Jabra’s Wireless Earbuds Have a Smart Case That Connects Them to Anything (Travelers Rejoice)

Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 are a minor revision on the original earbuds.

Jabra's Wireless Earbuds Have a Smart Case That Connects Them to Anything (Travelers Rejoice)

Key Takeaways

  • A smart case connects these wireless earbuds to devices without Bluetooth.
  • Audio quality remains top-notch in the new Gen 2 model.
  • Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 probably aren't worth upgrading if you have the first-generation earbuds.

Instead of returning to the drawing board and starting fresh, the Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 earbuds are an iterative update that brings a few niceties. There isn't a reason for current Elite 10 owners to upgrade, but the new earbuds with their smart case should be tempting to anyone looking for a new pair for work or play.

Jabra's Wireless Earbuds Have a Smart Case That Connects Them to Anything (Travelers Rejoice)

Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2

7/ 10

The Elite 10 Gen 2 earbuds build upon the same great design and success of their predecessors, these next-generation earbuds come with enhancements that strengthen the audio experience.

Pros

  • Smart case worked really well
  • Great audio quality
  • Lots of features packed into comfortable earbuds

Cons

  • Not enough upgrades for first gen owners to upgrade
  • Need to keep track of the cable to use the smart case

$279 at jabra

Price and Availability

The Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 earbuds retail for $279 and come in a variety of color options.

Specifications

Battery Life Up to 6 hours (27 hours total with case) Microphones 6 total IP Rating IP57 Solo bud mode? Yes Driver Size 10mm Charging type USB-C; wireless Case battery Fast charging (1 hour of use with 5-min charge) Colors Soft White, Denim, Cocoa, Titanium Black, Gloss Black Sensors Ear detection Noise Cancellation Yes Charging time 3 hours

The Case Is the Headlining Feature of Gen 2

Jabra's Wireless Earbuds Have a Smart Case That Connects Them to Anything (Travelers Rejoice)

I was impressed by the original Jabra Elite 10 earbuds. They offered solid ANC performance, great audio quality, and were extremely comfortable. All those things are still present in the new Gen 2 version.

You’d be hard-pressed to see any difference between the prior model and this new one. The one giveaway that anything is different is the button on the charging case. That's because the case is actually the star of the show.

The earbuds’ case can act as a Bluetooth receiver, allowing you to use the wireless earbuds connected to any wired source. For example, on an airplane or with gym equipment. The Elite 10 Gen 2 come with a USB-C cable and a 3.5mm adapter. That cable then connects the case to any 3.5mm or USB-C port—anything that supports audio over those methods.

Frankly, I was blown away at how seamlessly this feature worked in person. I've tried other Bluetooth receiver implementations and they were more complicated. Jabra nailed it.

My first test was to plug the cable connected to the case into my MacBook Air. I pressed the button on the case and was then instantly listening to music from my laptop.

The one part I’m a little conflicted about is how necessary this feature is. Personally, I don’t run into many situations where I want to plug my wireless earbuds into a wired source. But after using it first-hand, I’ve become more bullish on having the ability available, just in case I might need it in the future.

It would be perfect for frequent travelers listening to the seat-back TV or gym rats tapping into the equipment’s screen. It could even be tempting for use with a home TV set, although that could be more complicated if audio is coming through a receiver or the TV is mounted to a wall.

More than some of these generic examples, I like the idea of being able to get audio from sources without needing to go through the Bluetooth pairing process. I could have easily paired the Elite 10 Gen 2 to my MacBook Air, but it was faster and less complicated to plug in the cable and press the case button.

The caveat with this feature is that it requires toting the cable around with you. You're out of luck without the USB-C cable with its 3.5mm adapter.

In addition to the smart case, Gen 2 brings Dolby Atmos and Spatial Sound improvements. Jabra says the Gen 2’s active noise cancellation is two times stronger. Audio on calls should be better and HearThrough should be more natural.

I did think the ANC performance was better, but I can’t quantify it as twice as strong. The same is true for the HearThrough adjustments.

Rehashing Why Jabra Elite 10 Are Great Earbuds

Jabra's Wireless Earbuds Have a Smart Case That Connects Them to Anything (Travelers Rejoice)

I thought the original Elite 10 earbuds were great and Jabra didn’t screw with the parts that worked.

The comfort is still top-notch because of the semi-open design so it doesn’t feel like the earbuds are plugging up your ears. The smooth matte rubber texture and the natural curves make the earbuds feel right at home in my ears. Of course, the fit will be individual and personal, the buds are a tiny bit bulbous and may not work as well for small ears.

One note about the size. There are four-sized ear tips included, which is great, but I found myself in between sizes. The smallest ones fit the best and never caused the earbuds to fall out, but they also didn’t seal great so ANC couldn’t block as much noise. The medium-sized tips blocked noise better, but they tended to fall out when walking around.

On the design itself, I appreciate that the Gen 2 earbuds use clicky, tactile buttons in the buds to control playback and call interactions. I didn’t have any miscues using the controls like I do when earbuds use touch areas.

Jabra's Wireless Earbuds Have a Smart Case That Connects Them to Anything (Travelers Rejoice)

The sound quality of the Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2 is still great like it was the last time around. The low-end is full and the mid-range is clear and present. There’s a vibrancy in the 10mm drivers that makes songs feel alive.

The $280 retail price is high, but the sound quality here is what you would hope for from premium earbuds. To go along with the sound, Gen 2 are still packed with lots of features. They have a 6-hour battery life (27 hours with case) with ANC on, can do Multipoint connection, have Fast and Swift Pairing, Spotify Tap, and come with an IP57 water and dust rating. All the advanced features you’d hope for should be present.

Should You Buy the Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2?

Jabra's Wireless Earbuds Have a Smart Case That Connects Them to Anything (Travelers Rejoice)

From where I sit, Jabra updated the Elite 10 Gen 2 earbuds nicely. There might not be enough here to tempt previous owners, but these are tempting earbuds on their own. I really love the smart case feature, but I’m not sure how wide of an audience there actually is for it or how many people will use it regularly.

If you need the ability to connect wireless earbuds to non-wireless sources then you love these. Otherwise, they’re just good premium earbuds like all the other $250+ ones.

Jabra's Wireless Earbuds Have a Smart Case That Connects Them to Anything (Travelers Rejoice)

Jabra Elite 10 Gen 2

7/ 10

The Elite 10 Gen 2 earbuds build upon the same great design and success of their predecessors, these next-generation earbuds come with enhancements that strengthen the audio experience.

$279 at jabra

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