Both pairs of earbuds have an excellent fit; the sound quality and overall audio experience too get five stars, nothing less.
By Srivatsa Krishna
The wireless earbuds ecosystem has grown rapidly in design, performance and nifty features and the top ones include Jabra Elite Active 75T, Sennheiser True Momentum 2, Apple Air Pods Pro, and Galaxy Buds Plus—each very similar to the others in the pack and it takes a trained eye—sorry ear—to nuance out the finer details, the pros and cons of each, from a prosumer’s point of view. Jabra and Sennheiser are global leaders in audio products and finally they are out with their flagship devices, Elite Active 75T and True Momentum 2, respectively, for the Indian market. Each has fabulous features and is a delight to use, but each also has a couple of important facets to improve, which would hopefully happen in the next iteration of software and hardware.
Both headsets have an excellent fit and do not fall off the ear—unlike the Apple Air Pods which does ever so often, at least for me. I moved around with both, shook my head vigorously, but they just stayed in there, and snuggly at that. In terms of outside noise block out, it’s near complete and using the app allows some outside sound to filter in—I found this better in Jabra than in Sennheiser, in the sense more external sounds are let in. It’s a personal choice as to what one prefers here. The sound quality and overall audio experience in both is five stars, nothing less. The build quality of the Sennheiser makes them look plusher than the Jabra which looks sportier—take your pick accordingly.
The touch controls of Jabra are extremely sensitive and I found myself accidentally pressing the buttons; but that was not so in the case of the Sennheiser. The buttons are easy to operate but it would have been nicer if they had better resistance—in both.
Jabra has a pressure vent that simultaneously filters ambient noise out while promoting a strong bass which is useful for athletes, but it is a trifle pronounced for music reproduction. Both earbuds house sensors that allow for automatic ear detection: removing one earbud automatically pauses playback, and re-inserting it resumes playback, which is extremely useful. The only high-quality Bluetooth codec supported by the Elite Active 75t is AAC, which serves iOS users well but for Android users this can be unreliable. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless offers aptX low latency which is excellent for those not happy with just AAC and are by far the best codecs in the Bluetooth world today, especially for television viewing. Both buds have all the voice assistants at your beck and call and work flawlessly.
The one big difference is that Sennheiser has noise cancelling, whereas the Jabra doesn’t, and this difference is quite real especially in noisy areas like malls or subways. It’s quite strange why Jabra doesn’t have it when competition does, except that perhaps it might adversely affect battery life.
Sennheiser is IPX4 splash resistant whereas Jabra is IP57, the latter being better for athletes as it is water resistant. So, depending on your intended use, you can pick one or the other. The battery life of both lasts about 6.5-7 hours as promised and I found Jabra’s marginally better by about 30 minutes than the Sennheiser on this count—and these vary by use. The enclosed charging case adds significantly more power to both. Jabra is available in navy blue and three kinds of blacks, Sennheiser only in black (white expected soon).
The two major differences between them come down to apps and pricing. Here Jabra’s app, especially with the recent firmware update that allows MySound for better customisation, leads the race, significantly. Even on the app store, the rating of Jabra’s app is much higher than Sennheiser, which one hopes will change with a future update. The other is pricing: Jabra’s MRP is Rs 17,000 while Sennheiser is at Rs 25,000, with real world prices being slightly lower.
In sum, you wouldn’t go wrong with either of them, both being excellent earbuds, and the key differences mentioned above will enable you to select as per your choice. Both are titans, and both are excellent at what they do.
Estimated street price
Jabra Elite Active 75T: Rs 17,000
Sennheiser True Momentum 2: Rs 25,000
The writer is an IAS officer. Views are personal.