Jabra Elite 85t Vs Airpods Pro: Which is Better?


The Airpods Pro and Jabra Elite 85t have both made waves in the earphone industry. With the two being among the best earphones in the market, many users can’t help but compare them. But which is actually better― the Jabra Elite 85t or Airpods Pro? 

The Verdict

Overall, the Jabra Elite 85t is better than the Airpods Pro. Both have active noise cancellation (ANC), but Jabra’s can be adjusted, while the Airpods Pro’s can be only turned on and off. The Jabra Elite 85t also has better sound quality than the Airpods Pro.


Specifications
Jabra Elite 85tAirpods Pro
WaterproofNoNo
Water-ResistantYesYes
IPX RatingIPX 4IPX 4
Battery Life (Earbuds)7 hours5 hours
Battery Life (Case)24 hours24 hours
Active Noise CancellationYesYes
Bluetooth Version5.05.0
Digital AssistantGoogle Assistant, SiriSiri
Weight0.24 oz0.19 oz
ColorsTitanium Black, Gold & Beige, Grey & Black, Copper & BlackWhite
What’s In the Box?Earbuds, Wireless Charing Case, Cable, & Silicone Ear Tips (2 sets)Earbuds, Wireless Charing Case, Cable, & Silicone Ear Tips (3 sizes)
PriceLatest price on amazon.comLatest price on apple.com

Design: Winner = Jabra Elite 85t

Jabra Elite 85t
Jabra Elite 85t

The Jabra Elite 85t is one of the sleekest, most elegant pair of earbuds in the market. It is small and lightweight, which makes it ideal for many users.

It comes in a variety of colors― titanium black, gold & beige, grey & black, and copper & black― making it a versatile set of earbuds aesthetically speaking.

The Airpods Pro, with its signature earbud extension, looks elegant as well. However, it doesn’t look as elegant as the Jabra Elite 85t, mainly because of the extensions that are easily noticeable. 

Additionally, the Airpods Pro comes in one color― white. On the upside, Apple allows its customers to customize their Airpods Pro. Users can have emojis or text engraved on the AirPods Pro, a customization feature that Jabra Elite 85t doesn’t have.

Despite the Airpods Pro being more customizable than the Jabra Elite 85t, the latter won this round. It’s because the Jabra Elite 85t looks more elegant than the Airpods Pro. It is not easily noticeable, and its finish is better than that of the AirPods Pro’s. 

The Jabra Elite 85t also comes in many colors, as opposed to the Airpods Pro, which only comes in one. If design matters above all else to you, the Jabra Elite 85t is the better option. 

Comfort: Winner =  AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro comes with three sets of silicone tips. These sets have different sizes, making them more versatile than those of the Jabra Elite 85t. 

Without a doubt, silicone tips are comfortable. It’s great to know that Apple took this feature up a notch by offering three differently sized silicone tips for their customers. Due to this, those who have difficulty finding the right ear tip size for them can save their time and money.

Additionally, AirPods Pro is highly stable. Since it comes with ear tips that fit your ears perfectly, they won’t easily fall out. Even those who want to use it for running or working out in the gym are assured that the AirPods Pro won’t come off after hours of movement. 

On the other hand, the Jabra Elite 85t comes with two sets of silicone ear tips. The only downside to this is the ear tips have the same size. Due to this, users with bigger or smaller ear openings might have to buy another set of ear tips.

While the Jabra Elite 85t is just as stable as the AirPods Pro, the latter won this round. It’s because The AirPods Pro offers more comfort with its three, differently sized silicone ear tips. If comfort matters above all else to you, the AirPods Pro is the better option.

Durability: Winner = AirPods Pro

Both the AirPods Pro and the Jabra Elite 85t has an IPX rating of IPX4. It means that both are resistant to water splashes coming from any direction. 

However, the winner of the durability round was decided by looking at the materials the two sets of earphones are made of. 

The AirPods Pro is mostly made of high-quality grade plastic. Yes, it has silicone ear tips, but its exterior is mostly made of plastic. The exterior is also screwed well, making it hard for users and repairmen to crack open the AirPods Pro. On top of that, the AirPods Pro has an extra layer of IPX4 coating. 

While the Jabra Elite 85t is also made of plastic, it just feels and looks less durable than the AirPods Pro. To give a better description, its exterior quality is between the mid- and high-range. While its exterior is assembled well, it’s easier to take apart than the AirPods Pro. 

