Providing Resources on New & Emerging Tech for Technology Literacy
Alan J. Pierce EdD
          
pierceaj@techtoday.us
To request a free Newsletter subscription email us at:
subscribe@techtoday.us
Click the "Select a Link" Below to Explore
our coverage of our tecnological world.
A Copyright © on the date of publication exists for all articles and other material posted on this website. With proper citation you are welcome to use all the materials in your classroom.
Jabra Elite 7 Active Earbuds-Review (MSRP 179.99)

     Jabra has recently released its newest completely wireless earbuds the Jabra Elite 7 series and in this review we are going to look at the Elite 7 Active. See photo 1. These earbuds refine some of the design characteristics of Jabra’s older models and increase how long you can actively wear them for 8 hours.
     The Jabra Sound + app is designed to enhance your experience with these earbuds and it is available at the Apple or Android Play stores. I already had this app and some other Jabra apps on my smartphone. It is interesting to note that during setup for the Elite 7 Active Earbuds, the Jabra Sound + app asked me to remove other Jabra apps that I had previously installed for use with older Jabra products.
     Jabra indicates that these earbuds have an “ultimate active fit” that is created by their unique ShakeGrip™ technology.  The first thing I discovered when testing them is they do feel very secure in my ears. See photo 2. They include three silicone buds for you to try to determine which one gives you the most comfort and the best passive noise cancellation. The Jabra Sound + app also has a test to see if your silicone bud choice is giving you the best passive noise cancellation possible.
     The Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature in the Elite 7 Active can be adjusted using the Jabra Sound+ app to keep you immersed in your music in the noisiest situations. Using the app you can fine tune your ANC and Active Hear Through modes and compare the results. Just as important, with a press of a button you can switch modes and a voice will tell you which mode you are turning on. I am using the silicon buds that the app indicated gave the best ear blockage for passive noise cancellation. With those buds in I found that ANC was extremely effective. I used the siren of my home alarm to see how much ANC could diminish the alarm’s ear defining siren and it cut the noise by at least 50%. You need the right size silicon buds in your ears for ANC to work. See photo 3 and 4.
     When you have the active hear through mode turned on, the Elite 7 Active earbuds’ built-in microphones transmit environmental sounds to you through the earbuds’ speakers. How to control the different features using the buttons on each ear bud is shown in the illustrations.
     The carrying case has the power to increase your use time to about 30 hours. Obviously this is not 30 hours of straight use since the earbuds need to be in the case for rapid recharging to take place. However, if you are caught in a bind, a fast 5 to 10 minute recharge can give you about an hour of play time. During testing I never reached a point where the earbuds were out of charge; so I never tested rapid charging.
     They carry an IP57 rating and to get this rating they needed to survive being submerged in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. The company representative at the press conference where I was introduced to Jabra’s newest products indicated that testing was done using saltwater because our sweat is saltwater.
Reasons to Drool
     When you press the button to turn Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) on or off a voice tells you which one you are entering. I found ANC extremely effective as it reduced the sound of a blasting alarm siren by at least 50%. When you take these earbuds out of their case they automatically start to work and they tell you they are paired with your phone. When you place them back into their case they also automatically shut off for rapid recharging from the built-in batteries in the case. They are comfortable to wear, have very good volume, and decent sound reproduction.
Not So Cool
     I found that the left earbud stopped working a number of times and I had to reset both to pairing mode to correct the problem. When your music is playing the voice telling you which mode you are in is often replaced with a moment of static when you switch modes. On the left earbud you do a single press to switch modes and a longer press to lower volume. At times when I intended to lower volume my press was interpreted as a request to switch modes. You could end up in Active Noise Cancellation mode when you definitely need to be in Active Hear Through mode.
     Situational awareness by engaging the active hear through mode is useless if you are playing your tunes with the volume turned way up. If you are jogging with traffic on public roads don’t expect these earbuds to give you the same situational awareness as you would have if nothing was in your ears.  The design of the case is nice to look at but the slope of the side surfaces makes it hard to get a good grip needed to open the case.