Reviewed by David Savage
Most people these days, from the young to the not so young, are carrying around a portable television, music system, games system, computer, messaging device, answering machine and telephone and it all fits neatly into a pocket or bag and has very little weight to it. This all comes in the guise of a smart phone, and more people than not have at least one.
But with entertainment device in your pocket, it also creates an issue for other people – no one wants to listen to your music or hear the latest television show. Most people are respectful of others and do the decent thing and invest in headphones or earbuds.
There is a plethora of options available on the market for wired and wireless devices so where do you start? Personally, I don’t like wires, they get in the way, get pulled and caught and end up with a broken cable. I also don’t like headphones and prefer and in the ear option. So, I was delighted when I received the Jabra Elite Active 65t True Wireless Earbuds for review.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t Wireless Earbuds are a set of two truly wireless earbuds, and by truly wireless I mean no cable to charge them and certainly no cable running from the buds to each other or to your device.
In the box are:
- 2x earbuds
- 1x small charging case
- 3x pairs of EarGels (small, medium and large)
- 1x micro USB charging cable for charging case (no power adapter supplied)
- 1x Getting Started booklet
The Jabra Elite Active 65t Wireless Earbuds come in a small package but are equipped with a whole host of little features that I haven’t seen on other earbuds, including an app for your phone or tablet. They feature:
- up to 15 hours battery life
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Water and Dust Protection (IP56 rated)
- Motion Sensor
- HearThrough and Equaliser
- 4 microphone-technology to reduce wind noise on voice calls
- Wind Noise Reduction
- One touch access to Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant
- Available in 4 colours – Titanium Black, Copper Black, Copper Blue and Copper Red
- EarGels for perfect fit
Charging the earbuds and/or the case is simple. The case is a charger itself and charges the earbuds. To charge the case just plug it using the micro USB to a laptop or wall adapter (we all have these knocking around from various phones and tablets). You will see a pulsing light on the bottom of the charging case to indicate charging (turn to solid green when complete). You get 4.5/5 hours usage out of fully charged earbuds and the portable charging case holds another two full charges, giving you approx. 15 hours usage before the case needs charging. A 15 minutes rapid charge will give you 1.5 hours of use.
The earbuds come with 3 different sizes of EarGels (silicone caps that are flexible) and are extremely easy to change (pull off/push on) so it is simple to find the set that suits your ear best for a snug fit. Having the best fit not only keeps them snug in your ear but gives the best sound.
Pairing them together and to my phone was trouble-free. Once paired and before using I downloaded the Jabra Sound+ app (more on this later).
Fitting them is a bit different from any other set of earbuds I have used – you have to put them in and them twist towards the earlobe, so the microphone is pointing towards your mouth. I found this to be quite awkward and initially the earbuds keep falling out. After experimenting with the different EarGels and a bit of practice I got the best and soon learned how to “screw in” the earbuds.
The sound quality is absolutely excellent! The best I have heard so far from a wireless set of earbuds or headphones. The sound is crystal clear with perfectly clear vocals and a rich bass sound (and the Jabra Sound+ app lets you change music presets for a much more customisable sound using the equaliser). The controls are fingertip controlled on the earbud, a bit fiddly but once I got used to them are easy to operate. They also feature AutoPause so the when removing one earbud you can pause the sound and AutoPower off to save your battery.
So a great set of truly wireless earbuds, job done! Well not really. This is were some of the nifty little come in to play putting them above the rest.
My favourite setting has to be the HearThrough function. One of the biggest problems with listening to music through earbuds or headphones while walking down the street is that you can’t hear ambient noise such as traffic, car horns, crossing beeps etc. With HearThrough turned off the earbuds don’t let in any ambient sounds around you in, with it on you can hear surrounding noise – so while not perfect sound it does allow you to hear traffic noise etc. making it quite a safe way of using the earbuds. I think this function is fantastic.
They also have Wind Noise Reduction which blocks ambient sounds so that you can heard on voice calls without shouting at the other party and other people in the street or your favourite cafe.
They also have an inbuilt motion detector so that you can track fitness and performance (the Elite Sport version even has a Heart Rate Monitor), but I haven’t had a chance to use this at time of writing. As they have been designed for gym use and exercise they are rating IP56 for dust and sweat protection (with a two year warranty).
Now for the Jabra Sound+ app. This has lots of features so that you can better manage sound for the earbuds and use of the voice assistants – the earbuds aren’t tied to one assistant and can be used with Amazon Alexa, Siri® and Google Assistant™.
The app will also let you know how much battery power is remaining in the earbuds, very handy as there is nothing worse than just as you start using them they run out.
It also features Find my Jabra – put them down and can’t find them? Load up the app and your phone will have stored data where you last switched them off and display the location on a map.
Jabra have really put a lot of thought into the development of these earbuds and app. The sound quality is perfect and the HearThrough and Wind Noise Reduction functions are an excellent addition. They are perfect for everyday use, the gym and wet weather workouts (waterproof). They are easy to use, have a very good battery life and easy charging and the app gives them even more functionality. The different size EarGels make them a very secure fit so that you can be happy wearing them out and about or better still, in the gym. You can even have two devices connected at the same time so you can share your favourite tunes with a friend in the gym!
My only real niggles were with the case itself. The earbuds don’t magnetically snap in to place like other true wireless earbuds I have used – while not a problem as you close the lid, I personally think that it would be a better feature. The second niggle with the case was actually opening it – it takes quite a bit of force to open the lid and I fear it coming too loose over time, the best way I found of opening it was to press in at each side while lifting the lid and then it opens quite smoothly. As I said, just niggles but considering the quality of the earbuds themselves the case wasn’t quite up to scratch.
I can highly recommend the Jabra Elite Active 65t Wireless Earbuds. The sound is perfect, and the features are excellent, especially being able to charge on the go with the portable charging case. They feel comfortable and secure when in. I would recommend using the HearThrough function when outside or in places where you need to hear other people or warning noises – safety is more important that listening to your favourite tunes.
I think with Christmas fast approaching, these would make an excellent gift. I can’t see anybody not liking or enjoying them. They are on at the top end of the price scale but do have the quality and functionality to warrant it.
For more information or to buy visit www.jabra.co.uk.