Jabra Elite 3 True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Oct 12, 2021 at 11:15 am
Jabra Elite 3 True Wireless Picture
7.4
Neutral Sound
7.9
Commute/Travel
8.3
Sports/Fitness
7.4
Office
5.9
Wireless Gaming
5.8
Wired Gaming
6.6
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Jabra Elite 3 True Wireless are affordable in-ears that maintain the same comfortable and sleek design as other headphones in this manufacturer's lineup, like the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless. They have over seven hours of continuous battery life, and their carrying case holds roughly three additional charges if you need it. Their slightly bass-rich sound profile is well-suited for most kinds of audio genres, although you can customize their sound using their companion app's EQ presets if you prefer a different sound. However, they lack a graphic EQ as well as multi-device pairing.

Our Verdict

7.4 Neutral Sound

The Jabra Elite 3 are decent for neutral sound. Out of the box, they have a slightly bass-rich sound profile that adds a touch of extra body and boom to your mixes. It shouldn't overwhelm vocals and lead instruments, which makes their sound suitable for a variety of audio content. Their companion app also offers a few EQ presets if you prefer a different sound. However, their passive soundstage is closed-off, and sound feels like it's coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed around you.

Pros
  • Well-built and comfortable design.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
7.9 Commute/Travel

The Jabra Elite 3 are very good for commute and travel. These in-ears have a comfortable, lightweight, and breathable design. They have over seven hours of continuous battery life and are well-built. However, they struggle to passively block out the low rumble of bus and plane engine noise.

Pros
  • Well-built and comfortable design.
  • Good battery performance.
Cons
  • Struggles to block out bass-range noise.
8.3 Sports/Fitness

The Jabra Elite 3 are great for sports and fitness. Thanks to their wireless in-ear design, you can easily take them with you to the gym or outdoors. They also have a lightweight, stable design and feel well-built. They're rated IP55 for dust and water resistance too, and they have robust physical controls, which is handy when you're on the move.

Pros
  • Well-built and comfortable design.
  • Stable and breathable fit.
  • Certified IP55 for dust and water resistance.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
7.4 Office

The Jabra Elite 3 are decent for office use. They have a comfortable, well-built design, and they don't leak very much audio at high volumes, so if you like to crank up the volume, you can listen to your favorite tracks without disturbing others around you. They also have over seven hours of continuous battery life, and their carrying case holds roughly three additional charges. Their passive design can help block out office chatter, too.

Pros
  • Well-built and comfortable design.
  • Good battery performance.
  • Decent recording quality.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
  • No multi-device pairing.
5.9 Wireless Gaming

The Jabra Elite 3 aren't suitable for wireless gaming. You can use them with a Bluetooth-enabled PC, but their latency is likely too high for gaming. They aren't compatible with PS4, PS5, or Xbox consoles.

5.8 Wired Gaming

The Jabra Elite 3 are truly wireless headphones, and you can't use them wired.

6.6 Phone Calls

The Jabra Elite 3 are fair for phone calls. These in-ears have an integrated mic with decent recording quality, so you sound clear and intelligible, although your voice lacks a bit of body. However, the mic also struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise around you, and speech could be drowned out by sounds in your surroundings, like a busy street. That said, the earbuds can block out a decent amount of ambient noise around you, allowing you to hear your call better.

Pros
  • Well-built and comfortable design.
Cons
  • Disappointing noise handling.
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 7.9 Commute/Travel
  • 8.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.4 Office
  • 5.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.8 Wired Gaming
  • 6.6 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Oct 12, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Oct 07, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Jabra Elite 3 have a unique teardrop-like design with a modest manufacturer's logo on each earbud. They stick out of your ear a bit, though. These buds come in four different color variants to better suit your style: 'Lilac', 'Dark Grey', 'Light Beige', and 'Navy'.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Jabra Elite 3 have a comfortable fit. They're lightweight and come with similar circular-shaped ear tips as the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless. However, the buds stick out of your ears, and they cause a plunger-like feeling, which could be uncomfortable over time.

7.5
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

These in-ears have good controls. There's a button on each earbud that's clicky and responsive. There are audible tones when you power the headphones on and off as well as when you enter pairing mode. It's not very intuitive to know where each control is located, though. Unlike the Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless, there's also no voice prompts to let you know which controls you've registered.

