Truly wireless earbuds are one of the best things to happen to earbuds since earbuds happened in the first place. And the Elite Active 65t are true gems in the crowded, truly wireless earbud market.
So, what’s the deal with the Elite Active 65t? These little guys sit firmly in the middle of Jabra’s truly wireless (sometimes just called “true wireless”) collection of earbuds, above the Elite 65t and below the Elite Sport. Jabra also has a premium set called the Evolve 65t, but those appear to be for business professionals.
The Elite Active 65t builds on the Elite 65t by adding sweat-resistance and a motion sensor (for auto-pause when you remove one bud); in other words, they’re made for working out. They’re not quite as robust as the Elite Sport, which offers a heart rate sensor and VO2 measurement (among other features), but they’re still probably the set to buy for most people. Odds are you already have a heart-rate monitor of some kind, and I’ve found in-ear heart rate sensors to be dubious, at best.
When I first cracked open the Elite Active 65t’s box, I was admittedly concerned about the form factor of these earbuds—they look pretty bulky. I assumed they’d be heavy, uncomfortable, or some combination of the two. The good news is they’re not. In fact, they’re the most comfortable earbuds I’ve used in recent memory. They stay in my ears really well—even during intense workouts, where I’m literally dripping with sweat. It’s pretty damn impressive.
Not only do they stay in place, but they also sound impressively good. I was convinced all truly wireless earbuds that aren’t AirPods had to sound tiny and weak. It turns out that’s not true. While the Elite Active 65t don’t have a comparable amount of low-end to AirPods, they’re clearer and more articulate. Vocals are brighter and more defined. The midrange is clear, and the separate tonal characteristics in most music are also clearly separated. All of this makes them less “muddy” than AirPods, and they offer a richer sound than other truly wireless earbuds I’ve tried.
The earbuds create a seal in your ear, which not only makes them sound better but also blocks other sounds. When you need to hear what’s going on around you, though, there’s a feature called “HearThrough” that activates the buds’ mics and allows in outside sounds. In my experience, it works really well and doesn’t dramatically affect the quality of the music. It’s worth noting, though, this feature isn’t great in situations that involve wind (like cycling). It’s more for when you need to have a conversation or situational awareness indoors. You can easily toggle it on and off using the button on the right bud.
Speaking of that right bud, that’s also how you call up your voice assistant. That’s not an unusual feature on its own; what is unique, however, is the Elite Active 65t also has Amazon Alexa built-in. In the Jabra Sound+ app (Android, iOS), you can switch from the stock voice assistant on your phone to Alexa—just log in to your Amazon account.
Finally, I want to talk about the one sticking point with these earbuds: the charging case is a pain in the ass. It works as it’s supposed to when it comes to storing and charging the buds, but it’s so much more difficult to open than other, comparable products. While most truly wireless earbud cases use magnets to snap the lid closed and hold it, the Elite Active 65t case has a clipping mechanism that latches it closed. This means the case closes tightly but isn’t nearly as easy to open as others. And it’s almost impossible to flip open the case with one hand (which is one of the nicest things about AirPods).
That one quibble aside, I really like the Elite Active 65t earbuds. With a retail price of $190, they’re right up there with the latest model of AirPods (with the wireless charging case) as a premium option.
I find them more comfortable, versatile, and generally, more pleasant to use when compared with AirPods. They stay in place better than any other earbuds I’ve tried (especially when working out), and they sound great, to boot. That’s a win, win, win in my book!
Here’s What We Like
- Extremely comfortable
- Stay in place, even during intense workouts
- Clear, defined audio
And What We Don't
- The case is bulkier than others and can be a pain to open
- Lack low-end compared to AirPods