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Reviewed on Aug 03, 2018

Jabra Elite 25e Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Type : Earbuds
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Jabra Elite 25e are a decent mixed-usage headphone, with a bit too much bass for some. They have a decently comfortable around-the-neck earbud design, and a good control scheme that provides a dedicated microphone button but has mediocre feedback. They're stable enough for running, sufficiently quiet to use at the office without distracting those around you, and fairly easy to carry around. Unfortunately, they do not isolate noise as well as the Elite 65e, and their build quality feels much cheaper and less durable overall.

Test Results
Design 7.1
Sound 6.1
Isolation 6.7
Microphone 6.0
Active Features 7.3
Connectivity 3.1
Pros
  • Comfortable earbud fit.
  • Great battery perfromance.
  • Low leakage.
Cons
  • The neckband design won't be for everyone.
  • Overly bass-heavy sound quality.
  • Poor noise isolation.

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Summary

  • 6.6 Mixed Usage
  • 6.4 Critical Listening
  • 6.8 Commute/Travel
  • 7.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.9 Office
  • 5.4 TV
  • 5.4 Gaming
Mixed Usage 6.6

Decent for mixed usage. The Elite 25e have a lightweight and decently flexible neckband design and comfortable earbuds that do not leak much. They're stable enough to run with and a suitable option for the office although they do not do as well in loud environments like the more high-end, noise-canceling Elite 65e. Unfortunately, being Bluetooth-only headphones, they won't be the ideal option for gaming or home theater. They also have a mediocre sound quality that has a bit too much bass and you can't EQ their sound profile since they do not support the Jabra Sound+ app.

Critical Listening 6.4

Mediocre-at-best for critical listening. The Elite 25e have too much bass which makes them sound dark and boomy overall. They may be okay for fans of heavy bass or when using them in loud environments where the bass can be somewhat drowned out by the ambient noise. However, they will not be the ideal choice for more critical listeners, they also have a relatively small soundstage due to their closed earbud design. They should be adequate sounding for most listeners if you're not too picky.

Commute/Travel 6.8

Decent for commuting. They're comfortable, above-average portable and have a good control scheme. Unfortunately, they do not block a lot of noise with their earbud fit but barely leak so you can increase the volume of your music to mask some of the ambient noise that will seep through.

Sports/Fitness 7.3

Above-average for sports use. The Jabra Elite 25e are comfortable and stable enough to run with. They also have quite a bass-heavy sound that may get you pumped when you're at the gym and an above-average control scheme that's fairly easy to use. However, the neckband can sometimes get caught on items of clothing which may pull the earbuds out of your ears, they also do not have any stability fins, unlike the Elite 65e.

Office 6.9

Above-average for office use. They have a sub-par noise isolation performance so they won't be the ideal choice for particularly noisy offices. But on the upside, they barely leak so you can turn your volume up to mask more noise without distracting those around you. You can also use them while they are charging which is a bot more convenient for an office environment.

TV 5.4

Sub-par for home theater use. They're comfortable and should sound good enough for watching most movies. Unfortunately, their latency performance is a bit too high for this use case.

Gaming 5.4

Sub-par for home theater use. They're comfortable and should sound good enough for watching most movies. Unfortunately, their latency performance is a bit too high for this use case, and they are Bluetooth-only headphones that will not be compatible with your consoles.

Compared to other Headphones

The Jabra Elite 25e are decent mixed-usage earbuds. They're not as well-built and do not perform as well as the Elite 65e overall. They also do not actively cancel noise like the 65e so they do worse in loud environments. On the upside, they have a decently comfortable earbud fit, they're lightweight and portable, and have a fairly long battery life that will easily last you the whole day. They have a decently flexible neckband and magnetic earbuds for cable management. Unfortunately, they look a bit cheap for their price range and do not have the most durable build quality especially when compared to some of the headphones below. See our recommendations for the best budget earbuds, the best wireless earbuds under $100, and the best wireless headphones under $100.

Samsung U Flex Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung U Flex are a slightly better around-the-neck design than the Jabra Elite 25e. The U Flex has a better-built neckband that's flexible enough to fold and fit into your pockets. The U Flex also have a more stable and slightly better isolating in-ear fit. They have customizable sound and a wealth of features, but only if you're paired to a Samsung device. The Elite 25e, on the other hand, will be more comfortable for some thanks to their earbud fit. They also have a much longer battery life than the Samsung.

JBL E25BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL E25BT are a slightly better headphone than the Jabra Elite 25e, but not by much. The JBL have a slightly more balanced sound than the 25e. The JBL also isolate a bit more in noisy environments, making them a bit better-suited for the commute and travel. They're also more potable than the Elite 25e. On the upside, the Elite 25e have a longer 16hr battery life, a more comfortable earbud fit, and a better control scheme, with a dedicated mic button.

Jabra Elite 45e Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite 45e are better headphones than the Jabra Elite 25e. They have a more portable design, thanks to the flexible cable instead of a rigid plastic neck support, and they also feel less cheap than the Elite 25e. The Elite 45e are also compatible with the Jabra Sound+ for sound customization, while the Elite 25e are not. However, the Elite 25e have twice as much battery life than the Elite 45e, and have surprisingly better passive noise isolation results in our testing, which make them a better pick for long commutes.

