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Jabra Elite 85t vs Galaxy Buds (2020): Choosing True Wireless Earbuds

A new pair of true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) is coming to town: the Jabra Elite 85t. Needless to say, they’re succeeding the ever-popular Elite 75t, coming with a few big design changes here and there.

But as the question always is, are they worth the buy? After all, most would argue that there are tons of affordable options that can get the job done nowadays. On that note, we compare them to the Samsung Galaxy Buds to find out, which are considered to be premium Bluetooth headphones that won’t break the bank.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Galaxy Buds Comparison Chart

ModelJabra Elite 85tSamsung Galaxy Buds
 Jabra Elite 85tGalaxy Buds True Wireless Earbuds (Wireless Charging Case included), Black – US Version
PriceCheck Price at Jabra.comCheck Price
FitSemi-openIn-ear
Active Noise CancellationYesNo
Transparency ModeYesYes (Ambient sound)
Water ResistanceIPX4IPX2
Battery LifeUp to 7 hours or 5.5 hours with ANC onUp to 6 hours
Wireless ChargingYesYes
Fast Chargingn/a15 minutes for 1.7 hours
Release DateNovember 1, 20202019
ColorsTitanium, GoldBlack, White, Yellow, Aura Glow Silver

Design and Fit

Sound will leak through the Jabra Elite 85t’s semi-open fit, but not through the Samsung Galaxy Buds’ in-ear form factor.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Galaxy Buds Design and Fit
While the Jabra Elite 75t have an in-ear design, the Elite 85t (in photo) are semi-open.

Both earbuds follow the same iconic design cues of their respective brands. That basically means you’d know the Elite 85t are from Jabra and the Galaxy Buds are from Samsung just by looking at them. It goes without saying that’s either a good or bad thing depending on your preference.

However, the Jabra Elite 85t are taking a different route in terms of form factor. While their predecessor have an in-ear fit, these are semi-open. In other words, you won’t be inserting their tips into your ear canal, and you won’t be getting a tight seal. They have weaker noise isolation in that sense, but that’s where ANC comes in (more on that in a few).

Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Buds have excellent noise isolation because of their in-ear design, assuming the right tips are used. In fact, they’re way above average to the point that ANC would feel excessive if they had it, which would still have been a welcome feature, though. The takeaway here is they’re capable of effectively keeping unwanted sounds out.

Sound Performance

Both have features to let you hear your surroundings.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Galaxy Buds Sound Performance
The Jabra Elite 85t (left) have ANC, while the Samsung Galaxy Buds (right) don’t.

Now the Jabra Elite 85t aren’t available yet at the time of writing, so their audio quality is still hard to tell. But from what we can gather, they’ll sound better than the previous iteration, thanks to their larger 12 mm drivers.

The Jabra Elite 85t have three microphones on each earbud. Crunching the numbers real quick, that’s six microphones in total, four of which are used for active noise cancellation. Called Advanced ANC, it’s a type of noise canceling made for earbuds that don’t create a secure, noise-isolating fit into ear canals. They also feature HearThrough, a transparency mode to let you hear your surroundings. You get to adjust this setting over 11 levels of sound, from complete transparency mode to complete ANC.

As mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Buds don’t feature ANC, but they can passively isolate noise well. These buds even have Ambient sound so you can hear the outside world with them on. They also sound decent—for the most part, that is. By that, we mean they emphasize bass more. That’s pretty much a nonissue if you listen to hip-hop most of the time, but the same can’t be said when it comes to other genres.

Connectivity and Other Features

If history is anything to go by, the Jabra Elite 85t will have Bluetooth multipoint pairing.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Galaxy Buds Connectivity and Other Features
Both the Jabra Elite 85t (left) and Samsung Galaxy Buds (right) have auto-pause.

One of the strong points of Jabra true wireless earbuds is multipoint pairing. The Elite 75t have it, and it’s not a stretch to believe that the Elite 85t will have it too. Speaking of, the new generation will likely have at least Bluetooth 5.0 as well.

In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Buds don’t support multipoint, but they do have Bluetooth 5.0 and, as a result, a good track record of maintaining stable connections. They even have Scalable Codec, a technology available to select Samsung devices that continuously balances sound quality and stable connectivity to never miss a beat.

Both have auto-pause, but the Jabra Elite 85t do it better. To explain, you only have to remove one earbud for them to pause any playing content. On the other hand, you’ll have to take both of the Samsung Galaxy Buds at the same time, which is a hit-and-miss affair, if past user reports are anything to go by.

As expected, the two have water resistance too, but again, the Jabra Elite 85t have the upper hand. They have IPX4, which is a step down from the Elite 75t’s IP55, but despite that, they still beat the Samsung Galaxy Buds’ IPX2 rating. To put that in context, IPX4 means a device can withstand splashes from any direction, while IPX2 means it won’t survive splashes at certain angles.

Battery Life

With ANC off, the Jabra Elite 85t can last longer than the Samsung Galaxy Buds.

Jabra Elite 85t vs Galaxy Buds Battery Life
Wireless charging support is available on both the Jabra Elite 85t (left) and Samsung Galaxy Buds (right).

Right off the bat, the Jabra Elite 85t can go up to 7 hours or 31 hours with the charging case with ANC off. They’re rated to last up to 5.5 hours or 25 hours with the case with ANC on. Last but not least, they also support wireless charging, and they’re compatible with any QI-certified charger.

On a single charge, the Samsung Galaxy Buds can stay on up to 6 hours, and their case can hold up to 7 hours of additional power. As everyone knows, they have wireless charging support too. On top of that, you can get up to 1.7 hours of battery life in only 15 minutes.

Verdict

The Jabra Elite 85t have plenty of advantages over the Samsung Galaxy Buds that make them a better pick.

Without a doubt, the Jabra Elite 85t are the better earbuds of the two here. For starters, they have ANC and a higher IP rating, and they’ll likely have Bluetooth multipoint pairing to boot.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Buds are still worth considering, especially for Galaxy device owners. For one thing, they’re more affordable, and they deliver an A-OK performance for everyday listening. Moreover, they have certain features such as Scalable Codec.

FAQs

📌 Which is better, the Jabra Elite 85t or the Samsung Galaxy Buds?

The Jabra Elite 85t are better than the Samsung Galaxy Buds because they have active noise cancellation and better water resistance, not to mention that they’ll likely support Bluetooth multipoint pairing.

📌 Are the Samsung Galaxy Buds still worth the buy?

Yes. The Samsung Galaxy Buds are worth getting because of their low price point and decent performance, and they even have special features such as Scalable Codec for select Galaxy devices.

📌 When will the Jabra Elite 85t be available?

Jabra is expected to release the Elite 85t on Nov. 1.

📌 Are Jabra earbuds good?

Yes. The Jabra Elite 75t and Elite Active 75t are proof of that, two true wireless earbuds with good sound quality and features such as Bluetooth multipoint pairing.

Last update on 2020-10-25 / 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.