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Jabra Elite 8 Active True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Oct 20, 2023 at 12:30 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Feb 01, 2024 at 05:05 pm
Jabra Elite 8 Active True Wireless Picture
7.5
Neutral Sound
7.7
Commute/Travel
8.4
Sports/Fitness
7.4
Office
6.0
Wireless Gaming
5.8
Wired Gaming
7.2
Phone Calls
These headphones were replaced by the Jabra Elite 8 Active Gen 2 True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 8 Active True Wireless are high-end sports earbuds. They're an updated version of the Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless and have a similar soft silicone coating that helps keep them in place. They have a durable design and are rated IP68, making them dust-tight and resistant to water submersion, so they're a solid choice for running or working out. Like the Elite 7, they have an ANC feature and a companion app that lets you customize the sound and controls. This newer generation also adds a virtual surround sound feature.

Our Verdict

7.5 Neutral Sound

The Jabra Elite 8 Active are good for neutral sound. They have a well-balanced sound profile with a bit of extra bass that adds rumble and punch to your audio. It's suitable for a variety of genres and types of content, and can also be customized with a graphic EQ and presets in the companion app. However, like most in-ear headphones, they have a small passive soundstage and sound seems to come from inside your head.

Pros
  • Well-built and comfortable.
  • In-app graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Poor passive soundstage.
7.7 Commute/Travel

The Jabra Elite 8 Active are good for commuting and traveling. They're comfortable, well-built, and rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, so they can withstand drops and spills. They last over eight hours of continuous use with ANC on, so they can get you through a long flight or ride without recharging. However, the ANC doesn't do a good job of blocking out rumbling bus and plane engines.

Pros
  • Well-built and comfortable.
  • 8.75-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Mediocre noise isolation.
8.4 Sports/Fitness

The Jabra Elite 8 Active are great for sports and fitness. They're intended for exercise and have a comfortable, stable fit, so they won't fall out when you're moving around. They're rated IP68, meaning they can withstand dusty trails or heavy rain when you're out on a run. Their controls are easy to use and allow you to change the track or adjust the volume without pulling out your phone. They don't have the best noise isolation performance, but their 'Hear-Through' mode lets you hear ambient sound when you want to stay aware of your surroundings.

Pros
  • Very stable fit.
  • IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Mediocre noise isolation.
7.4 Office

The Jabra Elite 8 Active are decent for office use. They have a comfortable fit for long days at the office and last for more than eight hours off of a single charge, so you won't need to recharge halfway through the day. They also support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected with your phone and computer simultaneously. However, their ANC feature doesn't have the best performance. They do a good job with noise like ambient chatter but don't block out as much bass-range noise like traffic outside your window.

Pros
  • Well-built and comfortable.
  • 8.75-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Mediocre noise isolation.
6.0 Wireless Gaming

The Jabra Elite 8 Active are Bluetooth earbuds and can't connect with PlayStation or Xbox consoles. Their latency is high for PC gaming, too, so you'll notice a delay between your game audio and video.

5.8 Wired Gaming

The Jabra Elite 8 Active are wireless-only headphones; you can't use them for wired gaming.

7.2 Phone Calls

The Jabra Elite 8 Active are decent earbuds for phone calls. The mic doesn't make your voice sound particularly natural but records it clearly, so you're easy to understand over the phone. It has great noise handling, so your voice won't be drowned out by loud noises like a bus going by. However, the earbuds have a mediocre noise isolation performance, so you might have difficulty hearing calls in noisy environments.

Pros
  • Good overall mic performance.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Mediocre noise isolation.
  • 7.5 Neutral Sound
  • 7.7 Commute/Travel
  • 8.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.4 Office
  • 6.0 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.8 Wired Gaming
  • 7.2 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Feb 01, 2024: The following test group has been updated following TB 1.6: Bluetooth Connection. There have also been text changes made throughout the review, including to the usages to match these results.
  2. Updated Feb 01, 2024: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.6 , which updates how we measure latency. We've updated and renamed the following test groups: Wired Connection, Bluetooth Connection, and Wireless Connection (Dongle). We've also added new codec latency measurements and provided an audio sample of recorded latency.
  3. Updated Oct 27, 2023: Compared their virtual soundstage features with the newly-reviewed Jabra Elite 10 True Wireless'.
  4. Updated Oct 20, 2023: Review published.
  5. Updated Oct 17, 2023: Early access published.
  6. Updated Oct 12, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  7. Updated Sep 19, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  8. Updated Sep 06, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Jabra Elite 8 Active come in five different colors: 'Black', 'Mint', 'Navy', 'Dark Gray', and 'Caramel'. We tested them in 'Navy'; you can see the label for the unit we tested here. We expect our results to be also valid for the other color variants.

