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Reviewed on May 09, 2019 , Jake Thauvette, Marc Henney, Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Jabra Elite 85h Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.2
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.7
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.3
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
7.2
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
7.5
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
5.7
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Jabra Elite 85h are versatile noise cancelling headphones that can be used in a wide variety of daily uses. They have great audio reproduction and will be good for a variety of music genres. Their active noise cancelling (ANC) feature is decent and blocks ambient noise well, but it’s not quite on par with that of similar high-end ANC headphones. On the upside, they have a very comfortable fit and their microphone sounds better than most Bluetooth headphones. They have amazing battery life and their wireless range maxed out our testing facility. Overall, these headphones offer great value and should satisfy most users.

Test Results
Design 7.3
Sound 7.8
Isolation 6.8
Microphone 7.0
Active Features 8.1
Connectivity 5.4
Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Very comfortable fit.
  • Great battery life.
  • Exceptional wireless range.
Cons
  • ANC isn't on par with other similar high-end headphones.
  • Sound delivery inconsistencies, especially in the treble range.
Update 5/17/2019: We've updated the software of these headphones, which resulted in a worse noise isolation score, but fixed the issues with the playback sound being very quiet.

Check Price

7.3

Design

Score components:

The Jabra Elite 85h are well-designed over-ear headphones. They are well-built and look like sleek headphones, but their headband has an unconventional style. On the upside, they are very comfortable and will be suitable for long hours of listening. Like most over-ears, they won’t be very portable and breathable, but they come with a nice hard case which protects them when you’re on the move. These headphones are stylish and have a great control scheme that is easy to use.

Style

The Elite 85h are sleek-looking over-ear headphones. Their band design is a bit unconventional and their build is covered by a fabric coating. The cups are large and well-padded. These headphones come in a monochrome color scheme but have different designs such as black, titanium black, navy, and gold beige, which stands out a bit more.

8.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Weight : 0.66 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.9 lbs

These headphones are very comfortable. The cups are fairly wide and deep, and should fit most ears. The padding is thick and soft, and the headband distributes the headphones’ weight effectively. They could be slightly tight for people with larger heads, as their headband doesn’t expand that much. The headphones feel fairly lightweight once on your head and can be worn for long periods of time before feeling any fatigue.

8.6 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through
What it is: A transparency feature that uses the mics of the headphones to let you hear what is doing on around you without removing them.
When it matters: If you want to be aware of what is going on around you without removing your headphones or while still listening to your audio. This is typically a feature for the noise canceling headphones and passively isolating in-ears that block a lot of noise.
Good value: Yes or adjustable.
:
Yes
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The Elite 85h have a great control scheme that is easy to use. You get common functionalities like call/music management, track skipping, and volume controls. You can easily mute your microphone with the dedicated button and cycle through ANC on, off, and the talk-through mode. The mic-mute button also doubles as a trigger for your device’s voice assistant for voice-enabled commands and you can cycle through your Sound Moments, which are basically presets for different uses, by holding the ANC button down. You can also hear the battery level by holding the volume up and down buttons when you’re not listening to music or on a call.

These headphones also have a smart pause feature that automatically plays/pauses your music when you put the headphones on/take them off your head. To turn off the headset, simply swivel the cups to lay them flat, similar to the Sennheiser PXC 550.

6.0 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Avg.Temp.Difference : 7.0 C

Like most closed-back over-ears, the Elite 85h trap a decent amount of heat inside their cups. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue for casual listening, but they won’t be ideal for physical activity as you could experience more sweating than usual.

6.1 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
L : 7.1 "
W : 7.2 "
H : 1.9 "
Volume : 97 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

Like most over-ears, the Elite 85h are not very portable. They are quite bulky, but thankfully you can fold them in a more compact format. Their cups also swivel to lay flat, which also turns off the headphones when you don't need to use them. When the cups are folded in and flat, you can easily store them inside their great hard case.

