Expert review of the Jabra Elite 85H
First impression of the Jabra Elite 85H
When you open the box, the first thing you see is the storage pouch that the headphones and other accessories come in. I take out the headphones and put them on my head. Right away, I notice how soft the material of the headband and ear cushions is. This allows you to listen to your favorite music for hours on end, without your head and ears feeling uncomfortable. Another thing that makes these headphones unique is the fact that the control buttons for turning the volume up or down are located on the ear cup, instead of around the ear cup.
Clear but soft sound
With the soft ear cushions surrounding my ears, it's time to play a couple of my favorite songs. There are two things that stand out right away. One is that the music sounds crystal clear, the other that the volume is very low. This last thing can be annoying, since you have to go two or three steps above the noise limitation of your phone to really lose yourself in your music. Still, this disadvantage is saved by the previously mentioned advantage. No matter how much you turn up the volume, you won't lose any sound quality.
Easy to control via app
I listen to a lot of dance music, especially hard dance. That's why I prefer headphones with a powerful bass. To add even more bass, i download the Jabra MySound+ app. In this app, you can adjust the sound to your liking via an equalizer. Unfortunately, the Bass Boost preset doesn't always produce the desired result. For some songs, you do hear and feel the bass, but sometimes this is at the cost of other aspects of the music.
Noise canceling works well
In addition to setting up the equalizer, you can also use the app to turn the noise canceling on and off. I don't have much to say about the noise canceling, except that it works well. You can still hear conversations around you, but not to a degree that's distracting. You can also turn on Hear Through in the app, which amplifies ambient noise. Unlike the noise canceling, I'm not very impressed by this feature. When I turn the music up a bit, I can't hear anything from my surroundings.
SmartSound measures ambient noise
SmartSound measures the amount of ambient noise via different microphones and selects a fitting sound profile accordingly. This can be commute, in public, and in private. You can still choose an equalizer, noise canceling, or Hear Through with these profiles. The automatic selection of the sound profile works well, but it doesn't add much. For example, the level of noise canceling can't be adjusted and it takes less time to select the profile yourself than to let the headphones do the work.
Listen for hours
One of the biggest advantages of the Jabra Elite 85H is its battery life. You can listen to music for hours on end, without having to charge the battery. On a full battery, the headphones last 36 hours. And that's a lot compared to other headphones, even in this price range. In addition, the headphones charge quickly. After 15 minutes of charging, you can use them for another 5 hours.
Something that stood out to me right away, is that there aren't a lot of buttons on the headphones. For example, it doesn't have an on/off button. So how do you turn the headphones off? You can simply do this by rotating both ear cups. This is one of several smart functions that make these headphones great. When you put the headphones on, the music picks up right away. Though to this last function doesn't always work as well.
The Jabra Elite 85H are high-end noise canceling headphones with a smaller price tag that are challenging the top models from Sony and Bose. With a clear sound quality and good noise canceling, these smart headphones are worth the money. I did expect a bit more from the SmartSound function, but that take away from the fact that these Jabra headphones have earned their stripes.