Jabra Elite 85h: the best modern worklife headphones I’ve had so far

I use Teams meetings and calling a lot. I also do tons of work from various other places than my home office. Some other locations are for example a train when I commute to Helsinki, when I am visiting our headquarters, occasionally in a café or restaurant, lobby, .. You name it. Simply put: I work anywhere. On top of that I tend to listen to music when I am working or walking when I am not in a call. 

Other characteristics my #consultantslife has are being connected via my mobile phone and my Surface Pro 7. Some of those locations are quiet, but some are noisy (train or café for example) and I also have occasional meetings there as well . That just builds up the feature list I need from my headphones. They need to be comfortable for long periods of time (especially during flights) but they also need to have a pleasant audio experience, good microphone with surrounding noise cancellation and – of course – a good quality active noise cancellation (ANC) to help me either focus, relax or just totally ignore what is out there. 

There are several headphones that fill up those criteria. However, the biggest issue is usually switching between audio sources (Teams, Spotify, system audio, YouTube in browsers, mobile phone calls, …) and audio devices I use (headset, webcam microphone, external Bluetooth speaker, laptop audio). Eventually all my headphones began to have issues with audio: Bluetooth connection starts to break down and the only fix is either to reboot the device and often reboot of laptop’s Bluetooth as well.  While this doesn’t take a long time it is still very annoying.

I have to say Elite 85h Bluetooth is no exception there if you are using Bluetooth on both laptop and mobile. However, to the rescue came the Jabra Dongle. It doesn’t come automatically with Elite 85h but I had one from Jabra’s 65t earbuds available. It was then possible to pair Elite 85h headphones to the dongle. That made a huge difference – no more issues with connection breaking down. For some reason that doesn’t happen with mobile phone Bluetooth, so perhaps Surface Pro 7 Bluetooth has still room for improvement. A year ago I didn’t like the idea of using dongle but the user experience I’ve had since has made a real difference since the connection remains a lot more stable. And it is easy: shove dongle into a USB port and the audio is ready for Teams (usually, read on).

The headset

About Jabra Elite 85h headset. It has a great active noise cancellation ( 8 microphones listening to the surrounding noises). Battery lasts long (32 hours battery time promised, in reality it is easily 24 hours), 15 minutes of charging gives 5 more hours – and this has been a huge saver for me in a hurry. The chassis is rated to resist water and dust. Dust is not that big issue in Finland, but rain and wetness is. However – no issues taking these into a walk even with some rain. Headset over the ear design is comfortable and settings (using Jabra mobile phone app) can be tuned to each one’s liking. I like that the app shows remaining amount of battery in my mobile.

In Teams meeting (or in calls) Elite’s microphones pick up my voice clearly and background noises are reduced – in fact in some meetings I’ve had in a train the other participant thought I was at home since there was no background noise of whatsoever. This is what I love about technology and these qualities are what makes this headset my favorite!

The cons

There are always cons: the carrying case is large so it will take some space. There isn’t a good place for the dongle in the case, despite there was some space for charging USB cable and airplane adapter (included in the package). Also there has been a few occasions when I joined a Teams meeting but no audio was coming to through despite dongle and Teams settings were ok. To solve the issue I turned off phone Bluetooth (disconnecting headphones from mobile), took off the dongle, turned the headset off, turned them on, connected the dongle and it fixed the issue. This hasn’t been common but it can happen and then it is most annoying. Hopefully there will be future update to the headphone software to fix this. This hiccup can be a combination where I have been switching and changing audio sources on both laptop and in Teams settings. What would be a great setting (by user choice) is if a dongle is connected it would always set itself a Teams device and perform a selftest.

There isn’t a great place to store dongle in the case, but I have used either a small plastic bag that also has my OnePlus Usb-C to audio adapter in it. One option would be to carry Jabra 65ts with me all the time and keep the dongle in their box.

But I need to point out that out of all laptop connected headsets I’ve had Elite 85h has been the most reliable when combined with other features. Logitech Zone Wireless was a really reliable as well but loses a lot in comfortability, battery life and ANC when compared to Elite 85h. Of course these two types of headsets are very different and meant to work in different situations.

Final words

Overall, I have been very satisfied with Jabra Elite 85h  headphones I use when working. And the long usage time is extremely useful when commuting via train or when flying abroad – I don’t have to worry about charging the headphones during my journey – and if I do have to charge them I just need less than 30 minutes of charge time to push several use hours into the headset. Currently they hold the title “best modern worklife headphones I’ve had so far”.

Thank you Jabra for letting me test these ones!

28 thoughts on “Jabra Elite 85h: the best modern worklife headphones I’ve had so far

  1. Hi. I just ordered a pair of Jabra Elite 85h with the main purpose to used it within my work as a mechanical engineering consultant which includes a lot of conference calls in Microsoft teams.

    A Short time after my order was placed I read that the headphones doesn’t work well when connected to a PC.

    What’s your final opinion using this as a headphone for work purpose. And which Jabra dongle did you use to imrove the PC connecticity.



    1. Elite 85h support Bluetooth 5 with multiple profiles. The question is perhaps: what kind of Bluetooth connectivity you have in your PC and how stable it is?