8.0 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : Hard case
L : 8.5 "
W : 7.5 "
H : 2.1 "
Volume : 134 Cu. Inches

The Elite 85h’s case is great and protects the headphones well against physical damage from falls, scratches, and minor water exposure. The case doesn’t add too much bulk to their design and is quite similar to that of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the Sony WH-1000XM3.

7.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

The Elite 85h are well-built headphones with dense cups that should survive a few accidental drops without too much damage. The overall build feels fairly sturdy, but the hinges are weirdly designed with a small metal piece to cover the cable going to the headphones. However, it is fairly thin and feels a bit fragile when folding the cups in, which could be the potential weak point of the build. These headphones are not quite on par with high-end headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM3 or the B&O PLAY H9i.

7.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

These headphones are fairly stable, but the ear cups sway around a bit with heavy head movement. They won’t be ideal for sports, but you could use them for a light jog, even if they weren’t designed for this use. On the upside, their wireless design means there won’t be a cable to get stuck on something and yank the headphones off your head.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.1 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

The Jabra 85h come with a 4.1ft 1/8” TRS cable, which is very thin. They also come with a very short USB-C charging cable and an airplane adapter.

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7.8

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)

The Jabra Elite 85h are very good sounding closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a deep and punchy bass that is also slightly thumpy, which some may prefer. Their mid-range is nearly flawless and vocals and lead instruments will be accurately reproduced. The treble range is also very good, but it might lack a bit of detail and brightness on vocals and leads, and on some sibilants (S and T sounds). Overall, these headphones have a good audio reproduction that will be suitable for a wide variety of music genres.

9.0 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.43 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.79 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.06 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.06 dB

The Elite 85h have excellent bass. Their low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 10Hz, which is very good. Low-bass is overemphasized by about 3dB, which results in a bit of excess thump and rumble, common to bass-heavy genres like EDM and dubstep. The rest of the response is nearly flawless and very accurate to our target curve. This means that the overall bass will be powerful, punchy, and deep, but slightly thumpy.

Also, their bass delivery varies across users, and seems to be sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response, and your experience may vary.

9.1 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.26 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.38 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.41 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.57 dB

The mid-range performance of the Jabra Elite 85h is excellent. The response is, throughout the range, even and flat and within 1.5dB of our target, which is great. This results in an accurate reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

8.4 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.04 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.95 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.43 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.02 dB

The Elite 85h have very good treble performance as well. The response throughout the range is fairly flat and well-balanced, but slightly underemphasized. The 2dB dip in low-treble will negatively affect the detail and brightness of vocals and leads while the deep dip around 8kHz will negatively affect sibilants (S and T sounds).

However, their treble delivery varies noticeably across users. The response here represents the average response and your experience may vary.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
6.1 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.91 dB

The Jabra Elite 85h have a mediocre frequency response consistency performance. These headphones are prone to consistency issues throughout the range, especially in the treble range. They have decent consistency in the bass range, but the maximum variance measured across our five human subjects is about 8dB at 20Hz, which is noticeable. We noticed that certain types of glasses could break the seal on these headphones and cause a drop in bass. In the treble range, the maximum amount of deviation below 10kHz is over 13dB, indicating that these headphones' treble delivery is very sensitive to positioning.

8.9 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.22
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.32
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.55
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
3.43

The imaging is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.22, which is very good. The GD graph also shows that their entire group delay response is within the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

4.9 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.04 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.69 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
10.65 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.3
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The Elite 85h have poor soundstage. The PRTF graph shows a poor amount of pinna activation and it isn’t accurate. Also, the notch near 10kHz isn’t deep enough. This and their closed-back design suggest a soundstage that is relatively small, unnatural, and likely to be perceived to be located inside the listener's head, as opposed to in front.

7.1 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.543
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
9.444

The harmonic distortion of these headphones is decent. The THD in the bass range is within a good limit but stays slightly elevated in the mid-range and treble range. There’s also a small jump in THD at higher volumes, which means they might have trouble creating a clear sound at very high volumes. The peaks in THD across the mid and treble ranges could result in these frequencies sounding a bit harsh and impure.

