In writing this Jabra Elite 65t Review, we are reminded that earbuds are not a new invention. Yes, the introduction of the Sony Walkman did start a huge development cycle. And nowadays we do have a variety of products designed for a variety of uses. But where and when were they first used?
For that, we have to go back to France in 1891. Ernest Mercadier, a French engineer, and designer created the first in-ear headphones. It was Nathaniel Baldwin who had actually invented the headphone but didn’t patent the idea. Edison was also using headphones, but Mercadier’s were in-ear, and that was unique.
They were designed for telephonists, used in a working environment for hours at a time. They even had a very early and crude version of noise-canceling. But it was Sony that brought about the revolution. The in-ear or earbud headphones have come along way since the Walkman entered our existence. We are going to take a look at one such product, the Jabra Elite 65T wireless earbuds.
But before we do, let’s talk a bit about the manufacturer…
Jabra is a member of the Danish GN Group. GN was established 150 years ago, and Jabra is part of an elite group of companies. They are widely known for producing headphones, earbuds, and headsets for consumer and professional use.
But there is another extra major string to their bow that gives them a great base of understanding and knowledge. That’s because they also produce hearing aids. All this is managed under one roof.
To manufacture hearing aids, you must understand the ear and how it works. In understanding how it works, very few manufacturers of earbuds are better placed to appreciate the risks. That understanding is translated into the design of great, efficient, but above all, safe earbuds. The Jabra Elite 65t wireless earbuds are just one of a range of their products.
Jabra Elite 65T – Overview
The first thing you notice about these earbuds is the design. They have a very mature and efficient look. No garish colors or distinct designs, just an understated style that indicates quality. And that is exactly what they give. They give quality and reliability as well as a great sound and easy to use controls.
Call answering, adjustment of the music, and all the options are all quick and easy to use. Easy pairing and an element of ambient noise control make these an attractive option. Ideally, suited for the commute or quiet listening, they are not designed for the gym or running. They have a high comfort level and a growing reputation.
So let’s take an in-depth look at the Jabra Elite 65t wireless earbuds…
It isn’t often that you hold a product that is made completely of plastic and think it has a premium high-level build. That is what you get from these earbuds. Yes, the build is completely plastic, earbuds, and the charging case, but they still feel substantial.
They feature a pleasant ‘soft-touch’ plastic, which is what gives them their comfortable feel. The outer skin of the earbuds have small perforations. These are there to allow one of the four microphones to pick up your voice when you are making calls.
They also allow any external sounds in. These are then combined with the music you are listening to, though at a lower volume. This ensures you are not completely cut off from the outside world. You can decide just how much ambient sound is allowed in by using the Jabra app.
We wouldn’t say that these are designed for the gym or full-on activity. They are IP55 rated. This means they have a reasonable level of protection against dust particles and are fine if they are splashed with water. Ok then in the rain, but not for a swim. They come with a 2-year warranty, which gives some peace of mind.
As we mentioned, the earbuds are fitted with four small microphones, primarily for voice calls. But also for external noise absorption. These certainly give a high-level of performance for calls, but more on that in another section.
Battery time is adequate, though, in our view, an area where things could have been better. A full charge will give you up to five hours of playtime. This, of course, depends on how loud you have the music.
Five hours is probably enough for the morning and evening commute and lunch, but that might be all. It’s plenty if you are at home or out walking the dog, of course, If you do run out of battery a quick 15-minute charge will give you about 90 minutes.
Having said that, another ten hours can be found through the charging case. To charge, simply put them in the case. It is, as we said earlier, made from plastic and is a compact design, if not particularly sturdy. However, it does, though, fit neatly in your pocket.
It has a micro USB port, which is a bit disappointing as most devices these days use USB-C ports. It is a nice case, and the earbuds fit neatly and quite tightly. The lid, though, has no magnetism for closing and is not spring-loaded. This, in our view, is another slight downside.
The five-hour playtime and the case are not deal-breakers. But they are areas that could possibly have seen a slightly better design. The earbuds are not magnetic either, so you will need to be careful when putting them in the charging box. Even without the assistance of USB-C, charging the earbuds in the case is quite fast.
The build quality is good and certainly has its plus points. We particularly like the small extensions of the buds that point forwards. These are aimed towards your mouth and contain small microphones that give a very clear speaking sound.
If we are to be picky, the battery life could have been better. Also, the case, nice as it is, could have had a better closing fixing. As we said, though, these, in our opinion, are not deal-breakers. More like minor inconveniences. The real test comes later.
Part of that test is comfort. One thing you do need with earbuds is for them to be comfortable. Weight has a lot to do with that. The average weight for earbuds is about .55 of a pound, so these come in slightly over that at 0.69 pounds. Nothing to get excited about and hardly noticeable.
One of the strengths of the Jabra Elite 65t wireless earbuds is that they are comfortable. One earbud does weigh a little more than the other. This is due to the extra controls included on that side.
In the box are three sets of silicone ear tips to give you a choice of size. The ear tips that are supplied with the earbuds are likely to give most people a snug fit, and they fit securely in your ear without any noticeable problems.
