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Jabra 75t vs 85t: Features, Comparison, Which Is Better

When it comes to true wireless earbuds, Jabra is one of the top brands that audiophiles and casual listeners both trust. The Danish audio equipment company has been putting out high-quality headphones, earphones, and speakerphones since the 1990s. But in recent years, Jabra‘s true wireless earbuds like the Elite 75t and Elite 85t have really elevated their status.

As an audio engineer and tech reviewer, I‘ve tested out dozens of wireless earbuds over the years. And I can confidently say that the Jabra Elite 75t and 85t are among the very best in terms of design, features, and overall performance. But how do these two premium earbud models compare? Is the Elite 85t worth the extra cost over the 75t?

In this detailed comparison, I‘ll break down all the key differences and help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs and budget. Let‘s dive right into it!

Design and Comfort

Both the Jabra Elite 75t and 85t feature compact designs with oval-shaped earpieces. They don‘t protrude very far from your ears, maintaining a low profile look. The matte plastic construction feels durable and high quality.

However, there are some notable differences when you examine them more closely:

75t:

  • Smaller and lighter than 85t
  • 3 sizes of round silicone EarGels (ear tips)
  • Slightly better noise isolation fit

85t:

  • Larger 12mm drivers require bigger earpieces
  • Oval shaped silicone EarGels with mesh lining
  • Pressure relief vents to regulate in-ear pressure
  • Accommodates wider range of ear shapes

In terms of comfort, both models perform very well. I was able to wear them for 2-3 hours straight without any aches or irritation. The Elite 75t feels a bit more snug and secure due to its tighter fit. But the 85t‘s oval ear tips and pressure-relief vents make them more comfortable for extended listening sessions.

The Elite 75t‘s smaller size also makes them ideal for laying down or side-sleeping. Meanwhile, the 85t‘s larger earpieces provide a more stable fit for active use and working out.

Ultimately, comfort and fit will depend on your individual ear shape. I recommend trying both with the different included ear tip sizes to see which one works best for you. Jabra also has a MyFit test in their Sound+ app that plays a tone to check for sound leakage and proper sealing.

Controls and Customization

One of the hallmark features of Jabra earbuds is their responsive and intuitive controls. Both the Elite 75t and 85t have physical buttons on each earpiece for controlling media, calls, and volume. The buttons are large and easy to press, with a satisfying click.

The default control scheme takes some getting used to, with various sequences of presses to play/pause, skip tracks, adjust volume, and summon your voice assistant. But once you memorize the patterns, the controls become second nature.

I especially like that you can customize the button functions using the Jabra Sound+ app. There‘s a lot of flexibility to set your preferred actions. For example, I set my left earbud to toggle HearThrough mode with a single press, and my right ear for play/pause and track skipping.

Another helpful feature is audio panning for calls and media. You can choose to have audio play in both earbuds or only in the right or left. The Elite 75t also has auto-pause when you remove an earbud, while the 85t uses wear detection to play/pause more intelligently.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

This is one of the biggest differences between the two models. The Elite 85t was designed from the ground up with active noise cancellation, while the 75t received ANC via a firmware update post-launch.

Here‘s a quick breakdown of each model‘s noise cancellation tech:

85t:

  • Dedicated ANC chip with two levels (on/off)
  • Hybrid ANC with 6 microphones (feed-forward and feed-back)
  • More effective at blocking out a wider range of frequencies
  • Natural, gradual hear-through when toggling ANC
  • Customizable ANC level and hear-through balance

75t:

  • Digital ANC solution added later via over-the-air update
  • Uses the existing 4 microphones to filter out sound
  • Good at reducing low frequency sounds but less effective for mids and highs
  • More abrupt and artificial sounding transition between ANC/hear-through

In practice, the Elite 85t‘s ANC is noticeably more advanced. The dedicated chip and additional mics allow it to cancel out more external sounds, especially in the mid and high frequencies. When I turn on ANC, it feels like a noise-blocking bubble forms around my ears.

The 75t‘s noise cancellation is still solid for the price. It does a respectable job reducing low droning sounds like airplane engines or air conditioners. But it struggles more with higher pitched noises and voices.

Jabra‘s HearThrough mode, which pipes in outside sound, works well on both models. But I prefer the 85t‘s implementation for its more natural sound and seamless transitions. The 75t‘s audio passthrough is a bit more artificial, especially at higher volumes.

If noise cancellation is a top priority for you, the 85t is worth the premium over the 75t. It‘s one of the most effective ANC solutions in the true wireless earbud category. But if you just need light noise reduction, the 75t is more than capable.

Sound Quality

Jabra is known for their warm, dynamic sound signature with powerful bass. And both the Elite 75t and 85t live up to that reputation:

75t:

  • 6mm drivers
  • Deep, punchy bass that‘s forward but not overwhelming
  • Smooth, well-balanced mids
  • Clear, detailed treble
  • Immersive soundstage for a closed-back design

85t:

  • Larger 12mm drivers
  • More textured, nuanced bass response
  • Fuller, richer mids
  • Slightly better detail retrieval and instrument separation
  • Even wider soundstage with better imaging
  • Semi-open design allows for more airflow and "breathing"

To my ears, the Elite 85t takes the 75t‘s sound profile and upgrades it in every way. The larger 12mm drivers produce bass that digs deeper and hits harder, without muddying up the midrange. Vocals and lead instruments have more presence and body.

