The Jabra Steel is a mono headset designed for taking phone calls in rough environments. It has a portable, stable design, but it's not the most comfortable headset, and its ear-hooks feel thin and easily breakable. While it has an excited, v-shaped sound profile, it's not meant for casual listening, especially as it seriously lacks low-bass. At the same time, this sound makes voices shrill and piercing on phone calls.
The Jabra Steel is poor for mixed use as this headset is designed for taking phone calls. While portable and stable, it can be fatiguing on the inner ear to wear, and it lacks any noise isolation, most likely by design, making it less than suitable for commuting or sports. It's not meant for listening to music, and its excited v-shaped sound profile isn't great for critical listening. Its sharp sound can also impact vocals. It's Bluetooth-only and isn't recommended for gaming as there's likely too much lag.
The Jabra Steel isn't recommended for neutral sound listening. It's a mono Bluetooth headset designed for making phone calls and not listening to music.
The Jabra Steel is disappointing for commuting. It doesn't block out almost any noise, and it can be fatiguing on the inner ear to wear. However, you can easily make calls on the go without worrying about your battery life as this headset goes into standby use when you're not on a call. It can also fit in most pockets when not in use.
The Jabra Steel is good for taking phone calls while running. It's portable and stable, although the ear-hooks could come away from your ears if you shake your head too hard. It's not the most comfortable, and its mono headset design barely blocks out any noise. However, this can be a good thing if you like to run outdoors and need to be more aware of your surroundings.
The Jabra Steel is disappointing for office use. It can be fatiguing on the inner ear during long calls and doesn't isolate almost any background noise. However, it doesn't leak too much sound, which is nice for those around you. This headset isn't for casual listening, but if you're making calls at the office, its battery can get you through your workday as it has a standby mode to help you conserve battery life.
The Jabra Steel isn't for wireless gaming. This headset is Bluetooth-only and isn't compatible with PS4 or Xbox One. While you can use it with any Bluetooth-enabled PC or mobile device, the latency will likely be too high for competitive gaming.
The Jabra Steel is a Bluetooth-only headset that you can't use wired.
The Jabra Steel is disappointing for phone calls. While its boom microphone has a decent recording quality, it struggles to separate voices from background noise, especially in loud environments. Unfortunately, this headset also has a sound profile that makes voices sharp and piercing, which won't be nice to hear if you make many phone calls. On the upside, it doesn't reduce almost any background noise by design, so you can still hear your voice.
The Jabra Steel is a mono headset designed for taking phone calls. While Jabra focuses on producing good microphones for taking calls, this headset and its boom microphone don't stand out compared to the brand's other headphones. It also has an excited, v-shaped sound profile that isn't very suited for voices.
If you're looking for more, check out our recommendations for the best Bluetooth headsets for phone calls, or if you're looking for something more sports-related, the best earbuds for running and working out.
The Jabra Steel Bluetooth Headset is better for phone calls than the Plantronics Voyager 3200 Bluetooth Headset. The Jabra has a more stable fit and it leaks less noise. Its microphone also has a better recording quality and noise handling performance. However, the Plantronics has a better-balanced sound profile, so voices sound clearer and more natural.
The Plantronics Voyager 5200 Bluetooth headset is a better mono headset for phone calls than the Jabra Steel. The Plantronics is more comfortable, has better controls, and has a more even sound profile that suits speech better. However, the Jabra's boom mic has a better recording quality.
The Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless are better overall headphones than the Jabra Steel Bluetooth Headset. The Elite 75t are more versatile for everyday use. They're comfortable, have a better-balanced sound profile suitable for music or calls, and their companion app even lets you customize their sound. Still, if you want to make a lot of phone calls, the Steel has a better overall performing microphone.
The Jabra Steel Bluetooth Headset is slightly better for phone calls than the Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset. The Jabra leaks much less audio, has a significantly better recording quality, and does a better job at separating your voice from background noises. On the other hand, the Plantronics is more comfortable, has better controls, looks and feels more premium, has a better-balanced sound profile for phone calls, lasts longer off a single charge, and has a much better app with a ton of customization options.
The BlueParrott B450-XT Bluetooth Headset is a better headset for making phone calls than the Jabra Steel Bluetooth Headset. The BlueParrott is more comfortable and has better controls. Its sound profile is better-balanced, and its boom microphone does a significantly better job of recording voices, even in noisy environments. The BlueParrott has a longer continuous battery life, and you can still use it while it's charging. However, the Jabra is an earbud, which makes it much more portable than the on-ears BlueParrott.
The Jabra Talk 45 Bluetooth Headset is a slightly better headset for phone calls than the Jabra Steel Bluetooth Headset. The Talk 45 has a more stable in-ear fit. Its mid-range is also better-balanced, so voices are reproduced clearly and more accurately. That said, the Steel leaks a bit less noise, which some listeners may prefer.
The Jabra Steel Bluetooth Headset is a better mono headset for phone calls than the TaoTronics TT-BH041 Bluetooth Headset. The Jabra is significantly more portable, has a higher-quality microphone, and supports multi-device pairing, which is useful for when you take calls on your phone and computer. However, the TaoTronics has a more comprehensive control scheme, feels sturdier, and lasts much longer off a single charge.
The Mpow EM12 Wireless Earphone is a better mono headset than the Jabra Steel Bluetooth Headset. The Mpow is more comfortable, has easier-to-use controls, looks and feels better-built, and has a better-balanced sound profile. On the other hand, the Steel's battery life is much longer, and the headset is certified IP54 for dust and water resistance. The boom mic on the Jabra Steel also does a better job of separating your voice from background noise, making it better-suited for noisy environments.
