Android Central Verdict
The Jabra Elite 5 are one of the best pairs of earbuds you'll find in their price range simply because the feature set and performance are deep and effective. Between the comfort and sound, there's plenty to like.
Good audio quality
Solid ANC performance
Excellent fit and comfort
Plenty of custom features in the app
Reliable button controls
Decent battery life
Not as rugged as other Jabra earbuds
Default sound needs tweaking in Sound+ app
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Jabra is always in the conversation when it comes to the best wireless earbuds, but the "elite" designation in its earbuds doesn't purely refer to its best pairs. With a fairly broad selection to choose from, the company offers alternative options in the bang-for-your-buck segment.
The Elite 5 are somewhere in the middle between Jabra's best and most affordable. They're closer to the former than the latter, which may put you in a position to make a tougher buying decision, give or take how much you're willing to spend.
Jabra Elite 5: Price and availability
Jabra launched the Elite 5 in September 2022, and you can find them in retail and online stores. They started at $150 but have since seen the odd price drop, as is often the case for Jabra earbuds over time. They come in titanium black and light beige.
Jabra Elite 5: What's good
Jabra clearly feels it has something in the design department. These earbuds were crafted in almost the exact same mold as others, including the Elite 4 Active and Elite 3. They also fit a lot like the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 7 Active. That's a good thing because they will be lightweight and comfortable and come with physical buttons for the onboard controls.
They aren't coated with a rubbery material like the Elite 4 Active are, yet Jabra did give them an IP55 rating. Not great for workouts or being around water, but good enough to be active and get caught in some rain. It's best to make sure you wipe them down and dry them to ensure they don't sustain any damage.
You only get three sizes of ear tips, which is something I'd like to see Jabra expand on by offering at least one more size, either an x-small or x-large. The tips are the same as Jabra's other earbuds, which is why I wasn't surprised they fit so much like the other pairs did.
Part of what makes Jabra so good at making earbuds is the excellent support in its Sound+ app. Custom choices abound, along with access to various elective controls to flesh out the feature set you prefer. The Elite 5 have active noise cancelation (ANC) and the HearThrough ambient mode, plus an equalizer (EQ) to adjust the sound how you want. Beyond the six presets available, you have the option to create your own as well.
The Elite 5 hold an advantage over their premium counterparts, the Elite 7 Pro and 7 Active, in that they also support the aptX, along with the existing SBC and AAC codecs.
ANC includes a personalized test to configure it based on how your ears hear. You don't have to do it to gain access, but may be worthwhile if you notice a difference after doing so. It won't snuff out background noise quite as well as Jabra's more expensive pairs, but I found it effective in various conditions. I used them on a plane and riding a bike outside and had no problem listening to music or podcasts. Simply clicking the button on the left earbud cycled between ANC and HearThrough when I needed either one.
The EQ will also be a tool you want to experiment with. Jabra opted to go with a more neutral sound profile here, unlike the more bass-heavy sound in the Elite 4 Active. You can certainly ramp it up through the EQ, so you don't actually lose anything off the bat, but if you are going from those earbuds to the Elite 5, you may notice a difference to start. Either way, these earbuds can sound great when you find what works best for you.
Jabra also didn't skimp out on some other key features, like wear sensors to automatically pause when removing either earbud. Playback won't resume once you put them back on, but quickly pressing the play button on the right earbud will bring the sound back.
Multipoint allows the Elite 5 to pair simultaneously with two devices at once, making it easy to have either two phones or a phone and computer connected. Only Jabra's premium earbuds have multipoint, so this is a pretty big deal.
Other neat features include excellent integration with voice assistants, and you get your choice between Google Assistant or Alexa. The beauty of it is you can wake either one by just saying the right word and no need to press any buttons first. Spotify Tap is also there for quick access to the streaming service's content if you have a Premium account.
Battery life isn't bad at all at up to seven hours with ANC on or nine hours if you leave it off. The case will get you an extra three charges, and if you're low, a quick 10-minute charge could get you an hour of playback.
Jabra Elite 5: What's not good
Whatever is missing from these earbuds isn't so much about faulty performance as it is about keeping costs down. Their more limited water resistance is one example of that, as is the audio quality that requires some tweaking in the app to realize its full potential.
I didn't find the Elite 5 to have serious flaws, and that's saying a lot for any pair of earbuds. The challenge here is whether they are worth it or if it's better to spend more for one of Jabra's other premium pairs. If you're active, I would say it's worth spending more to get the extra protection they offer.
Jabra Elite 5: Competition
The obvious alternatives would the Jabra Elite 7 Pro or Elite 7 Active. Both offer IP57 water protection and sound better out of the box, though you can close the gap on the latter using the Sound+ app. If you can stretch your budget out further, either one of those would be great for your ears.
The best wireless earbuds have plenty of good options, but if I was to point out some standouts, the 1More Evo sound great and offer many of the same features, including solid app support. If you're after really good sound and willing to lose out on wireless charging and aptX support, the Technics EAH-AZ60 can be found at a more reasonable price if you're willing to pay more.
Jabra Elite 5: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You want good sound with ANC support.
- You want a comfortable fit with physical buttons.
- You want deep app support
- You're looking for a good deal
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You can spend more on something better.
- You want something more rugged.
The Elite 5 may be the most interesting earbuds Jabra currently offers because they offer so much for what they cost. They're right in the middle of the company's lineup, which means you have a decision to make. Do you spend more to get one of the more premium pairs, or try paying less to get more bang for your buck?
What is clear enough is you likely won't regret going with these buds. The depth of features and consistency in performance make a strong case to give them a chance. I certainly would if I was in that position.
The Elite 5 are smack in the middle of Jabra's excellent lineup of earbuds, and they get you an excellent combination of a comfortable fit, sound quality, noise cancelation, battery life, and more.
Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.