DHRME Audio,True Wireless EarBuds [New] Jabra Elite 8 Active Review – These Are the ‘World’s Toughest’ Earbuds

[New] Jabra Elite 8 Active Review – These Are the ‘World’s Toughest’ Earbuds

The Jabra Elite 8 Active. THESE are the world’s toughest buds? All right then.

Design & Build Quality

Those hardcore IP ratings on the buds and the case are a major headlining feature. The buds are rated IP68 and the case is IP54. They’re also claimed to be the first buds with a MIL-STD-810H certification so that’s the reason why I added ice cubes to my glass of water since they’re tested at low temperatures as well. But before that, what everyone is going to notice first is the change in design of the case as well as the buds. Jabra had the same design for a long time until the Elite 7 series. The Elite 7 series will soon be discontinued and now the new flagships, the Elite 8 Active and 10 have changed up the design again. Not going to lie, the first time I put the buds into my ears and placed the case on the table, the case fell over. It has that rounded bottom and flat top like on the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 S2 and the Sony WF-1000XM3. Staying on the case, the hinge action is solid, no issues. What they have retained though is the flatness. And even though it’s a bit bigger, the case is pocketable. The case still has a single colored LED to tell you the battery life. Sorry colorblind people! Speaking of, there are 4 color options you can get the Elite 8 Active in. Black, Dark Grey, Caramel and the one we have here – Navy.

Those hardcore IP ratings on the buds and the case are a major headlining feature. The buds are rated IP68 and the case is IP54.

Although the buds look different, they are also very much the same as previous models in many ways. They still have the same rounded silicone tips and rubberized material around the buds. We’ll talk more about comfort and fit later. And we’re super glad they’ve kept the reliable buttons. They support music controls, ANC toggle and summoning your voice assistant. AND you get volume controls, by long pressing the buttons down. Having physical buttons, you have to find a way to press the buttons down without pushing the buds deeper into your ear canal and then you’ll be fine. But we much prefer the buttons on the Audio Technica ATH TWX9 or the Status Between Pro because of their placement.

The Elite 8 Active is advertised to last 8 hours with ANC on and give you an additional 24 hours from the case. But we put that to the test too and in our DHRME battery test we got 10 hours! Better than advertised, just the way we like it. And Jabra didn’t skimp in the charging department, wired type C as well as wireless QI charging.

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🎧 Buy the Jabra Elite 8 Active: https://geni.us/JabraElite8Active ⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯

Comfort & Fit

Being advertised as the “World’s toughest buds” is a confident way of telling people with an active lifestyle to buy these buds. The rubberized material around the buds is apparently there to protect any potential corrosion as a result of the salt in sweat. But it’s also to help the buds grip your concha, and prevent them from falling out. They’re very much staying away from the design elements found in competitors’ products with the likes of wing tips, hooks and neck bands. We’re personally a big fan as those give us support, comfort but most importantly peace of mind that they would fly out of your ears while you’re jumping about.

On the packaging we see some marketing “From the makers of the BEST WIRELESS EARBUDS FOR RUNNING”. And here they’re referring to Forbes’ accreditation to the Jabra Elite 7 Active. So I went on a run with the 8 Active to test this out and.. Let’s just say I’m not going to be running with these. It’s not because of the fit, they stayed in my ears. The issue was the amount of occlusion which made every stride during the run feel very dramatic in my ears. Not only that, despite being in transparency mode, the noise isolation was a bit too much. It didn’t give me the feeling that I was really aware of my surroundings. Maybe we’re spoiled with all the open-ear style earbuds we’ve had the opportunity to test and use. Check out this video for a shortlist of the best on the market! But if your workout doesn’t include potential traffic accidents, and you like to have noise canceling, then the Elite 8 Active make sense.

Generally in day to day use, the fit on the Elite 8 Active is secure despite being an in-ear design.

Generally in day to day use, the fit on the Elite 8 Active is secure despite being an in-ear design. But in our opinion, it’s no match for the ear hooks and neck bands from the likes of Shokz, Oladance, Cleer etc. But most of these are open ear style buds of course, with no seal, no noise cancellation and worse sound quality. There is a middle ground with something like the SoundCore X10, Beats Fit Pro or the Sennheiser Sport. These products give you a slight seal with ear hooks. But Jabra clearly wanted to steer clear of that.

