CES 2019: Jabra's Beautiful New Headphones Cancel Noise With AI

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Jabra is jumping in the big boy noise-cancelling headphone game, and it’s ready to brawl. The company just announced the Elite 85h headphones at CES in Las Vegas. While the over-ear-design looks like a fatter version of the very well reviewed Jabra Move headphones, the new active noise-cancelling feature sounds intriguing. It apparently uses artificial intelligence to drown out sound.

The new Jabra Elite 85h come with 40-millimetre drivers, six microphones (four for ANC and two hybrids for ANC and phone calls), as well as hands-free voice assistant control. Jabra also says they get 32 hours of battery life which would blow a lot of the competition out of the water. But the AI-powered noise cancelling seems to be the star of the new headphones’ show. Using technology from the German AI company audEERING, the Elite 85h can detect over 6,000 sound characteristics and filter out the noise more specifically. According to Jabra, that means these cans know when a loud train is coming down the tracks and specifically tunes out the loud train sound.

It’s hard to know if this fancy technology speak amounts to a meaningfully different experience for now. We haven’t tested the Jabra Elite 85h, although the company says it will show off a prototype on the CES showroom floor. However, there’s reason to believe that Jabra’s not bluffing. The Danish company earned its reputation from making high-end headsets for phone calls, so it knows microphones and audio engineering. It also recently blew our minds with the Elite 65t truly wireless noise-cancelling earbuds.

The Jabra Elite 85h will sell for $300 and come in four colours: black, titanium black (which is grey), gold beige, and navy. Pre-orders for the start in March. UK pricing and availability are TBA.

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