Let’s get one thing straight at the start – Apple AirPods have taken the market by storm and have become very popular, very quickly. The Jabra Elite 65t buds are better in many ways and worth serious consideration. We have been using them for six months – at least five days per week as our main headphones and this is what we like and don’t.
Style: Sleek silver buds look one-hundred times better than stalks coming out of your ears. Remember how odd the first few people looked when you first saw them with AirPods? Well, we still get that feeling when we see them.
Better yet, these Jabra buds also come in gold and black.
Comfort: There is a tight fit which is unparalleled in our experience. The buds twist in, twist out and stay secure.
Sound Quality: They sound amazing. Like much larger speakers. There is solid bass and the volume gets far louder than you might expect.
Sound Isolation: We would estimate these buds are about 60-70% as good as many full size noise-canceling headphones. We used them on a plane from Las Vegas to NYC and were amazed at how well they blocked the sound on the airplane and allowed us to hear our music and podcasts with minimal engine noise being passed through.
Great Technology: Due to the great sound isolation, the buds have a feature to allow ambient noise to be piped through. The user can determine how much outside noise they want to let in. This can be useful for runners to be left on for safety reasons or can be turned on quickly with a double-tap on the right bud just when there is an overhead message which requires listening.
Dual Bluetooth: Connect with multiple devices – we tried an iPhone and Microsoft Surface device. We found however that if the laptop was connected last, then it took more time for the buds to connect with the phone. In other words, connect the phone second. The good news is – if you do this, when a call comes in, you can open the case and take out the bud and the call will quickly be transferred to your ear. In only a few rings.
Connect to Siri: Users can easily speak with Siri or Alexa.
What Wind Noise? Wind noise is dramatically reduced and the other caller will barely know you are outside.
Great Light Indicators: The user can see from the different light colors on the case if charging is needed. They see orange or red lights when charging is needed and green when all is well.
Great App: The companion application allows the user to control the many features and functions of these buds. There is an equalizer with presets like Bass Boost, Speech and four others. There is also widget support allowing the user to modify the UI of the app and more.
Great Updates: The app and headphones have been upgraded numerous times since we started using them both. This shows a solid commitment to improvement.
Case Size: The carrying case is thicker than the ones that come with AirPods. This is only an issue when you compare it to the Apple solution. Otherwise, they fit in your pocket without any discomfort.
4 Microphones: These four mics could be seen as a feature and indeed they are as they remove the need for the ugly stalks that stick out of competing devices. The challenge is, when you are carrying on a conversation in an area with background music or in Grand Central Station, the other party on the call may have trouble hearing you because all the microphones pick up extraneous noise. We hope there is a software upgrade which will help with this.
Before we realized we could simply double-tap the right bud to let noise pass through, we wished the app allowed 3D Touch features to adjust the level of pass through. We still think this would be a great feature but less important now.
Rarely, the buds get out of sync or the left bud doesn’t turn on when it should. It takes a moment to clear this up when it happens. You either press a button on the left bud or reinsert them in the case and take them out.
The Jabra Elite 65t buds bring us joy. They fit well, sound great and amplify our music, not our nerdiness. We think they make a great addition to your portfolio of devices and are the best solution for most users. If you often speak in areas with excess background noise, they may not be for you. Otherwise, go ahead and treat yourself.