      I have always used Jabra dongle when connecting Elite 85h to PC. It is all about PC Bluetooth quality if you connect without a dongle. I tried to use Evolve 75 without a dongle and it didn’t work out that well due to my PC –> My experiences with Surface Pro (several versions) that the Bluetooth isn’t the best on that. At least with headsets I have used over the time.
      With dongle I have a really steady and good connection. Elite 85h hickups with Teams occasionally especially if it is connected to the phone at the same time and I am in a Teams call and I get a another call to my phone. OR it rings on both my mobile and desktop. I suspect this is more about being connected to two devices and Teams. For some meetings I nowadays just turn my phone Bluetooth off for the duration – especially when I am presenting a session.

      My recommendation is to use dongle if you are working. It also simplifies setting it up to another PC (just insert dongle).


  2. hello, you are the only one person I found on the web who’s able to use these headphones with pc (mic and audio). Could you share the info about the dongle type please?




    1. My dongle is Jabra Direct 370. The dongle came with Evolte 65t buds. Software version is 1.48.0 and I have Jabra direct installed on my PC.


      1. My 85h FW 1.6.3 and Link 370 FW 1.50.0 won’t connect. Is there any other way than Jabra Direct to pair Link 370 and 85h


      2. That depends on Bluetooth version and hardware on the computer. I hope you can get the dongle updated and to connect with 85h again.
        Two things that might help
        – update the headset: Install Jabra Sound+ app to the mobile phone and connect the headset to mobile -> see if there is a firmware update
        – reinstall Jabra Direct software on PC
        – check for updates
        – and if that doesn’t help then perhaps resetting the headset might help

        I didn’t have any issues with connecting 85h to the dongle so I am just trying to figure out how I would try to solve it.
        You could of course contact Jabra support as well.


      3. I did following:
        * updated FW on 370 and 85h
        * installed latest Jabra Direct
        * reset headphones
        * tried to pair using admin account on my Win10

        I suspect issue with Jabra Direct. One user on Reddit uses similar FW setup, but I did not get any confirmation on JD ver. from him yet. Do you possibly have an older JD installation file you could share with me?


      4. Sorry to hear you have done all that without any result. Unfortunately I don’t have an older version to share. Perhaps you could reach out to Jabra Support about this one?


      5. Is the Jabra “direct 370” the same as the Jabra Link 370 – seems there is an MS a UC or an MS Teams… I have a surfacebook 2 and can not connect via bluetooth – maybe the Dongle will help. I hear that the Jabra 45 line of headphones connects nicely. I am a bit unwilling to buy a 50 dollar dongle to make the already expensive 85h work and have been very sad to find it’s so difficult. Jabra does NOT recommend using a dongle and does not guarantee functionality beyond audio.


      6. Direct 370 is the dongle (Link 370) yes. Sorry about the confusion. And yes – there are two variants of 85h : one is for Microsoft (Skype/Teams) and another for Unified Communications.
        However it should connect ok via Bluetooth anyway.I don’t have a Surface Book 2 so I can not be 100% sure about that but generally most Bluetooth devices connect to Surfaces.

        For me using the dongle was a easy way to get a good, constant, audio with Teams & 85h.

        You could trying to reset your headset and then re-pairing it to your Surface. You can also connect the headset to Surface with audio cable, but that is of course limiting the use since when we buy wireless headsets we don’t want to connect them with a wire.


  3. I also got the Surface Pro 7. I bought the Surface Headphones 2 but only used them for a day as they were defective, instead of getting a new pair, I decided to give these a try (120€ difference really swayed me haha). Would you say the dongle is obligatory? Do you think I’d be better off with another pair of Surface Headphones 2? (as they work better out of the box). Thanks a ton!!


    1. When using headphones with Teams I recommend using a dongle to have a better audio experience. In the essence: using Teams certified devices guarantee it works.
      Without a dongle – both use computer Bluetooth. Haven’t tried Surface Headphones 2 so I can’t say which one works better with Bluetooth only but I’d assume it would be Surface Headphones with Surface Pro 7.


      1. Thanks a ton for your reply! One last question, I’ve been told that I sound really good on the Surface Pro 7 studio mics. Do you think those are better than the Jabras?


      2. Surface Pro 7 has couple of mics and it has a good sound quality but I like Jabra more due to it’s mic surrounding noise cancellation. If I have a window open street sounds (cars) are not heard online..


  4. Tnx for the review.

    Is there a physical “mute” button? =) (the most missed functionality).

    Best regards, Ilia.


  5. Tnx for the review.

    Is there a physical “mute” button? =) (or any other convenient way to mute them).

    Best regards, Ilia.


  6. Great article, thank you! How physical mute button behaves, does it communicate the state for the Teams application? So muting via physical button causes Teams to go, well, muted and reflecting that also in user interface?


    1. I have to say that I don’t think I ever tested that one. I always used Teams to mute myself. I am guessing here but if you use a dongle to connect the headset to the computer it might even show your status muted in Teams. At least newer models (like Evolve2 85) do that – but as they are never & Teams certified it is expected.


  7. Very thorough review thanks. I have to say I think it’s a joke to have to use a dongle to connect to a PC. I’ve had a bunch of very cheap bluetooth headphones that connect to PC without a dongle. So I would expect an expensive set of headphones not to require one.


    1. Normally you have several Bluetooth devices connected to your computer at the same time. Having a dedicated dongle (dedicated BT connection)!helps with audio quality and various headsets do get extra features – for example with Teams – as well.
      Depending on your computer it may not be a must have, but very often it makes it more steady and easy (plug-in dongle and device is connected).
      It looks like the trend is slowly turning to dongless as tech advances – especially on BT. Teams has now some features for Teams Certified devices that are used without dongle.

      So the way I see it : dongle makes the best out of that expensive headset and reduces issues.


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