On the left earbud:

  • One press: Turn HearThrough on or off. This feature lets you hear your surroundings without pausing your audio.
  • Double-press: Access voice assistant. If you have an Android device, you can also remap this control to launch Spotify so that you can play your favorite tracks.
  • Press and hold: Lowers volume.

On the right earbud:

  • One press: Plays or pauses audio.
  • Double-press: Skips to the next track.
  • Triple-press: Skips to the previous track or restarts tracks.
  • Press and hold: Raises volume.

On either earbud:

  • One press: Answers a call as well as mutes and unmutes the mic when you're in a call.
  • Double-press: End and rejects calls.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 °C

The Jabra Elite 3 have outstanding breathability, like most in-ears. They don't cover your outer ear, so they shouldn't trap in much heat. You shouldn't sweat more than normal, even if you're wearing them during a jog in the park.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.3" (3.4 cm)
W 1.0" (2.5 cm)
H 0.8" (2.1 cm)
Volume 1.10 in³ (18.00 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

The Jabra Elite 3 are very portable, which is to be expected from wireless in-ears. They're small, lightweight, and should easily fit in most pockets or bags without an issue, even if you have them in their carrying case.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.5" (6.3 cm)
W 1.1" (2.8 cm)
H 1.4" (3.5 cm)
Volume 3.78 in³ (62.00 cm³)

The carrying case is good. There's a magnet to hold the buds in place and a single LED light inside the case, so you can see the battery status.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Jabra Elite 3's build quality is good. They're mostly made of plastic and feel sturdy enough to survive a couple of accidental drops or falls without too much issue. They're also rated IP55 for protection against dust and direct water exposure. However, the carrying case's lid can wiggle a bit once it's closed.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Jabra Elite 3 have good stability. Even though they don't have stability fins, they're very stable and don't move around, even during moderate physical activity. They stick out of your ears, though.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Jabra Elite 3 headphones
  • 3x ear tips
  • Charging case
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.51 dB
Treble Amount
-0.48 dB

The Jabra Elite 3 have a slightly bass-rich sound profile. They have a touch of extra body and boom, but it shouldn't overwhelm your mixes. That said, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a few EQ presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

8.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.28 dB

The Jabra Elite 3's frequency response consistency is excellent. Although there's some deviation in treble delivery present, as long as you form an airtight seal, you should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.87 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
17.06 Hz
Low-Bass
0.79 dB
Mid-Bass
2.87 dB
High-Bass
0.95 dB

The Jabra Elite 3's bass accuracy is excellent. There's a slight overemphasis across the range, which results in a bit more thump, rumble, body, and boom in your tracks. It shouldn't be too overwhelming, though.

8.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.6 dB
Low-Mid
0.02 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.21 dB
High-Mid
-1.18 dB

The mid accuracy is excellent. The range is fairly flat and neutral, resulting in accurate vocals and lead instruments. However, a dip in the mid-mid can nudge vocals and lead instruments to the back of your mix.

8.0
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.1 dB
Mid-Treble
-0.62 dB
Low-Treble
-1.63 dB
High-Treble
-1.74 dB

The Jabra Elite 3 have great treble accuracy. The low-treble is slightly underemphasized, veiling vocals and lead instruments. The mid-treble is a bit underemphasized too, which can dull sibilants like cymbals a bit.

8.0
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.25 dB
Dips
0.99 dB

The Jabra Elite 3's peaks and dips performance is great. A long peak in the bass range adds a bit of thump, rumble, and boom to mixes, while a dip in the mid-mid nudges vocals and lead instruments to the back of your mix. An uneven mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals alternatingly dull and piercing.

8.6
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.23
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.53
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.92
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.89

The imaging performance is excellent. The weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers of our unit are also well-matched in phase, amplitude, and frequency response, which is important for the accurate localization and placement of objects, like footsteps and voices in the stereo image. Although there's a small peak in the phase response's mid-range, it shouldn't be an issue for most users. Our results are only valid for our unit, though, and yours may perform differently.

0.7
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.4

The Jabra Elite 3 have a bad passive soundstage, which is to be expected from in-ear headphones. By design, they bypass the outer ear, which needs to be activated by sound resonances to create a more speaker-like soundstage. As a result, sound is perceived as coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you. They also don't sound as open or spacious as headphones with an open-back design.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
8.1
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.178
WHD @ 100
0.092

The Jabra Elite 3's weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. All frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.0.8
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
aptX, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Neutral
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.

