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Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Dec 15, 2020 at 08:36 am
Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless Picture
7.5
Neutral Sound
7.8
Commute/Travel
8.3
Sports/Fitness
7.5
Office
5.9
Wireless Gaming
5.8
Wired Gaming
6.6
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Semi-Open
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless are semi-open headphones with a comfortable, stable in-ear fit. Their default sound profile is quite neutral with a veiled treble, and you can use the Jabra Sound+ app to customize their sound to your liking. Their ANC feature can block out higher-frequency noises typically found in an office, but they struggle to isolate against bass-heavy sounds like bus and plane engines. While their 6.5-hour continuous battery life may not last through your workday, their portable charging case offers about 3.5 extra charges to recharge when you're on-the-go.

Our Verdict

7.5 Neutral Sound

The Jabra Elite 85t are decent for neutral sound. Their default sound profile is very neutral, though their recessed treble can make audio a bit dark or dull. You can customize their sound profile using the graphic EQ and presets in the Jabra Sound+ app. Also, provided you get a tight seal, they should deliver audio consistently across different users.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ + presets.
Cons
  • Terrible passive soundstage.
7.8 Commute/Travel

The Jabra Elite 85t are very good for commute and travel. These comfortable headphones are easy to bring with you on-the-go. While their ANC feature can block out higher-frequency noises like chatter from other passengers, they struggle to block out bass-heavy sounds like bus and plane engines. Also, their 6.5-hour continuous battery life may not last through long days out of the house.

Pros
  • ANC feature.
  • Well-built, portable design.
Cons
  • 6.5-hour continuous battery life.
8.3 Sports/Fitness

The Jabra Elite 85t are impressive for sports and fitness. These well-built, comfortable in-ears have a portable, lightweight design. They're stable enough to stay in your ears during your workouts. However, they don't have stability fins, so they may not stay put during more intense exercises.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • Stable fit.
Cons
  • No stability fins.
7.5 Office

The Jabra Elite 85t are decent for office use. These comfortable headphones don't leak a lot of noise, so you can listen to your music at loud volumes without bothering your coworkers nearby. Their ANC feature can block out typical office noises, like ambient chatter. However, their 6.5-hour continuous battery life may not last through your 9-5 workday.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
Cons
  • 6.5-hour continuous battery life.
5.9 Wireless Gaming

The Jabra Elite 85t aren't compatible with PS4 or Xbox One, and their latency with Bluetooth-enabled PCs is likely too high to be suitable for gaming.

5.8 Wired Gaming

The Jabra Elite 85t can't be used with a wired connection, so they aren't suitable for wired gaming.

6.6 Phone Calls

The Jabra Elite 85t are fair for phone calls. Their integrated microphone has an okay recording quality, so your voice is understandable but a bit thin and muffled to those on the other end of the line. The mic also struggles to separate your voice from background noise, so they're best-suited for making calls in quiet environments. They can block out some background noises so you can focus on your call. However, their semi-open design can also help you hear your voice during calls, if you prefer.

Pros
  • ANC feature.
Cons
  • Okay microphone recording quality.
  • 7.5 Neutral Sound
  • 7.8 Commute/Travel
  • 8.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.5 Office
  • 5.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.8 Wired Gaming
  • 6.6 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Jabra 85t have a similar design to the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless. These in-ears have a sleek, low-profile design, but they're a bit bulkier. As a result, they protrude a bit from your ears.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These in-ears are comfortable. The ear tips are more oval-shaped than the circular tips on the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless, and they don't put too much pressure on your ears. However, they're a bit bulkier than the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless. They stick out a bit from your ears, which some listeners may not like.

8.1
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Great
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

These headphones have impressive controls. The touch-sensitive controls are very clicky and responsive, and there's good audible feedback when you enter a command. You can tap once to answer a call, mute/unmute the mic when you're in a call, or cycle between ANC and HearThrough when you aren't in a call. Tap twice to end/reject a call. Press the right button to play/pause. Press and hold the right bud to raise the volume, and press and hold the left button to lower the volume. You can double-press the left bud to skip to the next track, and triple-press the left bud to go to the previous track.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 ยฐC
9.4
Design
Portability
L 1.4" (3.6 cm)
W 1.3" (3.3 cm)
H 1.0" (2.5 cm)
Volume 1.80 inยณ (29.50 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

These headphones are outstandingly portable. Like most truly wireless in-ears, they're small and lightweight. They easily fit in your pocket, and there's also a portable charging case to help protect them when you're on-the-go.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.6" (6.6 cm)
W 1.1" (2.8 cm)
H 1.6" (4.1 cm)
Volume 4.60 inยณ (75.38 cmยณ)

The case is good. It's made of hard plastic, which feels solid and durable. There's a magnet to hold the buds in place while they're charging. Also, the LED light helps show their battery status.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Jabra 85t have an impressive build quality. They're mostly made of plastic, which feels solid and durable. The ear tips don't seem like they could rip easily. They also have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, though we don't test for this.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Jabra Elite 85t are stable. They should stay in your ears while you run or lift weights. However, they aren't as stable as in-ears with stability fins like the Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless or Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless.

