Technophile

Elite 85t: Comfortable all-day wearing for calls and music

Kishore Bhargava | Updated on February 03, 2021

These business-like wireless earbuds add many levels of noise cancellation to the mix

As is the case with mobiles, earbud manufacturers also seem to be on a quick cycle for releasing new models. All too often, these are just incrementally different, coming in with a few minor changes.

With Jabra’s Elite 85t, the biggest change over previous versions is active noise cancellation or rather a major improvement on the noise handling front. However, this does seem with a few compromises. The earlier 75t has better battery, better IPX rating and a few other minor things. But the active noise cancellation improvements more than make up for all of that.

The Elite 85t have really good noise cancellation and if the battery is a few hours less it won’t really matter to most people as it still lasts 24 hours on a charge from the case which should be more than enough. In real-life tests I used the headphones for over two weeks and did not need to charge the headset more than once at the start.

Easy to carry

The Elite 85t comes in one colour — just black. They do have steel grey on the top half of the buds so they are kind of dual tone. They are in a nice compact case which now also supports Qi charging and the overall finish of both the case and the buds give a nice premium feel. They do look like a business person’s headphones for both music and calls. The case is just under 45 gm and each bud just a little less than 7 gm. Easy to carry around and wear for the whole day.

The design is a semi-open headset and it doesn’t put any pressure on the ear unlike many other noise cancelling buds. There are three options for the gel tips and you’ll most certainly find one that is right for you. It provides a good seal for passive noise reduction and when the ANC kicks in it is a really good seal. No wing tips provided, but for my ears those don’t work very well. I found the Elite 85t being extremely comfortable to wear for hours on end.

Levels of control

The headphones work with both Android and iOS devices and can be customised and controlled by the Jabra Sound+ app. For noise cancellation there are almost 10 different setting levels: five for ANC and five for HearThrough. There is also an equaliser to tailor the sound to your liking with presets plus fully customisable. One really nice feature here is the three presets called Moments - you get one called My Moment, one for your commute and one for focus. You can further customise and save your preferences with these and a single click brings you to your preferred setting.

For phone calls, there are some settings that can be customised. You can get the headset to remind you when it is muted which is very useful on long calls; you can also control Sidetone which is what lets you hear yourself on calls when you have ANC enabled and even control the level of how much you want to hear.

The Elite 85t also offers a lot of control directly on the buds themselves. Each ear bud has a clickable button giving you three options, that’s a total of six configurable options. The behaviour also changes when you are on a call, giving you even more options. Quite easy and intuitive to use and control.

Finally, the sound. The most important function of a headset. The Elite 85t sound very balanced and rich. Even with ANC turned on though the sound signature does change it is a very well-rounded and balanced sound. I used it mostly with the “neutral” setting in the equaliser and it was great for calls, podcasts and other vocal heavy audio. For music, I did try many of the presets and they all worked well. Finally, I did settle on creating my own preset and saving it which is a great option. Overall, the Elite 85t is a great pair of true wireless headphones. Good sound quality, premium material, tons of features and customisation and great active noise cancellation.

Published on February 03, 2021

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