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Jabra Elite 8 Active review: are these the best earbuds for working out?
4:36 pm | February 5, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Audio Computers Gadgets Headphones | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Jabra Elite 8 Active: One minute review

The Jabra Elite 8 Active are the latest true wireless earbuds from Jabra’s Active range of earbuds, which are all designed with a fitness focus. They follow the Jabra Elite 7 Active and offer several improvements, including a higher IP68 rating for dust- and water-resistance, boosted ANC performance, and a bigger bud design for added stability. 

What sets the Active range apart from Jabra’s regular Elite models is that the former are more durable, with a focus on grip and stability, while the Elite buds – including the latest Jabra Elite 10 – boast better sound and Dolby Atmos head-tracking, as well as more advanced ANC. 

The result is a pair of earbuds with a sports-focused design that prioritizes comfort, stability and durability, solid sound and ANC performance, and good battery life. Sure, they may fall slightly short of high-end buds in terms of sound – and won’t be knocking any buds from the top few spots in our best true wireless earbuds guide. However, the Jabra Elite 8 Active are strong contenders to be one of the best workout earbuds we’ve tested. Find out why in our Jabra Elite 8 Active review below. 

Jabra Elite 8 Active review: Price and availability

  • Priced at $199.99 / £199.99 / AU$329
  • Released September 2023

The Jabra Elite 8 Active earbuds were released in September 2023 and cost $199.99 / £199.99 / AU$329. However, on Jabra’s US website you’ll find them discounted from $199.99 to $179.99 at the time of writing, a discount that could follow through into other regions.

They’re pricier than the Jabra Elite 7 Active at launch, which cost $179 / £169 / AU$279 in 2021. This makes sense considering the Elite 8 Active arrive with upgrades. They come in lower than the latest Elite launch, the Jabra Elite 10, which cost $249.99 / £229.99 / AU$379. Again, that’s to be expected when you take into account that although the Elite buds miss out on some sports features, they do come with better-quality sound.

In terms of how the Jabra Elite 8 Active compares to other models in the broader workout earbuds space, they’re competitively priced and most similar to options from Beats, such as the Beats Fit Pro, which cost the same in most regions at $199 / £199 / AU$299.95.  

These aren’t budget buds, but I do think they’re near-perfect for a fitness pair: the IP68 rating means they’re durable, they stay put through all sorts of exercise, plus they sound decent and feel incredibly comfortable for extended workout sessions.

Yes, the Jabra Elite 10 are likely to be the better option for those who aren’t looking for a pair of fitness earbuds. They may be more expensive, but for the money you’re getting superior sound. For those whose budget won’t stretch to the Elite 8 Active, there are fitness buds that offer decent sound and stability for less, such as the Amazfit Powerbuds Pro.

Nevertheless, if fitness is a priority and you’re willing to spend a mid to high-end range price for some of the best sports buds out there, the Jabra Elite 8 Active are well worth considering. 

  • Value score: 4.5 / 5

Jabra Elite 8 Active review: Specifications

Jabra Elite 8 Active review: Design

Jabra Elite 8 Active

(Image credit: Becca Caddy)
  • Comfortable and secure fit
  • Durable build, IP68 rated
  • Silicone matte finish

Looks-wise, you might find the Jabra Elite 8 Active a little dull. However, I was a fan of the simple design that sits neatly in my ears; I’m really a little bored of the shiny, long-stem look of the majority of true wireless earbuds. I also welcomed the fact that the Elite 8 Actives are available in a range of colors, comprising simple understated shades such dark blue, caramel, grey and black. 

The exterior of the buds are coated in a soft silicone, which Jabra says helps keep them in place. I completely agree – it adds a more grippy quality. While the coating here can make dust and smudgy fingerprints as visible as they would be on a high-shine finish, I appreciate the way this soft, almost velvety, texture feels both in my hands and my ears. 

The buds are supplied with three sizes of silicone ear tips, which feels a little stingy for buds that are all about stability. I doubt they’ll suit everyone – although I have notoriously tiny ear canals and the small fit was perfect. Not only did they create a comfortable seal, but even when worn through a wide range of workouts, it was only once during yoga, where I moved swiftly from a standing pose into a forward fold, did a single bud become loose. A simple twist back in saw them sit securely through the rest of the class. Otherwise, they were able to withstand runs indoors and out, and a number of HIIT and weight training sessions without issue.

Featuring an IP68 rating, this basically means the Elite 8 Active can be submerged up to 1.5 meters in water, which makes them extremely sweatproof plus they’d survive a drop into a pool of water (although I wouldn’t recommend it). They’ll also withstand dust clouds and drops of water from more than a meter high. 

The accompanying charging case sports the same finish as the buds, with a simple design that flips open at the top. It’s a little bigger than the case that accompanies the Jabra Elite 7 Active and weighs 46.4g. It’s worth mentioning that the case isn’t as durable as the buds themselves, with an IP54 rating, which means it can handle sweat but we’d keep it well clear of water.

