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Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: Which Jabra sport earbuds are best?

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

In a span of four months, Jabra has released not one, but four new true wireless models. Two of them fall into the sport headphones category: the Elite 7 Active and Elite 4 Active. Similar in performance and style, these are some of the brand’s finest releases to date. But which is the better model?

The Elite 7 Active is the older of the duo and comes with advanced hallmarks like active noise cancellation, personalized sound, and waterproof protection. It’s also equipped with a plethora of features and wireless charging. Newer to the scene, the Elite 4 Active boasts similar aesthetics and functionality as its sibling, though some signature Jabra features didn’t make the cut. That hasn’t stopped critics from calling it a solid performer worthy of recognition.

If you’re unsure which to purchase, don’t sweat it. Our Elite 7 Active and Elite 4 Active comparison has the answer for you.

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: Price

The price difference isn’t massive, but there’s enough of a gap to strongly consider purchasing one over the other. We feel the $129 Elite 4 Active is a better value because it’s identical to the $179 Elite 7 Active in many ways, which we break down in our analysis. Even the color options for both sets of buds are the same:  Mint, Black, Navy.

Winner: Jabra Elite 4 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: Specs compared

Jabra Elite 7 ActiveJabra Elite 4 Active
Price$179$119
Size and weight1.58 x 0.64 x 2.74 inches, 0.2 ounces0.82 x 0.81 x 1.07 inches, 0.17 ounces
Battery life9 hours (ANC on), 11 hours (ANC off), 35 hours (charging case with ANC off), 42 hours (charging case and ANC off)7 hours (ANC on), 8.5 hours (ANC off), 28 hours (charging case and ANC on), 34 hours (charging case with ANC off)
ProcessorUnknownUnknown
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.2Bluetooth 5.2
Special featuresActive noise cancellation, adjustable transparency mode, Alexa integration, Call Experience, EQ settings, Find My Jabra, MyControls, MySound, Spotify Tap, wireless chargingActive noise cancellation, adjustable transparency mode, Alexa integration, EQ settings, Find My Jabra, Spotify Tap

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: Design

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

Confusing one for the other is common since the designs are nearly indistinguishable. The differences are subtle: the Elite 7 Active has an oval shape and debossed logo, whereas the Elite 4 Active has a triangular shape and printed logo. Both are covered in hard plastic with an IP57 rating for dust, sweat, and waterproof protection. Build quality is also solid to ensure each model remains scratch-free and doesn’t crack open when dropped on the ground.

Looking at the charging cases is the best way to tell them apart. The Elite 7 Active case is more compact, lays flat, and has the Qi-charging symbol at the bottom. Jabra performed a copy-and-paste job with the Elite 4 Active case, taking on the same rectangular shape as previous Elite models, which sits upright when placed on a surface.

Both sets of buds are pleasant on the ear and create tight seals to limit slippage. Jabra added MyFit support for the Elite 7 Active to scan the listener’s ears for optimal fit and audio performance. However, the feature works poorly, so Elite 4 Active users aren’t missing out on much.

Winner: Tie

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: Controls

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

No matter which way you go, a full suite of media controls will be at your disposal. The multifunctional button on each bud accepts multiple input methods (single/double/triple taps, long-hold press) and produces solid tactility to ensure intended commands are met. Other controls include on-ear detection for auto-pause/play and Spotify Tap for one-touch access to the app.

Digital assistance also comes part of both packages. Siri, Google Assistant, Bixby, and Alexa are compatible, though the latter comes programmed, meaning you can activate the feature by saying the “Alexa” wake-word function. They all work well on the Elite 7 Active and Elite 4 Active.

There is one prominent exclusion on the Elite 4 Active: control customization. Owners can’t assign functions to specific input methods as they can on the Elite 7 Active via MyControls setting in the companion app.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: Active noise cancellation

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Neither of these models will match the ANC prowess of the Beats Fit Pro or Sony WF-1000XM4, but what you get is good enough to block out most distractions during workouts. Jabra’s Personalized ANC feature lets users tailor noise neutralization to their hearing, and HearThrough remains a solid transparency mode that can be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount of ambient sound you hear.

