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Home / Reviews / Audio / Headphones / Jabra Elite 10 review: are you listening comfortably?

Jabra Elite 10 review: are you listening comfortably?

A fab fit and spatial sound make for excellent ANC in-ears

Jabra Elite 10 review buds with case

Stuff Verdict

Some of the best fitting ANC in-ears around, with great battery life and spatial sound whether you’re an iOS or Android fan. You can get better noise cancelling and audio quality for the cash, though.

Pros

  • Compact and incredibly comfortable
  • Cross-platform Dolby Atmos audio
  • Competitive battery lie

Cons

  • ANC not quite on same level as high-end rivals
  • No high quality codec support at launch
  • Rivals pip it on sound quality

Introduction

Do your wireless earphones have a near permanent residence inside your lugholes? If they don’t fit flawlessly, all-day listening can get pretty uncomfortable – and a sub-par seal can also dent sound quality. That shouldn’t be a problem for Jabra’s latest top tier in-ears, which are designed with everyone’s ears in mind. The small, semi-open Jabra Elite 10 also uses uniquely shaped ear tips that should be cosy enough for a constant backing track.

Jabra hasn’t skimped on features in favour of a better fit, either. There’s advanced active noice cancellation, head-tracking spatial audio courtesy of Dolby Atmos, and ample battery life. But with a price on par with big hitters from Apple, Sony and others, do they also have the sound quality to compete?

How we test headphones

Every pair of earphones and headphones reviewed on Stuff is used for a minimum of a week’s worth of daily listening. We use a playlist of test tracks made up of multiple genres to assess sound, and use our years of experience to compare to other models. Manufacturers have no visibility on reviews before they appear online, and we never accept payment to feature products.

Find out more about how we test and rate products.

Design & build: easy on the ears

The Elite 10’s bulbous in-ear design is much more compact than any stem-styled rival. The stubby shape was apparently based on scans of more than 60,000 pairs of ears; that homework clearly paid off, as they fit brilliantly. Each bud is wrapped in a squidgy silicone material that grips better than hard plastic, keeping them firmly in place even while exercising. They’re easy to keep clean with a damp cloth, and the Elite 10’s IP57 rating means they’ll also survive sweaty workouts or sudden rain storms.

Jabra’s unique oval-shaped ear tips are a big part of what makes the Elite 10 so comfortable. Unlike traditional round tips that fully block your ear canals, these are angled, reducing that feeling of fullness and pressure built-up. Yet they still create a superb seal, providing plenty of passive noise isolation and preserving more of the frequency range. With four sizes included in the box, everyone should be able to find a set that sits comfortably.

We’re also fans of the compact charging case, which is very easy to slip into a pocket. Magnets hold the flip-top lid firmly in place, and the buds always drop securely onto their charging pins. It’s lined with the same silicone material as the buds are, so is just as easy to keep clean.

If you’re not a fan of the Cocoa colour tested here, Jabra also has Cream and Black options available. The latter has both matte and gloss finishes to pick from.

Features & battery: spatial awareness

With both Microsoft Swift Pair and Google Fast Pair onboard, the Elite 10 is quick to connect to Android and Windows devices. It also has Multipoint connectivity for staying paired with two devices at once, but there’s no high quality codec support, meaning your gadgets are stuck with either SBC or AAC. Or rather, they are at launch: a firmware update will eventually bring LC3 Plus on board, but there’s no timeline for when that’l happen.

The Elite 10 has the same physical controls as Jabra’s other earphones, which are great for exercise. There’s no chance of accidentally pausing playback just by nudging them, like there is with touch-sensitive earbuds. The right ear handles playback, and skipping tracks, while the left ear controls ANC modes, wakes your phone’s voice assistant and answers incoming phone calls.

We had no complaints from anyone we called, which is hardly a shocker given Jabra makes some of the best office headsets around. The six microphone array kept background noise at bay, even at walking pace. The Elite 8 Active’s wind isolation is a little better while running, though.

The Elite 10 managed a little under six hours of listening with ANC enabled, which is bang on Jabra’s estimates. Disabling noise cancelling ekes out an extra hour or two out between trips to the charging case. That puts them on par with the closest competition. The case itself can supply three and a bit full charges before it’ll need refuelling, which is again very competitive. It can charge wirelessly on a Qi pad, and needs up to three hours over USB-C, which is a little sluggish. The buds can manage an hour of listening from just a five minute stay inside the case, though, which is pretty good.

