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Jabra Elite 5 review: Feature packed earbuds that punch above their weight

You can fit so many features in these bad boys. 

Jabra Elite 5 wireless earbuds
Jabra Elite 5
4 out of 5 stars
4
Battery
7 hours
Water-Resistance
IP55
Weight
5g
Alex Choros
Feb 07, 2023
bullet2 min read

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Quick verdict: Jabra Elite 5

When it comes to functionality, all the Jabra Elite 5s are missing is the kitchen sink. You'll struggle to find another pair of $200 or so earbuds as featured-packed as these.

pro
Pros
pro Excellent battery life
pro Great value
pro Multipoint
con
Cons
con Mild bass response
con So so noise-cancelling

In late 2021, Jabra surprised us with just how well it could make a pair of budget earbuds. Its Elite 3s are still our top pick for anyone looking for a high quality, affordable audio solution.

Jabra's Elite 5s represent a step up and pack in a whole lot of extras. For about $100 more (at RRP), you get a whole lot of extra features including noise cancelling, multipoint, wireless charging, and more.

We haven't tested any other earbuds in this price bracket that pack in so many features.

Jabra Elite 5 wireless earbuds

How much do Jabra Elite 5s cost in Australia?

Store
Price
More info
Amazon
From
$219

Jabra Elite 5 sound quality & noise-cancelling

Jabra Elite 5 wireless earbuds

Sound quality and noise cancellation are the biggest trade-offs you'll make with the Jabra Elite 5s. They're perfectly fine for the money, but they don't rival more expensive alternatives that sell for around $50 to $100 more, like the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro or the Google Pixel Buds Pro.

The Elite 5s' sound quality ranges from average to good. Their main weakness is bass response, especially in sub-bass frequencies. The double kick in Opeth's "The Funeral Portrait" from our testing playlist was present, but lacked punch. Similarly, the sub-bass kicks in Childish Gambino's "3005" were missing their usual deep resonance.

I also found scooped mids could hurt clarity, especially in densely layered tracks. The background guitar in The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was lost behind other instruments, for example.

Despite these quirks, the Jabra Elite 5s are still more than capable all-rounders - especially for the price. While they're not for bass heads, you can certainly do a lot worse when it comes to audio quality.

On the microphone front, the Elite 5s pick up a surprising amount of background noise. Even in my quiet office, I could clearly hind the gentle wind blowing outside my window in a recording. You wouldn't want to be making a phone call with these walking down a busy street.

The Elite 5's noise-cancelling is certainly there, but nothing exceptional. There's a clear difference between when it's on and off, but don't expect miracles. The Elite 5s will make the world a little quieter, but they're not going to block out everything.

As with most noise-cancelling earbuds, there's an ambient mode that can be used to filter in real world sounds while wearing the earbuds. The effect comes across as tinny and artificial, however.

Jabra Elite 5 features & battery

Jabra Elite 5 wireless earbuds

The Jabra Elite 5s tick almost every box from a feature and battery life perspective. They're light and comfortable. The charging case is tiny. You get physical buttons for on-earbud controls rather than janky touch inputs. And there's fast pairing for Android and Windows devices. 

Battery life is also excellent. You get up to seven hours per charge with noise cancelling on, coming to a total of 28 hours with the charging case. That's some of the best battery life we've seen in noise-cancelling earbuds. Turning off noise cancellation increases this to up to nine hours per charge and 36 with the case.

In both cases, a ten-minute charge can give you up to an hour of playback, and the Elite 5s even have wireless charging.

Multipoint is another useful inclusion that's unusual for this price point. This allows the Elite 5s to be paired with two devices at once. The earbuds had a bit of trouble working out whether to accept audio from my iPhone or Mac, but it was seamless between my iPhone and iPad.

The only features you miss out on are support for high resolution audio and spatial audio, but this functionality hasn't really filtered down to phones in this price bracket yet.

Are the Jabra Elite 5s worth buying?

Jabra Elite 5 wireless earbuds

The Jabra Elite 5s sound good and have pretty much every feature you could ask for a pair of wireless earbuds. While they won't wow you, they're a really practical purchase if you're looking for reasonably priced earbuds that can do it all.

How do the Jabra Elite 5s compare?

Product
Rating
Price
Battery life
Active noise-cancelling
Water resistance
Availability
Jabra Elite Active 4Jabra Elite 4 Active
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25
🔥From $179
$118
6 hrs (buds)
28 hrs (case/total)
pro pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 ProSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
4 out of 5 stars
4
🔥From $349
$209
5 hrs (buds)
23 hrs (case/total)
pro pro

Disclaimer: Pricing and deal information only accurate as of the last page update. 

How we review wireless earbuds

When we review earbuds, broadly speaking, we're looking at five main considerations:

  • Sound: Obviously. Do they sound good? 
  • Comfort & Design: Are they nice to wear? 
  • Features: Is the battery good? Is the connectivity reliable? What's the noise-cancelling like?
  • Vibe: What's the overall experience like? 
  • Value: Are they good for the money?

While audio products can be quite subjective for many reasons, we have standardised testing procedures across the team designed to help us look at the category in a consistent way. You can read more about how we review wireless earbuds here

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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