And whilst as we said, they may not be designed for the gym or running, they are not likely to fall out. The tips do not penetrate too deep into the ear canal, and so the fit is good but also comfortable. They are also safe and less likely to cause any ear damage.
The Jabra Elite 65t wireless earbuds enjoy Bluetooth 5.0, and the connection is very good. The pairing was quick and easy. It is possible to use only one earbud, but the right earbud is a controller, so when you remove it, the music stops. It resumes when you put it back in.
They are, of course, multifunctional, and the earbud controls let you answer calls and adjust the music as you choose. You have access to your choice of an assistant, Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri by voice command or by pushing a button on the right earbud.
The 65t will connect to two devices at the same time, be they iOS or Android. If a call comes in, it will be announced in your ear and give the ‘caller ID.’ You will have to have the right earplug in use for this service.
There are a variety of settings on the Jabra App to set the earbuds up to suit your requirements. The app is quite good for a change, which is encouraging.
After the comfort level, we now come down to the other critical area, the Sound. This is always an area where we can only give a personal opinion that is somewhat influenced by our own preferences.
The sound quality of these earbuds is very good but with its nuances. We wouldn’t say they are tuned specifically for any genre of music. Whilst being perfectly acceptable for the ‘easy-listening’ user, they do come in a little bass-heavy. This will naturally reduce the impact of the higher frequencies.
In certain genres like Classical or music or jazz, for example, this is a good thing. We often find headphones or earbuds that have an emphasis on higher frequencies far too sharp in those genres. The lower end emphasis isn’t going to suit the rap or hip-hop fraternity because the bass isn’t blowing your brains out. But it is a warm sound that is quite striking.
The mids are clear, but as the volume rises, they can get a bit crowded. The downside is that because the high frequencies are rolled off, they do lack a little sparkle. Acoustic guitars, for instance, suffer a little bit and lose their brightness.
Very minor issues as the overall sound is very good. If you need to tweak it suit yourself, the Jabra app has an efficient EQ. This will allow you to make the changes you prefer to a certain extent. This facility extends to both iOS and Android users.
As we mentioned, the app is good and offers some nice features. One of which is that the earbuds actually block out a lot of the external sounds around you. There may be a situation where you actually need to hear a little about what’s going on. The amount of external sound can be adjusted from the app.
Thus allowing the microphones to let as much sound as you require to enter. This feature they refer to as ‘Hear Through.’
Each earbud has its own responsibilities with the Elite 65T. The right earbud has one button that will play and pause your music. It also will activate whichever voice assistant you have requested and answer calls. It also acts as the power button.
However, some activations are dictated by the length of the time the button is held down for. Not really the most satisfactory operation in our book. It takes a bit of time to get those actions understood.
The left bud has far less to worry about and is just a rocker-type switch for volume. Once again, though, they utilize the length of time the button is held down — this time to skip a track or go to a previous track.
The problem is, of course, with ever-increasing amounts of technologies comes the need for more controls. Earbuds only have a certain amount of space to affix these controls. So until someone invents thought control for operating them, there will usually be a reasonably difficult control process.
Some actions are simple; just removing a bud will pause the music, which is not a new idea but a useful inclusion. The ‘Hear Through’ feature will also activate automatically when you happen to get a call. Again these controls are all activated by the amount of time you press the right earbud.
The quick tapping technique required to operate them is not so difficult. But remembering how many taps and the length of each hold per tap might be in the early days.
The earbuds will activate as soon as you remove them from their charging case. They will turn themselves off when placed in the case.
We would give a good rather than very good for the controls. But that is only based on the potential confusion of operating procedures in the early days. Once you’ve got to grips with them, they will be fine.
Not a great deal to get excited about. You do get three different-sized ear tips, as we have mentioned and, of course, the charging case. But that can hardly be called an extra. More of an essential.
Jabra Elite 65T Pros & Cons
- Good quality sound.
- Great for making calls.
- Two-year warranty.
- Solid connectivity, with no latency issues with video
- Generic battery case.
- Noise-isolating fit isn’t for everyone.
- They can get uncomfortable during extended listening for some people.
What We Think
Overall the Jabra Elite 65T wireless earbuds would have to be considered as one of the best around. If you can compare them with some of the competition, they are ahead of most of them. This will include the Apple Earpods, The Jabra Elites are a little more expensive, but they offer more, especially in noise-canceling through the app.
Whilst they outperform most of their rivals, they certainly have the edge in style, in our opinion. As we described earlier, they have a mature look and feel to them that is not ostentatious. Not for everyone, of course, but these earbuds concentrate on the quality rather than trying to make a statement.
Being from Denmark, they come from a country steeped in quality audio. Bang and Olufsen, TC Electronic, GN of which Jabra are a part, and Danfoss, are world-renowned, so we might expect Jabra to produce quality. They do, and they do it at want we think is a great price.
The Jabra Elite 65t certainly opens doors for people who want quality earbuds at a sensible price.