Jabra Elite 85t Review | The Best Earbuds got a Bit Better
Affiliate disclosure: all links earn commissionReading time: 5 minutes Here's a quick look at the 2020-21 iteration of the Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Headphones, followed by more details and specs below - for those of you who want it. The Jabra Elite 85t is one of the best options for audio sources on iOS […]

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Reading time: 5 minutes

Here's a quick look at the 2020-21 iteration of the Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Headphones, followed by more details and specs below - for those of you who want it.

The Jabra Elite 85t is one of the best options for audio sources on iOS or Android smartphone right now and they are even OK for occasional sports use ... expect the Active version in January if ACTIVE describes you.

Jabra Elite 85t: test and comparison with 75t / 65t
  • Price - 75%
  • Audio quality - 85%
  • Build quality and design - 95%
  • Features including the app - 90%


Jabra Elite 85t verdict

Jabra has established itself as a supplier of premium audio headphones to the mass market with a series of excellent products, culminating in the improved Elite 85t. This is a 4th generation product for Jabra and the many subtle improvements over 5 years have resulted in a well balanced set of headphones. Sure, they're expensive and they're not perfect for everyone, but they're good. Very well.

Compared to listening to music, you will spend less time using them for home automation control and taking calls, but rest assured you are good at it call quality (not great) and Siri / Google are all suitably obedient.

The fit of all Jabra Elite models is different from last year and I slightly prefer the fit of previous models for my ears. Your ears are definitely different from mine, so you'll have to try them out! I have fairly small ears and my partner has very small ears which are NOT suitable! My partner uses instead AfterShokz.

Finally, the free Jabra Sound + app has improved over the years and one of the most notable features now is the audio test when you pair the 85t. This tests the audio frequencies and volumes you can hear and makes presets accordingly. Convenient! We are not all the same when it comes to hearing. Other app-based features include the ability for a group of friends to sync the same song playing sync, thus enjoying listening to the same at the same time.


  • Calls, playback and home automation control all work well

The inconvenients

  • Not for heavy sports use (get the ACTIVE 85t version)

Jabra Elite 85t review specifications

Table of Contents | Jump to

Jabra Elite 85t - What has changed? What's up?

Jabra will release the Elite soon ACTIVE 85t to complete this Elite 85t model; the equivalent model from last year was the Elite 75t + active version, and the version of the previous year was the Elite 65t + active model. Active models have superior dust and waterproof ratings, as well as a non-slip coating. They are otherwise identical.

As for this year's improvements over last year, the Active 85t model is a bit better and comes with a very similar tech spec to last year's 75t. If you want that in techno-talk, let's go ...

  • Audio performance is improved with the 85t having a bigger driver (speaker) than the 75t / 65t - 12 mm against 6 mm
  • the the earpiece has 5.5 hours of battery life (unchanged) but the new charging box has 19.5 hours of boost (compared to 18.5)
    • With noise correction (ANC) turned off, battery life is increased to 7 hours on the headphones plus 24 hours from the case (down from 7.5 hours and 20.5 hours in similar mode on the 75t)
    • Fast charge time unchanged at 1 hour
    • Full charge time at 3 hours, instead of 2 hours 20
    • Auto power off time reduced to 30 minutes instead of 60 minutes (when not in use)
  • IPX4 rated (was IP55, now lower) - i.e. IPX4 protects against splash
  • Headphone size is very slightly larger to accommodate the larger speaker (LxWxH) 23.1 X 19.0 x 16.2mm / 0.91 x 0.75 x 0.64inch, was 21.9 X 19.4 x 16.2mm / 0.86 x 0.76 x 0.64inch
  • The charging case is very slightly larger (LxWxH) 64.8 x 41.1 x 28.5 mm / 2.55 x 1.62 x 1.12 inch, was (LxWxH) 62.4 x 37.8 x 27.0 mm / 2.46 x 1.49 x 1.06 inch
  • There is now 6 microphones (instead of 4) and 4 of them (instead of 2) are involved in active noise cancellation (ANC) during calls.
  • ANC adjustments are now possible which could increase battery life
  • We have now Bluetooth 5.1 (from 5.0)
  • The app is improved with new features, I'm not sure all the new features in the app work on the old models of headphones

While some of the physical specs seem to have slipped back slightly, I feel like this masks the improved, long-term reliability of the electronics.

Jabra Elite 85t review specifications

If this is your first time watching Jabra Elite, you will be reassured that you still have these key levels of specs.

  • The same SBAC and AAC Audio CODECs are used (this is what you want for normal iOS and Android, other HD codecs are not supported, like AptX HD)
  • You can still save a pairing for up to 8 devices
  • Still has adjustable in-ear and hearing pressure relief
  • S / M / L ear gels are included
  • Speaker bandwidth / frequencies for calls and music are unchanged and correspond to the human hearing range.
  • Protection against wind noise remains
  • Wireless charging / QI and charging via USB-C cable
  • The main Bluetooth profiles are supported: HSP v1.2, HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6, SPP v1.2 for example HFP = hands-free profile
  • The overall aesthetic feel of the 85t is the same as that of the 75t, but the two differ slightly from the 65t.

Detailed comparison: Download PDF

Elite 85t, against 75t, against 65t

Storage box with battery

The new charging case, above, pictured left is only a little bigger than last year, it charges either with a certified QI charger or with the included USB-C cable.

It's well designed and stands on its own (unlike the 65t version) and inside the case the earbuds are REALLY sucked into position by magnets before closing the lid. If anything, then they are quite difficult to remove. The magnets are strong… you won't lose the headphones when you open the case! Likewise, magnets can be used to make headphones `` glue '' together, such as when you leave them on your desk #Handy.

