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Jabra on meeting consumer needs and collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies to reinvent true wireless technology

Oct 21, 2021

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Jabra is a world leading brand in audio, video, and collaboration tech. Its broad suite of intelligent devices includes headphones and true wireless earbuds that continuously push the boundaries of the listening experience and are engineered around empowering consumers.

Jabra recently announced three audio products to establish its new Elite true wireless line-up – the Elite Pro, Elite Active, and core Elite lines. These devices, based on Qualcomm Technologies Bluetooth audio platforms, are designed to meet the consumer need for enhanced call technology, in-ear fit, audio experience, and design.

We chatted with Calum MacDougall, SVP of Global Marketing at GN Audio A/S (trading as Jabra), about some findings from our 2021 State of Sound Report – an analysis of new data and insights from our survey of thousands of audio consumers around the world – and how Jabra are working to deliver the experiences most pertinent to today’s listeners.

Could you share a top-level overview of the exciting line up of new products Jabra just released?

We announced three new products: Jabra Elite 7 Pro, Jabra Elite 7 Active, and Jabra Elite 3. We recognize that wireless audio consumption is continuously evolving, and that’s why we tailored each new earbud to specific uses. For example, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro delivers revolutionary call performance with ground-breaking new Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM technology, longer battery life with up to eight hours non-stop play time, and adjustable ANC.

For fitness-oriented consumers, we engineered the Jabra Elite 7 Active to deliver the ultimate active fit, with our pioneering new ShakeGripTM tech – perfect for active lifestyles. And, because we know that audio is so important for virtually all consumers, we created the Jabra Elite 3 to bring great sound while on-the-go to a wider audience.

Our 2021 State of Sound Report shows that 52 percent of those surveyed are now looking for high-resolution or lossless audio quality. How is Jabra thinking about the increasing demand for superior sounding wireless audio? And how are you addressing this in the Elite earbuds?

We know that sound quality is critical, and it’s significant that the majority of consumers are becoming more educated and demanding about these audio standards.

We worked hard to deliver superior audio in the Elite 7 series with our custom 6mm speakers, which have been arranged to deliver a distortion-free music experience. Knowing how unique each ear is, we also added a host of personalization features such as MySound, which fine-tunes music to each individual user’s unique hearing profile, and MyFit which helps users to find the right ear-gel size for the best seal, leading to a more immersive listening experience.

The Elite 3 support punchy bass with custom 6mm speakers and an equalizer to help listeners tune their music to their liking. Moreover, Elite 3 includes Qualcomm aptX audio to support the high-quality Bluetooth audio that most consumers want.

In the last 12 months, we saw the use of wireless earbuds for voice calls increase significantly. What features have Jabra baked into these new products to help deliver an elevated experience when making calls?

Yes, this truly is a new era – and not only because of the shift to hybrid work, but even more broadly. Making wireless-audio voice calls has become a pivotal means of staying connected in many places.

This is exactly why we brought our cutting-edge Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM Technology to the Elite 7 Pro. It delivers ultimate call clarity, even in the noisiest places. Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM combines a bone conduction sensor, four microphones, and algorithms to ensure crystal clear calls. This is our first consumer earbud to leverage both traditional microphones and bone conduction technology.

A voice pick-up (VPU) sensor in both earbuds makes Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM so effective. The intelligent algorithms constantly analyze the types of noise being picked up by the built-in microphones; and when they detect wind noise, they automatically activate the VPU sensor. Bone conduction technology is used to transmit voice via the vibrations in the jawbone, and the intelligent algorithm then uses the best combination of the bone conduction sensor and microphones to transmit the best call clarity.

All this processing is supported by the Qualcomm QCC5141 platform, which allows us to run such complex features while achieving long battery life that users require.

So, you mentioned the importance of ear comfort – can you tell us about the engineering considerations related to creating a small, ergonomic form factor earbud without compromising sound quality or battery life?

Ear comfort is so important, and typically personal to every ear. It’s a challenge, because wireless earbud tech needs to be smart and powerful, yet small, comfortable, and discreet. We’ve managed to make our new earbuds 16 percent smaller than our existing Elite 75t – our smallest earbuds in market

On top of that, we’ve improved the design based on learnings from our database of more than 62,000 ear scans, combined with our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies to incorporate all the audio features we wanted. Using the highly integrated QCC5141 Bluetooth Audio SoC we were able to reduce form factor significantly with no compromise on power or features. With support from Qualcomm, we aim to specifically design for freedom and flexibility for the ever-evolving consumer demand for richly featured devices that can be used virtually all day and taken virtually anywhere.

And, last question, can you share a bit about how Jabra is working with Qualcomm Technologies to bring incredible audio to a wide range of consumers?

This is another area that’s of great importance to us. To address the broad diversity among audio consumers, the Elite range of products is specifically designed to provide consumers with great sounding earbuds at a choice of price points. In particular, we released the Jabra Elite 3 to bring a rich, next-level listening experience at an affordable price point. These earbuds are engineered to bring music to life, with 6mm speakers, crystal clear calls with 4-microphone call technology, a class-leading music equalizer, up to seven hours of battery life (28 hours including the charging case), and even include aptX HD audio. This is a great example of audio innovation that we hope will allow many consumers to stay connected and enjoy hearing their music the way the artist intended.

Qualcomm aptX, Qualcomm TrueWireless, and Qualcomm QCC5141 are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

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