The Jabra Elite 4 Active are the latest budget conscious earbud offerings aimed at the workout crowd. You’ve already probably played with a bunch of earbuds in your life, so I’m going to start with what’s different or particularly interesting with these. At least in the opinion of a guy who’s had a long string of earbuds for the past few years.
TL;DR – surprisingly enjoyable for workouts. Delivers close to premium experience at a cost less than expected. A Jabra fanboy wrote this so take it in stride.
Jabra Elite 4 Active – what’s cool
Physical buttons that require a bit of pressure and you know when you’ve pressed them. This is great for people like me who have ears. Joking there, but I despise accidentally skipping a track because I was trying to reposition an earbud. It should be stressed I didn’t have to do a lot, if any, repositioning due to comfort. I did pop the Elite 4 Active out a few times to talk, as I haven’t mastered the art of switching between passthrough, ANC, and off.
Buttons let you know you’ve pressed them and that you’re not waiting a few seconds for your phone to catch up and process that tap.
The active noise cancellation and hear through are really well done, at least for the gym. At this point I think the ANC may be the best I’ve run across in earbuds I’ve reviewed. I really need to come up with a test for this as that’s just opinion. From what I can tell the ANC is generally considered by others as average or above for mid range earbuds. Eh, you get what I experienced.
Hear through can go from normal all the way into fairly crazy audio detail where you’re struggling to figure out what is actually making a sound. I didn’t feel like I had superhero ears, but it feels interesting to hear the details it chooses for you.
Magnetic earbud docking and case closure. It’s satisfying.
No “boom” when I walk, other than my normal shaking of the earth. I believe this is filed under the feature “In-ear pressure relief”. I have not spent a lot of time jogging about, but when I have been moving vigorously I have not noticed a lot of what I notice with closed earbuds
I really didn’t have to think about them much. That’s pretty cool for me.
Google Fast Pair support on Android. Meaning you have something to read about to decide if you’re interested in Google Fast Pair support.
What’s been done
While I didn’t review the Elite 7 Pro or the Active counterpart, and this review is only considering these as earbuds to listen to music, other than an additional hour playtime, a 28 vs 30 hours with the battery case, and a faster fast charge (5 minutes for an hour vs 10,) there doesn’t seem to be a lot of differences. I will note if you’re talking on these a lot, this is not a test I covered. I had a couple of phone calls and they sounded as good as I expect a call to sound.
There are other differences between the Elite 4 Active and the Elite 7 Pro (max paired devices, multi pair, coolness factor.) For most purposes they look and feel the same and the Pro are $80 more.
Jabra’s Sound+ app… I don’t know why I dislike it so much but I do. It works. It just feels like something thrown together to be a blend between business and fun for a wide variety of Jabra products. Could I do better? Probably not. One thing I would change however is to rename “Sound+” to “Jabra Sound+” because man, I deal with a lot of products and Sound+ doesn’t catch my attention.
Some unlike me enthusiastic words
The Elite 4 Active sounds really really good. Everyone’s ears and preferences are different, mine were very satisfied with the feel and presentation. The world was quiet. The music was good (if not quite perfect.) I have been able to work out without actually thinking about the earbuds. I cannot stress enough how much of a distraction I have with most earbuds and workouts.
Even though dislike the Sound+ app, I recognize it for a decent equalizer that makes things sound even better.
IP57 means they’re probably handle what you need for anything other than prolonged swimming.
Cons – The Elite 4 Active is not perfect
There seems to be a lack of an in-ear sensor. You pop these out, they keep playing.
No wireless charging (which I have had the opportunity to use with my phone in the past.)
Did I mention I dislike the app already?
Bass, while good tends to not be… right… everywhere. That or I’ve heard incorrect renditions of certain music on other headsets and earbuds. Does a very good job of rendering it however.
The charging case is meh.
While I love the physical controls on the buds, if you’ve got sensitive ears it might annoy them.
I’m a bit of a Jabra fanboy, so take this in stride. The Jabra Elite 4 Active are very nice earbuds. They deliver the whole package for those who are using them in active situations, like the gym, running, chasing toddlers. The Jabra Elite 4 Active is designed for this crowd, and have most desired features at a reasonable price.
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