Jabra Elite 5 Earbuds Review Elite 7 Pro Vs Elite 4 Active Vs Elite 3

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Put the world on pause with Jabra's new Elite 5 hybrid active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds - perfect for personal and business lifestyle!

The new Jabra Elite 5 are middle-of-the-road between the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 4 Active - more like upgraded Elite 4 Active than a price friendly Elite 7 Pro. The Elite 5 feature a hybrid ANC system to suppress outside noises using feedback microphones on the inside and feedforward microphones on the outside. Compared to its predecessors, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro and Elite 4 Active, the Elite 5 noise cancellation when listening to audio is very similar - good for blocking out "bassy" type ambient sounds - voices not as much.
Design wise, the Elite 5 follows the same style design of the Elite 4 Active and Elite 3 with a tall and compact charging case with flat top/bottom to upright on a desk. The Elite 5 also have tactile physical buttons on-board the earbuds, as well as a raised charging dock that makes removing the earbuds super easy even with chunky fingers. 

You can pinch them out or push the earbuds out of the case at an angle. The weight is low, 4 grams per earbud and 39 grams for the case - same weight as the Elite 4 Active. The Elite 7 Pro earbuds/case are heavier (5.5 grams/44 grams). The Elite 3 is the lightest (4 grams/33 grams). Dimensions of the Elite 5 case are similar 6cm long x 2cm thick x 3cm high. 

Opening the charging case does not trigger automatic pairing so, the earbuds have to be taken out in order to be connected. You can switch between earbuds seamlessly but there is a 5 second re connection delay when switching between earbuds for mono listening. Three gesture controls are supported: press, double press and triple press for controlling media playback and call options, which include in-call volume adjustment, mute/unmute microphone, call-on-hold switching (new and current call) and sidetone. 

The Elite 5 earbuds have a long narrow nozzle that inserts deep inside the ear canal. Despite the similarities to the Elite 7 Pro, Elite 4 Active and Elite 3, the Elite 5 earbuds look slightly different due to the "on ear detection sensor" on-board the earbuds for automatic play/pause and auto calls. There are voice prompts too for ANC/Hearthrough. The voice prompts can be heard, although not as clear at 100% volume. Some earbuds reduce the volume to allow the voice prompt to be heard clearly at 100% volume.
Like on most ANC earbuds, the Elite 5 ANC microphones are also designed to suppress noises during calls. There is a third microphone on each earbud for speaking. The noise cancellation during calls isn't quite as good as the noise cancellation when listening to audio but it's good enough for conference/ work calls. 
In terms of internal hardware, the Jabra Elite 5 has a similar setup to the Elite 7 Pro, Elite 3 and Elite 4 Active using 6mm dynamic drivers. The Elite 5 bluetooth chip is more versatile though, than previous Elite series earbuds supporting multipoint connection as well as all three major audio codecs SBC, AAC and aptX codec. 
The Elite 7 Pro supports SBC and AAC but does not support aptX. The Elite 4 Active and Elite 3 support aptX and SBC but do not support AAC. Multipoint dual connection support is useful for connecting the earbuds to two devices as the same time and be able to switch between them seamlessly - convenient when receiving calls. As well as ANC, the Elite 5 feature transparency/ambient mode (Jabra's Hearthrough tech) that enables the ANC mics to pickup external noises, letting you talk to people and  become aware of your surroundings. 

Battery performance is very good at 7 hours with ANC ON - which is 2 hours longer than Elite 7 Pro and Elite 4 Active. With ANC OFF, battery life is 9 hours. The Elite 5 case can hold 21 hours of extra charge. The charging time for the Elite 5 earbuds and case is 3 hours, which is half hour longer than the charging time of the Elite 7 Pro.

