The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and Jabra Elite 85T are some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, offering great sound, comfortable designs, and efficient ANC. The Galaxy Buds 2 were revealed alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. Meanwhile, the Jabra Elite 85T was launched in 2020 and is relatively older than the Galaxy Buds 2. However, Jabra continues to promote it as the flagship product. . Both earbuds have their strengths and weaknesses, but which one comes out on top? We find out in this direct comparison.
Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Jabra Elite 85T: Specifications
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Design, comfort and IP rating
On paper, the Galaxy Buds 2 and Jabra Elite 85T are both lightweight and comfortable. But looking at the numbers, the Galaxy Buds 2 have an edge here as they only weigh 5g which makes them 2g lighter than the Elite 85T. As far as looks are concerned, both headphones follow a similar design, but the Galaxy Buds 2 look more modern and attractive thanks to their rounded design that extends into the charging case.
The Jabra Elite 85T has rectangular ear tips with earwax guards that prevent dirt, debris and dirt from clogging the speaker grille. Galaxy Buds 2 come with standard circular ear tips. To help you choose the right advice, the Samsung app also has an ear tip test.
When it comes to controls, both earbuds take a different approach; Galaxy Buds 2 have touch gestures, so there is a chance that they may sometimes register accidental or wrong clicks. You’re not likely to encounter this problem on the Jabra Elite 85T because it uses good old physical buttons, but it also means that you need to apply a little pressure to activate them, which puts you at risk from your ears.
Both earbuds have an IP rating for protection against water and sweat, but the Jabra Elite 85T fare better as it deserves an IPX4 rating compared to the Galaxy Buds 2. IPX2 certified means that they are better suited for intense workouts and outdoor activities.
Sound quality, ANC and calling experience
Both earphones differ when it comes to setting up the audio driver. The Galaxy Buds 2 feature two-way dynamic speakers, consisting of an 11mm woofer for bass and midrange and a 6.5mm woofer to handle the high frequencies. The Jabra Elite 85T has a more traditional setup, featuring a single 12mm dynamic driver on each earbud. The Galaxy Buds 2 obviously have superior hardware, but remember that a lot depends on the audio tuning.
If you don’t like the sound quality out of the box, both Samsung and Jabra give you plenty of customization options via their companion apps, allowing you to tweak the sound to your liking and play around with different audio profiles.
Coming to Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), both earbuds claim to deliver solid ANC performance. Samsung says the Galaxy Buds 2 can reduce outside noise by up to 98% although that doesn’t mean they can completely isolate you from the outside world — you’ll still hear people and high-pitched noises.
The Jabra Elite 85T has a dedicated noise canceling processor, and you can control the ANC level from the Sound+ app. They also have pressure relief holes to reduce pressure buildup in the ear caused by tight tampons and ANC.
Both earbuds offer adjustable transparency or ambient mode to allow you to easily listen to surrounding sounds and people’s voices without taking off the earbuds. For communication, the Galaxy Buds 2 use two beamforming microphones and an integrated audio capture unit. In addition, there is a solution based on machine learning that reduces external sound.
The Jabra Elite 85T uses similar beamforming microphones along with advanced wind protection and noise reduction algorithms to cancel out unwanted wind noise and ambient sound.
Battery life and other features
In terms of battery life, we’re looking at 5 hours of playtime with the Galaxy Buds 2 with ANC and 5.5 hours with the Jabra Elite 85T. While those numbers are close, the Galaxy Buds 2 lag when it comes to full endurance, offering up to 20 hours of playback with the charging case. That’s 11 hours less than what the Jabra Elite 85T promises (up to 31 hours with the case). Both earbuds offer Qi wireless charging and USB-C wired charging.
Other notable features of the Galaxy Buds 2 include Bluetooth 5.2 support, IPX2 rating, 360 Audio, Bixby/Assistant integration, support for SBC, AAC and Samsung Scalable codecs.
For the Jabra Elite 85T, you get Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, multipoint support, SBC and AAC encoding, IPX4 rating, and Assistant/Siri support.
The Galaxy Buds 2 and Jabra Elite 85T are truly capable wireless earbuds with a solid set of features. But overall, we think the Galaxy Buds 2 are a better deal because they are affordable and offer the best bang for your buck. Originally launched at $149, it often sells for $100-110 on Amazon (also check out our best Galaxy Buds 2 cases). The integration of the ecosystem with Samsung Galaxy smartphones also makes it a good choice if you have a Samsung device. If you want solid battery life and plan to use the earbuds for intense physical activity, the Jabra Elite 85T is a better fit for you. It has IPX4 water resistance (versus IPX2 on Galaxy Buds 2) and provides up to 31 hours of playback. Its original price is $229, but it’s routinely on sale for $149.
Here’s a quick summary of what we like and dislike about both headphones.
What we love about the Galaxy Buds 2:
- Lightweight and eye-catching
- Super Audio Driver Setup
- Active ANC and Ambient Sound Mode
What we don’t like:
- Subpar . Total Battery Life
- No iOS App Support
What we love about the Jabra Elite 85T:
- ergonomic design
- Long-lasting battery life
- IPX4 rating
What we don’t like:
- look a bit old
Which headset would you choose? Let us know in the comments below!