If you encounter another variant, let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Jabra Elite 8 Active are higher-end earbuds meant for sports and workouts. They're very well-built and have a high IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, like the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless, which is good if you need a pair of rugged earbuds for your trail runs or bike rides. They have a very stable fit despite not having any stability fins or ear hooks, which gives them a more casual look than sports buds like the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless. However, their ANC feature doesn't perform very well, so if you want to block out distractions at the gym, the previous model of these earbuds, the Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless, still offer a better performance.

If you're still looking for earbuds, check out our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds for running and working out, the best Jabra earbuds and headphones, and the best earbuds and in-ear headphones.

Jabra Elite 10 True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 8 Active True Wireless and the Jabra Elite 10 True Wireless perform similarly. The Elite 8 Active are better for sports, thanks to their higher IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. While both are very stable in-ear, the Elite 8 Active have a silicone-like coating that's more grippy. However, if you're not looking for dedicated sports buds, the Elite 10 are the better option since they have a stronger noise isolation performance and support Dolby Atmos for virtual surround sound.

Beats Fit Pro True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 8 Active True Wireless and the Beats Fit Pro True Wireless are both sporty earbuds, but the Jabra are more well-rounded. The Jabra are more comfortable, better-built, and have a longer continuous playback time. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ if you want to adjust their sound to your liking, and they support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected to your PC and smartphone simultaneously. That said, the Beats have better noise cancelling. 

Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless

Jabra Elite 8 Active True Wireless are better for sports than the Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless. The 8 are sturdier, have a higher IP69 rating for dust and water resistance, and have a slightly bigger bud design that makes them more stable. However, the 7 have a better noise isolation performance, especially with bass-range noise like rumbling engines.

Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 8 Active True Wireless are better than the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless. Both are meant for sports and workouts and have a similar design, but the 8 feature a more stable fit and a higher IP69 rating for dust and water resistance. Their battery life is longer, and you can customize the onboard controls. The Active 75t have a very bass-heavy default sound profile, which you might like for genres like EDM or hip-hop, but both models offer sound customization features in-app.

Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 8 Active True Wireless and Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless perform pretty similarly, but the Jabra have a few advantages. Their continuous battery life is significantly longer, and they come with a case that holds more extra charges. Their controls are customizable. That said, you might like the Jaybird's stability fin design. Their parametric EQ also gives you more control over the sound than the Jabra's graphic EQ.

Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless

The Beats PowerBeats Pro Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite 8 Active True Wireless are both great sports earbuds, and you might prefer either. The Beats have ear hooks to keep them in place, giving you an extra sense of security when you're running outside. They offer a longer continuous battery life. However, the Jabra have an equally stable fit and a higher IP69 rating for dust and water resistance, which is nice for dusty or rainy runs. They're more customizable since they have a companion app that lets you remap the controls and adjust the sound profile.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

The Jabra Elite 8 Active have a roundish bud shape with angled silicone tips, similar to other Jabra earbuds like the Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless. The buds have a somewhat rubbery covering and come in five solid colors: 'Black', 'Mint', 'Navy', 'Dark Gray', and 'Caramel'.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

They have a comfortable fit for most people. They don't go far into your ear, which helps prevent the uncomfortable plunger-like feeling that some in-ears create. However, they aren't the sleekest buds and have a somewhat bulky, round body that might press against some people's ears.

8.0
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 On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Jabra Elite 8 have simple, easy-to-use controls. There are physical buttons on both buds that provide clicky, tactile feedback, so you're less likely to accidentally register a command than with earbuds with touch-sensitive surfaces. You can remap most of the controls in the companion app. However, the button pushes can sound loud, and you might prefer the light tap controls that other earbuds have.

On the left earbud

  • Single press: Cycles between ANC on, ANC off, Hear-Through mode (which lets you hear ambient sound). Also answers a call and mutes/unmutes the mic during a call.
  • Double press: Activates voice assistant and ends or rejects a call.
  • Triple press: No function by default, but can be mapped in the companion app.
  • Hold: Decreases volume.