Jabra Elite 85t music playback

I haven't had any playback issues on the Elite 85t headphones. I tested them on an iPhone XR (iOS 14.2), a Garmin Forerunner 945 And one Apple watch 6 - all were good with pairing, playing and using the microphone.

The reading quality is excellent. I have switched between these and the 75t / 65t versions several times through the same song and the “quality”, clarity and bass level are all noticeably improved. If anything, the default bass level was a bit too high for me and I used the app's EQ to tone it down a bit.

As with many other headphones, it's best to wear your watch or smartphone on your RIGHT WRIST, as the receiver of the headphones is on this side as well. That said, in normal, stationary use, the location of the music source didn't seem to make a difference, although it obviously had to be within a range of 10m.

Jabra Active 85t vs Active 75t vs the 65 t

You can see the 3 iterations are all broadly similar to look at with the two newer versions appearing to be the same, in fact the 85t is up to 2mm larger. The 'blob' that goes into your ear is a different shape on the 85t / 75t compared to the 65t - it's neither here nor there, but I'm just pointing it out.

My only real gripe is with the pointed microphone 'protrusion' on the 65t… I liked this design and it felt safer when worn and the old design was easier to reinsert.

Jabra Elite 85t review specifications
Left to right: Elite 85t, vs 75t, vs 65t

Jabra Elite ACTIVE 85t Specifications

Here are links to all datasheets for those of you who can't sleep tonight. The main facts are summarized above.

Buy Jabra Elite 85t - Discounts, Review, Availability

The Jabra Elite 85t headphones are now available for purchase on Amazon. Here are links to the latest and lowest Amazon prices in your local Amazon store. The rrp at launch is $ 229 / Eu229 / £ 219 and each year the rrp has increased by around $ / Eu / £ 60. If you want the best audio quality you have to go for the 85t, if that is less of a concern to you the previous two models are fine. Indeed, the 2-year-old 65t will be around $ 70 / £ / Eu70 in the Black Friday sales.

Most people think of running as a solo venture. And while runners appreciate ( read : need ) quality “me time, ” there’s something quite powerful about course in a pack.

“Most of the time people join groups for the social experience, but the cool thing about a course group is that you can be a part of it without saying a word, ” says Scott Miller, founder of the Boulder Trail Running Breakfast Club. “It’s a great opportunity to connect. ”

Here, Miller plus five other course club founders, share tips for building—and sustaining—your own running club.

Jessamy Little, who founded the Cass Runners Club, a 100-plus person course group in London comprised of her school classmates, suggests asking potential members what days, times, and locations work best with their schedules. Some groups may favor an early morning sweat sesh, while others may prefer meeting after work. “A recommendation for a newer club is to have two set running days, ” Little says. “One during the week that is more focused on ‘getting it done’ and one on weekends that can have a more ‘fun and footloose’ vibe. ” For Little’s group, the weekend runs were geared toward exploring new areas of the city.

“Don’t get discouraged if not a lot of people show up at first, ” says Marnie Kunz, founder of Runstreet, an NYC-based company that leads art runs—urban runs that pass by street art in cities across the U. S. When Kunz held her first art run in 2015, just one person came : a guy on a bike. Kunz was disappointed, embarrassed, and considered canceling the whole thing. But the next week a few more people showed up, and then a few more. Soon, word got out. Runstreet has since hosted more than 200 runs in cities around the country “Realizing that everyone starts from scratch really helps, ” Kunz says.

Kunz stresses the importance of having your own website that houses all information about your runs along with photos. “Social media platforms can change—and not everyone is on every platform—so it helps to have everything in one place. ” Keep your communication consistent across platforms to help create a streamlined brand.

Let people know what they are getting themselves into, Miller says. His Boulder, Colorado-based group of 100-plus members meets every Saturday for a long trail run ( anywhere between two to six hours ) followed by a group breakfast. Because the group’s runs cover a wide range of terrain, he wrote several articles explaining the general variétés of conditions runners can expect and the group’s approximate pace along with safety tips.

The articles are published on the group’s MeetUp page, and when a new person signs up, Miller sends them the reading material. “If your group is not a beginner group, you need to make that clear, ” Miller says. “You don’t want people to show up and have a bad time. I try to be really descriptive about the time, en ligne, and elevation of our runs so people know what they are in for. ”

Many members of Miller’s group take photos during the runs and post them to the group’s page. He says it helps draw new members. “When people are looking for a course group and they see pictures of runs in amazing areas, people smiling—both men and women—they see that it’s a mixed group that likes to be social and have fun. ”

Frankie Ruiz, cofounder of the Miami Marathon and founder of the Baptist Health South Florida Brickell Run Club, a free, once-a-week, Miami-based group of about 400 runners, can count on one hand the number of times he’s cancelled runs throughout the program’s nine-year tenure.

“Our main message is that we don’t cancel, ” he says. “If it’s really rough out, we’ll go to a stationnement garage or go indoors and do a core session. ” He says this has helped build the club’s reputation as a consistent amenity offered by the city. “Even if a runner doesn’t show up, I think there’s a comfort knowing that there is something in your city that doesn’t stop. ”

“If you have new people coming in, you can’t assume that they know the rules and guidelines, ” Ruiz says. “Communication needs to be all the time. ” Even though the group’s “weather-proof policy” may be well understood among current members, every time the skies get gloomy, the club blasts their social channels with reminders that the runs are still on. It also helps to communicate the planned route, en ligne, and pace in advance so that new members can plan their fuel and attire accordingly.


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