Apple’s AirPods have been the go-to earbuds for the past year and a half or so. They have been described as “pretty f***ing cool,” by Rolling Stone.
“And while $159 is still a pretty penny to spend on far less than audiophile-grade headphones, it’s a bargain for the experience of walking around, totally wire-free, with a personal soundtrack pumped directly into your brain. In a nutshell: pretty fu***cool.”
Since the release of the AirPods, Bose, Sony, and other companies have tried to match the quality and success of Apple’s buds, and they have all failed miserably. However, Jabra recently released the Elite 65t wireless earbuds, and Apple should be worried.
The Elite 65t are small and round buds that fit tightly in your ear (with the right tips). They aren’t as comfortable as the AirPods, but they are guaranteed to stay in your ears. As much as Apple brags about the AirPods staying in your ears comfortably, that is simply not the truth. That’s why many people have purchased optional tips for Apple’s buds.
The Jabra earbuds have microphones on the outside to reduce ambient noise (as well as wind noise) when talking on the phone. The Jabra buds can feel uncomfortable after wearing for a couple hours uninterrupted, but not so uncomfortable that you’ll have to constantly remove them.
This is an area where many earbud makers have failed. Sony’s WF-1000X buds have so many connection issues that they aren’t worth putting on for the great sound. Bose’s SoundSport Wireless have connection issues as well. The Jabra Elite 65t are almost as easy to connect as the AirPods, and they have Bluetooth 5.0 built in. This means that your buds can maintain an excellent connection with Bluetooth 5.0-enabled devices like all Samsung Galaxy S and iPhone smartphones released since 2017.
The only problem is that, at times, the left bud won’t connect. However, when this happens, one just has to press the Connect button on the right while pressing the Volume Up button on the left. This never fails to fix the problem. In over 10 hours of testing, the Elite 65t never produced any scratch or skip sounds that are so common with Bluetooth products that have connection issues.
The sound quality on the Jabra Elite 65t buds is great, especially when you consider how small the buds are. It’s absolutely essential that you put on the right eartips for your ears. Otherwise, the sound will be very tinny. When you find the correct eartips, the bass is punchy, but not overwhelming. The middle ranges are slighly recessed, but the high ranges are just as strong as the bass. You can make changes to the sound with the Jabra Sound+ app.
Unlike other earbuds on the market, Jabra’s offer fantastic noise isolation (there really isn’t a need for active noise cancellation on these). Sometimes, too much noise isolation isn’t good, and Jabra knows that. That’s why they offer a feature called “HearThrough” that allows you to hear ambient noise. It allows you to set the levels of ambient noise as well.
If you listened to somebody talking with the Elite 65t buds, you would think they are talking into a regular smartphone instead of a Bluetooth mic. Though the sound is slightly muffled (less than other earbuds, however), you can hear the person talking even if they are in a big crowd.
The AirPods still win for phone call sound clarity, but the sound isn’t so clear when you are in a crowd; the listener can hear all of the background noise as well.
Just like the AirPods, the Elite 65t can give you five hours of listening time. But you can recharge them pretty fast (however, not as fast as the AirPods) using the black charger case, which isn’t small, but isn’t bulky either. When the charger case if completely charged, you have about 15 hours of use with the Elite 65t. At times, the case is hard to open — but that’s certainly not a deal breaker.
The Jabra Elite 65t earbuds still aren’t perfect. But they are the closest to wireless bliss that consumers have been dreaming about for years. And unlike other brands, the Jabra Elite 65t just work. It will be interesting to see if Apple can come up with something better when they release the updated AirPods later this year.