The new Jabra Elite Active 65t are probably the best wireless earbuds out there right now. We had a chance to give them a try, and they proved to be a great addition to workouts, delivering high quality sound and sweat resistance. They’re the Apple AirPods that you really want.
The Elite Active 65t are the sport-compatible version of the Elite 65t series, having added coatings and sealings that make them useable in any situation. The Elite Active 65t are IP56 rated, which means they’re protected from dust and powerful jets of water, so when they’re caked in mud and salt after your next Tough Mudder race, feel free to dunk them under the tap to wash off that grit. To help alleviate any worries, they’re insured through Jabra for 2 years.
The earbuds are coated with a non-slip membrane that keep them in ears at all times. The built-in accelerometer relays data to the new Jabra Sound+ companion app to track steps and cadence. The earbuds also work with the older Jabra Sport app, but since there aren’t heart rate monitors in these like in the Elite Sport earbuds, which we reviewed last year, you won’t be able to track your workout intensity across your route.
Comfort and Sound
The Jabra Elite Active 65t sound richer than the Elite Sport, perhaps because they fit more snugly to seal off the outside sound. The seal takes away ambient noise and improves the experience over alternatives like the open Apple Airpods. The tones are balanced, with full bass and clear vocals. I could listen all day. Good thing they’re comfortable.
They inserted easily into my ears straight out of the box, and one twist pushed them into my canals and sealed off the external sound. They come with two other EarGels for a more customized fit. I wore them for hours at a time and never felt uncomfortable or sore. Even without the wings to push into the folds of my ear, they sat stably and never fell out regardless of how hard I shook my head.
They pause music when one of the earbuds is pulled out of an ear, and play when it’s put back in – a very welcome and convenient addition. How does it work? The right earbud is a master and it communicates to the left magnetically, and so when they sense distance greater than the average head size, they’ll automatically pause the music, and resume only when they’re brought close again. There are three buttons, and they are all significantly easier to press compared to the ones on the Elite Sport – skipping songs or changing volume during a run just required a light click to register. I liked the physical buttons much more than the virtual controls on the Apple Airpods.
Bluetooth and Calls
Jabra’s known for its awesome wireless tech. Like the Elite Sport, the Elite Active 65t have fantastic Bluetooth connectivity. These Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds paired with my phone and laptop intuitively and quickly. I opened the case, discovered them on my iPhone X, and within seconds, they were up and running. They’ve never skipped a beat on my phone. Very rarely, the Jabra assistant voice will weirdly chime in and say “Bluetooth disconnected” and then immediately “Bluetooth connected” while maintaining continuous music. On my 2013 Macbook Pro, they sputtered about once or twice an hour – Jabra says in their FAQ that these aren’t optimized to work with computers.
Phone calls were clear and responsive. I didn’t detect any lag time and had seamless conversations. The noise-cancellation worked somewhat – the receiver on the other end heard loud traffic but still heard me clearly over it, so it was manageable. Cooking under a range hood fan was unacceptably loud on the other side, a problem that was interestingly mitigated by switching to my phone’s native speakerphone.
The Elite Active 65t have a five hour battery life, and get boosted by an additional ten hours in the charging case. Finally, I might have hopes of finishing a marathon before my music dies. If I ever run one, that is…
- Sound quality
- High Price
- Lack of Heart Rate Monitor
The bottom line: these are the best all-around wireless earbuds out there, period. They worked their way into my daily activities at my research lab, the gym, and the streets. They played my favourite tunes for 5 hours straight comfortably with good sound and good looks, and survived a beating on the running path with all the sweat and dirt I could throw at them. These would’ve been perfect if they had a built-in heart rate monitor to track my runs more descriptively than the included step counter. If you want detailed run tracking and can shell out a bit more cash, get the Jabra Elite Sport. For everything else, get these Elite Active 65t. They’re priced at $250 CAD ($190 USD), and come in Titanium Black, Copper Red, and Copper Blue.
Link to purchase on Amazon…
Product page: Jabra Elite Active 65t…
Flashback: Jabra’s Elite Sport Earbuds Review…