Jabra Elite Active 65t
Best Wireless Ear Buds
- Resistant to sweat and high pressure water
- Excellent sound quality on both music and calls
- Comfortable on the ears
- Have an Active mode that helps track your runs
- App has an equalizer for adjusting the sound
- Case has no magnets to hold the buds in place
- Controls are hard to use
Connection type: True Wireless | Battery time: 5hrs + 10hrs with charging case | Bluetooth version: 5.0 | Range: 40 feet | Microphone: 4 Microphone technology
VERDICT:The Jabra Elite Active 65t are two elegant buds that will be just as effective in making calls as they are in listening to music. They are also excellent work out buds which makes them an all-rounded and better alternative to some of the more popular buds like the Apple Airpods
Wireless headphones have been around for a while now but until recently, they usually included wires that were detachable. They were not truly wireless. But with more and more people seeking to completely do away with the wires, the earphone makers have identified an opportunity. Big names like Bose, Sennheiser, Apple, and Jabra have come up with earbuds that can only be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth.
My best true wireless buds right now are the Jabra Elite Active 65t. Which is funny because when Jabra first released the original Elite 65t and everyone couldn’t shut up about them, I did not get sucked into the wave. I was team ‘Bose SoundSport Free’ and I simply couldn’t see anyone making better buds. Then Jabra released the Elite Active 65t, an upgrade of the original buds, and I could not remain unbothered any longer.
Well, I have had enough time to test the Jabra Elite Active 65t and now am back where I started. I don’t see anyone making better buds than these.
In fact, I don’t consider them to be on the same competing level with the SoundSport Free. Unless we are talking about the original Jabra Elite 65t. And even then the Jabra still comes out top. Check this post where I do a full comparison of the Jabra Elite 65t vs Bose SoundSport Free.
Who is the Jabra Elite Active 65t made for?
Anybody can use these earbuds. They are great for listening on calls and also playing music. But if you really look at the features then you get the feeling that they are made for sports people. I doubt Jabra would be bothered to make the earbuds sweat resistant if they were only meant for office use.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t are excellent choices for workouts. Whether it’s a simple 5-minute exercise or an intense hour-long work out you can be assured that you won’t lose your grove because one earbud fell.
And with no wires, you don’t have to worry about accidentally entangling them with your hands and accidentally ripping them off your ears.
Jabra Elite Active 65t vs the Original Elite 65t
Physically there is not much that has been altered in the making of the Elite Active 65t earbuds. Well except the introduction of the dark blue matte finish which gives them more elegance. But in terms of features, there have been some upgrades. The new buds are now IP56 water, sweat, and dust resistant certified. That is a tad better than the IP55 rating of the originals.
They come with a stronger wireless connection and an improved sound quality. The carrier case has not changed too. It’s still as small as ever and will easily fit in your pocket. I had my girlfriend giving me funny looks the whole day and I couldn’t understand why. Turns out she saw the case in my pocket and thought I was going to propose. Would you believe that!
But away from that and to answer the big question. Is it worth paying the extra cost to get the Jabra Elite Active 65t? Absolutely. Especially if you intend to use them for workouts or sports. All the added features are geared towards making them the best truly wireless sports headsets.
Unboxing the Jabra Elite Active 65t
The Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds come packed in a yellow and grey box which I had no trouble opening. Included in the package is a USB charging cable and two extra ear tips that come in small and large sizes.
And I was really impressed by that. Jabra is determined to give you the perfect fit regardless of your ear size. The medium size ear tips that come attached to the earbuds were a perfect fit for me so I had no use for the extras.
Features and Performance Analysis
Build and Design
The Active 65t are two elegant and compact pieces of beauty that are a joy to wear. Completely different from the Airpods that can be spotted from miles away due to the long stem that hangs down your ears. Sorry, I had to say that.
On the left bud, you will notice that the middle part can be pressed down. This acts as a multipurpose button that you can use to pause/play audio and also to receive/end calls. To reduce or increase the volume, you use a rocker switch located on the right bud. It’s the same button that will enable skip tracks both forward and backward.
Unfortunately, due to the small size of the earbuds, I found it really hard to use these buttons. It’s more effective if you control everything from your phone. The accompanying app even includes an Equaliser functionality to improve the quality of your sound.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds come with the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology. So if you have one of those devices like the Samsung S8 or Google Pixel 2 that support this technology then you will benefit from a better range and more connection speed. They are also backward compatible with all the previous Bluetooth protocols. I tested the range using iPhone 6 and I was able to maintain a connection for up to 40ft.
These earbuds can be paired with up to 8 devices which will connect automatically anytime they are within the Bluetooth range. They also allow integration with virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant for voice commands and other activities.
Video Audio Performance
Like every Bluetooth headphone, these gadgets are not the best for watching videos or gaming due to their latency. However, when I did tests using the S8 which has Bluetooth 5, the latency had significantly subsided. It was only present when using the YouTube app but on a very small scale. When playing music videos on my PC media player, it was non-existent.
The sound performance on these babies is amazing especially if you can achieve complete airtightness. Which should not be hard considering that you have three ear tips to choose from. The bass is exactly what you need while working out. It packs just the right amount of punch and is way better than the Airpods. It is easily comparable to over the head headphones of a similar price and even more.
When the beat drops with these buds on then it’s all the motivation you need to do one more rep or push through to complete your run. The mid-range is great and you can hear all the song vocals and instruments playing within this range like the Acoustic guitar perfectly articulated. The high end then balances out the sound to achieve true harmony.
The noise canceling in these buds is also amazing. I tried them on the street on my way from work and I could have easily been alone in that street. But this may not be really ideal for people exercising since they need to be aware of their surroundings to avoid accidents. Luckily the Jabra accompanying app has a Hear Through mode that allows you to regulate the amount of noise that the buds let in.
Or you could simply activate the Active mode that comes with the HearThrough mode automatically enabled. In the Active Mode, the earphones will track your run through motion sensors and give you an overview of your activity through their app. It gives you the total time elapsed and the number of the average number of steps you took per minute.
Jabra did a good job with the microphone but it’s not top of the art. I called a number of friends while at the gym where you know it can get a bit chaotic. We were able to communicate but I was forced to shout in some instances. But in fair conditions the mic reception is crystal.
One of the biggest problems with the true-wireless earbuds is that the small size usually limits the battery capacity. But with 5 hours, of playback then I would say Jabra has done a good job with the 65t. The charging case gives you two full charges to extend the playback time to 15 hours total.
The truly wireless headphones are not always the best for running especially because you risk having them fall off and maybe get lost but I tried a short distance run with the 65t and they managed to stay firmly attached in position.
The Focus mode in the 65t accompanying app is also a nice feature that attracted my attention. It incorporates pre-recorded ambiance sounds like rain, storms and streams that I know could be useful in a number of scenarios. Imagine doing a morning run in the city streets while you have the flowing stream sound playing. Pure bliss. Also included in the sound options is White noise which we all know can help you sleep better or concentrate more on a task at hand.
As I write this review the Jabra Elite Active 65t is currently going for $189 at their online retail shop.
If you are tired of wires inconveniencing, you while working out or going for a jog then these earbuds are what you need. The biggest worry with most people when using the truly wireless is they may fall off. Especially if you are on a run. And the reason I think the Jabra Elite Active 65t are perfect buds is that they fit right into your ear. They have a twist and lock mechanism that ensures they remain held firmly into place.
And the best thing is that on top of working out and running these earbuds will be excellent choices for listening to music on normal circumstances.
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