The Jabra Steel, despite its name, is a mono headset made of black plastic. Its boom microphone has ridges to give it some textural detail, while the yellow ear-tips add a splash of color. It also has a thin plastic ear-hook that you can add or take off for additional stability. If you want something with a more casual design for day-to-day use, check out the Mpow EM12 Wireless Earphone.
The Jabra Steel isn't the most comfortable headset. While it's mostly plastic, the silicone ear-tips feel cheap and stiff, which can hurt the ear quite quickly. It does come with a couple of other ear-tips, but they don't have different sizes. If you want a mono headset that's quite a bit more comfortable, check out the Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset.
This headset has disappointing controls. It has two push buttons as well as voice control. The top button handles everything call-related like answering, rejecting, redialing, and battery levels, while the side button activates voice assistant and mutes/unmutes the microphone. There are also voice prompts for most of the controls.
Jabra Steel has a satisfactory build quality. It's mostly plastic, except the ear-tips, which are silicone. The ear-hooks are thin, though, and they feel like they can easily break or snap. Jabra advertises this headset as resistant to dust, dirt, grime, and water and is certified IP54 for dust and direct water resistance. The TaoTronics TT-BH041 Bluetooth Headset is a more premium-feeling alternative, though be aware that it's far bulkier due to its on-ear headband design.
This headset feels stable in the ear. It comes with two stability fins, one for each ear, which is nice if you're constantly walking about during your phone calls. lt comes with ear-hooks, but they're very thin and can easily come off the ear with a shake. If you're looking for a more stable mono headset, check out the Jabra Talk 45 Bluetooth Headset.
The Jabra Steel has an excited v-shaped sound profile. If you're talking on the phone, voices sound sharp and shrill, while if you're listening to your favorite tunes, the overemphasized high-bass and low-mid create a cluttered, muddy sound. For a Bluetooth headset with a more balanced sound, check out the Plantronics Voyager 3200 Bluetooth Headset.
The Jabra Steel has bad bass accuracy. The low-bass is almost completely underemphasized, resulting in a lack of thump and rumble, while the underemphasized mid-bass also lacks body and punch. The high-bass, in comparison, is overemphasized and makes mixes muddy and boomy. While this sound isn't suited for music, most people won't notice the bass if you're listening to someone talk on the other line.
The Jabra Steel's mid accuracy is disappointing. There's a lot of overemphasis in the low-mids, which clutters the mix. There's also just a touch of overemphasis in the mid-mids that makes harmonics here sound boxy. However, the high-mid is where you find most vocal frequencies, and it's also a touch more overemphasized, resulting in slightly honky or harsh speech.
The peaks and dips performance of this headset is poor. There's a huge peak between the high-bass and low-mid, suggesting a very muddy sound that can further push vocals to the back of the mix. The sharp peak between the low and mid-treble also further sharpens voices, which can be painful for the listener.
The Jabra Steel is a mono headset and has no stereo imaging.
Like with most in-ears, the passive soundstage of this headset is poor. It's because properly activating the resonances of the pinna (the outer ear) is one of the important factors in creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage. Since in-ears and earbuds completely bypass the pinna, their soundstage tends to be perceived as small and located inside the listener's head. That said, it feels more open because its earbud tip doesn't create a 'plunger'-like seal.
This headset doesn't have any virtual soundstage features.
The weighted harmonic distortion of the Jabra Steel is disappointing. There's distortion present across the range which can affect phone calls. However, it likely won't be noticeable for most people.
Note: We were unable to reach 100dB volume while testing this headset. Therefore, the '100 dB' score was tested with the headset at max volume, and the '90 dB' score was set 10dB lower.
These are the settings used to test this headset. Our results are only valid when listening using these settings.
The Jabra Steel doesn't isolate almost any noise, and this is likely by design so that you can hear your own voice as you speak. At the same time, the earbud also doesn't go that deeply into the ear canal and doesn't create a plunger-like seal that can block sound.
The leakage performance of this headset is excellent. There's very low leakage overall except for a bit of leakage in the treble range. If you're taking calls in an office setting, your audio shouldn't be noticeable to others around you unless you have your audio at a high volume.
This headset has a boom mic with an attachable windscreen.
The microphone's noise handling performance is only alright. Although the boom microphone sits close to your mouth, it has trouble separating your voice from background noise, especially in loud settings like a train station. If you want a Bluetooth headset with much better noise handling, check out the Plantronics Voyager 5200 Bluetooth Headset.
The Jabra Steel has a disappointing battery performance. While its 6.3-hour battery life seems mediocre, it should be more than enough for your workday. Unlike listening to music, you'll likely take breaks between phone calls, and when you do, this headset goes into standby mode when not in use, helping save battery life.
This headset has a poor companion app. The Jabra Assist app allows you to change the settings for readout notifications, like when you get a text message, but that's about it; it doesn't even display your battery level.
This headset has excellent Bluetooth connectivity. You can pair this headset with up to two different devices or connect it to an NFC-enabled device. It has high latency on PC, iOS, and Android while streaming YouTube videos. However, other apps seem to compensate for this differently, so your mileage may vary.
The Jabra Steel is a Bluetooth-only headset.
The Jabra Steel is a Bluetooth-only headset and isn't compatible with PS4. It should work with any Bluetooth-enabled PC, however.
The Jabra Steel is Bluetooth-only and isn't compatible with Xbox One.