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

  • Jabra Elite 85t headphones
  • 3x ear tips
  • Charging case
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
2.22 dB
Treble Amount
-3.53 dB

The Jabra Elite 85t have a pretty neutral, balanced sound profile with a little extra thump and punch in the bass, so they're suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. However, the recessed treble can make audio a bit dull or dark. Fortunately, you can customize their sound to your liking using the graphic EQ and presets available in their companion app.

9.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.14 dB

These headphones have remarkable frequency response consistency. Like most in-ears, with a good, airtight seal, they provide consistent bass and treble delivery each time you wear them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.0
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.38 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
2.05 dB
Mid-Bass
1.48 dB
High-Bass
0.7 dB

The Jabra 85t have superb bass accuracy. The entire range is quite flat and balanced, so audio is full-bodied, punchy, and thumpy. The slight overemphasis in the low and mid-bass can add a little extra thump and rumble to the mix.

9.2
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.09 dB
Low-Mid
0.24 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.62 dB
High-Mid
0.01 dB

These headphones have exceptional mid accuracy. Vocals and lead instruments are clear, present, and detailed.

7.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.16 dB
Mid-Treble
-4.3 dB
Low-Treble
-3.03 dB
High-Treble
-10.12 dB

These headphones have fair treble accuracy. The entire range is recessed, which can hurt the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments. Sibilants like S and T sounds may be dull and lispy, too.

8.0
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.39 dB
Dips
0.64 dB

The Jabra 85t have impressive peaks and dips performance. The very slight dip in the mid-mids nudges vocals and lead instruments somewhat towards the back of the mix, while the peak in the high-mids can make those same instruments a bit honky and harsh. The uneven mid-treble makes sibilants alternately piercing and dull.

9.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.15
Weighted Phase Mismatch
3.22
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.05
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.93

These headphones have fantastic imaging. Their weighted group delay falls almost entirely below the audibility threshold, resulting in a mostly tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers of our test unit are well-matched in frequency, phase, and amplitude response, so objects like footsteps and voices are accurately placed and localized within the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, so 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

Like most in-ears, the Jabra 85t have a terrible passive soundstage. By design, they don't interact with the outer ear, which is one of the key factors in creating a speaker-like soundstage. Due to their semi-open design, they sound more spacious than closed-back in-ears like the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

There aren't any virtual soundstage features. If you're looking for true wireless headphones that have a Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound function, take a look at the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Truly Wireless.

7.4
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.212
WHD @ 100
0.275

The Jabra 85t have a decent weighted harmonic distortion performance. At normal listening volumes, there are some small peaks in the treble range, and at high volumes, there's also a small peak in the mid-mids. The rest of the frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in mostly clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.27.0(1033)
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Neutral
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid with these settings.

Isolation
7.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-19.95 dB
Bass
-9.15 dB
Mid
-21.23 dB
Treble
-30.7 dB

The Jabra 85t have decent noise isolation. They have an ANC feature, but they still struggle to block out bass-heavy background noises like bus and plane engines, though this may be intentional as their semi-open design is supposed to help you stay aware of your surroundings while running outdoors or during your commute. They perform better with higher-frequency noises, so they can block out the sound of people chatting nearby and the hum of AC units. For headphones with better noise isolation, check out the JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless.

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

These headphones have a fantastic leakage performance. They don't leak a lot of sound, so you can listen to audio at high volumes without bothering anyone around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The Jabra 85t have an integrated microphone.

6.8
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
306.43 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.39 dB
HFE
6,267.15 Hz
Weighted THD
1.657
Gain
0.67 dB

The microphone has a fair recording quality. Your voice is understandable, but a bit thin and muffled.

5.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
10.74 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 microphone has mediocre noise handling. It struggles to separate your voice from background noise, even in moderately noisy environments.

Active Features
6.8
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
6.5 hrs
Additional Charges
3.5
Total Battery Life
29.3 hrs
Charge Time
1.4 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Jabra 85t have a reasonable battery performance. They only last 6.5 hours off of a single charge, which may not last through your workday. Fortunately, they have a portable charging case, and they don't take very long to charge. They also go into auto-off mode after 15 minutes without a Bluetooth connection, which helps conserve the battery. If they're connected to a device over Bluetooth, they go into standby mode after 30 minutes of inactivity. You can adjust this feature in the app.

