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Jabra is a serious player in the ever-growing audio market. Even though Jabra headphones can't compete with Bose and Sony in terms of sound quality, the Danish manufacturer has proven that it has accumulated an impressive amount of know-how to appeal to users. In the budget sector comes the Elite 45H on-ear headphone. The on-ear headphone Elite 45H offered by Jabra is designed for users with a small budget, which although may not benefit from noise reduction, can enjoy a long battery life with tremendous audio performance.
There is no doubt that Jabra is the market leader in the price/quality segment of wireless headsets. To support this title, the company has come up with another affordable gadget. This is the compact Jabra Elite 45H, an on-ear headset under $100. For that much money, you can’t expect an uncompromising flagship device. However, it does have at least one obvious advantage: a high autonomy of about 50 hours.
Jabra Elite 45H On-ear Headphones Review
1. Overview - not finished
Type: Over-ear Noise Cancelling Headphones | Bluetooth: 4.0 | Battery: 30 Hours | Charging: 4 Hours | Drivers: Dynamic | Drivers-Size: 45 mm | Weight: 385g
Many people don’t often think that the cost of any gadget is an integral part of their experience. However, value for money is an important criterion that should always be considered when evaluating a device. Jabra Elite 45H is a cost-effective on-ear headset with multi-point connection technology, high battery life, and a lightweight build. In terms of punchy, resonant sound, the 45H model is a fantastic budget option; however, given the low price of this headphone, you also can’t expect high-quality materials and sophisticated design. The Jabra Elite 45H headphones look sober and are made of matte monochromatic plastic for a sleek look.
The Elite 45H headphone is a part of the “Elite” series whose vocation is to offer a fantastic music playback with a good audio performance during calls. It has a certain quality of manufacturer also. There is special care taken with the earcups by the manufacturer. In the earcups, a leatherette cover with memory foam covers the entire surface, pierced with small holes to allow the left and right sides to be identified. Not as dense or as pleasant a the Elite 85H, but still, a foam layer covers the headband in Jabra Elite 45H. Including a very flexible roll bar which is very comfortable for many people, the 45H still weighs only 160 grams. Despite some positive aspects, we can say that these headphones are too small. So they look very uncomfortable on someone’s head – especially if it is big enough. They are comfortable in the short-term, but not great for prolonged listening to music – they put too much pressure on the ears.
The main focus of the on-ear headphone is simplicity when in use. The device is equipped with a sliding button to activate Bluetooth or turn on/off the headset, which, just think about it, does not have a proximity sensor that automatically mutes music playback when removed from the ears. In the device, everything is located on the right earpiece. It is good to turn it off in idle condition, although the battery has a very long life. Yet, after at least 30 minutes of no music receiving, the device will automatically go into standby mode. The physical keys are located at the top of the right earpiece; however, no-touch controls are available.
Depending on whether the headset is used for music listening or calls, two buttons are dedicated to volume or trace change (long presses), and the third button is for play/pause/hookup. To get access to a voice assistant and for muting of the microphone, if needed, the last button is located in the front area. The emission of small noise on each press of a button is the indication of its operation.
There is an ongoing absence of an on-ear format in the market. Thanks to improved passive isolation, the over-ear models have become more popular. In terms of sound insulation, the over-ear models mechanically offer better performance by covering the ears. The on-ear earcups of the Elite 45H don’t cover your ears completely, due to which you can’t get the feeling of immersion properly.
The headphones don’t provide enough insulation in noise environments, which is a considerable downside for people who fancy good noise insulation headphones. However, they are still adequate in terms of their form factor. They are highly effective in attenuating the high frequencies and midrange; however, they don’t filter out the lowest sounds. If you want to get rid of this drawback, you should look for a splendid model with an active noise reduction system such as the Elite 85H.
Let’s finish with the microphone, which is part of the elements highlighted by Jabra. The brand here relies on two microphones which ensure good communication conditions. The 45H supports multipoint Bluetooth, which is rare on headsets at an attractive price. You can connect this model with two different devices through Bluetooth, for example, a computer or a smartphone.
