Positives

IP67 dust- and water-resistant
Ear tips allow awareness of surroundings
Reliable connection and Bluetooth 5.0
Quick charging
Virtual assistant access

Negatives

MicroUSB charging
Microphone quality
Bulky

Bottom Line

These won’t win any awards for sound quality, but they’re great for athletes who need to remain aware of their surroundings. The IP67 rating means you can exercise worry-free and spend more time focusing on your workout.

5.5
5.5
Jabra Elite Active 45e
by Jabra

These won’t win any awards for sound quality, but they’re great for athletes who need to remain aware of their surroundings. The IP67 rating means you can exercise worry-free and spend more time focusing on your workout.

Sun’s out, guns out, which means more of us will be heading outside for workouts. While there are benefits to traditional earbuds, outdoor athletes should remain aware of their surroundings. Jabra knows the importance of vigilance and developed the Jabra Elite Active 45e with safety in mind.

Read the in-depth review at SoundGuys

What is the Jabra Elite Active 45e like?

The Jabra Elite Active 45e earbuds hanging on a road bike tire.

The earbuds are great for outdoor activities because they keep users aware of their surroundings.

These are unapologetically workout earbuds. The bulky housings are strung together by a TPE cable and stiff, reinforced ear hooks. It’s easy to shape them to the back of the ear, and doing so is well worth the effort. I ran, rock climbed, and cycled while wearing these without experiencing any instability. Volume buttons line the bottom edge of the right earbud and are easy to reach, while the left earbud controls virtual assistant access.

The proprietary ear tips insert deeply into the ear canal without creating a complete seal. This is good as it maximizes security while allowing outside noise to still find its way through. If you’re uncomfortable, try one of the two alternative size tips. Another great feature is the IP67 dust- and water-resistant build. This means you can take them to the dunes or beach without issue.

It’s disappointing to see the Micro-USB input, rather than USB-C, for charging. However, the earbuds support fast charging: 15 minutes of charging provides an hour of playback. Meanwhile, it takes about two hours to complete a full charge of the 500mAh battery, which lasts for just over nine hours.

Is connection strength good?

Yes, Jabra’s wireless products have excellent connection strength and the Jabra Elite Active 45e is no exception. These use Bluetooth 5.0 and are afforded a 10-meter wireless range. While testing, a complete disconnect didn’t occur until the 12-meter mark. This extra flexibility is great if you’re at the gym and don’t want to pick your phone up from station to station.

The earbuds operate via Bluetooth 5.0 and remain connected beyond the 10-meter range.

The only downside is the lack of high-quality codec support. It makes sense because audio quality isn’t a priority with these earbuds. The lack of support results in slight lag regarding command responsiveness and audio-visual streaming. This is one of the drawbacks of the SBC codec. Supporting it is affordable and doesn’t require much processing power, but it suffers from high latency.

How does Jabra Elite Active 45e sound?

The earbuds covered in water on a blue surface.

Due to the IP67 rating, the earbuds can be fully submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

The 45es don’t sound great, but they’re not supposed to. Since these workout earbuds deliberately allow the ingress of outside noise, audio quality suffers. That said, they sound better than a pair of bone conduction headphones might, all while still keeping you aware of your surroundings. Bass notes are emphasized to make low-end and vocal frequencies stand out. Generally speaking, clarity is lacking because of the de-emphasized treble response. Due to the sound signature of the Elite Active 45e, pop, hip-hop, and rap sound best. To get a comprehensive breakdown of how the earbuds sound, read SoundGuys’ take.

Should you buy it?

If most of your workouts are outside, yes, these $100 earbuds are worth it. Connection strength and ambient awareness are key when exercising, and Jabra prioritizes both with the Elite Active 45e. For those seeking a more versatile pair of earbuds with better sound quality, check out the Jaybird Tarah.


A note from the editor

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