Jabra announces exciting product updates, then kills its most popular earbuds

Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 in plane
(Image credit: Jabra)

What you need to know

  • On June 11, GN brand Jabra announced the latest version of two of their Elite products, the Elite 8 Active Gen 2 and Elite 10 Gen 2.
  • On that same day, Jabra's parent company, GN, announced that it was killing off the Jabra and Talk consumer brands.
  • Jabra will likely offer deep discounts and incentives to clear out the remaining stock of its earbuds, a task they project to complete by the end of 2024.
  • The Elite 8 Active Gen 2 and Elite 10 Gen 2 will be available later in June.
  • Via press release, GN says it will support its products for the next several years.

On June 11, 2024, GN-owned brand Jabra announced the second generation of their Elite 8 Active and Elite 10 true wireless earbuds. Then, on that same day, GN announced that its name really stands for “Good Night” as it reveals that it's killing off Jabra’s Elite and Talk product lines.

In a press release, Peter Karlstromer, CEO of GN Store Nord, said that the company “cannot generate a fair return on investment compared to the many other opportunities we have within our Hearing, Enterprise, and Gaming businesses.”

Translation: GN is dropping the Elite and Talk lineups because they will be too expensive for them to keep up with the competition. This is despite Jabra acknowledging that refocusing the Elite product line towards the premium segment in 2023 did, in fact, result in stronger profits than before.

Elite will be missed. Talk, not so much.

YouTube sreenshots of Tshaka reviewing Jabra's Elite 75t true wireless earbuds

YouTube sreenshot of Tshaka reviewing Jabra's Elite 75t  (Image credit: Tshaka Armstrong)

Jabra has a reputation for bringing true wireless earbuds to the market that strike a delightful balance of great sound, reassuring IP ratings, and solid ANC and transparency modes. Seeing GN sunset this brand is quite a surprise to many, especially on the same day as announcing updates to its current lines, which add a Bluetooth feature update as exciting as their LE Audio cases: support for the LC3 codec. If that’s Greek to you, we’ve written an in-depth Bluetooth primer that makes sense of it.

YouTube sreenshots of Tshaka reviewing Jabra's Elite 75t true wireless earbuds

(Image credit: Tshaka Armstrong)

I’ve been a fan of Jabra since I first tried their 65t earbuds. I have notoriously small ear canals, and Jabra’s earbuds are one of the only manufacturers whose products fit in my ears without falling out during exercise. In my early days of reviews on YouTube, Jabra earpiece reviews were among my most popular.

That said, while it's shocking to see the Elite lineup go, this isn’t a complete surprise regarding the Talk product lineup. With the ubiquity of great true wireless earbuds, mono Bluetooth headsets just don’t have the utility to keep up with many users. Plus, they look like the earpieces your uncles walk around with in their ears all day at the barbeque, which is to say, they look dated.

Fierce competition from both ends

Jabra Elite 8 Active Gen 2

(Image credit: Jabra)

The rubber meets the road here where the options for high-quality, go-anywhere, do-anything Bluetooth earbuds are concerned. Jabra has a lot of competition in the fitness-focused earbud space at similar price points. Brands like Beats, Bose, and Sennheiser all offer some of the best fitness earbuds, but Jabra has them all beat in the water and dust resistance category. In some instances, even Jabra’s case is more water resistant than competitor’s earbuds.

The tradeoff is that some of those competitors offer access to Hi-Res Wireless Audio codecs, something Jabra has surprisingly avoided with its premium earbuds despite offering top-notch microphone quality. However, it can be argued that the importance of those codecs for consumers and their purchasing decisions is questionable based on the blind audio test we conducted. Still, the lack of Hi-Res audio can be a determining factor for audiophiles. 

On the other hand, if you look on Amazon, you’ll find a dozen budget earbuds promising to provide sweat-ready tunes for a fraction of the cost. One of the only ones that have made that promise and come close to offering the quality of Jabra’s Elite series is Anker’s Soundcore brand, though their noise canceling and sound signature aren’t quite as robust.

Wireless earbuds on surface

(Image credit: Tshaka Armstrong / Android Central)

Jabra is a major player in the space, and it’s almost always a bad thing to see competition go away. Less competition often allows other manufacturers to rest on their laurels and slow down innovation. Even Jabra suffered from this to a degree, only offering AAC and SBC codec support with no Dolby Atmos support on the new Elite 8 Active Gen 2. Companies like Sennheiser have eschewed certain innovations like Atmos, and Apple’s top earbuds support only AAC, ignoring innovations like aptX Lossless.

That isn’t to excuse Jabra for not offering such innovations and conveniences but rather to question market demand. To put it another way, Jabra does durable, gym-ready, all-around use earbuds with solid call quality well, and over the years, it has focused on improving the things that matter most: noise cancellation, transparency mode, call quality, and IP ratings.

Continuously seeking to perfect their strengths is great. However, with the race to lossless audio going full throttle and LC3 promising broadcast capabilities that will make Bluetooth connectivity publicly accessible in a profound way, GN’s In-N-Out burger-style formula of sticking only to what they do best and thriving in that space looks like it wasn’t going to work as well for them as it does for the highly lauded burger franchise.

So, what's next?

Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 earbuds in denim render.

(Image credit: Jabra)

So, what’s next? Should you still consider buying Jabra’s latest wireless earbuds if the lineup is being put to rest? Well, the short answer is yes.

According to the press release, GN will reduce the inventory of affected products, which they expect to have completed by the end of 2024. The company has stated that they will continue to service and support their products for “several years.” You’ll still be able to pick up the Elite 8 Active Gen 2 and Elite 10 Gen 2 later in June, but after that, as Porky Pig was known to say, “That’s all folks!”

Tshaka Armstrong

Tshaka Armstrong is a nerd. Co-Founder of the non-profit digital literacy organization, Digital Shepherds, he’s also been a broadcast technology reporter, writer and producer. In addition to being an award-winning broadcast storyteller, he’s also covered tech online and in print for everything from paintball gear technology, to parenting gadgets, and film industry tech for Rotten Tomatoes. In addition to writing for Android Central, he’s a video contributor for Android Central and posts everything else to his own YouTube channel and socials. He blathers on about his many curiosities on social media everywhere as @tshakaarmstrong.