The Jabra Elite 45H has an official autonomy of 50 hours. During our tests, the headphones were used for about two weeks, not only to listen to music but also to watch movies. The results were very good, about 45-50 hours of use without billing. If you listen to music for about 7-8 hours a day, not counting weekends, you can use the earphones for 70-80 hours in 2-3 weeks to 10 days. During this time, it should be fully discharged only once, from 100% to 0.
The battery life of the Jabra Elite 45H is excellent not only in the given price range but also across the entire broad wireless headset market. By the way, it should be noted that despite the low price, these headphones charge very quickly via USB-C. If you plug them in for 15 minutes, they last for another 8 hours. That’s what I call success.
Of particular note is the mobile application that allows you to adjust the headset’s sound – we’ve already mentioned the Jabra Sound+ application, which allows you to test your hearing the first time you use the headset. To do this, the application plays low and high-frequency sounds and then records your listening range as the number of decibels increases.
Among other things, the application has a 5-band graphic equalizer with a wide range of presets and the ability to create custom profiles for future use. The software of this type will have a very positive impact on the experience of using the gadget. Jabra 45H also has a voice assistant. Not one like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, but a built-in voice assistant that helps you set up and manage your headset and the nice feature that Jabra gives you. The basic voice that comes with the Jabra Elite 45H is disappointing and isn’t of the headset’s selling points.
The main disadvantage of all wireless headsets and headphones is that the microphone used for voice communication is usually of poor quality. However, the Jabra Elite 45H is in the above-average product category. The headset is equipped with two microphones that filter out ambient noise, making the sound very clear. In terms of microphone quality, Jabra also outperforms budget on-ear headphones as well as many other models that are much more expensive. There are no pops or clicks in the sound, and they are never accompanied by whistling. Of course, it is uncomfortable to talk in the wind, but this problem also occurs with other headsets.
The Elite 45H does not disappoint you in terms of audio quality because it is equipped with large drivers, given their size and price positioning. When it comes to Jabra headphones’ sound, I’ve always been a fan of low frequencies, and these new headphones are no exception. The frequency range is from the classic 20-20,000 Hz, and the 40mm drivers with SBC codec support provide as much resonant bass as possible. Interestingly, the mid and high frequencies are clearly audible even in music with a lot of bass.
The headphones give all instruments plenty of room to express themselves. Voices are clearly audible even in tight drum passages. However, other instruments do not dominate the drums. The only thing is that the treble starts to crackle a little when the volume is turned up, but this also happens with other headphones. The performance of the Elite 45H is not as high as the headphones costing two to three times its price, but still, it performs really well.
For a good reason, Jabra did not include a jack plug in the headset as the headset only operates via Bluetooth. The headset cannot be used as a wired headset even if you run out of battery power or prefer to go wired. The headset works well, providing a fairly balanced frequency response in terms of Bluetooth. The treble, at half-mast beyond 8kHz and well defined with the controlled midrange. The bass is present but not in an excessive amount. You can notice the shortcoming of distortion at 80 and 100 Hz. However, a little more present at 200 Hz. For the adjustment of the audio rendering to each user’s expectations and different musical styles, an equalizer is present in the mobile application of the 45H.
Jabra’s Elite 45H is a high quality, pleasant headphone. It has many good features that worth highlighting, although it doesn’t play at the same pace as high-end headphones. With its mobile application and generous autonomy, we still appreciate its superb design given its price positioning. The compatibility with a multipoint connection, offering appealing audio quality and allowing nice phone calls are some main merits of this perfect Bluetooth on-ear headset.
The headset belongs in the budget category, so don’t expect miracles from these on-ear headphones. Jabra Elite 45H on-ear headphones provide no active noise cancelation or use of Bluetooth HD codecs, as the manufacturer has done its best to make the gadget affordable. But in other respects, the Jabra Elite 45H is a perfect choice.