Jabra Elite Sport Upgrade review: These buds are for you


By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation

Jabra gets really ‘smart’ with Elite Sport Upgrade earbuds that know when they’re in your ears

Jabra has upgraded its advanced, true-wireless Elite Sport with longer battery life and new electronic chipsets that can personalise the equaliser. There’s also a fresh option in the colour.

The major upgrade gives the wireless earbuds 4.5 hours of battery life per single charge, up from three hours in the previous version. With that much battery juice, you can rest assured that your Jabra Elite Sport Upgrade won’t let you down in the middle of a long exercise session, such as a marathon run.

Moreover, the earbuds’ carrying and charging cradle lets you recharge the unit more often, boosting potential battery life to 13.5 hours, a big cumulative jump over the nine hours in its predecessor.

Since the black version of the Elite Sport Upgrade looks identical to the previous edition, Jabra has actually prints “13.5” on the lid of the charging case on each of the earbuds.

There’s now a Lime Green Grey version added to the other colour options, but you won’t get the “13.5” on the cover.

Live Green Grey was chosen because it’s a popular colour combination in sports apparel and makes for a splash of tones, yet still looks discreet when worn in the ears.
Elite Sport Upgrade earbuds

The body of the earbuds and the charging cradle are dark grey, while a lime green accent appears on the earwings.

With the internal chipset modified, the new earbuds and cradle are no longer compatible. You won’t be able to recharge the buds of the Upgrade version in your old cradle, or recharge the old buds in the new cradle.

What you can do now, though, is use the Sport Life app to customise the equaliser settings on the Elite Sport Upgrade. It’s quite easy to do. You simply go to the Headphone setting on the app and select Music Equaliser. You’ll see a circle displayed that can be dragged up and down to adjust the bass and other settings while music is actually played.

The Elite Sport Upgrade represents “true wireless” earbuds because there’s no wire connecting the buds. Instead, they’re linked wirelessly.

And they’re “sport earbuds” because you have a heart-rate sensor embedded in the right earbud and a TrackFit motion-counting sensor – a triaxis accelerometer to monitor your activity.

The Elite Sport Upgrade is also compatible with popular sports apps that utilise heart-rate sensors, such as Endomo.

The Jabra Elite Sport Upgrade is waterproof and comes with a three-year warranty against sweat damage. It conforms to IP67 rating, meaning it can be a metre underwater for up to 30 minutes. That means you can wear the buds while swimming – as long as your smartphone is waterproof (as is the Samsung Galaxy S8, among others).

Sports earbuds have to be both comfortable to wear for long periods and fit securely to the ears so they don’t fall out while exercising. With the Elite Sport package, you get earwings, silicone eargels and foam tips in three sizes (small, medium and large).

The earwings go on your earlobes and the gels and tips inside your ear canals.

jabra earbuds

When the proper gel or foam tip selected, the music quality is also enhanced, and the bass is pretty intense.

While testing the unit, I used silicone eargels and found they effectively reduced outside noise so I could better enjoy the music quality as impressively reproduced by the buds in authentic stereo, with crisp details and powerful bass.

These are “smart earbuds”, ready to connect to a smartphone right from the first use, as soon as you open the charging cradle. Another option is pressing and holding the multifunction button on the right earbud for three seconds to enter Bluetooth connection status. Then you just follow the vocalised instructions. You can also pair the buds up with another device within the Sport Life app.

The buds even know when they’ve come out of your ears – the music app automatically stops, and will resume once the buds are nestled back in your ears again.

Of course, music is only part of the function of the Elite Sport Upgrade. The sports tracking makes the earbuds very useful in keeping you fit. The Hear Through option, for example, lets you monitor surrounding sounds to keep you safe while running along a road.

When you use the Sport Life app for the first time, you need to feed it your gender, birth date, height and weight. The information is used to calculate your fitness data and calories burned during each exercise session.

During first use, the app will guide you in adjusting the right earbud until it can pick up your heart rate. Now it wants to know the rate while at rest and while active, so you’re asked to do a squat jump or static run for 15 minutes.

Now you’re ready for a run. The app keeps an eye on every activity, including cross-training exercises. At the end of each, you get a report on average and maximum heart rate and the overall zone the heart rate fell within.

The app helps you plan, monitor and analyse workouts in real time with inear guidance. It has a Race Time Predictor that estimates the time to complete a run based on your current fitness level and personal profile. And the Recovery Advisor keeps track of your physiological state and automatically suggests a recovery schedule to strike  a balance between rest and training.

In Thailand, RTB Technology sells the Jabra Elite Sport Upgrade for Bt9,900 at Jaymart, iStudio, Life, Power Buy, Power Mall, www.Lazada.co.th and www.GadGetThai.net.

Jabra Elite Sport Upgrade Key Specs

– Bluetooth: 4.1

– Talk/music time: Up to 4.5 hours continuous play, charging case provides additional two full charges of up to 13.5 hours

– Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz

– Calls: Advanced calling with 4x digital MEMs microphones, advanced nose cancellation technology

– Microphone sensitivity: Minus-38dBV

– Microphone frequency range: 100Hz to 10kHz

– Sensors: Inear heart-rate monitor, TrackFit motion-counting sensor

– Durability: Waterproof rating IP67



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