Isolation
7.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-20.53 dB
Bass
-9.29 dB
Mid
-17.59 dB
Treble
-35.38 dB

The Jabra Elite 3 have a decent noise isolation performance. They don't have active noise cancelling (ANC), and they struggle to passively block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines. They do a better job of cutting down mid-range noise like ambient chatter and higher-pitched sounds like the hum of an AC unit, though.

9.7
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
23.05 dB

These in-ears have a fantastic leakage performance. They don't leak much sound, so you can listen to audio at high volumes without disturbing others around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
7.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
414.99 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.4 dB
HFE
7,136.96 Hz
Weighted THD
0.108
Gain
10.23 dB

The integrated mic has a decent recording quality. Your voice should be understandable but lacking in body.

5.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
15.85 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
5.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The integrated mic's noise handling performance is disappointing. It really struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise around you, so if you're taking a call from a busy street, your voice may be drowned out.

Active Features
7.5
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
7.3 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
29.2 hrs
Charge Time
1.2 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Jabra Elite 3's battery performance is good. They're advertised to last seven hours continuously, and we measured 7.3 hours, which is quite similar. They also have roughly three additional charges in their carrying case. You can use one bud while the other one charges and they have an auto-off timer that turns the buds off after 15 minutes without a connection and after 30 minutes of inactivity. Jabra advertises a 10-minute fast charge that's supposed to give you one hour of playback time too. However, battery life can vary depending on usage, so your real-life experience may differ.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Jabra Sound+
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The Jabra Elite 3 have a good app. It's compatible with iOS and Android devices. You can switch between different EQ presets, turn HearThrough on or off, check the buds' battery life, and update the headphones. You can also turn on or off the mic's sidetone to improve your call experience. However, while you can remap the voice assistant control to open Spotify to play tracks, this feature is only available on Android devices.

Connectivity
7.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
242.78 ft (74.00 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
239 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
224 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
47 ms
Android Latency
69 ms

The Jabra Elite 3 have decent Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless, they don't support multi-device pairing, so you can't connect them to more than one device at a time. They also lack NFC pairing and have high latency using SBC and aptX codecs on PCs, which could be frustrating if you like to stream video. They don't support AAC codec either. On the upside, their iOS and Android latency are low, so you shouldn't notice delays between your audio and visuals. However, some apps and devices compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These are truly wireless headphones, and you can't use them wired. They come with a USB-A to USB-C cable to charge their carrying case.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full mic and audio compatibility. However, you won't be able to connect them to your PC in any other way.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

These in-ears come with a portable charging case. It doesn't support wireless charging, and there's only a USB-C port to charge the case with the cable provided.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Jabra Elite 3 come in four color variants: 'Lilac', 'Dark Grey', 'Light Beige', and 'Navy'. We tested the 'Dark Grey' variant, and you can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Jabra Elite 3 are more affordable truly wireless in-ears in Jabra's lineup. Unlike some of the manufacturer's more premium headphones like the Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless, they lack multi-device pairing, and their companion app lacks a graphic EQ to help you customize their sound. However, they have a slightly bass-rich sound profile that's balanced enough for most audio content, and they have a long continuous battery life of over seven hours.

Check out our recommendations for the best earbuds and in-ear headphones, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $100.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Jabra Elite 3 True Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable and well built, the Samsung have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and have longer continuous battery life. They also have a more stable in-ear fit. However, the Jabra have a better noise isolation performance, and they support aptX codec.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Jabra Elite 3 Truly Wireless. The Apple are better built, have a more stable in-ear fit, and can block out a significant amount of ambient noise. They also have an H1 chip, which allows you to seamlessly connect them with other devices in your Apple ecosystem. However, the Jabra have a better battery performance and support aptX codec.

Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 3 Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless are similarly performing in-ears, though they have a few differences. The Elite Active are better built, support multi-device pairing, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ to help you adjust their sound to your liking. However, the Elite 3 have a better battery performance, support aptX codec, and have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer.

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 3 Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless. The Elite 3 are more comfortable, have better controls, and their sound profile is more neutral, which some users may prefer. Their battery performance is better, too. However, the Elite 65t support multi-device pairing, have a better noise isolation performance, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ.

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