Jabra Elite 65e Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite 65e are a better overall headphone than the Jabra Elite 25e. The 65e have a better build quality that is more flexible and durable. The 65e also have a customizable sound, since they support the Sound+ app, and they're noise cancelling so they're a bit more suitable for the office and commuting. The 25e, on the other hand, have a longer battery life of 16hrs and they're a bit more lightweight.

Anker SoundBuds Life Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite 25e have about the same performance as the Anker SoundBuds Life. The Elite 25e are a bit more comfortable than the Ankers, thanks to their earbud-like fit and slightly more lightweight neckband. The Elite 25e also have a slightly better control scheme with a dedicated mic button. On the other hand, the Ankers have an in-ear fit that's decently comfortable and more stable than the Jabras. They also have a more premium look and feel and an IPX5 rating, which makes them the slightly better option for sports, but their build quality is about the same overall. The Ankers also sound slightly better, although not by much.

Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite Active 65t are better headphones overall than the Jabra Elite 25e. The Active 65t are compact truly wireless in-ear earbuds that you can easily carry around in your pockets. The Elite Active 65t also have a sweat-proof in-ear design that's better for sports, isolates more on noisy commutes, and has a customizable app with an EQ and limited health tracking. On the upside, the 25e have a longer battery life, and have an earbud fit that's more comfortable for most.

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Test Results

Style

The Jabra Elite 25e look and feel like a budget version of the Elite 65e. They are the lowest tier of the Elite E series which shows in their build quality and cables. On the upside, they still look fairly decent for their price range. They have a sleek around-the-neck design with an earbud fit that doesn't have stability fins but feels dense and durable enough to last you a while. Overall, their understated design looks decent and will work for most.

7.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.1 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The Jabra Elite 25e have a similar earbud design to the higher-end Elite 65e but do not come with any stability fins. On the upside, it does not change their comfort level by much, and since they do not go into your ear canal like typical in-ears, they will be a lot more comfortable for most listeners. The neckband is sufficiently lightweight to not be too noticeable once around your neck. Although since it's not as flexible, it does feel a bit stiff at times. Overall the whole design should be comfortable enough for most and more comfortable than conventional in-ear headphones.

7.9 Controls
Ease of use : Decent
Feedback : Mediocre
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The Jabra Elite 25e have a decent control scheme similar to the higher-end 65e but with less feedback. They provide the basics; track-skipping, call/music, and volume controls. However, they also have a dedicated button to mute the mic which is fairly rare on a Bluetooth headphone not meant for gaming. Unfortunately, the layout of the controls does take a bit of time to get used to and the feedback of the buttons is much worse than on the higher end model. The buttons feel mushy and slightly difficult to press which is disappointing especially when compared to the 65e.

7.0 Stability

The Elite 25e are decently stable headphones but do not come with additional stability fins like the 65e. The neckband is also a bit stiffer which pulls on the cable slightly more than 65e when working out. They will be stable enough for running and jogging but they won't be the ideal choice for more demanding physical activities and sports.

6.9 Portability
L : 6 "
W : 4.3 "
H : 1.5 "
Volume : 38 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

Similarly to the Sony WI-C400, the Jabra Elite 25e are decently portable and do not take too much space. You can easily carry them on your person thanks to the neckband design and magnetic earbuds that help with cable management. Unfortunately, the neckband is not as flexible as the Elite 65e. This makes them a bit less portable than the 65e since you won't be able to fold and fit them into tighter spaces, although their total size is a bit more compact overall.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case or pouch like the higher-end Elite 65e.

7.0 Build Quality

The build quality of the Elite 25e is decent but much less durable and does not look as premium as the Elite 65e. The neckband is decently thick and made from a sturdy plastic. However, it does not have the rubberized coating of the higher-end 65e. The cables are also much thinner, less rubberized and more tangle-prone than the 65e. It also does not have a dedicated in-line mic for making calls which makes the overall design feel a lot cheaper than the higher-end model of the lineup. The earbuds are also not as dense, but they do have magnetic backplates to help with cable management which is nice. Overall the 25e are built decently well but feel slightly less durable than some of the cheaper neckband designs we've tested like the Samsung U Flex.

9.1 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.9 C

The Elite 25e, like most in-ears and earbuds, are breathable headphones that won't make your ears sweat more than usual. They trap a negligible amount of heat within the notch of your ear due to their earbud tips, but it won't be a noticeable temperature difference, and your outer-ear will remain cool when working out. This makes them a good option for sports.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

The Jabra Elite 25e come with micro-USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.9 Bass
Std. Err.
:
4.62 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
5.27 dB
Mid-Bass
:
4.73 dB
High-Bass
:
5.48 dB

The bass of the Elite 25e is decent. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10hz, which is excellent. Also, the response throughout the range is flat and even, but it is consistently overemphasized by more than 5dB. This makes the bass of these headphones quite heavy and boomy, and could drown out higher frequencies which include the vocals and lead instruments.

