Jabra Elite 65t Audiophile Review – Truly Wireless Earbuds

by admin
Summary
While the Jabras Elite 65t are a good step in making truly wireless earbuds ubiquitous and in a place where using them is tolerable, we still have a while to go before we perfect it. The Jabras Elite 65ts excel in terms of functionality, rarely dropping signals or malfunctioning; however, it falls short in terms of comfort in ear, navigation, and charging case. As far as sound quality goes, audiophiles looking for sound quality should look elsewhere as these headphones struggle to compete with earbuds even 1/4 their price. With that said, they do provide sufficient soundstage for separation and have a tolerable response that makes them usable. If you’re not an airpod fan, need isolation, and absolutely hate wires, these headphones might be good enough to fit your bill.

 

Quality and comfort
This is arguably the most important aspect of truly wireless earbuds, and the Jabra’s do a decent job in the comfort department. The best way to sum up my experience with the Jabra comfort and quality is that it’s not bad but is just annoying enough to require occasional fiddling or cause discontent.

To secure the earbuds, you insert and twist the earbuds into your ear canals. When the earbuds are in your ears, you definitely notice that they are present the whole time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s uncomfortable, but you can feel it since it touches a substantial part of your ears. They also make your ears run a little hot.

The stock silicone tips are ok, and I really wish they sent a single pair of comply earbuds. Supposedly, the comply earbuds that fit are the truly wireless comply tips, which you can get at Best Buy for $25, or you can get the smartcore sport pro comply tips, but it’s a bit longer than the truly wireless tips, which means they don’t fit inside the Jabra case. They’re a bit tough to find, and they’re an absurd $40 on the comply website. Relying on only Best Buy to get tips makes me uncomfortable should they choose to not stock them in the future. They don’t feel as secure as the airpods, but they don’t feel loose and haven’t fallen off my ears yet, even when shaking my head violently or doing jumping jacks. It does require some fiddling within your ear to get it just right, but it’s not too bad once they’re in. I’ve spent 2 hours listening to these earbuds, and they performed decently in terms of comfort.

The right buds have a single circle to press while the left earbud has 4 areas where you can press the button. I dislike these buttons. With the exception of the right one, it’s very difficult to press without affecting the position of your earbuds or squishing your tips into your head. I’ve figured out that it’s a bit easier if you can use your thumb to hold the backside of your ears while pressing the buttons with your index finger, but it’s still not a great feeling.

Isolation is excellent. My test is walking through time square during my daily commute, and they isolate everything very well. This is one of the reasons that made it so tough for me to choose against the Airpods, which isolate pretty much nothing.

The case is the most annoying out of everything above. The Jabra elite 65t case feels cheap and the opening action is very difficult. Even after dozens of practice rounds, it’s still not quite there. I don’t like using my fingernails, so I apply some pressure to the actuation area and push it up. The case is also not magnetic, so it pops out a bit when you don’t open the case perfectly. I’d imagine they’ll fall out once in a while when you don’t open the case perfectly. Lastly, the case is a both thicker and wider than the Airpod case, so they’re quite a bit bulkier in the pocket.

Lastly, they do stick a bit out of your ears, albeit much less than headphones like Sony and Bose. It won’t be a huge problem sleeping with your head tilted on an airplane, but I couldn’t comfortably wear a beanie on my head over the ears without applying excess pressure into my ears.

Overall, the Jabras are decently comfortable with a little bit of tweaking, and I’d imagine comply tips will make them better; however, there are just a lot of little minor things that prevent them from being perfect.

 

Functionality and App
The pause feature when you take the earbuds out work flawlessly, but the hear through is a bit less stellar. I’d much rather take earbuds out to talk to someone than use the hear through since it isn’t very clear.

The app is functional, but you’ll only touch it to EQ and change some settings once in a blue moon.

 

Sound
First of all, I had no issues with connection stability. I commute through time square, and I’ve never had a connection drop. I might have had one micro stutter in my few days of ownership, but it’s been good so far. Overall, the sound signature is relatively balanced with a slight u shape with a bump in treble. Soundstage is narrow, but with the exception few heavily layered music, you can pick out most instruments. The place where the Jabra elite 65t suffers the most from an audiophile perspective is the lack of depth in the sound as a result of the small drivers, resulting in a very hollow and flat sound (not in terms of response flatness, but reproduction flatness, which is bad). In addition, sloppiness and slowness in treble and some bass response is noticeable when listening critically.

To enjoy these headphones, I think you need to drop the expectation that you’re going to get solid sound quality since that’s not the main purpose; however, I think they’re good enough for podcasts, background music listening during commutes, and calls, so they’re definitely sufficient enough, even if they don’t sound as good as my $45 earbuds.

 

Music section
Giorgio by Moroder – Daft Punk
  • 00:00 – 00:36 – His voice pops out, but it’s not as resonant as quality earbuds. The lack of separation and soundstage width is obvious, but it’s not completely awful.
  • 00:36 – 1:08 – Bass response here is plenty, and the guitar pops come out really well. Treble is missing the sparkle and forwardness, but it’s still audible. Separation between the instruments isn’t terrible. You can still make out all the instruments, and it’s is wide enough for enjoyment.
  • 6:58 – 7:30 – This is where things start to fall apart a bit. The highs are very loose and lack crispness and feel slow. Bass responsive isn’t too bad and can keep up.
Tom Sawyer – Rush
  • 00:00 – 00:50 Very similar story as above. Clarify around the voice is surprisingly decent, but the highs are disappointing again, and separation is adequate enough to hear every part. The earbuds also lack depth in sound.
Come Away with Me – Norah Jones
  • 00:00 -1:00 It’s evident that the earbuds are not mid forward since her voice seems to get slightly lost between the piano and bass supporting her, and while separation is decent, there isn’t a lot of depth to the soundstage. If you listen to a lot of vocals, bump up the mid range.
Four seasons L’estate III Presto – Vivaldi (Pavel)
  • 00:00 – 00:44 Violin attacks are reasonably sharp, but depth isn’t quite there; however, you can still surprisingly make out all the different instrument parts decently.
  • 00:45 -1:04 Pavel’s aggressiveness is present, but not as sharp as it could be
  • 1:05 – 1:20 – Again, there’s a lack of depth and low-end extension causing a slightly hollow texture, but you can still make out all the parts of the orchestra
Count Bubba – Gordon Goodwin
  • 00:00 – 00:41 Separation is decent as mentioned, but it sounds a bit flat and dry in a bad way and can feel a little crowded when all parts are introduced
  • 1:10 – 1:39 All sax parts are very balanced, and separation is nice.
 Closing thoughts
  • The main reason these are going back was comfort. With Airpods, I can just plug them in without adding fiddling and have no issue. I always felt like I’m compromising with these earbuds, which was frustrating.

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