Highlights

  • Latest true wireless earbuds with ANC from Jabra
  • Aimed at those that live an 'active' lifestyle
  • Excellent call quality and easy-to-use partner app

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Jabra Elite 4 Active Review: excellent ANC earbuds under ₹10,000!

Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds are the latest from the brand to offer active noise cancellation for less than ₹10,000. Watch our review to get a low-down on everything about these new earbuds.

Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds are the latest true wireless product from the brand. Apart from active noise cancellation, these earbuds get excellent call quality, at an affordable price of ₹9,999. Read on to find out how they performed in our Jabra Elite 4 Active review on editorji.

Fit and Comfort

Now before we dive into the sound quality and active noise cancellation, let's first address how the Jabra Elite 4 Actives are to wear on a daily basis. They are of course in-ear style buds with silicone eartips, and they sit quite deep in the ear canal and provide a snug fit, which blocks out quite a lot of ambient noise.

If you think the default ear tips don't suit your ears very well, Jabra does provide a couple of different sizes to help get a more comfortable fit.

Now I'm someone that doesn't particularly love the in-ear design, but the Elite 4 Actives are surprisingly comfortable, and I didn't feel much soreness in my ears even after wearing the earbuds for quite a while. I'm guessing this is in part due to how lightweight the earbuds are, weighing only 5g each.

Moreover, the Elite 4 Actives are supposed to be made with a focus on sports and activity, hence the name Active, and I definitely felt the earbuds were always securely lodged in my ears, even while working out.

It's worth noting that unlike the more premium Elite 7 Pro earbuds, you can't take an earbuds fit test on the Elite 4 Actives, which is a shame, but it makes sense considering these are priced significantly lower.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, the Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds aren't what you'd expect. What I mean by that is that earbuds from Jabra are usually known for having a very neutral sound profile, with more attention to details and clarity rather than punchy, thumping bass. However, with these earbuds, it seems Jabra has flipped the script, probably because they expect people who buy these are going to be using them mainly for working out, and likely want earbuds that offer a more powerful sound signature.

The sound quality is certainly impressive considering the Elite 4 Actives house 6mm drivers, and whether it was at lower volume levels or above 70%, I didn't feel the the earbuds were struggling to perform at any point.

Apart from this though, you can tune the sound profile using presets through the Jabra Sound+ app, and if you really like taking manual control, you can tune the equaliser yourself as well.

In terms of codec support, there's no AAC or LDAC support, but there is support for SBC and Qualcomm's aptX codec, which is good to see.

Also watch: Jabra Elite 7 Pro Review: best earbuds for calling

Active Noise Cancellation

So active noise cancellation has become a hot feature in recent times, with even budget earbuds offering ANC at shockingly low prices, but like with other forms of technology, not all ANC is created equal. Some earbuds do it really well and some do it really badly, and I'm happy to report that the Elite 4 Actives fall in the former category.

Like I said before, the earbuds form a good passive seal due to their design, and the addition of active noise cancellation just makes the experience much better. It isn't the strongest ANC I've experienced at this price point, but it still does a very good job of blocking out noisy environments like in an office setting. You can also customise the ANC experience like you can on other Jabra earbuds, using the Jabra Sound+ app, which is a helpful addition.

Along with active noise cancellation, the Elite 4 Actives also get HearThrough, which is Jabra's version of a Transparency Mode. This helps you pause the ANC experience so you can for instance, have a conversation with someone around you or keep an ear out in case you're expecting an announcement.

I must say that HearThrough is one of my favourite implementations of a Transparency Mode on true wireless earbuds, it sounds really natural as compared to other buds I've used at this price point.

Call Quality

Now call quality on the Elite 4 Active earbuds is really great, I could both hear people clearly and they heard me just fine as well. This is mostly due to four built-in microphones, that get a mesh covering for better protection against wind noise and other ambient sounds.

Another thing I like is that Jabra enables the Sidetone feature by default when you're on a call, to let in some ambient noise around you so you don't end up shouting, which I think is an excellent feature that more ANC earbuds should offer.

Now unlike the more expensive Elite 7 Pro earbuds, these don't have bone conduction technology or an auto-muting function, but that's to be expected considering the Elite 4 Actives are more affordable.

Also watch: Jabra Elite 3 review: solid sound for ₹5,499?

Gaming and Transmission Lag

While playing games like Call of Duty Mobile, I did notice a bit of lag, which is not too surprising, and I do wish Jabra had offered a low latency mode here.

Still, it's worth pointing out that thanks to Bluetooth v5.2, there were no issues in transmission while watching movies and TV shows, and connection quality was strong with no skipping during music playback.

Design and Utility

The Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds are designed for more rough and tough use, as the name suggests, and to that end, they get an IP57 dust and water resistance rating. They're also really compact and lightweight like I mentioned before, and in this Navy colour, the earbuds offer a very understated look.
They have the signature triangular shape that most Jabra Elite series earbuds now do, and the materials feel nice to the touch.
The outer part of the earbuds feature Jabra's version of touch controls, which aren't really touch controls, but actual buttons that you have to push in to trigger functions.
Now I personally don't favour this style of input, mostly because pressing the button pushes the earbuds even deeper into the ear canal, which isn't the most comfortable feeling. However, I must admit that a major problem with touch controls on other earbuds is that you end up triggering them accidentally while adjusting them in your ears, especially during fitness activities, so it makes sense that Jabra went with proper button controls on the Elite 4 Actives.
It is worth mentioning though, that while these buttons can be used to control things like calls, music and volume, they can't be modified, so you're pretty much stuck with the default controls. Moreover, there's no in-ear detection which I feel is a big miss at this price point, but I'm glad to see that there is support for mono mode, so that each earbud can be used independently.

Now the earbuds themselves sit in this charging case with a flat bottom and head, making sure it doesn't roll around on a table, which to me is really smart design. The case is also is also quite lightweight at just 37.5g, and it features a USB-C port at the back. There's no wireless charging though, which I think Jabra should have included at this price point.

Another feature worth pointing out is support for voice assistants like Alexa and the Google Assistant, and support for Spotify Tap, which can launch music from Spotify using the button controls on the earbuds. Speaking of Google Assistant, the earbuds also support Google Fast Pair, which lets you quickly link them to a compatible Android smartphone.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, the Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds claim to offer up to 7 hours of playback on a single charge, and up to 28 hours with the charging case. In my usage, I got around 4-5 hours with the active noise cancellation turned on, which is impressive, and Jabra has included support for fast charging, that gets you up to an hour's worth of battery life in just ten minutes of charging.

App Support - Jabra Sound+ app

I've said this before in previous reviews of Jabra earbuds, but the Jabra Sound+ app is one of my favourite partner apps for TWS earbuds, mostly because of how simple it is to use and the amount of features it offers. Not only do you get quick access to things like the ANC modes, you can also tune the equaliser or use presets using these handy widgets. You can also use the app to update the firmware and setup the Spotify Tap function I mentioned before, or a voice assistant.
The best part, however, is the Discover tab, that offers a lot of helpful information on how best to setup and use the Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds.

Verdict

At ₹9,999, I think the Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds are good value for money, especially when you consider the excellent sound and call quality. While I would have expected Jabra to offer wireless charging and in-ear detection at this price point, the Elite 4 Active earbuds do offer a great experience, definitely enough to beat the competition.

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