6.8

Isolation

Score components:

The isolation performance of the Jabra Elite 85h is decent. Even if they are ANC headphones, they don’t do that great of a job at blocking lower frequency noises like engine rumbles, meaning they won’t be ideal for commuting. However, they isolate very well against work environment noise such as ambient chatter and A/C noises, so they’ll be suitable for the office. Also, they don’t leak too much, so you might be able to block even more noise by raising your volume without disturbing people.

6.2 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy environment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-18.35 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-2.01 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-20.01 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-34.88 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.13 dB

Update 05/17/2019: We've updated the Jabra Elite 85h software and this resulted in worse noise isolation performance. We've updated the review accordingly.

The Jabra Elite 85h have mediocre noise isolation and it isn't as good as that of competing models like the Sony WH-1000XM3, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, or the Microsoft Surface Headphones. The active noise cancellation achieves 2dB of isolation in the bass range, which means they're not the best at cancelling out airplane and bus engine rumbles. However, they achieve 20dB and 35dB of isolation in the mid and treble ranges respectively, both values being good. This indicates good isolation performance for speech and sharp sounds such as S and Ts and fan noises like A/C systems.

8.0 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
34.17 dB

The leakage performance is good. The significant portion of leakage sits between 500Hz and 1kHz, which is a narrow range. The leakage will sound fuller and more comprehensible than the leakage of in-ears and earbuds, but not as much as open-back headphones. However, the overall level of leakage is not too loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 34dB SPL and peaks at 52dB SPL, which is around the noise floor of most offices.

7.0

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The Jabra Elite 85h's integrated microphone has a decent performance. Speech recorded or transmitted with this mic in a quiet environment will sound a bit thin, but quite detailed, clear, and easily understandable. However, it will have a hard time separating speech from background noise in relatively loud environments like a busy street.

7.1 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
369.71 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
2.98 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
6736.4 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
0.077
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
10.73 dB

The recording quality of the mic is decent. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 369Hz which means speech recorded or transmitted with this microphone will sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 6.7kHz results in a speech that is clear and detailed but lacks a bit of airiness. However, speech will still be easily understandable, since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4kHz range.

6.9 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
20.07 dB

The integrated mic is acceptable at noise handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 20dB, indicating the mic is best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in loud situations.

8.1

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Jabra Elite 85h have amazing battery life and are compatible with the Jabra Sound+ mobile app. Their name doesn’t mean they have 85hrs of battery life, but they still offer over 30 hours with their ANC enabled, which is great. They also don’t take too much time to charge via their USB-C cable and you can still use them while doing so. In their app, you get many customization options and controls over the ANC, talk-through, and you can even slightly customize their sound to your liking. There are also presets and a feature that automatically analyzes the noise surrounding you to select the appropriate preset, which you can customize individually.

8.2 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
34 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2.7 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

The Jabra 85h have a great battery life. They offer over 30 hours of continuous playback for only about 2.5 hours of charge time. They also enter a standby mode after a set time, which you can modify inside their app to save power. You can use them while they are charging or passively with their analog audio cable, without ANC, if the battery is dead, which is convenient. You should be able to use these headphones for a few consecutive days without having to charge them. Jabra advertises over 40 hours of battery life with the ANC turned off and say you can get 5 hours with only 15 minutes of charging.

8.0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : Jabra Sound+
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : No
Windows : No
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Graphic + Presets
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
Adjustable
Mic Control : No
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
No
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : No

The Jabra Sound+ app is great and offers many options with the Elite 85h. You get a good 5-band EQ, control over ANC, and talk-through. You can set the power saving timer. Jabra also has what they call Moments, which are basically different presets for certain situations like your commute, a public street or when you’re alone. Inside each preset, you can set your ANC or talk-through, and you can EQ the headphones as well. This acts like different profiles for your different daily situations. Jabra also implemented SmartSound, which listens to your surrounding noise and applies the appropriate Moment preset, and all your set settings for that specific Moment automatically.

