REVIEW: Jabra 85h Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
When it comes to wireless headphones, a few of the brands that immediately come to mind are Sony and Bose. However, while Jabra is one that not many people think about when looking at wireless headphones, the company’s latest Elite 85h is a great pair of headphones that rivals the well-known brands with some envious new features.
Design & Hardware
The Jabra Elite 85h headphones mix both a leather and fabric exterior with some metal accents. The fabric design not only looks good but it also makes the Elite 85h water and dust resistant like most smartphones on the market today.
The right ear cup has a USB-C port, 3.5mm audio jack and a microphone button that can be used for both activating your phone’s voice assistant or muting the mic. Holding the volume up button will go to the next track and holding the volume down button will go to the previous track.
The side of the right ear cup has your volume up and down buttons and play/pause button. The earcups and headband on the Elite 85h feature plush cushions that make the headphones comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The left ear cup has a button that will allow you to cycle through different Sound Modes including ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), HearThrough and Off.
The Elite 85h features a foldable design that makes it easy to carry around when not in use. One cool feature is that when the headphones are folded flat, they will power off and when you turn them, they will automatically turn on.
Another great feature is that the Elite 85h can automatically detect when you take off the headphones and pause your music and play when you put them back on.
Battery life shouldn’t be an issue as the Elite 85h offers up to 36 hours of listening time with Active Noise Cancelling On and 41 hours with it off. And because of the USB-C port, you can Fast Charge which gives you 5 hours of listening time with just 15 minutes of charging.
In the box, you get the headphones, 3.5mm audio cable, airplane adapter, USB-C cable and a hardshell travel case.
My only gripes with the Elite 85h are with the earcups as they feel slightly smaller, even though they cover my ears, it feels like they’re closing in on my ears, making them slightly uncomfortable. The other is that headband for the Elite 85h doesn’t extend as far as I would like and it makes it feel like the headphones are too small on my head.
The sound quality on the Elite 85h is amazing – everything was clear with a good amount of bass that wasn’t overpowering. The Elite 85h features 8-microphones for great call quality and noise cancellation as well as the 40mm purpose-built speakers.
Noise Cancelling on the Elite 85h is great, when I turned on ANC, I literally couldn’t hear anything playing outside of my headphones.
The Jabra Sound+ app is where things get really interesting with the 85h.
The Sound+ app lets you adjust Jabra’s SmartSound technology. Basically, SmartSound will automatically adapt the audio of your headphones depending on your surroundings.
SmartSound will choose from one of the Sound+ Moments which include Commute which gets rid of background noise when on an airplane, train or bus and automatically turns on Active Noise Cancelling (ANC).
In Private mode is good for quiet environments and turns off ANC and HearThrough to save battery. In Public mode allows you to hear your surroundings like a busy street and automatically enables HearThrough.
The Sound+ app also lets you update the headphones’ firmware, operate the voice assistant (either your phone’s default or Alexa), change the Music Equalizer as well as being able to turn SmartSound on/off.
Lastly, for those of us always forgetting where we’ve left our things, the app has a feature called Find My Jabra. Very similar to what we’re used to with iOS and Android devices, the 85h send’s its location data to your phone, so you can easily find them if you misplace them!
Overall, the Jabra Elite 85h are a great pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones which are comfortable, water and dust resistant and definitely comparable to top models from Sony and Bose.