This is an unusual circumstance where Jabra is concerned. The company that traditionally never launched two similar earbuds at the exact same time broke its streak and doubled up with these two pairs. At first glance, you might think that it just copy and pasted, with one pair more ruggedized than the other, but that's not necessarily the case. What matters here is digging deeper to figure out why the Elite 7 Pro aren't the same as the Elite 7 Active, despite how precise they are next to one another.
Jabra Elite 7 Pro vs. Elite 7 Active: Are they twins?
Looking at the specs, you'd think we were looking at variants, not mutually exclusive products. The truth is arguably somewhere in the middle because of how closely aligned they are, but as is often the case with consumer tech devices, the numbers don't always tell the full story.
|Jabra Elite 7 Pro||Jabra Elite 7 Active|
|Bud battery life||8 hours||8 hours|
|Charging case battery life||30 hours||30 hours|
|Wireless charging case||Yes||Yes|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.2||Bluetooth 5.2|
|Digital assistant support||Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri||Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri|
|Supported audio codecs||SBC, AAC||SBC, AAC|
|Speaker size||6mm drivers||6mm drivers|
|Active noise cancellation||Yes||Yes|
|Ambient sound mode||Yes||Yes|
For starters, the two are made with different materials on the outside. The Elite 7 Pro have a standard hard plastic veneer that feels a lot like Jabra's previous earbuds. It's smooth and easy enough to handle, and as evidenced by the specs, durable with a solid IP57 rating for water and dust resistance, which the Elite 7 Active also have.
The Elite 7 Active have a rubberized veneer more commonly associated with ruggedized tech devices. It's smooth in a different way, which is to say that it feels softer to the touch, yet actually offers more friction when you add water or sweat to the surface. Workout earbuds usually go this route to maintain stability, unless they have an additional physical element, like an ear wing or hook, to lend support.
In practical situations, the fit can change based on what the earbuds come into contact with.
Despite this difference, each pair fits about the same since they both have the exact same molding. But in practical situations, the fit can change based on what the earbuds come into contact with. In the immediate proximity, sweat and heat would likely be the first, and when you have those two in play, things start to get slippery. While the Elite 7 Pro don't use the kind of glossy plastic that offers less resistance to wiggling or movement in and around the ears, they still have a slicker surface.
You could realistically work out or run with either of Jabra's earbuds here, but if you're coming from a previous pair of buds, regardless of which brand made them, you probably have a good idea as to what you liked or didn't like about how they felt.
One thing is for sure, don't use either of them in saltwater. The IP57 rating is good enough for submersion in shallow water for up to 30 minutes, but it's a risky thing to do for anything beyond the odd splash in freshwater. The Elite 7 Active may have an easier time repelling water, but both the Elite 7 Pro and 7 Active need the same care. Wipe them down and keep them clean to keep them going. Jabra offers an extra two-year warranty against damage from water or sweat when you register either of these earbuds, but beware that the company doesn't cover all circumstances.
Jabra Elite 7 Pro vs. Elite 7 Active: Say it loud and clear
Neither pair has an edge on the other key things that matter, like sound quality, battery life, and app support, among others. Even the controls are physical buttons on both pairs, where you might've thought Jabra might go with capacitive touch controls for the Elite 7 Active if they were to wrap the buds with rubberized skin. But no, the buttons work really well, adding to the convenience and flexibility they always have.
A key feature the Elite 7 Pro have that the 7 Active don't is Jabra's MultiSensor Voice Technology. It makes phone and video calls clearer, which has pretty significant implications if you talk to people a lot and want to ensure everyone is heard. Jabra's heritage in hearing aid technology shows itself with the Elite 7 Pro, and MultiSensor Voice is probably the biggest discrepancy between these two pairs. If calls matter to you, the Elite 7 Pro will always do better than their Active siblings can.
The improved mic functions also pay dividends when it comes to using voice assistants, sending voice messages, or recording voice notes. The Elite 7 Active aren't incapable of doing those things well, it's just that the extra layer of obvious clarity isn't going to be there. That's why if you don't tend to use rugged earbuds to routinely take calls, the Elite 7 Active should suit you just fine.
Jabra Elite 7 Pro vs. Elite 7 Active: Missing in action
What both pairs have, they also ultimately miss. A big one is multipoint, where you can pair with two devices simultaneously. This can be super convenient when you, for example, want to use the earbuds to do video calls while also staying connected to your phone for any incoming calls coming there.
Why is that feature missing? I have no idea, but Jabra says it will release a firmware update that will bring the feature to both Pro and Active. It's just not clear when exactly that will happen, though by the end of 2021 is certainly a possibility.
The color options are also worth mentioning, subjective as they may be. Jabra left its more vibrant colors for the Elite 7 Active, especially mint, which really stands out. Navy is also back, keeping in line with the Elite Active 75t. They contrast with the Elite 7 Pro, which have more muted choices, unless you look at the gold beige variant as a standout.
As of launch, the Elite 7 Pro come in black, titanium black, and gold beige, whereas the Elite 7 Active come in black, navy, and mint.
Jabra Elite 7 Pro vs. Elite 7 Active: Which should you choose?
This isn't a choice between which pair performs better since they both sound and function the same in all the fundamental ways. So long as you get a comfortable fit and good seal, you will benefit from all the wonderful qualities these respective earbuds deliver. Jabra also supports them in the same way, whether it be the two-year warranty or planned firmware updates. If one is getting something, it's likely the other one is, too. The only thing that might not would be MultiSensor Voice, but that would be it.
The decision is more about when and where you're most likely going to use either of these earbuds. Are you an active person who prefers earbuds that are more likely to stay put? The Elite 7 Active may be the way to go for that. If you need to be on call a lot and want clarity every time you make or take a call, the Elite 7 Pro were built to handle those instances. If you happen to need both of those things, then lean toward the Elite 7 Pro, simply because you still get the same durability, and with a little effort, you may find ways to ensure they don't move out of your ears at all.
Jabra Elite 7 Pro
An Elite performer
The Elite 7 Pro are Jabra's best combination of all the features and functions that make wireless earbuds great.
Jabra Elite 7 Active
An active player
The Elite 7 Active have all the trappings you'd want in a pair of durable earbuds, even if a couple of things aren't there.
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