Now comfort wise the Elite 8 Active doesn’t compete with its classier brother, the Elite 10. Rounded tips on the 8 Active get you a secure fit, but you’ll definitely notice them in your ear. That’s not to say they’re uncomfortable though. We’ve been able to keep them in our ears for longer than an hour at a stretch, no problem. We couldn’t even say that about the Sony WF-1000XM5. So it’s not exactly a given these days. And if you wanna rest after your workout, the size of these buds might make them a decent candidate to sleep in. It is a shame that Jabra only gives you 3 sizes of tips in the box, whereas the Elite 10 and many brands on the market have moved to a minimum of 4 sizes. I had to swap out the medium for the large on the right bud to get the optimum seal for the optimum level of noise cancelling.

Active Noise Canceling

Ok cancel that – like we said we needed to play around with tip sizes before we realized how good the ANC has gotten on these Jabra buds. On our DHRME scale we put them all the way at the top in tier S! All frequencies across the board are canceled out very well. Despite being in the same tier they’re not quite up to the same mark as the Bose QC buds. Bose just happens to be in an elite class of its own at the top of the S tier. But the Elite 8 Active does better than the Sony WF-1000XM5!

The Elite 8 Active does better than the Sony WF-1000XM5!

Then we’ve got transparency. Or ‘Hearthrough’ as Jabra likes to call it. And in the app you get a 5 point slider to adjust the amount of ambient noise you can hear. We always keep it on max. At the maximum setting there is a tiny bit of white noise but what we’re more bothered about is the occlusion effect on these buds. You know, that feeling of hearing your own voice through your skull. It’s crazy that Jabra still hasn’t figured this out, whereas it feels like almost everyone else in the market has. But overall we ranked the transparency at Tier B. Quite alright for a quick conversation. Some low and higher end frequencies still feel suppressed.

And like we mentioned, you can toggle between ANC and the Transparency mode using the buttons on the buds.

Phone Calls

It’s time guys. To talk about the popsicles, icicles and testic…

—mic samples—

What did we think of the mics? Well in a nutshell, they get the job done. In noisy conditions, you can tell the noise suppression algorithm needs a second or two to figure out the ambient noise situation and once it does then the background noise is very much suppressed. The voice is reasonably clear when speaking loudly, but definitely more on the muffled side. So the volume and clarity of the person speaking is going to make a difference here. If you tend to mumble or trail off at the end of sentences, yes I speak from experience, then these might not be great. In the wind they hold up alright, now and then you hear the voice being cut out, especially when speaking softly.

In terms of vakman controls you’re getting your answer-hangup and mute straight on the buds.

In terms of vakman controls you’re getting your answer-hangup and mute straight on the buds. A bonus for that mute button is that it also syncs with the mute on MS Teams. Not something we see very often. There’s also volume control on phone calls. But the gesture is a bit convoluted. Luckily doing a single press instead of a long press won’t end your call, but just mute it. There are a few more calling features you can enable from the app. If you get a call, you can automatically answer it by putting the buds into your ears. And while on a call if you take a bud out and put it back in, it will mute and unmute the microphone automatically.

If you’re that one person who always forgets that they’re on mute, then the ‘mute reminder’ will be useful. You can also adjust the amount of your own voice you hear when on a phone call, which Jabra calls ‘sidetone’. We definitely like to set this to max so we don’t end up talking louder than we should in public places. However if you wanna drown out those noisy places, note that you can’t enable ANC while on phone calls. There’s also the ability to show you call settings at the top of the Sound app when you’re on a call. And finally, you can choose out of three different EQ presets for in-call audio. We tried this, but the difference is negligible, unless you have someone with shrill sounds in the background. We’re not sure how audiophile you are related to phone calls. So we leave that up to you.

Extra Features

Although Jabra is a heavyweight in the office telecommunications space, calls aren’t the only place it has some extra features. You get a few more, like multipoint support. The buds can stay connected to two devices simultaneously. Pause on one device, and play on another. Worked well when we paired them with our Galaxy Z Fold 5 and a MacBook Pro. Although there’s no device list in the app, you get two excellent features in the pairing department. One, you can hold down the buttons on both buds for a few seconds to put them into pairing mode, so no fiddling around with putting the buds into a case and pressing a dinky button. And two, you can pull a connection from a previously paired device. The buds were, for example, also connected to my iPhone and all I needed was to click on the Jabra device from the bluetooth list and boom! It disconnected from an older device and connected to the iPhone. And as we’re seeing more buds normalizing, there is also support for Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair. Jabra’s clearly making a play for users who are ecosystem agnostic – and they’re making a very good case here. Even Windows users won’t feel left out.

