Apple and Sony aren’t the only in-earphones with noise cancelling tech in town, as Jabra joins with something both new and old.
You don’t have to look very hard to find a pair of truly wireless in-earphones these days, as it seems that every brand has them. Whether you’re talking about the brands with audio heritage to the companies mostly focused on phones, finding a pair of cordless and wireless earphones isn’t what you’d call difficult. Not at all.
Finding a pair of cordless earphones with active noise cancellation? That’s a little bit different, as these may require a slightly deeper search.
While Qualcomm is looking to help with that thanks to a new chip, it might take some time to roll out, though it appears at least one brand could be there first.
This week, Jabra has chimed in to announce that it will have a new model in its “Elite” range of wireless and cordless in-earphones, as it upgrades last year’s 75t and releases a new model, which is an upgrade of sorts.
New in 2020 is the Jabra Elite 85t, the next subsequent model in the Elite “t” range of in-earphones, which this year sports what seems like an identical shape and size from last year’s Elite 75t, but with new technology inside.
Under the hood and on the inside, Jabra has equipped the 85t with an adjustable take on active noise cancellation which may be different to what was in the headphone equivalent in the Elite 85h. The approach here is more of a semi-open design to quell the earplug effect regular noise cancelling in-earphones can have, relying on six microphones, a Qualcomm chipset, and Jabra’s advanced active noise cancellation technology to help make the noise quelling technology stand out.
On the sound side of things, the Elite 85t gets 12mm speakers and a degree of sound processing, with the whole thing coming together in a package that looks like 2019’s Elite 75t, but with a little more going on. Granted, the water resistance is down, supporting IPX4 instead of the 75t’s IP55, but it will come with a wireless charging case.
Jabra is also competing on price with the Elite 85t, delivering its 2020 take on truly wireless active noise cancellation for $349 in Australia, compared with competitors fetching closer to the $400 mark.
“At Jabra we engineer products for purpose and today we are proud to show that our commitment to ANC is no exception,” said René Svendsen-Tune, CEO of Jabra.
“Users today are looking for great things in small packages, so we are thrilled to be offering our users best-in-class ANC in a very compact and sleek design,” he said.
The technology is just one part of Jabra’s approach to active noise cancellation in an in-ear package, as it updates owners of last year’s Elite 75t with a feature they may yearn for: noise cancellation.
Yep, it’s not just the new model that gets the new feature, as both the Elite 75t and the Elite Active 75t find themselves endowed with a degree of active noise cancellation technology, as well, something Jabra says is a free upgrade for owners of the 75t in-earphones.
Jabra told Pickr that both pairs of earphones use the same Qualcomm chipset — the QCC5126 — which features an active noise cancellation component, meaning the 75t technically have one on-board, it just won’t be activated until Jabra releases the update. That’s going to happen, the company says, with the feature arriving in an over-the-air update supporting some noise cancellation, even if it’s not quite to the same level as the new Elite 85t earphones.
While the Elite 75t will have active noise cancellation switched on with an update, it may not be quite on par with what the newer Elite 85t can do. A difference of two extra microphones, new processing technology, the semi-open design, and a different type of ear-gel to hold the earphones in place appear to be the major differences, and that might just be enough to keep the Elite 85t earphones ahead of last year’s model, even if the older variant gets noise cancelling in an update.
It also means Jabra will essentially offer noise cancelling in-earphones at two price points, with the $349 price point for the newer Elite 85t, while its $299 Elite 75t earphones will stay in market, possibly at a reduced price. Meanwhile, the older 2018 model — the Elite 65t — may stick around, too, but won’t get the active noise cancellation update.
As for when you’ll be able to find Jabra’s Elite 85t, that looks to be a November time frame for one colour — black — while other colours can be expected in January 2021.