On the right earbud

  • Single press: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers a call and mutes and unmutes the mic during a call.
  • Double press: Skips to the next track and ends or rejects a call.
  • Triple press: Restarts the track.
  • Hold: Increases volume.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.2" (3.1 cm)
W 1.1" (2.8 cm)
H 0.8" (2.1 cm)
Volume 1.11 in³ (18.23 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

They're very portable, like most truly wireless earbuds. They're around the same size as the Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless and easily fit into bags and most pockets.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.6" (6.5 cm)
W 1.9" (4.7 cm)
H 0.9" (2.4 cm)
Volume 4.47 in³ (73.30 cm³)

They come with a small, sturdy case. The lid closes with a magnet that prevents it from opening accidentally, and the inside of the case has magnets to keep the earbuds in place. The lid and hinges feel well-built. The case is rated IP54, so it's resistant to dust exposure and being splashed with water, but not totally dust-proof or waterproof.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Jabra Elite 8 are well-built. The earbuds are rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, which means they're fully dust-tight and waterproof. Otherwise, the earbuds are about as well-built as the Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless. The buds are made of plastic and have a soft silicone coating called 'ShakeGrip' meant to help keep them from slipping around in your ears. The silicone ear tips feel strong, but like most silicone tips, they may tear if you're rough with them.

8.0
Design
Stability

They have a very stable fit. They're covered in a non-slippery silicone coating that Jabra calls 'ShakeGrip', and despite not having stability fins, they can stay in place during workouts even if you move your head around a lot. The buds are slightly bigger than the Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless, which also helps keep them snug in your ears.

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

  • Jabra Elite 8 Active headphones
  • 3x ear tips
  • Charging case
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.27 dB
Treble Amount
-0.71 dB

The Jabra Elite 8 have a neutral sound profile. Instruments and vocals are clear and detailed, and there's some overemphasis across the bass range, which adds rumble, punch, and boom that you might appreciate for genres like EDM and hip-hop. The bass is a little more pronounced with ANC off, as you can see in a comparison here though. If you prefer a different sound, the companion app has a graphic EQ and presets.

7.2
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.57 dB

We had trouble getting the buds, which have shorter tips, to stay in place in our test rig's ears. The tips would slip out of place after a few minutes, so our results show that the sound varies based on the earbuds' fit and positioning. However, we didn't have the same issue subjectively, as they easily stayed in place in real ears. In reality, you'll get a consistent sound with each use as long as you can get a good, stable fit.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.4
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.32 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
2.1 dB
Mid-Bass
3.23 dB
High-Bass
2.03 dB

They have impressive bass accuracy. The entire range is slightly overemphasized, so if you like to exercise to music with a strong bassline like Don't Stop the Music by Rihanna, it has some extra rumble, punch, and body to keep you motivated.

9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.32 dB
Low-Mid
1.5 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.01 dB
High-Mid
1.06 dB

They have fantastic mid accuracy. The response is neutral, so instruments and vocals sound clear, present, and intense. There's a bump in the low-mid, which slightly clutters mixes, but it's minor.

8.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.78 dB
Low-Treble
-1.32 dB
Mid-Treble
0.49 dB
High-Treble
0.16 dB

They have excellent treble accuracy. The low treble is slightly underemphasized, so instruments lack some detail, but overall sound well-articulated. Sibilants like S and T sounds are bright without being piercing.

9.0
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
0.64 dB
Dips
0.87 dB

The Jabra Elite 8 control their sound profile very well. There are some peaks and dips, but most are quite minor. There's a peak in the mid-mid to high-mid, mostly present in the right driver, which adds harshness to instruments. A dip between the low and mid-treble hurts the detail of instruments and vocals. There's also a peak in the mid-treble, so sibilants like cymbals are alternately dull and piercing.

9.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.16
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.58
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.5
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.34

They have fantastic imaging. Most Jabra products that we've tested have good imaging, which is an indication of the brand's quality control and ergonomics. The group delay falls below the audibility threshold across the entire range, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The left and right drivers are well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response, ensuring sound objects are accurately placed in the stereo image. There's a slight mismatch in the phase response that makes sounds in the mid-mid range, like voices, shift inward on the right side. These sounds are more accurately placed on the left side. However, it's minor and isn't noticeable with real-life content unless you're looking for it.

