Truly wireless headphones are all the rage these days, and manufacturers are releasing products at an ever-increasing rate. This time around, we're reviewing the Jabra Elite Active 65t, which supports Bluetooth 5.0 and also promises good sound quality, up to 15 hours of battery life, and a secure fit.
We have already reviewed the Jabra Elite 65t, which impressed us with its sound quality, and this is a variant of that pair of earphones, aimed at sports and fitness enthusiasts. The difference between them is that with the Elite Active 65t, Jabra has bumped up the water resistance rating and added some fitness tracking features to the mix. Are these truly wireless earphones worth their Rs. 14,999 price tag? Let's find out.
Jabra Elite Active 65t design, comfort, and features
The Elite Active 65t looks identical to the standard Elite 65t model. Its earpieces are made out of plastic and are ergonomically shaped, though we found them a tad too bulky. The earpieces won't stick out too far from your ears, and are quite comfortable for short listening sessions. Wear them for more than an hour, though, and the bulk starts to get a bit bothersome. The build quality of the earpieces is top-notch and they feel solid in the hand.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t has an IP56 rating and comes with a two-year limited warranty against water and dust ingress. This means that the earphones should be unaffected by even the sweatiest workout sessions. They have a very secure fit and do not fall out - even while running or exercising.
The earphones ship with a charging case, which is a bit bulky and is secured by a clasp as opposed to a magnet. The lid is very tightly sealed and it takes a substantial effort to open it. The case is built well and feels quite durable, but isn't as premium as the one you get with Apple's AirPods. It has a Micro-USB port at the bottom. It takes about 3 hours to fully charge the case and earpieces.
Two buttons on the left earpiece allow you to skip tracks and adjust the volume, and a large button on the right one lets you play/ pause music, answer calls, invoke your paired phone's voice assistant, and trigger the 'HearThrough' mode. This mode filters in a bit of outside sound using the built in microphones. It must be noted that these earphones passively seal out ambient noise and do not have active noise cancellation. This feature works well enough, and we could hear car horns and approaching vehicles while running.
Music automatically pauses when you take either the left or right earpiece out of your ear, and both earpieces turn off when you put the right one back in the charging case. Phone call audio only routes to the right earbud, which can be a bit disorienting at times.
The Elite Active 65t has an accelerometer, which allows for fitness and performance monitoring via the Jabra Sound+ smartphone app. The app is easy to use but is slow to recognise the earphones at times. There is no auto tracking and you have to start an activity manually in the app, after which it records the duration of the activity, maximum and average steps per minute, and the total number of steps.
This feature is great for those who simply want to log their workouts and do not care about features like all-day step tracking, automatic exercise recognition, and sleep tracking, which are offered by dedicated fitness wearables. The information provided is also quite accurate. We compared the step count with our Fitbit Flex and the numbers were more or less the same.
The retail box contains three sets of high-quality silicone tips, which allow for a fair amount of personal configuration. Foam tips, which offer even better isolation and comfort, would have been appreciated at this price.
Jabra Elite Active 65t sound quality and battery life
The sound on offer is crisp and detailed, and there is a solid sense of balance to it. No frequency band outshines the others. The bass is tight and punchy, with good impact. The mids are ever so slightly repressed, but sound natural. The highs are clear and precise.
Where these earphones outclass other truly wireless options is the outstanding detail and clarity on offer. Instrument separation is great and everything sounds distinct and precise. Each instrument shines in complex, densely layered tracks such as Radiohead's Airbag and Two Door Cinema Club's Undercover Martyn.
Noise isolation is also excellent. Thanks to their secure fit, these earphones seal most ambient noise out, even at low to medium volume levels. The Jabra Sound+ application has an equaliser that lets you adjust the sound quality to your taste.
Battery life is quite good. The earpieces themselves last close to five hours on a single charge with music playing at 70- 80 percent volume. The included wireless case can fully charge the earphones twice. A combined battery life of 15 hours might not be segment-leading, but is quite impressive.
There are four microphones - two on each earpiece - for ambient noise reduction, making this one of the best pairs of truly wireless earphones for voice calls. We experienced no issues while on calls during our test period. We also used the Jabra Elite Active 65t with a plethora of video sources, from YouTube to Amazon Prime Video, and did not experience any video-audio sync issues.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t ranks amongst the best pairs of truly wireless earphones we have tested to date. These earphones deliver stellar sound quality, good battery life, a secure and stable fit, high-quality microphones, and excellent noise isolation. The IP56 rating and fitness and performance monitoring features just add to the appeal. All is not smooth sailing though. The ear tips are somewhat bulky and uncomfortable for prolonged use, and the case is a bit fiddly.
If you are looking to cut all cords and are not willing to sacrifice sound quality in the process, the Jabra Elite Active 65t might be exactly what you are looking for. The IP56 rating, secure fit, and nifty activity-related features also make these earphones a solid option for fitness enthusiasts. Those not interested in the fitness features can take a look at the Jabra Elite 65t, which costs around Rs. 1,000 less and also delivers great sound quality.
Price: Rs. 14,999
- Good battery life
- IP56 dust and water resistance
- Secure and stable fit
- High-quality microphones
- Crisp, balanced sound
- Bulky earpieces
- Fiddly case
Ratings (out of 5):
- Design/ comfort: 3.5
- Audio quality: 4.5
- Battery life: 4
- Value for money: 3.5
- Overall: 4