Jabra’s Elite 3 is its first entry into the extremely competitive sub-$100 market. The earbuds are part of Jabra’s September 2021 lineup and focus on the basics rather than features. The Elite 3 are entry-level earbuds that offer comfort and controls, but they fall short of our favorite true wireless earphones in this price range.
Jabra Elite 3 Specification
- Great fit
- Warm, engaging sound
- Mono mode for both earbuds
- No ANC
- Non-wear detection
The Jabra Elite 3’s Google Fast Pair feature makes it easy to link the earphones to your phone. The default aptX codec ensures steady audio streaming and clean sound, which is great for listening to drum-and-bass or dubstep music. The Jabra Elite 3’s tuning is fantastic: It’s carefully tuned to maximize Qualcomm aptX performance. I enjoyed listening to The Avalanches’ If I Were a Folkstar because the faint elements used to build the tone of this sample-based number felt clean and rich–the snappy beat kept me focused on the track’s flow.
You might also want to read our review of Sony WF-1000XM4s.
Colorful and simple
The Jabra Elite 3 earphones are large but lightweight and secure in the ear, with an eggshell-like texture. They have a great seal and passively block some noise, but this is true of most in-canal earphones we test and is not active noise cancellation. Three silicone eartips (small, medium, large) are included. The design has no mirrored on-ear controls–each ear functions differently. Using single presses on one earpiece to control playback means that you can use double or triple presses on the other earpiece to skip tracks. Two presses on the left ear activate your phone’s voice assistant.
The Jabra Elite 3 are attractively priced for true wireless earbuds at $79.99, £79.99, or AU$119. They’re made by a well-known audio brand and come in four colors: Light Beige, Dark Gray, Lilac, and Navy.
The Elite 3 earphones from Jabra don’t stand out like their siblings, but they’re a solid choice. The earbuds are comfortable and secure in the ears. The charging case feels plasticky and lacks wireless capabilities, but it works well otherwise. For instant status, an LED indicator on the case’s front makes more sense than on the back. In other logical steps, the Jabra Elite 3 uses physical buttons instead of touch controls, eliminating the chance of mistaps when changing while moving. The earbuds’ 6mm drivers work well with a variety of music genres; no active noise cancellation but noise isolation keeps you focused on your music.
The Jabra Elite 3 is a somewhat balanced pair of earbuds. We tested them with Foo Fighters’ All My Life and Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy and found that they distorted the bass at higher volumes. However, we were pleased with the details and clarity. These aren’t likely to change your mind or make you see your favorite music in a new light at this price, but they do have deep lows and crisp highs. While turning on the bass preset via the Jabra app helps, audiophiles will miss being able to adjust the equalizer.
Despite not supporting wireless charging, the Jabra Elite 3’s battery life is good. In real-world testing, we got seven hours of playtime from the earphones themselves and an additional 28 hours from the case. A 10-minute charge gives you an hour of playback time–perfect for forgetful users! Bluetooth 5.2 eliminated signal dropouts in our testing, and connectivity remained stable even after disconnecting from our phones. The Elite 3 was also trustworthy in terms of connectivity: it never dropped or interrupted calls during testing.