Reviews by Wirecutter on Jabra Elite 45h 2021
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The Reviews by Wirecutter on Jabra Elite 45h 2021
When I first started reviewing audio, I couldn’t afford most of the headphones I wrote about. Bonus features or beautiful materials can cost extra, I understand that. But it was incredibly frustrating to find that the ones within my budget often barely functioned as headphones. Headbands broke in half, mics fell off, and the sound quality made me wonder if anyone at the headphone company had ever put a pair on a human head.
I never accepted that affordable should be synonymous with terrible. About eight years ago, Wirecutter was one of the first (if not the first) major publications to seriously test and compare budget earbuds and headphones. All we wanted then was something around $100 that fit comfortably, sounded great and could take a beating phone pretty good calling. And we wanted a pair that was reliably easy to use.
That’s how we found the Jabra Revo headphones, which evolved over a few models (all top picks) into the Jabra Elite 45h. While this pair has only been our pick for a year, it represents eight years of excellence in the face of constant testing and comparison.
The 45-hour headphones are comfortable to wear all day, with soft ear cushions that sit on the ears rather than around them – a design especially compatible with glasses. Right out of the box, the sound quality of this pair is better than models several times the price. But if you want a little more bass or extra emphasis on vocals, you can tailor the sound of the 45h pair to your personal preferences in the free Jabra Sound+ app.
The intelligibility of the microphone is wonderfully clear for clear phone or video chats. Since the Jabra 45h headphones offer over 50 hours of listening time per charge, you won’t need to plug this pair in very often. And these headphones last a long time: Jabra offers a two-year warranty against dust and water damage. While there are cheaper alternatives, the 45h is the rare pair that won’t leave you wanting to upgrade right away.
There are even bells and whistles, such as the “Find My Jabra” feature, which tracks you were last on when the headphones were turned on. There’s an adjustable sidetone (which lets you choose how much of your own voice plays in your ears during conversations so you don’t have to yell to compensate) and an adjustable sleep timer.
When we choose headphones as a budget choice, I think of the person starting a new job, the college student wringing every penny from their bank account, the parent saving every month to buy something to cheer their teen on for a birthday. Just because you don’t have $400 to spend on a pair of headphones doesn’t mean you should accept a crappy pair — and the Jabra Elite 45h headphones are proof.
How it compares?
After testing around 300 Bluetooth headphones over the past eight years with a panel of audio experts, we’ve found the Jabra Elite 45h to be the most cost-effective Bluetooth headphones.
The 45h has been a Wirecutter choice since 2020, but was preceded by three previous models of the same line of Jabra headphones. It sounds, feels and functions like a pair that costs significantly more. The two-year warranty is one of the longest in the category. People who do a lot phone or video calls will be impressed by the clarity of the background noise-reducing microphone.
Read more in our guide among the best Bluetooth headphones. make it last
Headphones will last much longer if you take good care of them. The Jabra Elite 45h pair comes with a travel pouch to prevent damage. But there are a few simple things you can do to make sure your pair lasts a long time after the warranty.
First, never plug in your headphones to charge when they are wet. Once fully charged, do not leave them plugged in for an extended period of time. Occasionally wipe the ear pads with a slightly soapy, damp cloth. Keep dust out of the charging port with a small brush. You can learn more about how to clean your headphones here and find out how to maximize the battery life of your headphones here. When to buy?
While the price of the Jabra Elite 45h headphones is usually between $80 and $99 for most of the year, it often drops at the beginning of the year, after the holidays. The numbers
Street Price: $95
Best price we’ve ever seen: $
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