Jabra Elite 3 Review Earbuds With Buttons And Spotify Tap Voice Control

The Jabra Elite 3 are great sounding non-ANC earbuds with good call quality, Spotify support and physical tactile switch buttons for controlling play/pause, volume up/down, skip tracks next/previous, calls (answer/end/reject) and HearThrough, which works just like Ambient/Transparency mode, letting you hear external sounds for situational awareness and talking to people without needing to remove the earbuds. 

During calls, you can also mute/unmute microphone and handle two calls at the same time so, you can answer or reject an incoming call whilst on a call. Speaking of calls, if you want to hear your own voice during calls, there is sidetone support too. Both HearThrough and Sidetone can be disabled via the Jabra Sound+ app. The Jabra Elite 3 buttons are just as responsive as touch controls, although you do have to apply a tiny bit more force on the earbud, which pushes the earbud inside the ear, although not so much that is uncomfortable. This is mainly noticeable when adjusting volume, which is done via long press.

Spotify playback can be controlled two ways via Spotify Tap (double pressing the left earbud) or via the voice assistant (e.g. Google, Siri, Alexa), which also requires double pressing the left earbud to activate. This is actually a good thing as it prevents the microphones from listening in the background. Because Spotify Tap and voice assistant use the same button control, you cannot turn on Spoify and voice assistant at the same time.

The Elite 3 volume may not be the loudest sounding but the exceptional passive noise isolation makes up for it. Each earbud integrates two microphones as well as a status led, which are front facing. In order to connect the Jabra Elite 3 earbuds to a device, the earbuds have to be taken out of the charging case, which is not convenient when quickly answering a call with the earbuds. This is normally not an issue if the earbuds re-connect instantaneously but the Elite 3 earbuds have a 4 second re-connection delay. Switching between earbuds for mono listening is seamless though without the audio pausing.

The Elite 3 Bluetooth 5.2 chip supports absolute bluetooth volume control, aptX and SBC codecs. AAC codec is not supported nor is multipoint connection supported, which means you cannot connect the earbuds to multiple devices at the same. On the plus side, the earbuds can work independently of each other, which means you can pair and connect each earbud with separate devices.

Aside from Spotify and voice assistant, the Jabra Sound+ mobile app gives you access to the user guide, as well as "find my Jabra" and warranty registration, which gives you 2 extra warranty years. When "find my Jabra" is activated, it turns the Jabra Elite 3 earbuds into tracking devices, letting you track them on a map.

The charging time for the Jabra Elite 3 earbuds is 2 hours, including quick charge support, which provides 1 hour of playtime from a 10 minute charge in the charging case. The Jabra Elite 3 charging case takes 3.5 hours to fully charge with the included cable. The case does not support wireless charging. As far as the battery life of the earbuds, the Jabra Elite 3 can manage 8 hours of playback at 80% volume and 29 hours total with the charging case.

The smooth matte finish on the earbuds and charging case prevents oily fingerprint markings, as well as give the Elite 3 earbuds a smart/elegant look, which is complimented by the strong hinge lid. The Elite 3 charging case has a flat top and bottom, as well as Jabra branding engraved just above the battery status led. The Elite 3 earbuds are very easy to remove from the case by pinching them out or pushing them out at an angle. The Elite 3 charging case weighs 33 grams, while the earbuds weigh 4 grams each. The dimensions of the Elite 3 case are 6cm long, 3.5cm high and 2.5cm thick.

The Jabra Sound+ mobile app is easy to use and navigate and doesn't require an account registration, which makes the user experience a lot more friendly. The Sound+ app has 6 sound presets to choose from, which allow you to re-shape the default sound signature (neutral) to different wave forms. There is no band equalizer (EQ) though, so, you cannot tweak specific frequencies. There is also no button remapping support so, you cannot re-assign the button functions.

The microphone call quality is the selling point for the Elite 3 earbuds, making them ideal for home office conference calling (you can use both or a single earbud for making calls). The Elite 3 earbuds also have a long battery life, IP55 sweat/dust resistance and comfortable secure fit, making them great for running outdoors. Depending on the size of your ears, the Elite 3 earbuds can protrude a little bit from the ears but, they don't fall out and are comfy to wear for long hours. The small and short construction of the earbud nozzle is perfect for those with sensitive ear canals.

Despite the small 6mm single dynamic driver setup, the Elite 3 earbuds deliver plenty of bass, passive noise isolation and volume to drown out external noises, although not quite as effective as active noise cancellation (ANC). The lack of ANC can be a deal breaker, especially when most budget earbuds are equipped with ANC as standard. You can buy the Jabra Elite 3 earbuds from amazon.Check out the review of the Jabra Evolve2 30 headset and Jabra Elite 85H headphones.

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