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

Surprisingly, the Elite 4 Active is the more effective noise canceller. These buds block out low and mid frequencies at a high level, while also reducing some, but not all, high frequencies. This is fine for exercising at the gym or outdoors. The Elite 7 Active does much of the same, though most high frequencies were perceptible during testing. Strangely enough, this version of ANC is a step up for the unimpressive noise-cancelling circuitry the premium Elite 7 Pro employs. 

Winner: Jabra Elite 4 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: Audio Quality

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

Jabra does make the best-sounding sport wireless earbuds; reference the universally acclaimed Elite Active 75t. The Elite 7 Active and Elite 4 Active remain great options for fitness buffs who desire loud, impactful audio that can also be fine-tuned to their preference via manual EQ and presets. Expect a nice mix of strong lows, detailed mids, and crisp highs, no matter the option.

Why does the Elite 7 Active win this round? Answer: MySound. Jabra’s EQ-optimized feature automatically tweaks audio to your hearing needs, giving mids and highs more emphasis on recordings. Enabling it creates a more balanced listening experience. The Elite 4 Active does demonstrate impressive frequency range, but it couldn’t hurt Jabra to include MySound as part of the model’s next firmware update.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: App and special features

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

The Jabra Sound+ app grants both models access to a variety of features, including EQ, HearThrough, Personalized ANC, and Spotify Tap. However, as previously stated, the Elite 7 Active has more at its disposal. Aforementioned features like MyControls, MyFit, and MySound remain the most popular, but the Elite 7 Active has two more that are worth mentioning.

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

Call Experience adds more treble or bass to callers on the opposite end, and adjusts how loudly you hear voices during calls. Soundscapes aids with mental relief by playing nature sounds or white noise in the background. These features are available on Jabra’s higher-priced models.

Bluetooth 5.2 operates well on both pairs of buds, though connectivity and range are stronger on the Elite 7 Active. This model will also receive multipoint technology as part of a software update in early 2022.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: Battery life

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

Expect stronger battery life across the board from the Elite 7 Active: ANC on (9 hours), ANC off (11 hours), and total playtime via charging case (35 to 42 hours). Add stronger quick charging (5 minutes = 1 hour) and wireless charging to the list as well.

You’ll get respectable playtimes with the Elite 4 Active for casual listening and exercising. ANC use is up to 7 hours and disabling the feature earns you 1.5 hours more listening time. The charging case holds between 28 to 34 hours and doesn’t support wireless charging. A 10-minute charge generates 1 hour of use.

Winner: Jabra Elite 7 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active: Call quality

Jabra Elite 7 Active vs. Jabra Elite 4 Active

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Jabra equipped the Elite 7 Active and Elite 4 Active with four mics and SAATI Acoustex mesh covering for stronger wind resistance. One serves better for voice and video calls, and it’s the less expensive option. The Elite 4 Active’s mics pick up vocals and minimize background interference at a higher level than big brother. Muffling is also less present during chats.

Winner: Jabra Elite 4 Active

Winner: Jabra Elite 4 Active

The Elite 4 Active edges out its higher-priced counterpart by a hair. The superior ANC and call quality were surprises we didn’t see coming, but the fact that it performs equitably in other key categories speaks loudly. Not to mention it has the same look and sporty finish. Does it sting to lose out on some of Jabra’s big features? Yes. Is it a deal-breaker? No, especially when considering the $119 price tag, which essentially is the Elite 4 Active’s biggest-selling feature.

Jabra Elite 7 ActiveJabra Elite 4 Active
Value (5)35
Design (15)1212
Controls (10)98
Active noise cancellation (20)1416
Audio quality (15)1312
App and special features (15)1311
Battery Life (10)87
Call quality (10)68
Total Score (100)7879

Spending $50 more on the Elite 7 Active gets you more personalization features. To have these buds optimize sound and calls for you, along with the ability to customize controls, are cool perks to have. Longer battery life goes a long way as well. Had it not been for the subpar ANC and call quality, two major disappointments when factoring in the higher MSRP, the Elite 7 Active could have prevailed as the victor in this super tight battle.