On the upside, the Jabra Elite 85t has a thicker charging case than that of the AirPods Pro. 

It’s hard to decide which one is more durable, but after careful consideration, the winner of this round is the AirPod Pro. Through the Jabra Elite 85t has a slightly more durable charging case, Apple won this round because it has a more durable exterior (extra layer of IPX4 protection, better plastic grade, and better-assembled exterior). If durability matters above all else to you, the AirPods Pro is the better option.

Sound Quality: Winner = Jabra Elite 85t

The Jabra Elite 85t’s predecessor already has excellent sound quality. However, Jabra wanted to take it to the next level. And so they did. 

To put it more accurately, the Jabra Elite 85t’s sound quality is top-notch. It’s rich, unique, and energetic. The lows, mids, and highs are at their full capacity, which means that you can listen to any type of music or sound effects extremely well.

Plus, the Jabra Elite 85t offers first-class instrumentals. Listening to instrumental music makes you feel the plucks, booms, and vibrations of the instruments. It’s just so accurate that it can give you audio goosebumps. 

The AirPods Pro’s sound quality is also excellent. It’s accurate, clear, and crisp. However, the lows are not at full capacity. The bass also falls between the mid- ran high-range, making it slightly less desirable for audiophiles, compared to the Jabra Elite 85t.

On the upside, the AirPods Pro’s spatial audio is unbeatable. Its spatial audio creates a 3D-like listening & watching experience that the Jabra Elite 85t cannot contest with. 

Despite the AirPods Pro’s spatial-audio disadvantage, the trophy for this round goes to the Jabra Elite 85t. Its overall sound quality just can’t be competed with.  If sound quality matters above all else to you, the Jabra Elite 85t is the better option.

Microphone Performance: Winner = AirPods Pro

Thousands, if not millions of consumers bought the AirPods Pro for one main reason: its microphone performance. And if you’re still wondering why, just take a look at the podcasters, video conference participants,  and celebrities using the AirPods Pro in their online interviews. 

The AirPods Pro’s microphone performance is world-class. It produces, clear, crisp, and noise-free audio that crush the microphone performance of its competitors. Such stellar microphone performance is credited to the AirPods Pro’s noise-canceling mic. 

It effectively reduces background noise, and can even eliminate ambient sounds such as rustling leaves or chirping birds. Furthermore, the sound it produces is so loud and clear that the other side would have no problems hearing you at all. 

On the contrary, the Jabra Elite 85t boasts more microphones in an effort to produce better sound recordings. However, this did not make much of a difference (compared to the AirPods Pro). 

The Jabra Elite 85t also produces clear and crisp recordings. However, its feedback is subpar compared to that of the AirPods Pro. While the Jabra Elite 85t has a reliable microphone, it just can’t win over the AirPod Pro’s. 

Thus, the winner of this round goes to the AirPods Pro. It’s more reliable for calling and video conferencing. Plus, it’s ability to eliminate background noise is top-notch. If microphone performance matters above all else to you, the AirPods Pro is the better option.

Battery Life: Winner = Jabra Elite 85t

Both the Jabra Elite 85t and AirPods Pro have decent battery life. With their charging cases’ batteries, they can last the whole day. The only difference between the two is the battery life the buds have.

As stated earlier in the feature table, the Jabra Elite 85t’s earbuds can last up to 7 hours. When the active noise cancellation (ANC) mode is on, the Jabra Elite 85t’s earbuds battery life is reduced to 5.5 hours. 

The Jabra Elite 85t is also programmed to charge quickly, with a 15-minute charge resulting in an additional 1 hour of battery life. Its charging case can give an extra 24-hour battery life. 

On the other hand, the AirPods Pro’s buds can last up to 5 hours. When its ANC mode is on, its battery life is reduced by only 30 minutes. Nonetheless, that puts its battery life to 4.5 hours, which is still lower than that of Jabra Elite 85t.

Like the Jabra Elite 85t, the AirPods Pro is also programmed to charge quickly. A 15-minute charge results in 2 hours of battery life. This is higher compared to Jabra Elite 85t’s additional 1-hour battery life.

The ANC feature uses a lot of battery. Both the AirPods Pro and Jabra Elite 85t have ANC, which means that they are subject to the battery-draining feature. Nevertheless, the winner of this category is the Jabra Elite 85t. 

If battery life matters above all else to you, the Jabra Elite 85t is the better option.

