Jabra Elite Problem, 1 Reason Not to Buy

My Jabra Elite problem won’t go away. Close to two years ago, after a heap of research, I purchased a pair of Jabra Elite sport in-ear Bluetooth headphones. There’s just one problem. The Jabra elite low volume problem. This is an issue that is more common than you probably know. If you are an owner of Jabra elite headphones then you may have found this website from a simple Google search. 

Don’t get me wrong the Jabra headphones sound great. The audio quality is by far some of the best I’ve ever come across. Comfort is great even during high-intensity exercise. Even though they aren’t noise-cancelling, they are pretty close to a noise-cancelling headphone. There’s just one huge manufacturing fault that makes these a no go.

Jabra Elite Problem: low volume

There’s just one glaring problem with the Jabra elite sports. They have a low-volume problem. I’ve had these for almost 2 years and I’m on my 3rd replacement pair. I have a recurring issue that is triggered during use on an aeroplane. The right earbud volume will drop to inaudible and never returns to normal volume. That’s it, the right earbud is now dead. I thought this was a software problem and then went on a search to find a solution. 

Possible solutions, that don’t work  

Searching for Jabra elite low volume yields about 950k results. That’s not a good sign. I started reading forums, Reddit and anywhere else I could find. Here are the two common solutions I found. 

Solution 1 – unpair and pair them again

As with most Bluetooth devices, a simple reset is usually the fix. Simply disconnect the units, reset them and reconnect. You’re golden. That’s unless you have Jabra elite series headphones. This does not work. 

Solution 2 – physically cleaning the units 

On some models of Jabra elites getting sweat and other funk in a sensor on the unit. Find the open tiny holes and clean them out with a  toothpick. This appears to work for some Jabra owners but didn’t work for me. 

Return them?

The above solutions worked for some but not all. Most people ended up returning their headphones and going for another brand. This isn’t really an option for me, I live in Vietnam and bought them in Hong Kong. Luckily they have a 2-year warranty. This has allowed me to just exchange them every time I go to Hong Kong for business. I’m now at the end of my 2-year warranty and this will be my last pair.

When they break I’ll be sending them to electronics recycling. I hate the fact that I’ll have to throw away these almost new units. They have such a great sound and fit my big ears perfectly. 

A response from Jabra Support

Tom McFarlin mentioned on twitter how great the new Apple AirPods were. I find it interesting because I’ve tested the AirPods pros and I found the sound to be lacking for the price. I commented and mentioned the Jabra elite problem headphones. Someone from Jabra support reached out to see what they could do. 

I outlined the problem I was having and the following is what I received from Jabra support. 

Jabra Elite Problem

I couldn’t believe what I reading. They were trying to give me the excuse that due to “rapid ascent/descent” could result in an an “audio anomaly”. They had to make some concessions with the product to make them sweat-proof which would result in what I’m experiencing. 

TL;DR – don’t use our products on planes 

Jabra Support

Sorry, what? Are you telling me that your engineers are so bad at their job they can’t design a device that works in a pressurised cabin? Why do all my other headphones work but Jabra can’t figure it out?

Recommendation

To anyone else out there if you’re considering a Jabra product. Save your money and time. The Jabra elite problem will not go away. They might sound great and if you never change altitudes then maybe you’ll be ok. Otherwise, go and use literally any other headphone. Here are the 4 different units I have that all work flawlessly on planes 

Of these four various headphones that I have. For the best quality sound, the SE535’s are pretty unmatched but are nice and expensive so the lower SE215s are also a good option.

For the Bluetooth option, the Xiao Mi AirDots was a huge surprise for me. They cost about $35 but for the price they’re great. They fit in my ear, they sound pretty good, if a slightly bass-heavy and I can wear them running. I cannot under any circumstances recommend the Jabra Elite Sports or any product from them to be honest.

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