Affordable, good genuine wireless earphones were rare a few years ago. Today, $150, $100, or even less earbuds can have active noise suppression and multipoint connectivity. Jabra’s Elite 4 earphones, released in March 2023, cost $100 and provide better audio and ANC than expected. If you just need good audio and ANC, the Jabra Elite 4 may be for you.
Price and supply
Dark Gray, Navy, Light Beige, and Lilac Jabra Elite 4 headphones cost $100. Amazon, Best Buy, and Jabra sell them.
The Jabra Elite 4 is recognizable. They resemble the Jabra Elite 3, Elite 4 Active, and Elite 5. Each earbud has a triangular(ish) button and a compact, flip-top charging case.
The medium silicone ear tips suit my ears well. Even when jogging, the Elite 4 earphones have felt secure without ridges, fins, or stems.
The $100 Jabra Elite 4 won’t compete with Sony or Samsung’s high-end earbuds for audio quality. The Elite 4’s 6mm drivers deliver good bass for earbuds in this price range. Vocals and percussion sound dull with the earbuds’ default tuning.
However, Jabra’s Sound+ software lets you tune the Elite 4’s sound with a five-band equalizer. Raising the Treble sliders helps a lot. AAC isn’t supported, however SBC and aptX are.
The Elite 4’s noise canceling is good for the price. Switching between the Jabra Elite 4 and the more expensive Elite 5 in public was difficult to hear the difference in ANC quality. The more expensive Elite 5 seems to quiet mid-frequency noise better than the Elite 4, but they’re not far apart. It’s hard to grumble about $100 earphones that can’t match Bose or Apple’s best.
The Elite 4 earphones isolate my voice well during calls. The Jabra Elite 4 aren’t as good for calls as earbuds that cost twice as much, but they’re good enough that you won’t notice.
Jabra Elite 4 features are odd. The earbuds provide Fast Pair and multipoint connectivity, but they lack essential functionality. No in-ear detection means the buds don’t interrupt playing when removed. The earphones’ control scheme cannot be changed, and the charging case’s battery level is indicated via a color-changing LED on its front.
Earbud firmware updates and equalizer adjustments require the Jabra Sound+ app. The app is simple, but I don’t understand why the only control choice is which ANC modes the earbuds cycle between when you click the left bud’s button. If you want a single press on either bud to play/pause instead of play/pause for the right and ANC modes for the left, you’re out of luck.
The Jabra Elite 4’s five-and-a-half-hour media playback with ANC is below average. That’s disappointing—I moan about anything under six hours per charge. However, these earphones are compact, cheap, and have good battery life. Budget earphones won’t drown out international flight noise anyway.
Despite its size, the Elite 4’s charging case provides three full charges. Even with the earbuds inside, your phone can’t show the case’s charge. Instead, use the case’s color-changing LED to estimate. It charges through USB-C only. That’s typical of cheaper earbuds, but it’s worth considering.
The $100 Jabra Elite 4 competes in the affordable true wireless market. The $59 OnePlus Nord Buds 2 may appeal to Jabra Elite 4 buyers. OnePlus’s latest earbuds have five-hour battery life and higher audio quality than you’d think for their ultra-budget price, but their ANC isn’t as good as the Jabra Elite 4.
Pixel Buds A-Series cost $99. Google’s “spatial vent” earbuds feature higher audio quality than the Jabra Elite 4, but they don’t have ANC. The Pixel Buds A-Series get five hours per charge, but without noise canceling, that’s not impressive.
Jabra’s Elite 4 are another economical pair of good earbuds. These $100 earbuds have no major problems, which is impressive given their middling audio, ANC, and battery life. Budget earphones rarely shut out external noise and sound well.
If you can, spend more on earbuds. Jabra’s $150 Elite 5 has wireless charging and in-ear detection, which improve the experience. The Jabra Elite 4 is a good choice for earbuds with decent sound and noise isolation if your budget is $100.
Jabra Elite 4
8.5 / 10
The Jabra Elite 4 are the company’s latest midrange earbuds. At an MSRP of $99, the buds offer convenient features like Fast Pair, Bluetooth multipoint, and active noise cancellation.Battery Life5.5 hours (ANC on); 22 with caseNoise CancellationYesMono ListeningEither earbudMicrophones2 per budIP ratingIP55Supported codecsSBC, aptXWeight (earbuds)4.6g eachDimensions (earbuds)20.1 x 27.2 x 20.8mmChargingUSB-CDriver size6mmPrice (MSRP)$99.99ColorDark Gray, Navy, Light Beige, Lilac
- The good audio quality for the price
- Decent ANC
- Just $100
- No in-ear detection
- Controls are not customizable
- Middling battery life