The affordable Jabra Elite 4 can rock top wireless headphones in the boot
Jabra just took the wraps off its latest true wireless earbuds, the Elite 4. The Elite 4 replaces the outgoing Elite 3 and joins the more affordable end of the company’s in-ear lineup, making it the best budget wireless earbuds the table could fear.
Notable reasons for our bold claim are the inclusion of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and the $99.99/£99.99/AU$139 price tag. They appear to share the same 6mm drivers fitted to other Jabra Elite earbuds such as the Elite 7 Pro, though we’ll have to reserve our opinion on their sound.
In our Elite 7 Pro review, we did find the out-of-the-box audio profile a bit bass-heavy, though it can be customized through the companion app, also thanks to Jabra’s Sound+ app. It’s also nice that Jabra has included support for Qualcomm’s aptX codec, which promises improved audio quality over Bluetooth when streaming from compatible devices. In most cases, this is likely to be the Android phone of choice.
Most of our favorite cheap wireless earbuds don’t have ANC, even at prices close to the Elite 4’s price, so Jabra should be commended for including it in the Elite 4. The company offers different types of active noise cancellation across its range, but a more basic feed-forward setup is used here.
This, as the Jabra explained on its website (opens in a new tab), put the mics on the outside of the earbuds, where they pick up the noise and filter it out by creating “anti-noise” to keep them from reaching your ears. But if any external noise does manage to get through and into your ears, the external mic has no clue and can’t do anything. That’s not to say it will happen, just that it could happen.
Jabra has also managed to include a popular but seemingly rare feature in the form of Bluetooth multipoint connectivity, which means you can connect two devices at the same time. Even the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 miss out on this feature, and the Sony WF-1000XM4 only recently got it via a software update.
As perhaps to be expected when considering the lower price, the Elite 4’s battery life does take a hit when compared to similar products and similar products. But while Jabra should be expected to offer longer life for its more expensive wireless earbuds, it’s worth remembering that no other brand’s headphones at this price point include ANC.
All in all, the Jabra could be a winner, but as always, we can’t know for sure until we put them through our lab for a full review. If you’re sold, you can pick up a pair now in dark grey, lavender, navy, or light beige.