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Jabra Elite 85h review: Premium noise cancelling headphones with best battery

The headphones are different with a slightly larger design and a fabric outer layer instead of just plastic.

, ET Bureau|
Jul 20, 2019, 11.00 PM IST
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Jabra Elite85h connects to two devices simultaneously
Jabra Elite 85h connects to two devices simultaneously.
Jabra Elite 85h
Get it for - Rs 28,999

When you need a bit of quiet time - in office, in a public place or while on the move - active noise cancellation (ANC) technology is what a lot of gearheads turn to.

ANC headphones sample the ambient sound using external microphones and produce a sound that is exactly opposite in phase - effectively cancelling out the sound. This happens in addition to your music or a voice call. When you have a set of premium ANC headphones like this Jabra (or our current favourite, Sony WH-100XM3), the outside world sort of ceases to exist.

The Elite 85h is Jabra's attempt to break into the premium end of the ANC market, where Bose and Sony have normally ruled the roost. The 85h tries to be different with a slightly larger design (but they're not heavy and just as comfortable as the others) and a fabric outer layer instead of just plastic. We liked that it has actual, tactile buttons instead of silly touch and swipe controls.

You can adjust volume, change tracks, accept/reject calls, invoke the voice assistant and switch between different ANC modes (off, on, hear-through). A nice hard case is supplied, along with an airline adapter, USB C cable and a 3.5mm cable to use them in wired mode.

Jabra Elite 85h has the best battery life in the business - almost 35 hours with ANC on
Jabra Elite 85h has the best battery life in the business - almost 35 hours with ANC on.

The companion app - though not necessary - should be downloaded in order to change the various settings, adjust equaliser, update firmware and switch moments (read: modes, like commute, public, private).

Apart from Google Assistant on Android and Siri on iPhone, there is support for Alexa too - you need to connect your Amazon account in the voice assistant settings on the app. We liked the amazing clarity of the voice calls and the efficient noise cancellation that's right up there with the best.

Unlike many others, this Jabra also connects to two devices simultaneously. And it has the best battery life in the business - almost 35 hours with ANC on. What we didn't like was the larger size and that the audio quality doesn't quite match up to the likes of the Sony and Bose despite costing the same.

Get it if you value the many features and battery life it has. However, if you prefer better music quality, the Sony remains our pick.

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