As the name suggests, the Elite Sport earbuds are designed for serious athletes who want more from their earbuds than simply good sounding music. When used in conjunction with the app, the Elite Sport can take training to the next level, and the waterproof design and one-earbud capability means that they are versatile enough for multiple sports. But getting them to fit right may be limited to certain ear shapes.
The sound quality from the Elite Sport was among the best in the test. The earbuds blocked out background noise exceptionally well, but also include a feature that allows you to hear some of the surrounding noise so you can be more aware of cars, cyclists, and pedestrians while riding or running. Like most of the true wireless earbuds in the test, the mid-range sound of the Elite Sport is the strongest part of their range. They do have good thump in the bass and this low part of the range tends to be a little more powerful than the upper reaches, though those certainly aren’t disappointing.
Comfort & Fit
All earbuds take some getting used to, but the Elite Sport were the most difficult earbuds in the test to get a consistently comfortable and secure fit despite there being the standard small, medium and large in-ear and ear cup sizing pieces. While most of the earbuds are designed to fit inside the ear opening, the Elite Sport are situated more on the outer section of the ear. This tended to be counter-intuitive for some testers. Others, however, had no problem finding a comfortable fit right away. Even when a comfortable fit was established, though, the Elite Sport didn’t seem especially secure in the ear and felt as though they might pop out. Despite that uneasy feeling, the earbuds remained in place even during rigorous exercise. Even then, the Elite Sports started feeling uncomfortable after about 2 hours of continuous use.
Ease of Use
The Elite Sport earbuds are easy to set up and pair. The controls on the earbuds themselves are intuitive and easily accessible. Different sized bumps make it easy to feel which part of the bud to press on for various functions like volume, answering/hanging up a call and such. The only aspect that takes time to figure out is the feature rich app that can be used in conjunction with the earbuds. The Jabra app is so comprehensive and offers a huge range of tools for users who want to maximize their training and workouts. However, if you aren’t one of those people, using the earbuds without the app is simple and easy.
Like the other true wireless earbuds in the test, the Elite Sport lend themselves to many other activities above and beyond running. The Elite Sport feature a one-earbud capability that allows the other bud to be stored safely in the hard-sided charging case. The earbuds also carry a waterproof rating of IP67, which means they are verified to withstand fresh water of up to one meter for 30 minutes. So in addition to being appropriate for terrestrial activities, the Elite Sport might be a viable option for people who participate in some of the milder forms of watersports.
One of the features that sets the Elite Sport apart from every other earbud in the test is the built-in heart rate monitor that proved to be both accurate and consistent in the times we tested it against traditional methods. This feature can be used in conjunction with the Jabra app to analyze your workouts, offer training advice, help with recovery and even give tips on your race pace. Taking full advantage of all that the app and earbuds has to offer will take some time, but for serious athletes who want to maximize their workouts and strive for peak performance, these earbuds offer something way above and beyond the ability to listen to tunes while you run. The Jabra Elite Sport offered 4.5 hours of playtime, which was slightly more than the Jaybird Run and slightly less than the Bose SoundSport Free. Like both of the other true wireless models, the Elite Sport had the added benefit of a rechargeable case that provided two extra charges for the earbuds.
Christopher Cogley is a freelance writer who spends as much time as possible biking, hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoor playground of Western Colorado where he lives with his wife and two boys.