JABRA Elite 45h Wireless Bluetooth Headphones review
It is hard to believe that headphones which cost £70 could be in any way comparable to the competition which often cost a lot more.
From the SENNHEISER HD 450BT (£150) to the BOSE Wireless Bluetooth Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700 (£300) to the SONY WH-H910 (£150) it can be difficult to know what represents good value for money. You can of course go a lot higher, AirPods Max, or lower from the likes of GOJI, but there will usually be a price range that suits the majority and I would guess that between £60 and £100 likely represents the sweet spot for value / quality balance.
I spotted the Elite 45h on sale for £69.99 and decided to have a try because of the quoted 50 hour battery life (USB-C as well), the fact that I have used Jabra in the past and always been impressed by the sound quality, and the subtle look of the product. The weight (233 grams) is impressive as well and so I got ready for my first listen.
Pairing to my iPhone took seconds and is done by simply moving the switch on the headphones towards the Bluetooth symbol. I then downloaded the Jabra Sound+ app and worked through the sound test to build a personal sound profile. A quick read of the minimal instructions and I was ready.
Oh yes, the sound quality was much better than I expected. Initially with far too much bass until I used my own sound profile at which point I was more than happy. It also made me realise just how average the AirPods Pro sound quality is. I kind of knew this already and have mainly used them for the sheer practicality they offer, but to get better sound for a quarter of the price is not to be ignored.
These headphones are not new to market by any means, but so far I have found every area of performance to be better than I expected-
Call quality is excellent and the hidden microphones offer excellent voice sounds to the recipient of a call. I was very surprised at this aspect.
They are super comfortable and barely noticeable after a few minutes of wear.
The buttons are easy to understand and not difficult to use once you remember where they are.
They do look a little silly, as almost all over ear headphones do, but in a working from home world I am not overly concerned by this.
I bought these because my balance issues have persevered a little in recent weeks and so I needed to try over ear headphones to see if this helped, and while time will tell regarding this I do feel more comfortable not passing sound directly inside my ears. Logically, these make more sense for day to day use.
I am not saying these are the best headphones in the world and I know that I may be somewhat out of touch in this area, but what I can say is that for £70 you can get a set of headphones with superb sound quality, features that work in every area and build quality that will likely last for as long as you need them. I cannot conceive that spending £200 extra would get me anywhere near a point where that extra money would be worthwhile. These, to me, feel like a bargain.