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    The Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 are the best and last of their kind

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    With excellent sound, strong noise cancellation, great extras and high wearing comfort, the new Elite 10 are among the best Bluetooth earphones you can currently buy. However, they will not have a successor; manufacturer Jabra is giving up the division due to high costs.

    After being at the top of the Bluetooth earphone competition for almost seven years, manufacturer Jabra is withdrawing from the sector. The reason given is that the investments are no longer justified in the long term “in this very competitive market”. That's a shame, but the Danish company is showing what its development department can do as it says goodbye. Because practically at the same time as the press release about the withdrawal, Jabra presented its best Bluetooth earphones, the second generation of the Elite 10, which have what it takes to push the Jabra Elite 8 Active out of the top spot at Stiftung Warentest.

    Connected to an on-board system or other devices, the charging case can serve as a Bluetooth transmitter. Connected to an on-board system or other devices, the charging case can serve as a Bluetooth transmitter.

    Connected to an on-board system or other devices, the charging case can serve as a Bluetooth transmitter.

    (Photo: kwe)

    The plugs, which are protected against dust and water according to IP57, have adopted the compact design of their predecessors, which means that they are not only quite inconspicuous, but also barely penetrate the ear canal and are extremely comfortable to wear. Whether they fit securely and seal well for the best sound and effective active noise cancellation (ANC) depends on the right silicone attachments. Jabra supplies four different sizes, which is usually sufficient.

    Excellent sound

    If this is the case, you will initially be rewarded with an excellent, pleasantly neutral sound. The bass is powerful and has depth, but is not exaggerated and allows the mids to do their excellent job. In addition, there are crystal-clear highs that provide plenty of detail without ever being unpleasantly piercing.

    The new Jabra Elite 10 opens up a wide stage, especially if you have activated 3D sound in the associated app. The function virtually expands the sound even with standard material, but this is not comparable to the playback of Dolby Atmos songs. The earphones also offer head tracking, whereby the music remains centered when you turn your head. The effect works great, you just have to like it.

    The earphones do not support high-resolution Bluetooth codecs. However, the charging case supports the new Bluetooth standard LE Audio, which at least allows transmissions in LCR quality. This means that the box becomes a Bluetooth transmitter when it is connected to an entertainment system on an airplane or a television, for example, using the included USB-C cable with jack plug adapter. In the test, this worked without any problems and, fortunately, without any noticeable delay. The Bluetooth connection is very stable, even over longer distances.

    Strong adaptive noise cancellation

    The app has a lot to offer. The app has a lot to offer.

    The app has a lot to offer.

    (Photo: kwe)

    The active noise cancellation is also a strong piece. It automatically adapts to the environment, and you can't change that in the app. But that's not a problem, because the adaptive ANC works very effectively with a low level of inherent noise. This is especially true for lower frequencies; at higher frequencies, the Jabra Elite 10 doesn't filter out as well as the best in class. You can hear that in traffic, for example, where it's not bad to be able to hear what's going on around you anyway.

    Top features include an optional wind noise reduction function and excellent noise suppression during phone calls. It is also not a given that you don't hear your own footsteps amplified when you walk.

    If you want to hear exactly what is happening, the earphones offer a good transparency mode. It sounds quite natural, can be adjusted in four levels and has very little noise even at the highest intensity.

    Exemplary control, good endurance

    You can easily switch between ANC and transparency mode or playback without effects by pressing the left earbud. Fortunately, Jabra has retained the customizable control with physical buttons. It is straightforward and precise. With the presets, you can control all functions during playback and phone calls with one or two presses. You can change the volume by pressing and holding the left or right side. There is also reliable wear detection. This means that playback pauses automatically when you take out one or both earbuds.

    Jabra has also done a good job with the accompanying app, although it is a bit confusing in places. Among other things, it offers an equalizer with presets and individual adjustments, as well as the option to play pleasant sounds if you want to relax without music. There are different tastes catered for, from a fan to singing birds to a busy square.

    The earphones' endurance is sufficient for a long nap. According to the manufacturer, they last around six hours with ANC activated, and up to eight hours without. The charging case is said to have reserves for up to 21 or 28 hours. The practical test has more or less confirmed the information; the earbuds tend to last a little longer at moderate volume.

    Conclusion

    The Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 are definitely among the best Bluetooth earphones currently available, and as a complete package they may even be number 1. However, the quality comes at a high price at around 280 euros. Anyone who is willing to pay the price need not fear not receiving updates for the earphones despite the company's withdrawal from the sector. The parent company GN assures that it will continue to serve its customers for “several years”.

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