The 85t‘s semi-open back architecture also gives the sound a more spacious, multidimensional feel. Instruments are placed more precisely in the mix, with a greater sense of depth and height.

In comparison, the 75t can sound a bit confined, especially on more complex tracks. The bass has a tendency to bleed into the mids, making things sound slightly congested.

That said, the difference is not night and day. In fact, some people may prefer the 75t‘s sound for certain genres like hip-hop and EDM. The more forward bass and intimate soundstage can be really engaging and fun.

Both models also benefit from Jabra‘s excellent Sound+ app, which includes a customizable EQ. You can choose from presets like Bass Boost, Smooth, Speech, or create your own using the 5-band equalizer. I was able to fine-tune the sound to my liking and accommodate different genres.

If sound quality is your top concern, the 85t‘s technical upgrades give it the edge. But the 75t is still an excellent sounding pair of earbuds, especially if you like a warmer, bass-heavy sound.

Battery Life and Charging

Jabra has always been one of the leaders in battery life for true wireless earbuds. And the Elite 75t and 85t are no exception:

75t:

  • 7.5 hours continuous playback (ANC off)
  • 5.5 hours with ANC on
  • 28 total hours with charging case
  • USB-C charging
  • Fast charging (15 minutes = 60 minutes)

85t:

  • 7 hours continuous playback (ANC off)
  • 5.5 hours with ANC
  • 25 total hours with charging case
  • USB-C and Qi wireless charging
  • Fast charging (15 minutes = 60 minutes)

As you can see, both models have nearly identical battery performance. You can get through a full workday of listening with either one on a single charge. And the charging cases provide an additional 2-3 full recharges.

The 85t does have slightly shorter battery life, but that‘s understandable given its more power-hungry ANC chip and larger drivers. In real world usage, I didn‘t notice a significant difference.

One advantage of the 85t is that its case supports Qi wireless charging. So you can just set it down on any compatible charging mat to top up. With the 75t, you‘re limited to plugging in a USB-C cable.

Both cases are also remarkably compact, with a smooth matte finish that resists scratches and fingerprints. The 75t‘s case is a bit smaller, but the 85t‘s is still very pocketable.

Microphone and Call Quality

If you plan to use your earbuds for phone calls, the Elite 85t is the clear winner. It has a 6-microphone array (3 on each side) with advanced beamforming technology. This allows it to isolate your voice and filter out background noise more effectively.

When I tested the 85t‘s mics in a variety of environments (quiet room, busy street, windy park), my voice came through loud and clear on the other end. The person I was talking to couldn‘t even tell I was using earbuds. There was minimal distortion and background noise, even when cars were passing by.

The Elite 75t‘s 4-mic setup is no slouch, but it can‘t quite match the 85t‘s clarity and noise reduction. In louder environments, my voice sounded more distant and muffled. And the mics picked up more ambient sound, which could be distracting for the other person.

One thing I like about both models is the Sidetone feature, which plays your own voice into the earbuds when you‘re on a call. This allows you to hear yourself naturally and avoid shouting. You can adjust the Sidetone level in the Sound+ app to find the right balance.

Workout and Fitness Use

If you‘re looking for a pair of earbuds to wear during intense workouts, the Elite 75t is the better choice. It has an IP55 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning it can withstand sweat, rain, and even light jets of water.

The 85t, on the other hand, only has IPX4 certification. While still sweatproof, it‘s not as well sealed against dust and debris. And it‘s not recommended for exposure to water jets or splashes.

In terms of fit and stability, both models perform admirably thanks to their ergonomic designs and various ear tip options. But the 75t feels slightly more locked in and secure, especially during high-impact activities like running or HIIT.

That said, the 85t‘s larger size and oval ear tips provide a bit more friction and surface contact. So it really comes down to personal preference and your ear shape.

Another consideration is wind noise. The 85t‘s dedicated ANC mics and algorithms do a better job at filtering out wind noise when you‘re moving quickly. The 75t‘s hear-through mode is more susceptible to wind interference.

Value and Conclusion

So, which one should you buy? The Jabra Elite 75t or 85t? As with most tech purchases, it depends on your priorities and budget.

If you want the absolute best noise cancellation, sound quality, and call clarity, the Elite 85t is worth the premium. Yes, it‘s more expensive, but you‘re getting a significant upgrade in terms of technology and features.

The 85t‘s hybrid ANC is a big step up from the 75t‘s all-digital solution. And the larger 12mm drivers, semi-open design, and more advanced DSP deliver a wider soundstage with better detail and dynamics. Throw in the excellent 6-mic array and Qi wireless charging, and you have a very compelling package.

On the flip side, the Elite 75t is still a top-tier set of earbuds that punches above its price point. It has 90% of the 85t‘s functionality and performance at a much lower cost. And its smaller size, better IP rating, and more stable fit make it better suited for fitness enthusiasts.

As of June 2023, the 85t has an MSRP of $229 while the 75t goes for $179. But both models frequently go on sale, so it‘s worth shopping around. I‘ve seen the 85t dip as low as $179 and the 75t to $129.

Regardless of which one you choose, you can‘t go wrong with Jabra‘s build quality, features, and sound. The Elite 75t and 85t are easily two of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, each with their own strengths.

I hope this in-depth comparison helped you make a more informed decision! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy listening!