0.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.6

They have a bad passive soundstage performance, like most in-ear headphones. Because their design means sound doesn't interact with your outer ear, audio seems to come from inside your head instead of the room around you. The soundstage also seems small and closed-off compared to open-back headphones.

2.0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

These earbuds support Dolby Spatial Audio, a feature that makes audio sound more 3D and immersive. You can turn on the feature in the companion app, as you can see here. This isn't the same as Dolby Atmos, and the headphones can't play surround sound content, unlike the Jabra Elite 10 True Wireless. On the other hand, you don't need any particular streaming service or specially recorded content to use the feature.

8.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.169
WHD @ 100
0.073

They have a great weighted harmonic distortion performance. Frequencies fall within good limits across the range, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.4.2 (1033)
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.3
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Neutral
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the Jabra Elite 8 Active. Our results are only valid when using these settings.

Isolation
6.2
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-16.1 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
Bass
-5.24 dB
Mid
-17.44 dB
Treble
-26.87 dB

They have a mediocre noise isolation performance. Their ANC feature is 'Adaptive Hybrid ANC', which automatically adjusts itself to the noise around you. This results in an uneven noise isolation performance, where they seem to adjust and cancel more noise, then adjust again and cancel less. This is more noticeable during our tests than with real-life use, but still, in subjective tests, the earbuds did seem to amplify some higher-pitched sounds versus their performance with ANC off, as is reflected in the results. The results are the same with longer sweeps, although they did isolate against more bass-range noise in one longer test. You can see a comparison of longer sweeps (512K, 1M, and 2M) here.

The ANC doesn't do a good job of blocking out bass-range noise like rumbling engines. The buds do a pretty good job of blocking out mid-range and high-pitched noise like voices and humming A/C units, but this comes down to their passive noise isolation performance, since the buds manage to block out more of that type of noise with ANC off.

9.5
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
24.12 dB

They leak very little audio. Even if you're blasting your music, people sitting nearby in an office or living room won't hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
6.6
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
126.99 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
6.63 dB
HFE
7,136.96 Hz
Weighted THD
5.321
Gain
12.97 dB

The mic has an adequate recording quality. It makes your voice sound open and full-bodied, so it's easy to understand but also somewhat unnatural and distorted.

8.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
10.34 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
8.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
8.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic has a great noise handling performance. Even in noisy places like a busy street or subway station, the mic manages to separate your voice from background sound. Your voice can sound a bit fuzzy, but ambient sound is mostly cut out, and people on the other end of the line will understand you clearly.

Active Features
7.8
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
8.75 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
35 hrs
Charge Time
1.1 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Jabra Elite 8 have good battery performance. The manufacturer says they last up to eight hours with ANC on, and we measured just over that at 8.75 hours. However, battery life varies depending on use. The case also holds around three extra charges, and they have a fast charge feature that provides one hour of playback for five minutes of charging, according to the manufacturer. They have an auto-off timer to save power, and you can also use one earbud while the other charges in the case.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Jabra Sound+
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The Jabra Elite 8 Active have a great app. You can activate the ANC feature or 'Hear-Through' mode, which lets you hear your surroundings. There's a 5-band EQ and presets for sound customization, and you can also access the Dolby Spatial Sound feature. There are customization options for the controls, plus options for in-ear detection and activating 'Spotify Tap', which lets you access that app directly with the onboard controls.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Wired Connection
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable
No
Length
N/A
Connector
No Wired Option
Latency - Analog
N/A
Latency - USB
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Recorded Latency Connection No Wired Audio

These are Bluetooth-only earbuds; you can't use them wired.

7.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth Version
5.3
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
Quick Pair (Android)
Yes
Quick Pair (iOS)
No
Line Of Sight Range
334.65 ft (102.00 m)
Latency - SBC
333 ms
Latency - aptX
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (High Quality)
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
N/A
Latency - LDAC
N/A
Recorded Latency
Recorded Latency Codec SBC
AAC Support
Yes

They have very good Bluetooth connectivity. They support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected with a phone and computer simultaneously. They also support AAC and SBC codecs. On the downside, their latency is very high via SBC, so you'll notice lip sync issues if you're streaming video. Some apps and devices compensate for latency, though.

0
Connectivity
Wireless Connection (Dongle)
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Latency - Dongle
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

They're fully compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs but can't connect 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

They come with a case that stores about three extra charges for the earbuds. It has a USB-C port for the charging cable but no other inputs.