After a very long selection process, I chose the Jabra Elite Sport Upgraded earpiece out of all the other wireless alternatives for my running needs. The criteria, in the order of importance are:
1. Fit / Acoustical Properties
2. Aesthetically pleasing
3. Battery Life
5. Noise Isolation
Compared to the other alternatives, the Jabra Elite Sport Upgraded earpiece offers the best fit. I tested the fit via a primitive method; tried all the earpieces (At least 15) the store (Best Denki) has to offer and shook my head violently for at least 10 seconds. It came down to the Jabra Elite Sport Upgraded and Beoplay E8 earpiece, but the Jabra piece came up tops as it was able to provide a snug fit to my ear.
Note: Do try the earpiece yourself. In my friend's case, the earpiece could not fit her ear at all.
Acoustical Properties/ Noise Isolation
I could not pair the sample piece to my phone, therefore I had to test the acoustical properties of the piece at the comforts of my home. To ease my worries, the audio specialist assured me that there was a 7-day return policy in place, that I can return it if the earpiece does not meet my standards. The earpiece provided relatively good timber for a Bluetooth device; Clarity is important to me as I usually listen to podcast during my run. Noise isolation is not as important to me as because of the environment I run in and I usually run during the wee hours. However due to the snug fit, the Jabra Elite Sport Upgraded earpiece provides good noise isolation even without built-in ANC.
Unlike the Beoplay E8, Jabra Elite Sport Upgraded does not pop out of the ear as much due to its larger surface area.
In case you are wondering, the word ‘upgraded’ in the label refers to the increase in battery life compared to its previous model. Jabra Elite Sport Upgraded claim to support 13.5 hours of use from every charge – the earpiece can hold up to 4.5 hours of battery life while the charging case is able to provide another 2 X 4.5hours of additional charge. The battery life is decent; I usually run around 2 hours a day and the battery can last at least that amount of time before I put it back into the box again.
The Jabra Elite Sport Upgraded earpiece is able to connect approximately 6 to 10 meters away from the source, depending on the number of obstacles between them.
A bonus feature which I was happy with is the design of the charging case. It is much better than I expected for the price, while it looks classy and modern – the case also very user friendly. Unlike the AirPods (upcoming review), the Jabra Elite Sport Upgraded earpiece requires the use of ear gels. One thing to complain is the number of ear gels Jabra provides for the product, there are 3 pairs of solid ear gels and 3 pairs of soft ear gels (small, medium, large). Unfortunately, I dropped one of the two large solid ear gels (which provides the best fit for my ear) and had to order a new pair online, which was quite pricey. The other ear gels provided were unusable as it doesn’t fit my ear optimally.
Written on 15 Oct 2018, this is not a paid review.