There’s a wide spectrum of fully wireless earbuds from the super cheap to the super premium. Then, there’s that sweet spot right in the middle that gives you some nice features but keeps the price manageable. The Jabra Elite 3 earbuds occupy this space; these earbuds have some neat features and a nice sound to boot. They do this while retaining just enough compromises to keep a lower price tag lower.
The build quality is meh, but the fit is good
You’re not going to buy the Jabra Elite 3 for the top-of-the-line build quality. Where other earbuds have a heavier and more premium look and feel, these earbuds come off as a bit cheap. Even the Elite 4 Active, which are just a step above these, has a noticeably more premium feel to them. The Elite 3 are made of a pretty standard semi-smooth plastic that you’ll find on most average earbuds.
While the build isn’t all that premium, the Jabra Elite 3 are rainproof according to the company; however, there’s no official rating. These earbuds have the unique Jabra design and they fit perfectly into my ears. They’re designed to sit upright and hug the inner wall of your ears, which makes them super comfortable to use for extended amounts of time. Honestly, these are some of the most comfortable earbuds I’ve used, and I sometimes forget that I’m even wearing them. Just know that they’ll start to slip when your ears start getting sweaty.
There are some neat features and good battery mileage
You control the earbuds by pressing the buttons on either the left or right bud. Each button press performs a different action, and that can become confusing at first. You single press the left bud to activate HearThrough mode and double press it to activate the voice assistant. Meanwhile, you single press the right bud to play/pause, double tap to skip track, and triple-press to restart the track. You also hold down on the buds to raise and lower the volume.
Most premium earbuds have the ability to pass audio through their onboard microphones. The Jabra Elite 3 earbuds can do this, and the feature is called HearThrough. They do a good job of passing the audio through, but I would have liked there to be an option to pause the media when you activate the HearThrough mode. When you activate it, the media continues playing over the ambient audio. You can set the Jabra Elite 3 to mute the audio when HearThrough mode is activated, which does help, but I think that pausing the media would be best. If you get caught in a conversation, you don’t want to mute your media and miss out on what’s playing. It’d be better to pause the media and pick up where you left off.
As for the battery, the packaging says that you can get up to 7 hours on a single charge. I was able to get about 6 hours and 25 minutes, which isn’t too bad considering the fact that I used HearThrough a fair bit. The charging case can add about three additional charges before having to plug it in.
The Jabra+ app is pretty neat
The Jabra+ app is definitely one of the best parts of the whole experience, in my opinion. It’s a central hub that gives you information on your earbuds and lets you control the audio instantly. The home screen shows you the battery percentage of both earbuds separately, which is always useful to know. There’s also a persistent notification that shows you the battery percentages for each earbud.
One feature in the app that I love is the “Find My Jabra” feature. It saves your device’s location whenever your earbuds disconnect. When you summon the feature, it shows you a map location of that stored location so you can find them if you happen to lose them. What’s also great is that your location is saved locally on your device and not sent to Jabra.
The only downside to the app is confined to only iOS and Android devices. You need the Jabra+ app to connect your device to your earbuds, and it’s only compatible with iOS and Android devices. That still gives you a lot of variety, but it leaves out computer operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS (while Chrome OS can use the most Android apps, it can’t use the Jabra+ app). I found this to be an issue, as I typically work while listening to music on my computer, and there are many others who do.
How is the audio quality?
So, the Jabra Elite 3 have the unique design, comfy fit, and stellar app, but how is the actual audio quality? Really good! Using these earbuds, I didn’t really notice any issues with the overall quality of the audio. Audio comes out crisp and clear, and it immerses you without smothering your ears.
A big part of the audio experience revolves around the equalizer and presets in the app. It has a five-band equalizer that lets you fine-tune the audio to suit your interests. If you don’t want to fiddle around with the equalizer, you can choose from the six equalizer presets. These presets are designed to cover a wide range of listening scenarios from podcasts to music.
Overall, the sound quality really stands out compared to other earbuds in this price range. It sits just behind the Elite 4 Active in terms of how open the sound is. Overall, listening to the Jabra Elite 3, they do a great job at blocking out the ambient noise and delivering a full and punchy sound.
The Jabra Elite 3 earbuds fit in a really good section of the wireless earbuds market; affordable but with some premium features. They will primarily appeal to people who are used to using cheaper earbuds but want a taste of what more premium earbuds have to offer without spending too much money. You’re not getting certain goodies like active noise cancelation, and the build quality isn’t all that premium, but the audio quality is really good, and you have the really powerful Jabra+ app; I highly recommend them.