The Jabra Elite Sport is easily the most expensive pair of headphones in this shootout, but also the most fully-featured. You see, Jabra wasn’t content with merely providing a set of headphones for audio, adding a clinical grade in-ear heart rate monitor and tri-axis accelerometer to the mix.
The headphones are also IP67 rated, meaning they’re dust-tight and can be submerged in up to 1m of water for 30 minutes. Not enough for a swim, but certainly enough for runs in the rain. There’s also a companion app you can download to use for more fully-featured fitness tracking, hence the "Sport" designation. However, all these added features place a toll on battery life. The Elite Sports only manages three hours of playback per charge, so it's good that the carrying case doubles up as a battery pack, giving you two more full charges.
Like the Bragi earbuds, the Elite Sport uses physical buttons to let you skip tracks and adjust playback volume. Thankfully though, Jabra splits this across both sides so you only have the top and the bottom of each earpiece to feel for. Like the Muse 5, the Elite Sport's single earbud acts as the main controller– the right earpiece. However, you don't have to power on and off the earbuds separately to get both to play together. Simply opening the case powers them on, and placing the earbuds back in the case and closing the cover shuts them off.
In terms of audio performance, we thought the Elite Sport had good attack with a good sense of pace and dynamics, great for the faster moving tracks that people tend to use for working out. Listening to Johnny Frigo’s I Love Paris, the earbuds did a good job of keeping up with the drums and strings in the piece, injecting a sense of energy that befits the track.
The problem with the Elite Sport is that they can sometimes sound a little too artificially boosted. On Elements of Life by Tiesto for example, the highs sounded a little screechy and the mids bloated. The same effect doesn’t occur on acoustic pieces like Hotel California by The Eagles though, so perhaps it's just Jabra's way of injecting excitement to your workout.
|Hotel California - The Eagles||8.5|
|Sail on Soothsayer - Buckethead||8.0|
|Elements of Life - Tiesto||7.5|
|Melt My Heart to Stone - Adele||8.0|