We judge all headphones and earbuds on a scale of 10, analyzing the categories we think are most important: sound, comfort, design, battery performance, and, if applicable, special features. Here’s how the Jabra Elite 3 wireless earbuds stack up.
Another day, another wireless earbuds release. The wireless earbuds market is growing rapidly, and like so many tech products, price is indicative of quality. As a consumer, you’re familiar with the good, old-fashioned saying “you get what you pay for,” but for Jabra, the Elite 3 wireless earbuds are one of their most exciting product releases in years, thanks to their affordable price tag that doesn’t fall short of high-quality sound. With a sub-$80 sticker, the colorful buds are the brand’s most affordable true wireless set to date.
Jabra unveiled the Elite 3 alongside pricier and more feature-packed Elite 7 Active and Pro models, which I naturally jumped at the opportunity to test. After weeks of testing them out, I’m happy to report to you that the entry-level buds didn’t disappoint — here’s my review of their design, features, and audio performance.
Battery Performance: 8/10
Overall Score: 8/10
Jabra Elite 3 at a Glance
- Bass-heavy sound out of the box
- Snug fit and remarkable noise isolation
- Up to 7 hours of battery life
- Water- and dust-resistant with IP55 rating
The 6-millimeter audio drivers or the Jabra Elite 3 earbuds produce a sonic experience with a very powerful bass. Thankfully, the latter is deep without being too overbearing. The midrange and the treble are also solid, especially considering the product’s price point.
You can customize the sound of the Elite 3 buds via their companion app by choosing from several available presets: neutral, energize, smooth, bass boost, treble boost, and speech (great for podcasts and audiobooks). While there’s no option to tweak the sound manually, I found the neutral setting’s bass rumble to be plentiful, while the treble boost option reduced it significantly.
Thanks to a snug fit and a stellar in-ear seal, the Elite 3 earbuds tune out ambient sounds surprisingly well. The noise isolation is so good that there’s even a HearThrough mode that helps you stay aware of your surroundings by activating onboard microphones. It’s a fantastic feat I admire Jabra for accomplishing without having to equip the product with active noise cancellation.
Jabra has a stellar reputation for making products with great call quality, and the Elite 3 earbuds are no exception. With a quartet of microphones, they allowed me to sound crisp and clear during telephone, FaceTime, and Zoom calls, including calls I made during outdoor strolls with plenty of traffic in the background. Throughout my testing, futureproof Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity also helped the buds maintain a flawless connection with an iPhone 13 Pro and a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3.
Comfort matters a great deal with earbuds, and the Elite 3 earbuds are among the comfiest out there. The combination of their ergonomic shape and low weight (each bud weighs only 4.6 grams) helps them deliver a reliable fit that didn’t cause fatigue during my testing. The buds also stayed in place just as well during work sessions at home and gym workouts.
The clicky button controls of the Jabra Elite 3 are hands-down the best I have experienced in a sub-$100 pair. With tactile feedback, they’re undoubtedly more reliable than the touch-sensitive setups of countless earbuds I’ve tested across all price points.
I was particularly impressed by the option to activate HearThrough mode or disable the microphone during calls with clicks on the left earbud. Having the option to control the volume via long presses on each earbud was also convenient.
It’s worth noting that the earbuds lack wear sensors, so they won’t automatically pause the audio playback if you remove them — but given how affordable they are, this is definitely not a dealbreaker.
The Elite 3 earbuds support Google’s Fast Pair technology, so the process of connecting them to an Android phone is as seamless as it can be. Android users can also set up quick access to Spotify right through the Jabra app.
Available in dark gray, light beige, lilac, or navy with a matching storage case, the Elite 3 are noticeably more elegant than older Jabra products. Ditching their predecessors’ multiple pinhole vents has made the latest earbuds sleeker and more understated.
If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you’re in luck. The buds’ IP55 rating for water resistance, together with their comfy and secure fit, make them an excellent option for working out. But given their maker’s track record of creating excellent products for exercising, this didn’t surprise me. Jabra backs its creation with a 2-year warranty against damage from water and dust.
Battery Performance: 8/10
You can expect up to 7 hours of battery life from the Elite 3 earbuds between each trip to their charging case. That’s a solid achievement that’s on par with many of the product category’s best.
The earphones’ case holds a trio of additional full charges. While it has a convenient USB-C connector, the buds do not have wireless charging capabilities.
Overall Score: 8/10
After weeks of testing these earbuds, there’s no question that the Jabra Elite 3 wireless earbuds are some of the best a sub-$100 budget can get you. They’re stylish, durable, and capable of delivering powerful sound and outstanding noise isolation. If you’re looking for true wireless earbuds that don’t have AirPods-like stems on a tight budget, the Elite 3 are the ones to go for.
Speaking of AirPods-like stems, the Soundcore Life P3 wireless earbuds are the most formidable rival to the Jabra Elite 3 that have them. Anker’s buds have a cool design, active noise cancellation, more elaborate app controls, and a case that’s compatible with wireless charging. Still, you should know that the Jabras have a much tougher build, a more secure fit, and more convenient controls.
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