Jabra Announce Elite 85h Headphones with SmartSound Adaptive Technology and Hands-Free Wake Word Access to Amazon Alexa

January 8 2019, 00:35
At CES 2019, Jabra announced an expansion of its consumer lifestyle Elite headphone range with the launch of the Elite 85h, outfitted with custom-engineered 40mm drivers, Jabra SmartSound and exclusive AI technology, to provide intelligent adaptive audio, and totally hands-free Voice Assistant Control. The Elite 85h headphones set new standards with maximum battery life of 32-hours with Digital Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation activated, improved sound with advanced six-microphone call technology, and industry-leading durability.

The Elite 85h's SmartSound feature has been developed in partnership with audEERING, a company specializing in emotional artificial intelligence focused on intelligent audio analysis, founded in 2012 as a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich. The company’s soundscape technology ensures the audio of the headphones automatically adjusts to the surroundings, optimizing the response for a call or listening to music, whether the user is in a crowded room or a busy train. The new headphones are also engineered with Digital Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Jabra’s HearThrough technology, which enables users to decide how much of the outside world penetrates through to the listener. 

“Innovation lies at the heart of everything we do at Jabra. We constantly push ourselves to explore new grounds by establishing partnerships with exciting brands like Amazon, audEERING, Microsoft and Red Bull to ensure we are providing only the best-in-class solutions for our users. SmartSound is testimony to our commitment to being the leaders in audio, after 150 years in the sound business,” says René Svendsen-Tune, CEO at Jabra.

Like every Jabra device, the Elite 85h has been engineered to meet the challenges that users face in the real world. In today’s digitally-connected society, noise overload is considered one of the key factors affecting personal wellbeing. Jabra’s SmartSound technology tackles noise pollution with an exclusive part ownership of intelligent audio analysis company audEERING (www.audeering.com). The relationship allows Jabra to include environmental adaptation into the new Elite 85h headphones, creating a personalized audio experience that goes beyond current Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) solutions available in the market. 

Jabra SmartSound, based on audEERING’s context intelligence technology, uses real-time acoustic scene analysis of environmental sounds, and can detect more than 6,000 unique sound characteristics, using this to adapt the audio output to each specific context. This means that when the user moves from a noisy train station into a quiet train carriage, the context intelligence technology will take notice and will automatically adjust the audio to the changed surroundings. It will select one of the three moments: Commute, In Public, or In Private to guarantee a consistent quality for the user’s audio experience. Users can personalize their calls and music settings even further through Jabra’s Sound+ app, which will remember the user preferred settings within the mode for future similar situations.

The 85h's microphone solution uses 8 microphones in total - 6 dedicated for calls, 4 for ANC and 2 hybrid mics for both calls and ANC - and combined with the Jabra Sound+ app creates a 100 percent hands-free Voice Assistant access experience. Users no longer need to touch a button on the headphones to interact with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. Jabra is among the first to feature this capability, allowing users to access Alexa by invoking the wake word.

As René Svendsen-Tune adds, “One of the biggest challenges for people on-the-go is consistency in voice, call and audio quality in every environment, whilst ensuring the best voice interaction and connectivity that allows for either total concentration or relaxation. Our Elite range represents the best-in-class products for calls and music. We developed SmartSound, to ensure we can continue to deliver quality calls and music experience wherever you are. The Elite 85h is a revolutionary headset that will change the way we experience sound and cope with noise in the future.”  

The Elite 85h is also certified IP52 for dust and rain resistance, and is backed by a 2-year warranty against water and dust. It will be available in four colors (Black, Titanium Black, Gold Beige and Navy) including one exclusive to Best Buy in the US & Canada (Black). All colors will be available online at Best Buy for pre-order in March 2019 and the black in Best Buy retail stores starting April 2019 at an MSRP of 299 USD/EUR or 399 CAD.
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