I Ditched My AirPods Pro For These Cheaper Earbuds — And They’re Better

I Ditched My AirPods Pro For These Cheaper Earbuds — And They’re Better

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I’ve reviewed countless wireless earbuds, but no matter how good they are, I always find myself running back to my AirPods Pro as soon as I’m done. There’s something about the way Apple’s earbuds sound and feel to me that no other model could beat — until I got my hands on the Jabra Elite Active 75t, that is.

I initially tested out the Elite Active 75t for our best true wireless earbuds roundup (where they were recently crowned the best buds for working out), but they’ve stayed in my ears for weeks after that. Jabra’s earbuds offer a mix of comfort, style and versatility that I’ve found hard to put down — all for a price that’s as much as $110 cheaper than Apple’s high-end buds.

Here’s why I’ve ditched my AirPods Pro for the Jabra Elite Active 75t, and why they make an excellent (and much more affordable) alternative to the most popular wireless earbuds out there.

Mike Andronico/CNN

The Elite Active 75t are among the few non-Apple earbuds I’ve worn that just feel right — and they look better to boot. I’ve got no problem with Apple’s now-ubiquitous earbud design, but I like that Jabra’s earbuds have a sleeker, more low-profile look that doesn’t hang out of my ears.

I also love having a pair of earbuds with actual color. I’m currently rocking the Navy Blue Elite Active 75t, but you can get them in five other shades, including a striking pink and mint green. I’m still hoping Apple will release the next AirPods Pro in multiple colors (as it has with the AirPods Max), but my vibrant Jabras will do for now.

More importantly, the Elite Active 75t are every bit as comfortable as my AirPods Pro. They’re a bit bulkier than Apple’s buds, but they also form a soft, more secure fit that makes the AirPods Pro feel slightly loose by comparison.

I’ve also grown to prefer the Elite Active 75t’s design when it comes to controls. Unlike the tap controls found on most buds, Jabra’s earbuds have physical buttons for doing things like skipping tracks and activating your virtual assistant. This provides a uniquely tactile sense of control and eliminates the chances of any accidental presses, which I’ve had all too often on more sensitive buds, such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds+.

While pinching the AirPods Pro’s stems to control music playback is easy enough, being able to click a button on the Elite Active 75t feels that much more immediate and satisfying. Jabra’s buds also offer a finer level of control, allowing you to adjust volume directly from the earbuds themselves in addition to the usual pausing, playing and summoning of Siri.

And here’s the real kicker: When using the left control button to switch sound modes, an onboard voice will explicitly say the words “ANC,” “HearThrough” or “off,” making it unmistakably clear which setting you’ve activated. By comparison, the AirPods Pro emit one of three similar-sounding chimes once you’ve switched modes, and I still can’t always tell the difference between them after almost a solid year of use.

Speaking of noise cancellation…

Mike Andronico/CNN

For a pair of earbuds that cost way less than the AirPods Pro, the Jabra Elite Active 75t offer the same key selling points — and a whole lot more. Thanks to a post-launch firmware update, the Elite Active 75t now feature active noise cancellation (ANC), and it’s every bit as good (if not better) than what you’ll get on Apple’s premium buds.

I was constantly shocked by how much noise the Elite Active 75t were able to drown out, as they turned chaotic construction sites and rollicking overhead trains into barely audible ambiance every time I turned on ANC to better hear my podcasts. In fact, I found that Jabra’s earbuds suppressed even more noise than Apple’s buds did, partially because of the tighter seal they formed in my ears.

And whenever I needed to better hear my surroundings while being dragged to the park by my dog, the Elite Active 75t’s HearThrough mode did a great job amplifying the outside world. This feature is very comparable to the AirPods Pro’s Transparency mode in terms of how much noise it lets in. But while Transparency mode only offers a single setting, Jabra’s HearThrough feature offers six levels of adjustment for letting you choose exactly how much external racket gets picked up.

On top of matching many of the AirPods Pro’s key features, the Elite Active 75t also do plenty of things that Apple’s buds can’t. While Apple’s buds let you mak

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I ditched my AirPods Pro for these cheaper earbuds — and they’re better

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