
solutions for Jabra’s Elite 4 Active and Elite 7 Active earbuds. In addition, Upsie costs up to 70 percent less than warranties sold by manufacturers and retailers.
Perks of choosing Upsie include comprehensive protection against manufacturer defects, mechanical faults, and all manner of other failures. Upsie’s headphone warranties also feature accidental damage protection, safeguarding against drops, cracks, liquid spills, and more.
Customers can purchase an Upsie warranty for headphones bought in the last 60 days.
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