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Jabra Elite 10 review: 5 things to know

Comfortably the best Jabra ear buds yet.

Jabra Elite 10 review: 5 things to know
Marc Chacksfield
08 September 2023

If you have been looking for a pair of True Wireless ear buds over the last few years, chances are a pair of Jabras have been on your shortlist.

The audio specialist has been consistent in refining its ANC output and while there was little to differentiate their buds from a design point of view, their innards consistently got smarter and Active versions meant that it was also going after the fitness crowd.

The Jabra Elite 10 is Jabra doing things differently. Out goes the old, uniformed design and in comes a whole different beast; a semi open-back design which puts comfort at the forefront.

Apparently Jabra took 62,000 ear scans to create a design that keeps the seal but doesn’t annoy your ears after long listening sessions. Given how many hours a day many of us stay plugged in for, this is a clever USP.

It hasn't forgotten its noise-cancelling roots, either, with the Elite 10’s boasting best-in-class ANC as well as some Dolby Atmos smarts.

We’ve been using the Jabra Elite 10s for a number of weeks now - here are 5 things to know…

1. Designed for (an easy) life

Jabra Elite 10 review
Image Credit: Future

The Jabra Elite 10 have had a complete design overhaul, with Jabra opting for a semi open-back design. What this essentially means is that the earbud doesn’t go right in the ear, but rests just on top.

The idea here is that you won’t get that all-too familiar ear fatigue when wearing them, an ache you may have encountered when wearing buds for long hours.

Despite not digging into your ears quite as much as some of their rivals, they don’t feel like they are going to fall out of your ear at any time. On the flipside, they don’t feel jammed into place, either.

This also means that they don’t stick out anywhere near the way other ear buds do. To add to the comfort, there’s a soft rubber coating around the ear buds.

I have been testing the cream-coloured version and they look utterly premium, although the colour of the buds is a little darker than the case and I did wonder if I had accidentally done something when wearing them to change the colour (so you don’t have to).

The new design is sleek, too, pear drop shaped with a shiny Jabra logo on each side. This shiny exterior marks where the physical button is on the Elite 10 buds, when clicked can control play/pause, ANC on/off and the like (all of this can be personalised in the accompanying Jabra+ app).

2. Elite in name, elite in features

Jabra Elite 10 review
Image Credit: Future

The Jabra Elite 10 has a robust feature set that has been upgraded in nearly all areas from previous Elite models (although we do get these buds are meant to be on their own in terms of line-up).

On board are ‘ear detection’ sensors that pause what you are listening to when you take them out of your ears. I liked this feature and it wasn’t too sensitive - I have had it before when a small nudge of the ear buds would pause things but these have to be right out of your ear.

While you will want to use the ANC for the majority of the time, HearThru transparency mode works well at allowing you to listen to music but also hear the outside world, which is good for office use and if you are using these when cycling and the like.

Multipoint pairing is on board, as is hands-free Google Assistant functionality (if you are using them on an Android device) and Dolby's Spatial Sound, which brings us on to…

3. Sound quality is impressive but you’ll want to personalise

Jabra Elite 10 review
Image Credit: Future

Unlike many ear bud brands, Jabra started off offering businesses headset technologies. Because of this there is no better ear bud out there for voice calls - yep, remember those? If you are still one of the few that uses their phones as an, er, phone then the Elite 10’s make use of six microphones and wind noise reduction tech improvements to deliver great calls.

When it comes to music, the real draw here is the Dolby Spatial Audio support. This can be heard on songs and albums that have been mixed in Dolby Atmos - you can find these on Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Tidal.

When it works it’s a real treat and works perfectly with Dolby’s head tracking tech, too, really adding another dimension to the music and makes everything sound that little more natural. A word of warning, though: you will want to toggle this feature off when listening to podcasts as it seems to add a robotic sound.

Music-wise, though, it's a joy. Bicep Isles on Apple Music sounded fantastic through the ear buds, the subtle mix really brought a bigger feel to the album. I also felt like I was front row at a Fred Again gig when listening to Actual Life 3 (January 1 - September 9 2022), with the bass going deeper than I expected. Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers was also steeped in gravitas, with the spatial mix as impressive as Kendrick Lamar’s lyrical prowess. As a regular Spotify user I can’t wait till this feature finally comes to that platform.

I did find the audio preset from Jabra a little flat and, at first, had to turn my phone up to near full volume to get to a sound level I wanted. A quick dip into the Jabra+ app, though, and going for a little more bass heavy soon rectified this and made everything that little bit louder too.

There are a number of presets to choose from in the app and this is also where you can turn on the head tracking and Spotify Tap (which makes it quicker to get into that app from the ear buds).

4. Noise cancelling is solid doesn’t block everything

Jabra Elite 10 review
Image Credit: Future

I tried the noise cancelling in a number of places to see how well it performed and while in the garden it blocked out all ambient noise, it didn’t cut through the racket of a Tube train.

What impressed me the most, though, was just how well the ear buds utilise ANC. Given the new, comfier design I assumed that there would be a fair amount of noise leakage but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

The flip of ANC is HearThru and this is a really handy feature, and one I found myself using more and more. There’s a real clarity when you use it, which is great if you are in the office and don’t want to be shut off completely from the outside world. It's also handy when crossing the road and the like.

5. Battery life is decent, quick charge is a life saver

Jabra Elite 10 review
Image Credit: Future

The Jabra Elite 10 battery life really depends on what features you are using. ANC always will be a battery sapper so if you are always using this then expect around 6 hours’ continuous use.

Turn it off and you can get another two hours or so out of the ear buds. The case, though, is packed with juice and combined with this you are looking at about 36 hours of charge which is decent.

Our favourite feature, though, was the quick charge option. If you are running late and need to charge for a journey, five minutes will give you an hour’s use.

Jabra Elite 10: Final Verdict

Jabra Elite 10 review
Image Credit: Future

I have used a number of Jabra ear buds over the years and the Elite 10s are top of this list. The new design is exactly what’s been missing from Jabra’s range so far and offers a comfort level that is missing in most in-ear buds.

The ANC could do with a little more heft but the audio quality overall is fantastic and linking up with Dolby to offer spatial audio is a clever decision, given that’s the way sound mixing is going.