Style meets AI: Review Wireless Noise Cancelling Headset Jabra Elite 85h

First Suprises and WOW-Effects

It`s not my first first Jabra Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphone I am reviewing, I was using Evolve 80h for a certain time. When I have received Jabra 85h (Amazon Affiliate) 2 days ago I have experienced a true WOW-factor. This brand new Headset is full of significant improvements I want to explain here in detail. Let me start with the most obvious thing after unboxing: It looks absolutely stylish, high quality and cool. I have received the gold-beige one by Jabra (thank you!), blue and black are also available. Same color for carry case which also includes flight adaptor, Audio jack (3,5 mm) and USB-C Cable for charging. Beige leatherette material is somehow unique compared to other headphones on the market and also provides dust and rain resistance with 2 years warranty. Another strong feature:
up to 36 (41 without ANC) hours of battery life, I am not aware of stronger candidates on the market. I am wearing it now since 4 hours while writing and it still feels very comfortable. What would happen it I take it off? It recognizes when you remove them from your ears, allowing autoplaying and pausing of audio and answering and muting calls. That works indeed reliable and surprises me how convenient it is not unlock my SmartPhone and click on PLAY in Spotify. One-touch access to Amazon Alexa, Siri®, and Google Assistant™ can be activated with one button click.

Music, Sound and Microphone Quality

Before I talk about Jabra 85h most innovative feature I want to explain which songs I listened to. Judith Owen`s Police Cover “Walking on the Moon” really touched me, dynamics of her voice was expressed very well.
Next Song: Friend`n Fellow are covering Coldplay`s “Clocks” is a beautiful complex song with a lot of details to discover. Jabra 85h showed them well with fine resolution, instruments could be located differentiated within the room.

8 Microphones (4 outside for noise cancelling, 4 inside to reduce noise leaking) are included and in my first calls (Phone, Whatsapp, Webex and Microsoft Teams) I got excellent Feedback. As a voice sample I have chosen Cologne Train Station, so that you also get an impression about background noise and clarity of my voice within. Yes, indeed a version challenging environment to make phone calls but I am happy with the results.

These Bluetooth 5.0 Profiles are supported: HSP v1.2 , HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6, PBAP v1.1, SPP v1.2.  Unfortunately aptX (HD) and AAC seem to be missing which might disappoint users who enjoy High Resolution Music from Streaming Services like Tidal, HRA or Qobuz.

AI automatically switches between Active Noise Canceling, Normal and HearThrough

I don`t want to go into a detailed discussions at this point here if this is 100% pure Artificial Intelligence with Machine Learning but Microphones of this Headphones are detecting the outside environment and surrounding sounds and change between 3 modes:

  • Private (Office, Living Room, Garden)
  • Public (Traffic, Walking, Biking, driving car)
  • Commute (Train, Public Transport and Plane).
Today I have been through all 3 modes and can confirm that it works seemless: I had Conference Calls in my Home Office where Active Noise Canceling was automatically switched off. Then I jumped into a train and ANC was enabled and I am very satisfied so far with the ANC quality. More tests needed in louder planes. Then I changed trains in Frankfurt and immediately it switched to Hear Through Mode on the tracks, so that I could my surrounding better which improves safety. According to Jabra 6.000 unique sound characteristics are used this to adapt the audio output to each specific context. This innovative SmartThrough Technology can also be disabled, then Sound+ App from Jabra is used to set each mode manually. In my scenario: it can be that I am sitting safely at the tracks on a train station but want to get Noise Cancelling when trains are arriving loudly. I am not traveling anymore without ANC headsets, it`s Wellness for my ears and really relaxes me.

Main Benefits

Final thoughts

I have received a lot of questions in the last 2 days if Jabra 85h are providing better Active Noise Cancelling than the leading Headphones in this category, Sony WH-1000XM3 and Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II. I can`t answer this right now, haven`t done a comparison in the most important scenario: flying in a loud airplane. Nevertheless I want to mention that Jabra`s Price Tag of 299 US$ is far below these devices. I am convinced by the very stylish and comfortable design, outstanding sound quality when enjoying music and AI powered switching between different modes, rooms and scenarios. That makes them unique and is an important difference to new Players on the Market like Microsoft Surface Headphones with 13 levels. Less buttons and more AI is the right approach but don`t miss to check out the Sound+ Jabra Mobile App, especially for Firmware Updates and personal Sound Tuning / Equalizer and other customization. They are designed to fit to your individual needs.

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