Interface: spatial awareness

Jabra’s Sound+ smartphone companion app is a breeze to get around and puts most of the major features right there on the home screen. That includes a bunch of EQ presets to pick from, plus the option to make your using with the five-band equaliser. It’s not the most comprehensive customisation available at this price, but does let you dial the bass and treble in fairy well.

The app can adjust the touch control gestures, use Find My to locate your ‘buds if you misplace them, and set up Spotify tap to resume your last playlist with a single press. The Soundscapes white noise generator is also good for a bit of zen-like meditation.

There’s no ANC adjustment, only an option to tweak how transparent the HearThrough mode gets, and how much of your voice is piped back in while making calls.

The biggest new addition for the Elite 10 is Dolby Atmos spatial audio, which dramatically widens the soundstage. It’s an on/off toggle, with the only option being whether or not to use head tracking. Having your music stay in one physical spot while turning your head still feels massively gimmicky to us, but it’ll work with both Android and iOS if you’re into it. Music sounded more balanced and less boomy with it enabled than the Jabra Elite 8’s version, which is Dolby-approved but doesn’t use Atmos tech. You’re going to want to disable it for podcasts, though: it makes them sound like they were recorded in a toilet.

Sound quality and noise cancelling: plenty of energy

Jabra’s hybrid ANC works wonders in most environments, keeping background noise to a minimum with very little impact on your music. We noticed a slight noise floor in quieter areas that you don’t get from other premium in-ears, but only really when listening to podcasts. It’s very difficult to spot with any music playing.

Low-end rumbles and mid-range chatter are taken care of very well, and the Elite 10 coped with sudden changes in volume. Higher pitched frequencies do sneak through, and they can’t quite silence the loudest of street traffic or commuter trains. They trade blows with Sony and Apple, so are very good for the money, but Bose remains the cream of the crop.

There’s plenty to like on the sound front, too. Jabra’s earphones tend to favour more dynamic and colourful tuning, and the Elite 10 is no different. Bass is impactful, even at sensible volume levels, with the 10mm dynamic drivers delivering a good amount of low-end detail. The drums on Pendulum’s Colourfast had real punch, while the higher end of the frequency spectrum remained clear and precise without becoming harsh.

This v-shaped curve has definite fun vibes, and works brilliantly as a pair of workout ‘buds, but isn’t the last word in critical listening. The mid-range isn’t as forward in the mix as you might expect, and they lack the nuance and precision of more audiophile-focused alternatives. There’s not a huge amount in it, though, and the comfortable fit may be more important than unrivalled clarity.

Jabra Elite 10 verdict

Jabra Elite 10 review verdict

Few true wireless earbuds come close to matching the Jabra Elite 10 for comfort. The sculpted shape, angled ear tips and vented fit really do let you wear them 24/7 with no listening fatigue. Battery life is really good and the high IP rating makes them especially fitness friendly.

Audio is energetic, and while we’re still not convinced head tracking is a must-have, Dolby Atmos does create an impressively wide soundstage. The active noise cancellation is effective, too, even if it falls behind the very best in the business. We’d also suggest looking elsewhere for more nuanced sound signature or out-the-box support for high quality wireless codecs.

As daily driver earphones go, though, these are very capable indeed.

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5

Some of the best fitting ANC in-ears around, with great battery life and spatial sound whether you’re an iOS or Android fan. You can get better noise cancelling and audio quality for the cash, though.

Pros

Compact and incredibly comfortable

Cross-platform Dolby Atmos audio

Competitive battery lie

Cons

ANC not quite on same level as high-end rivals

No high quality codec support at launch

Rivals pip it on sound quality

Jabra Elite 10 technical specifications

Drivers10mm dynamic
ANCYes
Bluetooth versionBluetooth 5.3
Codecs supportedSBC, AAC, (LC3/LC3 Plus in future software update)
DurabilityIP57 (buds) IP54 (case)
Battery life6/21 hours (buds/case, ANC on)
8/28 hours (buds/cases, ANC off)
Dimensions20x19x28mm/25x47x65mm (buds/case)
5.7g/45.9g (buds/case)
Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor

About

A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming

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