Jabra Elite 75t vs. Elite Active 75t: Which should you buy?

Jabra doesn't like to release everything all at once, and that's why there are two versions of its Elite 75t true wireless earbuds that came out months apart. The Danish brand has staked a claim as being a serious contender for the best in the business. Part of that comes from the versatility involved. Is there even a real competition between the Jabra Elite 75t vs. Elite Active 75t? Let's find out.

Jabra Elite 75t vs. Elite Active 75t: These could easily pass for twins

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When it comes to the next generation of Jabra, it's not easy to address a few shortcomings in one fell swoop, but that's what the Elite 75t genuinely feel like. They are 22% smaller than the previous Elite 65t by Jabra's count, yet they feel even more was chopped off. The lighter weight does help, though, as does the extra portability afforded by the slimmer charging case. However, before diving in, let's see what both models have to offer.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Jabra Elite 75tJabra Elite Active 75t
Bud battery life7.5 hours7.5 hours
Charging case battery life20.5 hours20.5 hours
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Digital assistant supportAlexa, Google Assistant, SiriAlexa, Google Assistant, Siri
Supported audio codecsSBC, AACSBC, AAC
Speaker size6mm drivers6mm drivers
Active noise cancellationNoNo

Put these two Elite models next to each other in the same color, and you may be in danger of not knowing which is which. Jabra didn't really re-engineer the form factor or design principles of the Elite 75t to make the Active model. The more ruggedized Elite Active 75t are veritable clones, especially at first glance. The key difference lies in durability.

The Elite 75t have an IP55 rating, which means they have decent dust resistance and OK water resistance. The odd splash or drop of rain shouldn't affect performance or longevity, but Jabra recommends not submerging them in water. Instead, the company used a special coating on the Elite Active 75t that raises the rating to IP57, essentially making those earbuds waterproof.

The coating isn't obvious to the eye, so you don't really see it when handling the earbuds. They would be fine in a meter of clear water for up to 30 minutes, whereas anything longer risks bricking them completely. Saltwater is also a definite no-no, so keep them on the sandy part of the beach.

Jabra Elite 75t vs. Elite Active 75t: A degree of separation

Jabra Elite 75t in ear

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Neither model holds any advantage in battery life because they both benefit from the same improvements. Jabra took the Elite 65t, which usually hovered in the four-hour range, and managed to almost double that to 7.5 hours. You may not always get that number based on volume level, but it's still a noticeable push in the right direction.

Their respective cases are of equal size, shape, and weight. It's probably likely Jabra just manufactured more of the same Elite 75t cases and allocated them to Elite Active 75t models. They both have USB-C charging ports, though no wireless charging — a feature Jabra says is coming in a future 75t iteration.

What separates these two is where you can use them. The Elite 75t aren't useless in a gym or on a jogging route, but Jabra figures it can assuage any fears that they might die out by making an Active version. For constant workouts producing copious amounts of sweat, the Elite Active 75t are built to handle that regularly. But, like their standard counterparts, they do need some TLC every so often to clean off dust, debris, and salt.

Jabra offers the same standard one-year manufacturer warranty, plus an extra two-year limited warranty for both models when registered through the Jabra Sound+ app. It does cover damage from repeated exposure to dust and water, but read the fine print, and you will see some ambiguity there. It distinctly mentions covering damage from dust and perspiration, but not water, liquids, food, and physical damage. Those limits apply to both models, despite one being waterproof out of the box.

Jabra did deviate a little on how it offers colors. The Elite 75t come in black, titanium black, and gold beige, whereas the Elite Active 75t come in navy, copper black, titanium black, grey, mint, and sienna.

Jabra Elite 75t vs. Elite Active 75t: New features

Both models have new features recently introduced in the Sound+ app. The first is MySound, where you can create your own personal hearing profile by listening to a series of beeps that tune your ears to whatever you listen to. The feature comes from Jabra's sister organization, GN Hearing, whose hearing aids guided how MySound will work.

MyControls is another sought-after feature that will let users alter the default controls for play/pause, next and previous tracks, and calling up your phone's voice assistant. Both MyControls and MySound were introduced as software updates in June 2020.

Through a firmware update, Jabra also recently updated the Elite 75t and Elite Active 75t with ANC, also known as active noise cancellation. Both models benefit from the new feature by using the built-in microphones to mask sound, and even though the earbuds weren't originally built with ANC in mind, Jabra did a great job implementing it.

ANC is also a feature found in the new Jabra Elite 85t, which are a bit larger and slightly more expensive, and a good choice for someone who wants a few more features, at the expense of battery life and some water resistance, over the Elite 75t series.

So, which should you choose?

So, which set of earbuds is better? That depends on how active you plan on being. There is no difference in how the Sound+ app treats either model as is. The equalizer and HearThrough settings, among other things in there, are readily available either way. There's good stuff there to work with; it's just that you don't get any inherent advantage, no matter which way you go. If you're looking to hold out for the Elite 85t instead, just bear in mind that Jabra actually reduced the water resistance on those earbuds by giving them an IPX4 rating. While it's not entirely clear whether they're less resistant to sweat, that is always a possibility.

The choice really comes down to priorities when you want to use them. If you often need earbuds while working out, the Elite Active 75t are the better bet. If you generally shun vigorous workouts and barely break a sweat listening to tunes, the Elite 75t are good enough to negate paying the premium. If you're on the fence, go with the Active model for the sake of covering all bases.

Ted Kritsonis
Contributor, Audio Reviewer

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.