The newest AirPods
The AirPods 3 are Apple's latest offering in the AirPods lineup, and they offer a lot of goodies for music lovers. With a new design that looks more akin to the AirPods Pro, better sensors, more touch controls, and an IPX4 resistance rating, the AirPods 3 are the best basic AirPods we've seen yet.
- Easy pairing with Apple devices
- Six-hour battery life and up to 30-hour listening time with case
- "Hey Siri" support
- Wireless charging
- Fit might not be right for some people
- No sound isolation
- No noise cancelation
Great sound with isolation
The Jabra Elite 75t are very compelling. They combine great sound, awesome build quality, small size, and more into one rather affordable package. Although there's no noise cancelation, the ability to use Hear Through (basically like transparency mode) is a huge boon for making these buds useable in more situations.
- USB-C Charging
- Great sound quality with solid bass
- Transparency mode is excellent
- Active noise cancelation (ANC)
- Only the right earbud acts independently
- Less battery life than AirPods 3
The AirPods 3 look to be an interesting marriage between regular AirPods and the AirPods Pro. They have a new design that's meant to fit into your ear better than before, "Hey, Siri" support, a MagSafe wireless charging case, and of course, seamless pairing with all your Apple devices. AirPods 3 don't have any silicone ear tips, though, which means the sound quality will likely still be slightly lacking, especially in loud environments.
However, the Jabra Elite 75t do have silicone tips and fit snug in your ears. This provides great sound isolation on and makes these earbuds sound really remarkable, especially the bass performance. Both pairs are definitely going to be in the conversation of the best true wireless earbuds, so let's break down the differences.
AirPods 3 vs. Jabra Elite 75t: Let's break it down
On the surface, comparing the AirPods 3 to the Jabra Elite 75t can be a little like comparing apples to oranges (pun intended). They have drastically different designs, one has ANC while the other doesn't, and one is specifically tailored to Apple and the other one isn't. But when you look at the spec sheet, there's a lot to consider.
|Header Cell - Column 0||AirPods 3||Jabra Elite 75t|
|Battery life||6 hours||5.5 hours|
|Battery life with case||30 hours||24 hours|
|Connection||Bluetooth 5.0 through H1 Chip||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Fast charging||5 mins = 1 hour||15 mins = 1 hour|
It seems like a close race on paper, and it is, but there are a few things worth a slightly deeper dive to understand the differences between the AirPods 3 and Jabra Elite 75t
AirPods 3 vs. Jabra Elite 75t: Battery considerations
Battery life is one of the most important considerations for truly wireless earbuds because if you run out of juice, then you're out of luck.
On paper, the AirPods 3 seems to edge out the Jabra Elite 75t on battery life. The AirPods themselves have 6 hours of battery life over the 5.5 hours that the Elite 75t provide. Plus, when you include the wireless charging case, the AirPods 3 have 30 hours of total battery life, whereas the Jabras only offer 24 hours.
It's not a huge difference, and fast charging definitely mitigates this issue a little bit, but AirPods 3 appear to have the edge there as well. The AirPods 3 can get one hour of playtime with just a five-minute charge, but it takes the Elite 75t 15 minutes to get one hour through its USB-C charging.
AirPods 3 vs. Jabra Elite 75t: What's in an IP rating
If you like working out with wireless earbuds, then an IP rating for water resistance is a must, and both the AirPods 3 and Jabra Elite 75t have an IP rating. As a basic rule, the higher the number, the better the protection against dust or water.
The Jabra Elite 75t has an IP55 rating, meaning it's been tested for both test and water resistance. The first "5" in the number is for solids and indicates that the Elite 75T is dust-protected. So while it's not considered dust-tight, it is protected from dust interfering with the function of the device.
The second "5" is for liquids, and it means that the Jabra Elite 75 is able to withstand water projected by a nozzle. So if you were to shower or get sprayed with a hose while you had your earbuds in, they should work just fine.
The AirPods 3 only have one number in its IPX4 rating, meaning it's only be tested for liquids, and a rating of 4 means it can handle splashing water. Getting splashed by a friend in the pool, or just general sweat from your workout, shouldn't harm the AirPods at all.
Regardless of rating, remember that water and electronics don't mix, and you should do all you can to avoid getting your earbuds wet.
AirPods 3 vs. Jabra Elite 75t: Do you want ANC and silicone tips?
The Jabra Elite 75t's big advantage over the AirPods 3 is the design. The different silicone ear tip sizes offered in the box allow you to really find a good fit for your ears, which helps them stay in your ears much better than AirPods 3 will — even with the AirPods' design being better than before.
On top of that, the silicone ear tips allow the Jabra Elite 75t to offer excellent sound isolation and give you access to ANC. If you're looking for a pair of earbuds that lets you shut off the world around you, these are the ones to get. Plus, the Jabra Elite 75t have a Hear Through feature that acts like transparency mode, so you can still listen to the world around you if you want. That makes walking down the street a lot safer when you have your favorite tunes blasting.
All in all, if sound quality is your main selling feature, the Jabra Elite 75t is likely going to sound better to you than a pair of AirPods 3.
AirPods 3 vs. Jabra Elite 75t: Are you looking for Apple convenience?
Sure, the sound quality might not hold a candle to other wireless earbuds like the Jabra Elite 75t, but AirPods have always been about convenience for Apple users, and the AirPods 3 offers that in spades.
Whether it's the seamless pairing between your iPhone, Apple Watch, and other devices, the ability to call out "Hey, Siri," or the integration with Find My, there are a lot of features that for Apple users that only AirPods can provide.
So if you have an older pair of AirPods, and don't want to lose all that functionality that makes your life easier, the Airpods 3 are a no-brainer.
However, neither of these headphones is a bust. If you want the better sound quality or have devices not in the Apple ecosystem, try giving the Jabra Elite 75t a shot.
That same old Apple magic
Convenience for Apple users
With easy pairing, device switching, "Hey Siri" support, and decent sound, the AirPods 3 provide a total earphone package that's just right for most Apple device owners. It also comes with a MagSafe wireless charging case, which gives you an extra up to 30 hours of battery life, but you don't get any of the awesome sound isolation that silicone ear tips would provide.
ANC and a custom fit
If you only care about sound quality, get these
The Jabra Elite 75t offers a great audio experience, both for listening to music and making phone calls. The sound isolation from the design, the ability to turn on ANC, and Hear Through are awesome features at its price point. Just don't expect any extra conveniences for Apple users because there are none.
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.