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Jabra Elite 85t vs Bose Sport Earbuds (2020): Which True Wireless Earbuds Should You Get?

Nowadays, there’s no shortage of true wireless earbuds in the market. Jabra just took the wraps off the Elite 85t, the new model replacing the Elite 75t. Meanwhile, Bose recently announced the new Sport Earbuds, which is considered to be the successor to the 2017 SoundSport Free.

It’s safe to say that these Bluetooth headphones can deliver where it counts: audio quality, features, and battery life, to name a few. However, how does each one stack up against the other? We compare the two to help you make a more informed buying decision.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Bose Sport Earbuds Comparison Chart

ModelJabra Elite 85tBose Sport Earbuds
 Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds, Titanium Black – Advanced Noise-Cancelling...Bose Sport Earbuds - True Wireless Earphones (Bluetooth Headphones for Workouts and Sports), Triple...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Form FactorSemi-openIn-ear
Controlsn/aTouch
Active Noise CancellationYesNo
Transparency ModeYesNo
Water ResistanceIPX4IPX4
Battery LifeUp to 7 hours or 5.5 hours with ANC onUp to 5 hours
Wireless ChargingYesNo
Fast Chargingn/a15 minutes for 2 hours
Release DateNovember 1, 2020September 29, 2020
ColorsTitanium, GoldTriple Black, Glacier White, Baltic Blue

Build

You’ll get a tighter seal with the Bose Sport Earbuds than with the Jabra Elite 85t.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Bose Sport Earbuds Build
The Jabra Elite 85t (in photo) have a semi-open design and IPX4 water resistance, a departure from the Elite 75t’s in-ear construction and IP55.

Right off the bat, the Jabra Elite 85t have a semi-open form factor. In other words, their tips won’t have to be pushed into your ear canal, which could be more comfortable, depending on your preference. But as a result, they won’t create a tight, noise-isolating seal, meaning some sounds will leak in. They do have active noise cancellation (ANC) to make up for that (more on that later).

The Bose Sport Earbuds retain the in-ear design, but compared to their predecessor, they’re now 40 percent smaller. One gripe that a lot of people had with the SoundSport Free is they were too bulky and stuck out of your ears, but the slimmer profile of the new iteration should alleviate that. Last but not least, they use touch controls instead of physical, so it only takes a tap to answer calls and play or pause music.

For the record, both the Jabra Elite 85t and Bose Sport Earbuds are IPX4 rated, so they have the water resistance to withstand sweat or rain, perfect for workouts and such.

Performance and Features

Of the two, only the Jabra Elite 85t have active noise cancellation.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Bose Sport Earbuds Performance and Features
The Bose Sport Earbuds (in photo) don’t have ANC, but they do have excellent noise isolation with the new StayHear Max tips.

It’s still up in the air how the Jabra Elite 85t will sound since they haven’t rolled out yet at the time of writing. But going by the details available so far, it’s not a stretch to believe they’ll have better audio than the Elite 75t. After all, they have bigger 12 mm drivers for better audio and a six-microphone array—three on each earbud, where four out of the total of six are used for ANC.

That said, Jabra Elite 85t have what the company calls Advanced ANC, a type of active noise cancellation designed for earbuds that don’t have tips that make a tight seal. They also have HearThrough, which is their own brand of transparency mode. You get to adjust this setting with 11 levels of sound, going from complete transparency mode to full-on noise canceling.

On the other hand, the Bose Sport Earbuds don’t have ANC, a transparency mode, or anything along those lines. However, they do have decent noise isolation because of their in-ear form factor, as mentioned earlier. What’s more, they have StayHear Max tips that create a better seal, improving on the SoundSport Free’s StayHear+ Sport.

The right earbud of the Bose Sport Earbuds also features auto-pause detection, so if you take it off, any content will pause on both.

Battery Life

Regardless of whether ANC is on or off, the Jabra Elite 85t can last longer than the Bose Sport Earbuds.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Bose Sport Earbuds Battery Life
Even though only the Jabra Elite 85t (left) have wireless charging, the Bose Sport Earbuds (right) do have quick charging.

Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, the Jabra Elite 85t can go up to 5.5 hours or a total of 25 hours with the charging case with ANC on. You should get about 7 hours on a single charge or 31 hours with the case with ANC off. Speaking of, they have wireless charging support, and they’re compatible with any QI-certified charger.

In terms of battery life, the Bose Sport Earbuds aren’t that different from the SoundSport Free. They’re still rated to last up to 5 hours and get 10 more hours with the case. While they don’t have wireless charging, they do have quick charging that should provide 2 hours’ worth of juice in 15 minutes, according to Bose.

Connectivity

The Bose Sport Earbuds have Bluetooth 5.1, but not multipoint.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Bose Sport Earbuds Connectivity
The Jabra Elite 85t (in photo) will likely have multipoint pairing, just like the Elite 75t.

For a bit of context, the Bose SoundSport Free had issues with spotty connectivity and audio sync. The Sport Earbuds address this with enhanced connection and Bluetooth 5.1, but they still don’t have multipoint.

Jabra has this down pat, as evidenced by the Elite 75t. It isn’t hard to imagine the Elite 85t will have multipoint pairing, and that means that this is one huge advantage they’ll have over the competition.

Verdict

The Bose Sport Earbuds are excellent true wireless earbuds, but the Jabra Elite 85t simply have more to offer.

The Jabra Elite 85t have more features, including ANC, transparency mode, multipoint pairing (likely), a longer battery life, and wireless charging. However, the Bose Sport Earbuds aren’t out of the race yet. For one thing, they have a lower starting price point than the SoundSport Free, and they solve the pain points of the previous iteration too. All in all, they’re a pretty decent pair of true wireless earbuds for workouts.

FAQs

📌 Which is better, Jabra or Bose?

When it comes to true wireless earbuds, Jabra has the edge in terms of features, such as multipoint pairing on the Elite 75t and, likely, the Elite 85t.

📌 Does the Jabra Elite 85t have active noise cancellation?

Yes, the Jabra Elite 85t feature active noise cancellation and transparency mode. To be exact, they’re called Advanced ANC and HearThrough, respectively.

📌 Which is better, the Jabra Elite 85t or the Bose Sport Earbuds?

The Jabra Elite 85t are better than the Bose Sport Earbuds because they have more features, including active noise cancellation, transparency mode, wireless charging, and multipoint pairing (likely). However, the Bose Sport Earbuds are still worth the buy considering their price point.

📌 When is the release date of the Jabra Elite 85t?

The Jabra Elite 85t are expected to hit the shelves on Nov. 1.

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria
Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.