Active Noise Cancellation: Winner = Jabra Elite 85t

As stated earlier in the feature table, both the Jabra Elite 85t and AirPods Pro boast active noise cancellation. In terms of quality (noise cancellation in terms of listening, not microphone performance), it’s a draw. Thus, the deciding factor is the adjustability. 

The Jabra Elite 85t offers a great feature that most earphones don’t offer. It’s the option to adjust the ANC level based on the user’s preference. This is simply genius. 

Jabra did an excellent job in determining the pain points of ANC lovers, which is the adjustability of ANC levels. Yes, there are earphones offering ANC, but most of them, if not all, don’t let users adjust the ANC levels. 

Having the power to adjust ANC levels is a godsend for many users, especially those who want to find the balance between being aware of their surroundings and listening to music.

While the AirPods Pro has a better ANC mode than most earphones, it only allows users to turn it on and off. Its ANC levels cannot be tailored to the user’s needs. 

On the upside, the AirPods Pro significantly reduces ambient noise. Its transparency mode is also something worth applauding for. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough to win over the Jabra Elite 85t. 

Due to this, the winner of this category is the Jabra Elite 85t. If active noise cancellation matters above all else to you, the Jabra Elite 85t is the better option.

Connectivity: Winner = Jabra Elite 85t

Both the Jabra Elite 85t and AirPods Pro have excellent connectivity. They can be connected to both iOS and non-iOS devices, and don’t easily get disconnected to the said devices. Thus, it’s supposed to be a tie.

However, being the legit reviewers that we are, we decided to go the extra mile to see which one is better in terms of connectivity. We found out that it boils down to one feature― the number of devices the earphones can connect to at the same time. 

The Jabra Elite 85t can connect to two devices simultaneously. Yes, you heard that right. You don’t have to pair it with the other device to switch your audio sources. 

This is highly convenient, as unpairing the earphones with the first device and pairing it with the other device can be a hassle.

On the other hand, the AirPods Pro can only be paired with one audio source at a time. It offers some sort of versatility though, since users can easily swap between iOS devices, as long as those devices are connected to the same iCloud account.

In addition, Apple allows audio to be shared between two sets of AirPods Pro. This is a fantastic feature especially for gamers and those who want to listen to the same music with their loved ones. 

Despite that special feature, the winner of this category is the Jabra Elite 85t. It’s mainly because it can connect to two devices simultaneously. If connectivity matters above all else to you, the Jabra Elite 85t is the better option.

App Features: Winner = Jabra Elite 85t

When it comes to controls and apps, Jabra has been sort of crushing Apple for a long time. However, with the latest iOS update, Apple has somehow caught up to its competitor. Nevertheless, both the AirPods Pro and Jabra Elite 85t are filled with extremely useful features.

The Jabra Sound+ App contains all of the special features of Jabra Elite 85t. The app allows users to customize a lot of things including sound production and call quality. 

In particular, Jabra Elite 85t’s has a customizable equalizer that allows audiophiles to tweak sounds to their liking. There are also pre-made sound features that are useful for most music genres. There’s also a soundscapes mode with 12 settings that produce relaxing sounds.

On top of that, the call quality can be customized using the sidetone slider and call equalizer. Users can increase or decrease the volume for the other side. Users can also add more bass or treble for the other side. 

On the other hand, Apple has yet to make a customizable equalizer for the AirPods Pro. On the upside, users can adjust the audio by going to the iOS device settings. Apple also offers 20 presets, as opposed to Jabra’s 12 presets. 

The winner of this round is the Jabra Elite 85t. It’s because it offers unique features that the AirPods Pro has to offer yet. If app features matter above all else to you, the Jabra Elite 85t is the better option.

Conclusion

Given that they fall within the same price range, the Jabra Elite 85t is better than the AirPods Pro. 

Out of the 9 categories featured in this article, the AirPods Pro won over the Jabra Elite 85t in terms of comfort, durability, and microphone performance. 

The Jabra Elite 85 dominated the rest of the categories― design, sound quality, battery life, active noise cancellation, connectivity, and app features. 

We may have given our review about the two premium earphones, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to choose which one to buy. After all, you might have preferences that were not discussed above. 

However, if you value design, sound quality, battery life, active noise cancellation, connectivity, and app features over comfort, durability, and microphone performance, the Jabra Elite 85t is the right pair of earphones for you.

If not, you can stick to the AirPods Pro. It will give you great value, given that it’s almost a draw between Apple and Jabra in many categories mentioned above. 

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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