It’s no secret that I’ve been a big fan of Jabra’s true wireless earphones in the past. In my review of the Jabra Elite 3, I called it “my new default recommendation for Android“. I had high praise for the Elite 7 Pro and 7 Active as well, with the latter being my personal pick for high-end ANC earbuds.
Since then, the lineup of Jabra true wireless earbuds has expanded greatly. In the past year, Jabra introduced the Elite 4 Active, Elite 5, and now the Elite 4. How does the latest entrant fit into the lineup, and does it live up to Jabra’s impressive track record? Let’s find out.
First, as always, are the specs.
Jabra Elite 4 Key Specifications & Features
- 4-mic setup
- Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)
- Up to 5.5hrs battery life / 22hrs with charging case
- No wireless charging
- IP55 dust and water resistant
- Support for Siri and Google Assistant
- Ability to use either earbud with the other in the case
- Multipoint connection
- Sound+ App support
- Colours: Gray, Light Beige, Lilac, Navy Blue
Design & Build
The design and build quality of the Elite 4 is, to my memory, similar to the Elite 3. The case is made of a lightweight matte plastic, which feels solid for the most part except for a somewhat creaky hinge – the build quality can certainly be improved there. The case is compact and can easily fit into any jeans pocket.
The buds themselves are relatively small, lightweight, and well-built. They are comfortable to wear and fit well in my ears — never once did I fear them falling off. Each earbud is controlled by a large, easy to press physical button, which I prefer to finicky touch controls.
There are 4 colours available: Gray, Light Beige, Lilac, and — the colour of my review unit — Navy Blue. Overall the design is clean, simple, and functional.
Sound & Sound+ App
With the Elite 4, Jabra has improved on the sound of the Elite 3 – at least from my memory. I recall the Elite 3 being not as detailed and sounding somewhat muddy in the vocals, but this isn’t an issue with the Elite 4. They still do have slightly elevated bass resulting in a somewhat warm sound signature, but this is not overdone. The Elite 4 provides a level of detail and clarity which is more than acceptable for a pair of wireless earbuds.
If you’re not a fan of the warm sound signature, you can tweak a 5-point EQ slider on Jabra’s Sound+ app, which I’ve tested and worked well. You can also select from equaliser presets and create your own custom presets in the app.
Speaking of the Sound+ App, you’re also able to adjust if the button on the left earbud toggles between HearThrough & ANC & Off, HearThrough & ANC, or HearThrough & Off. You can also choose between having a shortcut to a voice assistant or Spotify Tap. That’s about it. There aren’t as many features as on the higher-end Elite 7 Pro and Elite 7 Active, such as full button remapping (what Jabra calls MyControl), but this is acceptable given the price point.
I did encounter an issue where audio streaming from my Pixel 5 would stutter while in my pocket, but it’s likely to be an issue with my phone rather than the earbuds themselves, as I’ve been encountering the same issue with other Bluetooth earbuds since the February/March update.
Overall, no complaints about the sound quality. The Elite 4 are a pair of earphones that I would gladly daily drive.
ANC & Controls
ANC on the Elite 4 is another welcome addition from the Elite 3. While it doesn’t block out quite as much sound as the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 7 Active, it still does a good job of blocking out the rumble of the train on my morning commute. Unlike its more expensive counterparts, you also can’t adjust the amount of ANC, though I’m not too sure why anyone would have it at any setting other than maximum.
HearThrough also works exceedingly well, allowing you to have a quick conversation with someone without taking the earbuds out of your ears. Something that is often overlooked by earphone manufacturers is the ease at which HearThrough can be toggled on and off – I wouldn’t use HearThrough, no matter how good it was, if it took an awkward few seconds of me fumbling with my earbuds to activate. At that point I’d rather just remove the earbuds from my ears to speak to someone.
But this is not an issue with the Elite 4. You can set it such that a single tap of the left earbud toggles between just ANC and HearThrough (omitting the pointless “ANC Off” mode), making it extremely quick and easy to jump into HearThrough mode and get straight back into your music when you’re done.
Controls on the Elite 4 are thoughtful, despite not being customisable. All controls that you’ll ever need can be done simply with a combination of button presses on either earbud. I personally find this far superior to the touch-based controls which are usually finnicky and prone to being accidentally activated.
Here are a couple of other things I’ve noted during my testing:
- Battery life is good. I’ve never had the buds dying on me, and only charged the case once in my ~2 weeks of continuous daily use. Jabra claims 5.5 hours on the buds themselves and 22 hours with the case, with ANC on.
- I experienced no issues with audio latency.
- I did not test the microphone extensively, but when I picked up the odd call while on the earphones there weren’t any issues and the opposite party could hear me well, even when I was outdoors.
- While not designed specifically for workouts, the earbuds are IP55 water and dust resistant, so they should be just fine for use in the gym. It’s “protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions, limited ingress permitted.”
- The ability to use just one earbud with the other in the case is a key feature for me, and I’m glad to see it present in the Elite 4.
- Multipoint connection — the ability to connect to multiple devices at the same time and seamlessly switch between them — is a nice feature that’s present on the Elite 4 but it’s not something that I personally use.
Pricing & Conclusion
- Good sound quality with customisable EQ
- Good ANC and HearThrough, easy to toggle
- Lightweight and compact case
- Good battery life
- IP55 water and dust resistant
- Multipoint connection
- Reasonable price of S$160
- Build quality of the case could be improved
- No wireless charging
The Jabra Elite 4 are an easy recommendation. Jabra took the no-frills design and functionality of the Elite 3, improved the sound quality, and added in ANC and multipoint connection for good measure. The result is a pair of true wireless earbuds that sound good and have every feature that you could practically need.
Yes, you could get earbuds that sound better and have more features. But those earbuds typically cost significantly more. On the other hand, if you want to save even more money you could get the Elite 3, which is currently going for the ridiculous price of S$88. But you’d have slightly poorer sound quality, no ANC, and no multipoint support.
The Elite 4 Active is similar to the Elite 4 but has slightly longer battery life (7/28hrs vs 5.5/22hrs) and water resistance (IP57 vs IP55). It’s currently on sale for S$148, which is less than what the Elite 4 is going for. Note that the Elite 4 Active does not have multipoint support though.
If you’re looking for comparable earbuds outside of Jabra’s lineup, you could consider the Nothing Ear (2) that’s going for S$199. I’ve heard good things about the sound quality, and the design is certainly unique, but I’ve haven’t had the chance to review it.
Either way, at S$160, the Elite 4 are already a pretty good deal, but if you can find them on a discount, they’d be a steal.
You can purchase the Elite 4 directly from Jabra’s website, Shopee, or Lazada.
As always, when purchasing online, check if you can get additional cashback on your purchase with ShopBack. You can also check out our deals page for more Singapore deals.
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