Jabra Elite 10 review: Dolby Atmos sound in first class comfort

Jabra’s Elite 10 is a premium alternative to its sporty lineup of true wireless earbuds, with spatial audio, advanced ANC, long-lasting battery life and more.

Apr 14, 2024 - 12:30
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Jabra Elite 10 review: Dolby Atmos sound in first class comfort

Jabra Elite 10: One-minute review

The Jabra Elite 10 is the Danish brand’s flagship premium wireless earbuds. They're its most expensive pair of headphones to date, borrowing smarts from the company's headset and hearing aid businesses to help it deliver incredibly clear call quality and effective Active Noise Cancellation. 

As its most advanced pair of buds yet, the Elite 10s pack in a lot of premium features, like Dolby Atmos with head tracking and multipoint pairing, in a unique new oval design that sits on the outside of your ears, making them incredibly comfortable – even when wearing them for long periods. 

But being a premium pair of buds means that the Elite 10 has a lot of competition among the best wireless earbuds. When compared to rivals like Sony's, Bose's or Apple's top earbud offerings, it falls short of being the absolute best for sound quality. That said, it's priced slightly less than its closest competitors so if you want comfortable spatial audio while on the go and are not bothered by best-in-class ANC and hi-res audio quality, the Elite 10 could be a great alternative.   

Jabra Elite 10 review: Price and release date

A hand holding the Jabra Elite 10

(Image credit: Future)
  • Announced on August 31, 2023 
  • Became available to buy in September 2023
  • Priced at $249 / £229 / AU$379

Jabra first announced the Elite 10 back in August 2023 alongside a more fitness-focused model called the Jabra Elite 8 Active, which sells for $199 / £199 / AU$329. As its flagship earbuds, the Elite 10 costs more than its sporty offering at $249 in the US, £229 in the UK and AU$379 in Australia. This means it's also more expensive than its predecessor’s, the Elite 7 Pro, launch price of  $199 / £199 / AU$299.    

The jump in cost means the Elite 10s are going head-to-head with the biggest players, but they undercut the competition in the premium market on price. They’re less than both Sony’s WF-1000XM5 ($299 / £259 / AU$499) and the Technics EAH-AZ80 ($299 / £259 / AU$499) that launched at the end of 2023. And they are squarely in line with two premium releases from 2022: Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, which cost $249 / £229 / AU$399 and $199 / £199 / AU$299, respectively, at the time of writing. 

Jabra Elite 10 review: Specs

A pair of headphones on a table next to a DAP

(Image credit: Future)

Jabra Elite 10 review: Features

Three iPhone screenshots of the Jabra Sound+ app

(Image credit: Future)
  • Immersive Dolby Atmos with head tracking 
  • ANC is decent but not best-in-class
  • Crystal clear call quality 

Since launching its first pair of wireless earbuds in 2016, the Elite Sport, Jabra has released seven generations of buds, and the Elite 10 is its most advanced yet. It's the step-up from the Elite 7 Pro, which had targeted the lower to mid-range market but still had premium features like ANC, adjustable EQ settings, an IP57 rating and wireless charging. The Elite 10 builds upon all of its predecessor's features, and Jabra has a few more tricks up its sleeve to make sure it can hold its own among the market’s premium offerings. 

The newest feature to be included in the buds is also a first for Jabra earbuds: support for Dolby Atmos with head tracking. This makes the buds have a wider soundstage when turned on and listening to Atmos content that's like hearing each instrument in a track as if they’re placed all around you. When head tracking is turned on, this virtual soundstage moves with you but I found this to have a slight delay when you readjusted your head to a new position. I found it worked better when watching a show or movie rather than listening to music. Conveniently, you can toggle both spatial audio and head tracking on and off in the Jabra Sound+ app as well as adjust the HearThrough mode, Advanced ANC, EQ settings and more. 

Outside of the app, you can also control the Jabra Elite 10 by pressing the buttons on the buds themselves. Pressing the surface of the left bud will rotate through HearThrough and ANC, while pressing the right can pause and play a song (you can switch to different variations of this in the app). Tapping the right bud twice skips tracks, while holding down either button increases (right) and decreases (left) the volume. Holding down both at the same time also activates pairing mode. 

As for other features, there's also in-ear detection, automatic muting settings, Bluetooth Multipoint pairing for listening to two devices at the same time, voice assistant support that lets you control your buds with voice commands and FindMy for when you've misplaced them. And while the Elite 10's six hours of battery life (21 hours with the case) does outlast Bose's QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, it's beat by Sony's WF-1000XM5s.      

One of the biggest standout features for me is the Elite 10's exceptionally clear call quality, especially while out and about, and that’s down to the six mics inside them. Jabra says that the external mics are active all the time, while the internal mics activate when wind is detected. The extra mics make the Elite 10’s call quality far better than the AirPods Pro 2, which only has two mics. Jabra’s Advanced ANC is also on by default during calls to help cancel out unwanted background noises, which is a feature that was improved on in a March 26 software update (Jabra claims that the update helps cancel background noises twice as easily). There's also an adjustable sidetone setting so you can hear your voice more, which is not something we see a lot of. 