5.4

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: When you want to know whether your headphones will be compatible with your various audio sources, like your smartphone, tablet, gaming consoles, PC, smart TV, amplifiers, etc.
Score components:

The Jabra Elite 85h are Bluetooth headphones that can be used wired, even if the battery is dead, which is very convenient. They can be connected to 2 devices simultaneously which is useful and they have an amazing wireless range, which maxed out our testing facility. Unfortunately, they don’t have an in-line mic, which means you’ll only have audio support when using them wired. Also, like most Bluetooth headphones, their latency is a bit high and won’t be great for watching videos or gaming.

6.8 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: When you want to connect your headphones wirelessly to a Bluetooth source, like your smartphone, tablet, PC or smart TV.
Score components:
Bluetooth Version
What it is: The version of Bluetooth that the headphones support.
When it matters: Newer versions of Bluetooth, when paired with devices that support the same version, may have improved latency and wireless range performance.
:
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No

The Elite 85h are Bluetooth headphones that can be simultaneously connected to 2 devices at the same time, which is useful if you often switch between your office computer and phone. Unfortunately, they don’t support NFC for quicker and easier pairing. On the upside, you can hold the middle multipurpose button to easily put them in pairing mode.

7.2 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: When you want to use your headphones wired with a device that has a regular audio jack (line-out), like a smartphone, PC, or gaming console controller.
OS Compatibility
What it is: Testing the headphones' cable to see which operating system it works with.
When it matters: Some wired headphones don't support all operating systems so this allows you to check if the headphones will work with your device.
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play analog media using a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack. Includes using a 1/4" or 1/16" TRS with a 1/8" TRS adapter.
When it matters: For listening to music with devices that have a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack, like an MP3 player, tablet, smartphone or PC.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play digital media using a standard USB connector.
When it matters: For listening to music on a PC. A digital USB adapter can offer some advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC or added software support.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

The Jabra 85h come with a 1/8” TRS cable that doesn’t have an in-line microphone. This means you’ll only have audio when you use them wired with any platform that has the appropriate audio jack.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock, or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a specific frequency range or wired headphones that have a proprietary amp.
When it matters: When you need to know which inputs and outputs the headphones support, so you can set them up with your home theatre system for gaming or watching movies.
Type
What it is: The type of base/dock the headphones use, whether a USB dongle, charging case or docking station. Wired or wireless.
When it matters: Larger docking stations tend to have more controls and sometimes even customization options while smaller USB dongles are more portable. Charging cases allow you to keep your earbuds charged on-the-go.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source for the base/dock.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example, a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas an AC adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones don’t have a dock.

10 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: When you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially if the audio source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your audio source's signal strength, which may vary between devices.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth source's signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
72 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
335 ft

The wireless range of the Elite 85h is remarkable. These headphones maxed out our testing facility for both our line of sight and obstructed range tests. This means their overall range could be noticeably better than what we’ve measured, which is already exceptional. You shouldn’t have any issues with these headphones when it comes to wireless range and could move around an apartment or office without too many audio cuts. However, wireless range is dependent on your device’s signal strength and many other factors, so your results may differ.

0.6 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen. Note that latency also depends on the device and applications you use.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos wirelessly, high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
237 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if you often stream music over Bluetooth. It also slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: Latency is a lot more noticeable when watching videos or gaming than when just listening to music.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A

The Elite 85h have a bit more latency that most Bluetooth headphones, but some may still not notice a delay in their daily usage. Some apps and devices offer some sort of compensation, so you might not notice as much when watching video content. However, it will more than likely be too high for gaming. On the upside, you can use them wired with the included audio cable to nullify the latency issues.

In the box

  • Jabra 85h headphones
  • 1/8” TRS audio cable
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Carrying case
  • Airplane adapter
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Jabra Elite 85h are good, stylish, mixed usage headphones that set themselves apart by their great audio reproduction, decent ANC feature, and a noticeably better microphone than most Bluetooth headphones. Unfortunately, their ANC isn’t on par with some other high-end competing models. See our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones and the best wireless headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

Both the Jabra Elite 85h and Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are very versatile ANC headphones. The Jabras have a better control scheme with physical controls, and their default sound profile is more accurate and better sounding. However, they don’t have the great noise isolation performance of the Sonys. Since you can easily EQ the XM3 in their app, they could be the best option for most. On the other hand, the mic of the Jabra is superior and sounds clearer and fuller, which is better for calls.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are better mixed usage headphones than the Jabra Elite 85h due to their amazing noise cancelling performance. They will be better suited for commuting as they block out more low-end noises like engine rumbles. On the other hand, the Jabra Elite 85h feel slightly better built than the Bose, and their control scheme is more complete. They also have noticeably better wireless range and aren’t as leaky as the QC 35 II.