7.7 Mid
Std. Err.
:
3.05 dB
Low-Mid
:
2.1 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-3.47 dB
High-Mid
:
-2.62 dB

The mid-range of the Elite 25e is good. Low-mid shows the continuation of the bass overemphasis and is over our neutral target by about 2dB. This thickens the vocals a little and makes the overall mix a bit cluttered. Conversely, mid-mid and high-mid are recessed by more than 2.5dB. This pushes vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix and gives more emphasis to the bass frequencies. This effect will be even more pronounced due to the heavy bass of these headphones.

5.5 Treble
Std. Err.
:
5.48 dB
Low-Treble
:
-3.88 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-4.62 dB
High-Treble
:
-5.1 dB

The Elite 25e have a sub-par treble performance. The response is even and relatively flat, but consistently underemphasized by more than 4dB. This results in a treble that sounds veiled and lacks detail and brightness, especially since the bass of these headphones is quite pronounced.

9.1 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.18 dB

The frequency response consistency is great. Assuming the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.

1.5 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
4.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
1.4
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

Like most other in-ears, the soundstage of the Elite 25e is poor. This is because in-ears bypass the pinna (outer ear), and don't interact with it, while activating the resonances of the pinna is one of the key factors in creating a speaker-like and out-of-head soundstage. Also, because of their closed-back design, their soundstage tends to be less open than that of open-back headphones.

9.3 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.15
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.48
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
0.78
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
1.19

The imaging performance of the Elite 25e is excellent. Their weighted group delay is 0.15, which is very low. The GD graph also shows that the group delay never crosses the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were exceptionally well-matched, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (instruments, voice, footsteps), in the stereo image.

7.8 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
1.72
Weighted THD @ 100
:
0.988

The Jabra Elite 25e have a good harmonic distortion performance. Their produced THD in the bass range is quite low and within good limits, even at 100dB SPL. In the mid and treble ranges it is actually the 90dB SPL pass that shows more THD. This is most likely due to the increased flexibility of the driver at 100dB SPL. However, the peak around 1KHz could make the sound of tha region a bit harsh and impure.

5.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-14.8 dB
Bass
:
-2.09 dB
Mid
:
-15.96 dB
Treble
:
-27.76 dB
Self-Noise
:
21.18 dB

The Elite 25e have a sub-par isolation performance. Due to the earbud design and lack of active noise cancelling (ANC) they provide very little isolation in the bass range. This means they will let in all the rumble of airplane and bus engines that occupy the bass range. However, in the mid-range, important for blocking out speech they achieve about 16dB of isolation, which is good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they isolate by about 28dB, which is above-average.

8.7 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
29.31 dB

The Jabra Elite 25e have a great leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage is spread over a very narrow range in the treble, around 5KHz, making their leakage very thin sounding and mostly consist of S and T sounds. The overall level of the leakage is also low. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage averages at 29dB SPL, and peaks at 49dB SPL, which is just below the noise floor of most offices.

5.5 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
507.97 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
2.2 dB
HFE
:
3368.2 Hz
Weighted THD
:
11.072
Gain
:
40.02 dB

The recording quality of Elite 25e's microphone is sub-par. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 508Hz, indicating a speech that sounds noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.4KHz results in a recorded/transmitted speech that is muffled and lacks detail. However, it will still be decently intelligible since speech comprehensibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4KHz range.

6.4 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
16.72 dB

The in-line microphone of the Elite 25e has an average-at-best noise handling performance. It achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 17dB in our SpNR test. This means they will be able to separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud environments, but will struggle in louder places and are therefore best suited for quite situations.

7.5 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
34 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
91 ft

The Jabra Elite 25e have a decent wireless range of 34ft when the Bluetooth source was obstructed and up to 91 ft in direct line of sight. It's a bit lower than average but should be fine for most use cases.

3.3 Latency
Default Latency
:
172 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The Jabra Elite 25e have quite a bit of latency which is not ideal for watching movies and a lot of video content.

8.1 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
16 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.8 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No

The Jabra Elite 25e have a decent battery life, longer than the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They lasted 16 hours in our battery test which should be enough for most use cases. They also do not take too long to charge at 1.8 hrs, provide audio when charging, which is fairly rare for neckband-style headphones and makes them a good option when you're close to a power source, like at home or at the office. Unfortunately, they do not automatically turn off when connected to your Bluetooth device even when inactive but have a good standby time that will last up to 22 days but will not automatically shut down like some of the other headphones with an auto-off feature.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The Elite 25e do not support the Jabra Sound+ app like the 65e, or the 45e which we have not yet reviewed.

6.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No

These headphones cannot pair with multiple devices at once like the 65e, and they are not Bluetooth 5.0 headphones. The main pairing and multi-function button is also a bit stiff which makes it difficult sometimes to pair but on the upside, you get vibration feedback from the neckband to let you know when you paired which is nice.

0 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A

These are Bluetooth-only wireless earbuds with no wired option. If you want a similarly designed in-ear but wired, check out the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a dock. If you want headphones that's versatile and have a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. However, they won't be as compact or as easy-to-carry around on your person.

In the box

  • Jabra Elite 25e  Wireless Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x3)
  • USB charging cable
  • Manual

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