Jabra Elite 3 truly wireless headphones review


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Erin Lawrence

jabra Elite 3, truly wireless, headphones, ear buds, review

There’s almost too much choice when it comes to truly wireless headphones. Depending on your aesthetic and style preferences, the fit you want or the brand you’re most loyal too, you’ve got options. Jabra has released its new Jabra Elite 3 truly wireless earbuds, and a pair has landed in my test kitchen for review.

We’ll talk fit and feel, sound quality and whether these have nose cancellation or not, plus if you stick with me well talk price and if i recommend them

Jabra Elite 3 are a budget version of Jabra’s truly wireless earbuds that are made for those endless zoom or conference calls. They’ve got properties that make them great for clear, quiet calls, plus HearThrough which lets you allow some outside noise to bleed in in case you need to stay alert and on-ear touch controls too.

Fit and feel, design

When it comes to the design of these earbuds they follow the Jabra formula which is to say it leans more to the utilitarian, simple and basic as opposed to flashy. These are definitely meant for working professionals with an eye towards subtlety and discretion, as opposed to a club kid who wants the latest bling.

The Jabra Elite 3 sit fairly flush in the ear, with no stick hanging down or cork-like protrusions. The earbuds come with three sizes of silicon ear gels to provide the proper fit. For the most part I found them comfortable when the correct ear tip is attached and they don’t pinch or stretch the ear concha.

Sound/audio quality: Jabra Elite 3

Let’s get to the sound quality. Jabra touts the Elite 3 as having a rich, full bass sound for music via their 6mm speakers.
Their Sound+ app, by the way will allow you to adjust sound preferences with five presets covering a range of listening experiences.

Sound quality is quite good, as many Jabra headphones and earbuds are. There’s a good depth of sound, and the bass sounds full and resonant, while the high end is clear and twinkly. It was really easy to get lost in the music wearing the Elite 3. There’s no muddiness and vocals cut through easily and clearly. In short, these earbuds sound outstanding, whether you’re listening to music, podcasts, or your boss droning on.

jabra Elite 3, truly wireless, headphones, ear buds, reviewWhat about call quality?

Jabra headphones and earbuds are made to deliver on crisp calls. Four microphones in these headphones help to ensure you’re always heard.
When I used them for phone and Zoom calls I was able to hear clearly, and my callers said I was clear too.

Depending what you read about these you might be led to believe they have noise cancellation. In truth, they don’t. Noise cancelling is the act of using digital algorithms to listen for and then cancel out external noise bleeding in. What these do have is passive noise isolation, which is essentially a tight fit and a good seal to physically block noise, and they also have HearThrough, which allows you to digitally open up the earbuds to let some of that noise bleed in on your own terms. That means you can keep an ear for a crying baby, barking dog, or the doorbell. HearThrough can be toggled on or off in the Jabra Sound + app or using

My HearThrough experience

When HearThrough is on, you get your music mixed with whatever’s happening around you. Without HearThough on you get Noise Isolation, which is the act of using a physical barrier to block out sound (think a great seal or thick ear cups or foam on over ear headphones).

The truth about these earbuds is that the good seal created by the ear tips means the noise isolation you end up with is okay, but in my opinion, the HearThrough is barely noticeable with music playing. When I tested it out when nothing at all was playing, the difference between it being off and on was marginal. I will say this as a big Jabra fan, but the HearThrough in these headphones is mightily disappointing and barely registers for me when audio is playing.

Connectivity, battery, charging

jabra Elite 3, truly wireless, headphones, ear buds, review

A single charge with the included USB-C cable will provide up to seven hours of listening time in the buds and up to a total of 28 hours with the charging case, while a ten-minute fast charge will give you an hour of playback. That’s pretty good… as is the standby time of up to 75 day.

The earbuds will operate up to 10m (33ft) from your device, and you can pair with up to six devices, but while they will remember devices, you can only stay connected to one device at a time, and it will default to the last connected device. They’ll also turn on automatically when the earbuds are removed from the charging case and turn themselves off after 15 minutes without a connection or 30 minutes with no activity.

One thing I can say about Jabra is that their connectivity is great; I can walk all over my main floor, putting walls between me and my phone and there’s not break up or digitization.

Water, sweat resistance

Jabra Elite 3 is rated IP55, so they’re rain and sweat-proof.
As a more budget-conscious version of Jabra’s Elite earbuds, the Elite 3 understandably have fewer features and may lack some of the fidelity of something like Jabra Elite 85t (which I’ve reviewed here) Selling for about $99CAD (compared to the Elite 85t’s price of $299) they are meant to offer some of Jabra’s most popular features at a significantly lower price.

jabra Elite 3, truly wireless, headphones, ear buds, review

Jabra Elite 3 vs Jabra Elite 85t

If you’re comparison shopping, the Jabra Elite 3 is missing a few features found in something like the Elite 85t:

  • No digital Active Noise Cancellation
  • No wind resistance
  • Fewer embedded microphones (4 here, 6 in 85t)
  • No Qi charging
  • Less customization in Jabra app
  • No in-app hearing test to customize fit and sound

If some of those features are must-haves for you, there’s an easy fix: go for the Elite 85t instead of the Elite 3’s. But at a great price point, you’re getting a great pair of headphones with the Elite 3.

Overall review: Jabra Elite 3 truly wireless earbuds

Overall these are solid budget earphones. The sound quality for both music and calls is great, and while they don’t have some of the features in more expensive Jabras, like wind resistance, and the Hear Through is a bit lacking, these are a great way to balance features with price.
Jabra Elite 3 sells for about $99CAD/$79USD.

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