  • Design score: 5 / 5 

Jabra Elite 8 Active review: Features

Jabra Elite 8 Active

(Image credit: Becca Caddy)
  • Good ANC
  • App with EQ
  • Solid battery life at 32 hours in total

The Jabra Elite 8 Active work with the Jabra app, which covers the essential features and is easy to use. I enjoyed tweaking the EQ here, as well as trialling some of the music presets: Bass boost and Energize, for example, which was ideal for early morning workouts. 

Jabra says the ANC here has been significantly boosted since the Elite 7 Active, and in use it’s better than most I’ve tested, masking the majority sounds. Now, only the very low rumbling of traffic, or the high squealing of a baby crying will penetrate the cocoon of sound. So while they may fall a little short of the standard set by the best noise-cancelling earbuds around, they do a solid job, beating most mid-range buds hands-down.

If you do need to hear sounds around you, the Elite 8 Active buds feature a HearThrough mode. This works in a similar way to most high-end buds, allowing you to have conversations or listen out for announcements without having to take the buds out of your ears. Note that you can also adjust levels within the app.

Call quality isn’t exceptional, but it’s good, blocking out most exterior sounds. Unless you need buds for multiple, important calls all-day-long, the Elite 8 Active will suffice. 

For battery life, these buds deliver 8 hours of listening time with ANC on, and 32 hours in total with the charging case. This makes the Jabra Elite 8 Active a decent option not only for working out, but for a day at the office as well as commuting and most plane journeys.

Rival buds such as the Beats Fit Pro provide only 6 hours of listening with ANC on and a total of 24 hours with the case. The Beats PowerBeats Pro offer 9 hours from the buds and only 24 hours in total with the case. As far as workout earbuds go, the battery life on offer from the Elite 8 Active is at the top of the class.

These buds arrive with a small charging case that opens at the top and connects to power via USB-C, and which supports wireless charging, too. 

Controls are located on the buds themselves – on the flat surface of the bud, where there’s a little “Jabra” logo. They work well, allowing you to change tracks and adjust the volume. I did find that multiple press gestures did result in my pushing the buds further into my ears, which changed the fit slightly. This isn’t a deal-breaker; I got round the issue by customizing my most-used gestures to a single press, which you do through the app. 

Another notable feature includes multipoint pairing of up to 10 different devices. This is great news if you plan to use them while you work and want to seamlessly move between a laptop and a phone, for example.

  • Features score: 4.5 / 5

Jabra Elite 8 Active: Performance

Jabra Elite 8 Active

(Image credit: Becca Caddy)
  • 6mm drivers
  • Powerful, bassy sound
  • Dolby Spatial Audio isn’t the best

I found the Jabra Elite 8 Active an incredibly fun listen, particularly when working out. They deliver a super-clear, powerful sound that works across all genres, and a particularly powerful bass. This was evident when listening to the back catalogue of The White Stripes; here, drums at the low end and cymbals at the high end stood out more than usual. 

I wasn’t convinced that as much attention had been paid to the mids. Nevertheless, as I mentioned above, if you’re someone who listens to a lot of tracks with vocals and want to boost the mids, you can make tweaks in the EQ settings in the app. 

There’s no head-tracking sound here, which might please some people. Instead, you get a small passive soundstage, with music appearing to come from inside your head, rather than all around you. You’ll find support for Dolby Spatial Audio, which promises a more immersive experience, which you can enable from within the Jabra app. I welcomed the feature when watching movies with my buds in, as well as when listening to some movie soundtracks. 

However, it made regular audio sound a bit strange and unnatural, so I kept it switched off most of the time.

Unfortunately, there’s only support for SBC and AAC; no high-res codecs such as aptX and LDAC are on offer here. Again, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but it may well push audiophiles towards more accomplished alternatives such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 or more recent Sony WF-1000XM5 buds with LDAC. 

  • Performance score: 4/5 

Jabra Elite 8 Active: Scorecard

Jabra Elite 8 Active: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

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How I tested

I used the Jabra Elite 8 Active for three weeks. I used them as I worked at home at my desk, and while working from a busy coffee shop. I also wore them through all of my workouts – from running outdoors during a storm (not intentionally), while bending, twisting and (sort of) managing a few headstands in a yoga session, and in the gym doing a lot of bodyweight training and weight training. 

I used them with an iPhone 14 Pro and MacBook Pro, moving between Spotify and Apple Music. I also listened to some YouTube Videos and watched Netflix TV shows and movies to get a sense of the experience they offered with different media. 

I’ve had nearly 12 years of experience writing about tech, in particular reviewing consumer tech products that people wear and use every day, including headphones and fitness trackers. Over the past few years, I’ve focused on reviewing mid-range earbuds and headphones built for fitness, so I know what the space looks like and can make comparisons based on months of testing.