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 No
Surround Support
No

These headphones are compatible with the impressive Jabra Sound+ app. There's a graphic EQ and presets so you can customize their sound. You can also use the app to set a reminder tone when the microphone is muted, turn auto play-pause on and off, set the timer for the sleep mode, and turn the ANC feature on and off.

Connectivity
7.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.1
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
146.00 ft (44.50 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
268 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
237 ms
Android Latency
201 ms

The Jabra 85t have great Bluetooth connectivity. While they don't support NFC pairing, you can pair them with up to two devices at the same time. Their latency with PCs is likely too high to be suitable for gaming, but they perform better with iOS and Android devices. Some apps compensate for latency, 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

These in-ears are Bluetooth-only.

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

You can't use these headphones wired. They have a USB-C cable to charge their case.

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

These headphones aren't compatible with Xbox One.

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 headphones come with a portable charging case. There's a USB-C charging cable to charge the case.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Jabra 85t are available in 'Titanium Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of these headphones, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Jabra 85t are semi-open truly wireless in-ears with a comfortable fit. Their default sound profile is very balanced and neutral, and their companion app offers lots of sound customization options. Unlike the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless, they have an ANC feature, but it struggles to block out bass-heavy noises like bus or plane engines. See also our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth headphones, the best noise cancelling earbuds and in-ears, and the best earbuds and in-ear headphones.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless are similar headphones, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Jabra are more comfortable, and they leak less sound. You can customize their sound using their graphic EQ and presets. However, the Bose are more stable, have better noise isolation, and longer continuous battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless are somewhat better headphones than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless. The Jabra are better-built, have a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and offer a better overall battery performance. They also have a companion app with a graphic EQ and presets so that you can tweak its sound to your liking, and support multi-device pairing. However, the Samsung's ANC does a better job of cutting down noise around you.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless perform similarly for mixed usage, and you may prefer one over the other. The Jabra are more comfortable and stable, and they leak less sound. Both headphones come with a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless are better than the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2. The Jabra are more comfortable, and their default sound profile is more neutral, which some listeners may prefer. They also have a better noise isolation performance and a longer continuous battery life.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are slightly better in-ears than the Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless. While both headphones are equally comfortable and well-built, the Apple have a more stable fit. Although we don't currently test for it, they also have a virtual soundstage feature, a significantly better noise isolation performance, and have an H1 chip for seamless pairing with Apple devices. However, the Jabra can be paired with up to two devices at a time, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help adjust their sound to your liking.

Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless are very similarly-performing earbuds, but people who prefer a bass-rich sound profile, like fans of EDM or hip-hop, may prefer the 75t. The 75t also have a higher rating for water and dust resistance, although we don't test for it currently. The 85t have a more neutral sound profile, recharge more quickly, and have less audio lag on iOS and Android devices, so they may be a bit better for watching videos on your phone.

Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless have similar overall performances and depending on your preferences, you may prefer one over the other. The 85t have a more neutral, balanced default sound profile, though both headphones have a graphic EQ for sound customization. However, the 75t have a better noise isolation performance. 

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are slightly better in-ears for most uses than the Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable, the Samsung have a more stable fit, a more neutral default sound profile, which some user may prefer, and a better battery performance. On the other hand, the Jabra are better-built, have an ANC that's able to block out more background noise, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ in addition to presets to help you adjust their sound.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless are better overall headphones than the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless. While both in-ears are comfortable and well-built, the Sony have significantly better noise isolation and battery performance. However, the Jabra have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and support multi-device pairing.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85t Wireless Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Beats Solo Pro Wireless. The Jabra have a more stable and comfortable fit, have a longer total battery life, and their integrated mic has a better recording quality. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ and presets so you can adjust their sound to your liking, and they can be paired with up to two devices at a time. However, the Beats' ANC has a better noise isolation performance. 

JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless and the JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless have similar overall performances, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. Out-of-the-box, the JBL have a better-balanced sound profile, but both in-ears have great companion apps with lots of sound customization options. The JBL have a slightly better noise isolation performance, but the Jabra leak less audio.

EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless and EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Truly Wireless each have their own advantages, and you may prefer one over the other depending on your needs. The Jabra have a far more comprehensive control scheme, superior noise isolation capability courtesy of their ANC feature, longer battery life, an auto-off timer, and a companion app that offers a broader range of customizability. Meanwhile, the EPOS come with a dongle that allows for low-latency audio transmission, offer better overall mic performance, and have a Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound feature, though we don't currently test that function.

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