Beyond the connectivity, there’s also an in-ear sensor which is used to automatically play and pause your audio when you decide to take a bud out of your ear.

Beyond the connectivity, there’s also an in-ear sensor which is used to automatically play and pause your audio when you decide to take a bud out of your ear. And it works! The only gripe we had was when we toggled it off in the app, it didn’t do anything. The in-ear remained on. Bug or feature? No, definitely a bud, I mean bug. The double tap on the left bud can be set to summon your default voice assistant or an integrated version of Google Assistant. And there’s also Spotify Tap which will start playing your Spotify. But you’ll have to choose between that or your voice assistant, since Jabra has chosen to dedicate the double press on the left bud to either of those. Not sure why the triple tap is there in the settings, but is left unused!


Bluetooth earbuds have a large impact on the environment due to the way the buds are all glued and sealed together to make them as compact as possible. So when we spoke to the product manager at Jabra we asked how easy it is to replace parts. He said that the silicone ear tips will be available for purchase separately. This is also the case for the charging case. But the buds themselves? “Not yet” was the answer we got. They’re still trying to figure out how a new bud would pair with the case and the old bud.

Sound Quality

Sound Quality is pretty good on these. I mean, it’s Jabra we’re talking about. We’d put these at a low Tier A / higher Tier B. The 6 mm drivers along with the slightly deeper insertion deliver on most aspects. The tuning is clearly going for ‘fun’. Jabra said they tried to keep the bass a bit more ‘natural’ in the 7 series, but turns out from their research that folks like dat bass! So they’ve bassed it up! And workout buds gotta be bassy – why do you need to research that?

For us the sound is very comparable to Galaxy Buds 2 Pro we reviewed except for a few differences. That’s a big compliment, by the way! The bass isn’t quite as defined or tight, but very nitpickingly so. Sometimes the mid and sub bass tend to bleed into each other. The mids are a bit masked due to the tuning, vocals can recede into the background, but timbres are very much on point. Guitar solos with busy backing tracks can sometimes get lost into those tracks. The treble does come across a bit spiky and unbearable on something like Mr Whose the Boss videos. But maybe that’s not these earbuds’ fault. If these buds had an EQ, I’d adjust that lower-mid treble a touch. The 5 band EQ is adequate for rough adjustments but not really enough to make a lot of fine tweaks.

Jabra has also worked with Dolby to deliver Dolby spatial audio too. But unfortunately enabling the toggle in the app didn’t really do anything big

Now, there’s no high-res codecs on these yet – just AAC and SBC. Jabra has abandoned its APTX friendship and AAC is its best friend now. Or is it LC3? Yes, Jabra has the necessary hardware on these buds and has promised an update before Christmas 2023 to get LE audio support. Given Jabra’s history we don’t see why they wouldn’t make good on that promise. And this just shows Jabra’s audio chops. We were digging into the LC3 spec just for the lulz and we saw that they’re one of the contributors to the LC3 codec spec along with big names like Apple, Bose, Intel and NXP.

Jabra has also worked with Dolby to deliver Dolby spatial audio too. But unfortunately enabling the toggle in the app didn’t really do anything big – just made the sound ever so slightly duller – so we think maybe it’s a software thing. It worked on the Elite 10, but we’ll save that for another video. Maybe they fix it with a firmware update? But we’ve got to report what we see now. Note that this does not have head tracking like the Elite 10 does, just spatial sound.

To buy or not to buy

Look these are excellent buds – and that world’s toughest title ain’t nothing to sneeze at. But here’s where my brain goes when it comes to working out. First off – I wanna work out real hard, but I don’t do it enough. But will-power issues aside – when I’m working out, sound doesn’t really matter as much. In fact bass cannons will do fine because if you’re working – really working out – you gonna need bass to push you and motivate you. The finer details don’t matter.

And secondly – I want the buds to be tough, yes. But I actually prefer my buds to be cheap. Because if they do get damaged, or even worse fall into a gracht as I’m out for a run – I could replace the pair without draining my bank account. So ‘premium’ workout buds don’t really make sense for us. Also, at 199 dollars or euros, Jabra has VERY tough competition. The Sennheiser Momentum 3, Oppo Enco X2 and the BeyerDynamic Free Byrd come to mind – each with their own pros and cons that we’ve discussed in this video.

And let’s see how that bouncing has helped. You’ve been toughing it out And we’ve been DHRME.

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✅ Products were supplied by Jabra for review.
✅ No one got input at any stage in the creation of this content. All opinions and bad jokes are strictly our own.
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