The Elite 5 charging case supports wireless charging - same as the Elite 7 Pro so, you can charge the case via a Qi charger. It takes 6 hours via a 5W Qi wireless charger and 2 hrs 30 minutes via cable. The Elite 5 earbuds support quick charge.The Elite 4 Active and Elite 3 cases do not support wireless charging. 
Mobile app support via the Jabra Sound+  is another feature you get with the Elite 5. Account registration is not required, making the experience more user friendly. The Sound+ app gives you access to similar advance features you get with  the Elite 7 Pro, Elite 4 Active and Elite 3. Features include equalizer and Spotify Tap playback, which allows you to play songs with a single tap of a button. Spotify playback is activated by double pressing the left earbud or via voice assistant, which also requires double pressing the left earbud to activate.
Remappable functions is another feature supported by the Sound+ app, as well as custom EQ for tweaking the audio. The app is designed to save one custom EQ automatically into the earbuds so, you don't have to have the app running in the background. You can also save the custom EQ as a new preset. Other app features include "find my earbuds", in case you misplace the earbuds. In terms of audio and microphone sound quality, the Elite 5 is very similar to the  Elite 4 Active focused on upper range. The Elite 7 Pro have more bass, as well as better noise cancelling microphones.
Potential deal breakers
  • No LDAC support
  • Same IP55 dust/water resistance as Elite 3 - lower than Elite 7 Pro and Elite 4 Active - both IP57
  • Quick charge isn't the fastest - 1 hour play time from 10 minutes. Some earbuds can deliver 4 hours playtime from 15 minute quick charge.  
  • Spotify Tap and voice assistant use the same button control so, you cannot turn on Spotify and voice assistant at the same time. 
  • Single battery led indicator on the charging case  
  • No low latency game mode
  • 5-second reconnection delay
  • Microphone call not as good as the Elite 7 Pro
  • Average ANC performance
Selling points for Elite 5
  • Noise cancellation for audio and calls
  • Super tactile physical buttons - no ear jamming
  • Supports SBC, AAC and aptX codec
  • Supports multipoint - same as Elite 7 Pro. The Elite 4 Active and Elite 3 dos not support multipoint 
  • ANC and Hearthrough can be turned off
  • Above average Hearthrough (transparency) performance
  • Battery indicator for earbuds and case
  • Advanced call functions: in-call volume adjustment, mute/unmute microphone, call-on-hold switching (new and current call) and sidetone
  • Gesture controls can be disabled (e.g. you can disable triple tap)
  • Earbuds status led does not blink when listening to audio
  • In ear detection for automatic play/pause and auto answer-calls
  • Alexa built-in is another feature you get with the Elite 5. Some devices come with alexa built-in but not all. Some devices are just "compatible with Alexa or work with Alexa", which is not the same. With Alexa built-in, you don’t need an Amazon speaker.
  • Supports Siri voice assistant and Google voice assistant (Android only)
  • Customizable 5-band EQ with 6 preset modes
  • Jabra Sound+ support 
  • Configurable button functions for media, incoming calls and active calls
  • Supports Spotify Tap playback - same as Elite 4 Active and Elite 3
  • Qi-certified wireless charging case
  • Supports Google Fast Pair - same as the Elite 4 Active
  • Adjustable ANC and adjustable Hearthough (adjustable ambient/ transparency sound mode) 
  • 2 year warranty
In conclusion, the Elite 5 are very much worth upgrading over the Elite 4 Active and even worth getting over the Elite 7 Pro. You get similar features including wireless charging, multipoint, button configuration, on ear detection and adjustable noise cancellation - all of which you do not get with the Elite 4 Active. The Elite 4 Active main selling point is higher IP57 rating, while the Elite 7 Pro main selling point is better microphone noise cancellation.

Included with the Elite 5 earbuds and case, you get a nice quality charging cable and custom eartips with semi transparent flange and color-coded thick bore that matches the color of the earbuds and case. The tips are comfy and also highly isolating, thanks to the thick inner bore. You can buy the Elite 5 from amazon. Check out the review of the new Elite 10 earbuds.

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