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85h are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. They feel a bit more comfortable and their physical button control scheme is easier to use than the touch-sensitive surface of the PXC. Both have similar sound quality, but the Jabras have more bass. The isolation performance of the Elite 85h is also slightly better, which will be good for commuting. On the other hand, the PXC’s EQ is better and offers better customization.

B&O PLAY Beoplay H9i Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85h are more versatile than the B&O PLAY Beoplay H9i Wireless. Their control scheme is great, complete, and easy to use, and their default sound quality is noticeably better than the H9i’s. Additionally, they have better wireless range and their app offers more customization options. On the other hand, the H9i are better-built, and look and feel like more premium headphones. You’ll get noticeably more battery life on the Elite 85h and their microphone recording quality will sound fuller and more clear.

Conclusion

7.2 Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Decent for mixed usage. The Elite 85h have a very versatile sound that is suitable for many music genres. They are comfortable and their ANC feature is decent, without being outstanding like other similar high-end headphones. They are still pretty good for commuting and will be a great option for the office. However, their bulky over-ear design isn’t designed for sports and since they are Bluetooth headphones, their latency might be too high for watching TV and gaming. Thankfully, they come with an audio cable that you can use to eliminate these issues.
7.7 Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. The Jabra 85h have a deep and punchy bass, but it is slightly thumpy, which some may prefer. Their mid-range is nearly flawless and vocals and lead instruments will be accurately reproduced. The treble range is also very good, but it might lack a bit of detail and brightness on vocals and leads, and on some sibilants (S and T sounds). Overall, these headphones have a good audio reproduction that will be suitable for a wide variety of music genres.
7.3 Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Decent for commuting. Their isolation is pretty good, but they don’t particularly do well against lower-end noise like the deep rumble of bus and planes engines. On the upside, they are comfortable to wear for long rides and flights, and their battery life is amazing and will last you the longest trips. They also don’t leak too much, so you might be able to block more ambient noise by raising your listening volume without bothering people surrounding you.
7.2 Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Passable for sports. While the Jabra 85h are fairly stable, these headphones aren’t designed for this use. They trap heat inside their cups, which will make you sweat noticeably more than usual. Also, their bulky design isn’t ideal for exercising. They aren’t the most portable headphones, but thankfully, their over-ear design is foldable, and the cups lay flat to fit inside their case, which helps carrying them around.
7.5 Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Good for the office. These headphones’ ANC feature blocks a good amount of work environment noise. Their battery life is also amazing and will last you a few workdays without needing to recharge, which is great. Also, the headband and cups are comfortable enough to wear for a few hours without feeling too much fatigue. They can also connect to two devices simultaneously, which is convenient if you often switch between your phone and computer.
Sub-par for watching TV. Since the Jabra 85h are Bluetooth headphones, their latency might be too high for watching video content wirelessly. On the upside, if you don’t notice the delay too much, their wireless range is exceptional, and you can easily watch from your couch. They are comfortable to wear during a long movie or for binge-watching TV shows. You can also use them wired to get rid of latency, but you’ll be limited by their cable’s length, which shouldn't be an issue if you watch TV content on your computer or phone.
5.7 Gaming
Sub-par for gaming. These headphones’ microphone has better recording quality than most Bluetooth headsets, but it still won’t be comparable to a good gaming headset’s boom microphone. Their latency, when used wirelessly, is also too high for video games, and you’ll notice a pretty significant delay. However, if you don’t need a microphone and don’t mind playing with wired headphones, their sound quality is pretty good and they are quite comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions.

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