Just like Apple’s Adaptive Noise Control, Jabra’s Advanced ANC uses scanning tech and noise leakage detection to automatically adjust the ANC to your surroundings. It’s the brand’s most advanced ANC mode, and is claimed to deliver two times more noise cancellation than its standard ANC. And it does work, cancelling out the screeching banshees along the Northern Line of the London Underground. However, compared to the Sony WF-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, it doesn't quite match up. 

Features score: 4 / 5

Jabra Elite 10 review: Sound quality

The Jabra Elite 10 buds outside their case

(Image credit: Future)
  • A balanced listen, with some minor adjustments 
  • No hi-res support (only AAC and SBC)
  • Immersive Dolby Atmos tracks 

There’s a strong confidence to the Jabra Elite 10’s sound performance. If I were to summarize it in one word, I’d say it was effectively balanced. From the trebles to the mid-range and through to bass, the sound is tonally steady when streaming via Apple Music on a FiiO M11S (keep in mind there's only support for AAC and SBC). 

But when listening with a keener ear to a more bass-heavy track like Black Eye by Allie X, there was a lack of oomph that I'm used to hearing. This was easily improved upon by adjusting the EQ settings but for an out of box listen, the Elite 10 wasn't completely ready to go. I found this again when testing the bud's treble. Again, tracks like Rains Again by Solji benefited from a slight EQ adjustment to really come alive for me personally. 

As a whole, I'd say the earbud's audio quality is still generally great, it's just not exceptional, especially when compared to the likes of the AirPods Pro 2, which offers a more dynamic listen. Even with smaller drivers, the Sony WF-1000XM5 can deliver an "agile, meaty and fun listen" that's packed with enthusiasm. If you're an audiophile looking for flawless hi-res sound quality, I'd recommend looking to its rivals for a more detailed listen. 

Sound quality score: 3.5 / 5

Jabra Elite 10 review: Design

A hand holding the Jabra Elite 10

(Image credit: Future)
  • Proprietary ‘ComfortFit’ technology
  • Ergonomic, uniquely designed earpieces

Jabra found during the research and development of its latest earbuds range – the Elite 10 and Elite 8 Active – that comfort was the most valued feature by most people. A survey conducted by the company saw 47% of participants valued comfort over all else, with sound quality and battery life coming next. For this reason, Jabra has developed what it calls ‘ComfortFit’ technology, which is a new type of unique oval-shaped design. 

Jabra calls it "EarGels" and the best way I can describe the semi-open fit is that instead of sitting completely inside your ear canals – like the in-ear monitors in our best wired headphones guide – the buds sit in the outside of your ear, snugged up inside the middle part of your ear. Jabra says it scanned 62,000 ears to get the unique shape and the results are effective, as they're some of the comfiest earbuds I've worn to date (the silicon is softer than the plastic used in the AirPods Pro 2).   

The design of the buds' earpieces is similar to that of the Sony WF-1000XM5, which we’ve found to fit most people – and the same is true for the Elite 10s. The only time I briefly had trouble with the fit was while out, when I could feel them coming loose from walking around and moving my head, but a quick readjust made them feel secure again.  

Aside from the unique oval shaped buds, the Elite 10s have a simple design that you can personalize by choosing from one of five different colors, including cocoa, cream, black, matte black and titanium black. The case is slightly bulkier than the likes of the AirPods Pro 2 but this is quickly outweighed by the softer materials used for the buds. The Elite 10s also don't have poky stems that dig into the bottom of your ear, making them a lot more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.   

Design score: 5 / 5 

Jabra Elite 10 review: Value

A hand holding the Jabra Elite 10

(Image credit: Future)
  • Cheaper than premium rivals  
  • ANC and sound quality can be beaten 

There are trade-offs when it comes to earbuds. If you want ANC, don't expect flawless sound quality. If you want a portable earbud design, then they're not going to be as comfortable as a pair of over-ear headphones. And so it goes without the Elite 10. 

The ANC is by no means the best in the business (instead we’d recommend looking at the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds) but the comfort is the best I’ve experienced in a while and the call quality was far better than the AirPods Pro 2 I tested them against. The sound performance is also not going to beat the Technics EAH-AZ80 but if you value other features like spatial audio and a good control app more highly, the Jabra Elite 10 offers a great middle ground.    

Value score: 4 / 5

Should I buy the Jabra Elite 10?

A hand holding the Jabra Elite 10

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if… 

Don't buy it if... 

Jabra Elite 10 review: Also consider

How I tested the Jabra Elite 10

The Jabra Elite 10s on a Mac next to an iPhone and DAP

(Image credit: Future)
  • Tested for more than two weeks and compared to AirPods Pro 2 
  • Streamed music from Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer
  • iPhone 13, MacBook Pro and FiiO M11S as source players

I tested the Jabra Elite 10s for more than two weeks, during which time I alternated between connecting them to my phone, laptop and a digital audio player. I used them mostly at home to listen to music, make phone calls and watch the odd show, but also took them out with me while commuting to test the ANC.  

To test the sound quality, I listened to a playlist that we test earbuds with at TechRadar. I did this with both the ANC on and off. In addition to music, I also listened to podcasts and watched a YouTube video to see how the audio quality compared between sources. 

To keep my overall judgement of the earbuds fair, I also conducted a blind listening test, comparing them to the AirPods Pro 2 while streaming music via two iPhones on Apple Music and Spotify simultaneously.