There are just moments when you just want to drown out the world for a while and get some peace and quiet. This usually happens when you are on your daily commute, on a long airplane or train ride or after a hard day’s work. The Jabra Elite 85h noise cancelling headphones is one of the best noise cancelling headphones in the market. In this article, we will be giving an honest review on the Jabra Elite 85h.

Who is the Elite 85h for?

The Jabra Elite 85h is great for listeners who use public transportation, study in coffee shops or frequently traveling. It is worth noting that the Jabra Elite 85h can’t outperform the Sony WH-1000XM3 but it is definitely a worthy and more affordable alternative.

Jabra Elite 85h Usage

The Jabra Elite 85h is extremely comfortable to wear, even with glasses. The ear cups are plush and offer plenty of room even for those who have large ear sizes or outward facing ears. If anything, the ear cups can be considered as bulky but it’s quite understandable since it houses 40mm drivers. The earcups of the Jabra Elite 85h rotate up toward the headband and can also fold flat. There is also a carrying case included; the Jabra Elite 85h may not be as travel friendly as other true wireless earbuds but it still makes a significant difference.

The smart noise cancelling of Jabra Elite 85h uses four of the eight microphones to efficiently filter out ambient sound and noise. When the mic registers unwanted noise, it automatically switches the ANC feature on. The standard for what is distracting or not can be customized in the Jabra Sound+ app. The HearThru settings can also be managed; HearThru amplifies the surroundings which can be helpful during subway train rides or when walking outside or basically in an environment where you need to hear announcements or upcoming stops.

If you’re a stickler for aesthetics, you may be a bit turned off by the bulky build of the Jabra Elite 85h. However, we’d just like to point out that the size of the Jabra Elite 85h doesn’t really affect the comfort it brings. The headband is lined with faux leather and won’t budge once you set the size that feels right to you.

Jabra Elite 85h Automatic Ear Detection Feature

Another awesome feature of the Jabra Elite 85h is its automatic ear detection feature. This feature is a popular inclusion for true wireless earbuds, but for wireless headphones, it’s quite rare. Hence, this feature is what boosts the value of the Jabra Elite 85h. If you remove the headphones, the playback automatically pauses. When you put them back on, the playback resumes. This function works seamlessly with the Jabra Elite 85h, offering a sleek listening experience for on the go users.

Jabra Elite 85h Controls

Instead of offering touch control technology, the Jabra Elite 85h uses the right panel with subtle and almost undetectable volume, playback and call controls. When you press the controls, you may hear a wheezing sound from the ear pad. This may be one of the annoying quirks of the Jabra Elite 85h.

Both edges of the ear cups have buttons – the left side has a noise cancelling toggle button while the right side has a voice assistant/microphone mute button located just above the 3.5mm USB-C charging ports. Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon Alexa can be accessed via the voice assistant button. In general, the buttons are responsive but some users wished they were a bit larger for easier navigation.

Jabra Elite 85h Durability

While the Jabra Elite 85h may not be considered as a high-end pair of headphones, it’s still quite competitive when it comes to its durability and performance. In fact, one of the unique features of the Jabra Elite 85h is its water resistance and nano-coating protection to secure the headphone’s internal parts. It is worth noting that the Jabra Elite 85h is not marketed as workout headphones, understandably because of its weight and size – however, it’s good to know that they can withstand being exposed to light rain or moisture.

Jabra Elite 85h Noise Cancelling Quality

Noise cancelling or NC is impressive but don’t expect it to be the same with its competition like Bose or Sony. The Jabra Elite 85h effectively reduces midrange sounds up to four times quieter than without Active Noise Cancelling enabled. That being said, it’s pretty impressive for its price, right? However, the fact still remains that the noise cancelling feature of the Jabra Elite 85h doesn’t really touch the the bass frequencies, which would mean that some sounds of car, train or jet engines can still be picked up.

Nevertheless, passive isolation is still a premium feature of the Jabra Elite 85h. High-pitched and unpredictable sounds like clang of washing machines or clicking of the keyboard can be significantly lowered down.

How long does the battery last?

The battery life of the Jabra Elite 85h is another strong point of this product. The company claims that the Jabra Elite 85h can support a playback of up to 41 hours without noise cancelling and can last for a year on standby. Of course, keep in mind that the results may vary depending on technical factors like codec selection, volume, etc.

When the battery of the Jabra Elite gets drained, you need around 2.5 hours to get a full charge using the USB-C cable. However, if you run out of battery and you really need to get some extra battery life in an instant, a 15 minute charge can give around five hours playback time on site.

Jabra Elite 85h Connectivity

The Jabra Elite 85h is powered by Bluetooth 5.0, allowing a 10-meter wireless connectivity range. Users with a running firmware version 1.4.1 or later can benefit from AAC support that provides high quality, seamless and reliable streaming on iOS devices. Meanwhile, Android users can also use the codec but may not experience the same reliable performance as with iOS devices. The connectivity setting can be updated through the Jabra MySound app.

Unfortunately, the Jabra Elite 85h still has no support for aptX but that’s not really surprising because even the Jabra Elite Active 75t headsets don’t support aptX codec, too. For listeners who want the best audio or music quality, wired listening is the way to go. If anything, the limited high quality codec can be considered as one of the weaknesses of the Jabra Elite 85h.

As a compensatory feature, you can enjoy the Multipoint feature on the Jabra Elite 85h, allowing users to pair up to eight devices on the headset and connect two devices simultaneously. You can alternate from headphones to speakers and vice versa without any issues. This feature is also great if you are planning to share headphones with family members or roommates so you can listen to your own music simultaneously.

Jabra Elite 85h Sound

Even if the Jabra Elite 85h lacks in codec support, we can’t contest the fact that this is still one of the premium yet affordable products in the market. With the Jabra Elite 85h, the clarity of sound is very good and the de-emphasized bass makes it easier to enjoy true to life vocal detail. The frequency response setting is also customizable via the Jabra MySound app, free for download for Android and iOS devices.


Phone Call: How Does the Jabra Elite 85h fare?

The call performance of the Jabra Elite 85h actually depends on the vocal range used, but generally speaking, it’s pretty okay. Take note, the operative keyword here is okay, not great. The microphone of the Jabra Elite 85h manages low voices quite differently than tones in higher pitches.

In terms of technical specs, six out of eight microphones of the Jabra Elite 85h are used during voice call transmission to isolate voice from the background noise. The microphones of the Jabra Elite 85h also work actively to combat wind noise, which works well for people who find themselves needing to walk around when taking calls, like being literally on the go.

Jabra Elite 85h – Is It Worth Your Money?

Put simply, the Jabra Elite 85h is worth your money. You get an exceptional pair of headphones with a combination of good design, attractive price, decent technology, and comfort. Plus, it has an impressive battery life and supports multiple pairing and sharing of devices. You can listen to your favorite music, watch your favorite TV shows with ample comfort and durability that’s way beyond expected.

It may not sound as pure as other gold standard headphones in the market, but at the end of the day, the Jabra Elite 85h is a great deal. For an affordable price tag, the Jabra Elite 75h efficiently handles ambient distractions with noise cancelling, can fit comfortably even when used for long periods – simply just one of those simple yet efficient headphones to use. No frills, no fuss, just good quality performance.