Even though the Jabra Elite Active 65t was released way back in 2018, you may still prefer these earbuds to newer audio devices. In this article, we’ll explore whether these earbuds still hold up well today and if they are, as advertised, ideal for active lifestyles.
Overview: Jabra Elite Active 65t
The Jabra Elite Active series is the successor to the original Jabra Elite 65t. What makes this series of true wireless earbuds distinct from its predecessor is higher-quality technical performance and a better build.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t is more polished, comfortable, longer-lasting, and has a better audio quality for both calls and music. Moreover, it can support most well-known virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa.
Given its age, you can expect these earbuds to be significantly cheaper than when they were first released—definitely something to consider if you’re on a tight budget. These earbuds are fantastic if you work out frequently and like to listen to your own music while doing so.
Design & Build
Wireless earbuds come in many different designs—some are bulky and protrude outwards, while others opt to be more minimalistic. With the Jabra Elite Active 65t, you get something that falls somewhere in between, designed to fit snugly in your ears without causing discomfort.
These earbuds are small, discreet, and beautifully designed with a sporty aesthetic—perfect for fitness buffs. You’ll immediately notice that the Jabra Elite Active earbuds don’t have a stem, unlike Apple’s AirPods. That means you can tuck them in your ears and they won’t be as noticeable.
On the surface, the Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds have a circular build with a protruding tip. This helps them stay secure and prevents them from coming come loose during workouts. When you’re not using them, you can store them in their oval charging case.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds come in three attractive colors: black titanium, blue, and copper red. Each of these colors comes in stylish matte shades, great for pairing with any of your #ootds.
Unfortunately, this is where the Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds take a dip in build quality. The case is like many other cases in terms of size and weight. They have a nice, small size to them so they’re very portable. The case isn’t as small as an AirPods case, but they can still easily fit into pockets.
However, the noticeable downside to the case is that they’re difficult to open. Some users found that they need to pry the case open with their fingernails to get it to budge. Others report that you need to squeeze the case for it to pop open.
In all, the Jabra Elite Active 65t case’s design is less than ideal. While the tight lid does ensure that the earbuds don’t fall out, it can be detrimental to the overall user experience.
Comfort & Fit
Earbuds are notorious for being uncomfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time. Thankfully, the Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds break from this mold with comfortable in-ear tips that don’t feel like they’re intruding into your ear canals. The in-ear tips come in three sizes—make sure you select the correct ones to ensure that they are the perfect fit for your ears.
With all of the above said and done, you’d ultimately want your earbuds to deliver the best music experience to you. Ideally, you’d want your favorite tunes to be crisp and clear, complete with strong bass and treble lines.
Clear & Customizable
The Jabra Elite Active 65t delivers outstanding audio performance, regardless of what you’re listening to. It works equally well whether you’re listening to music or tuning into a podcast. The earbuds also function very well when you answer phone calls with them, as their microphone is sensitive enough to pick up even the softest voices.
Also, as with any other Jabra audio product, you can pair the Elite Active 65t with their in-house Sound+ companion app. With this app, you can create different audio profiles for when you’re on the commute, focusing on work or working out.
There is even a customizable music equalizer available for you to manually tweak the bass and treble to your tastes. Want a little more bass while listening to Ariana Grande? Choose the Bass Boost. You can also ramp up the treble and adjust many other settings to fine-tune your listening experience.
Apart from these, the Jabra Elite Active earbuds also allow you to listen with just one ear. You can remove the left earbud while the right one is still active to listen to conversations or train announcements. However, you can only do this with the right earbud. The feature doesn’t work with the left one.
Passive Noise Cancellation
Unfortunately, the Jabra Active 65t earbuds lack active noise cancellation. However, they make up for this through passive noise cancellation with their silicone ear tips. Like many silicone in-ear buds, they can block out a lot of outside noise. However, don’t expect any high-tech active noise cancellation like the AirPods Pro.
Bluetooth earbuds don’t always prioritize fitness features in their design. However, the Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds are different. They’re dubbed “Active” for a reason—and that’s not just because of their great fit. It’s because the Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds have fitness-specific features built-in.
Sweat Resistance & Accelerometer
The Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds carry an IP56 water-resistance rating. This means they’re resistant to sweat or light rain, making them ideal for workouts. It’s the most basic feature on any potential fitness earbuds, and we’re glad it’s here. This IP56 rating will certainly make it more durable and long-lasting.
These earbuds also come with a built-in accelerometer—something you usually only find in smartwatches and fitness bands. With it, you can track your steps and time while running. This makes it easy to log your workout without a smartwatch.
However, the accelerometer does have a few kinks. For example, it doesn’t work automatically, so it won’t detect when you’re working out. You have to open the Jabra Sound+ app and tap on “Active” to trigger it. This will put the earbuds in Active mode.
Of course, you might still want a full-fledged smartwatch or fitness band to track workouts. That’s because an accelerometer can only go so far. Time and steps aren’t the only important measurements, after all. There’s also heart rate, cadence, and many others to consider. This is unfortunate, considering the earlier Elite Sport model had a heart rate sensor. It was removed on the Jabra Elite Active 65t presumably to simplify the design, making it smaller and lighter.
Furthermore, many fitness bands can detect workouts automatically. Therefore, you might not want to buy the Jabra Elite Active 65t just for the accelerometer.
Apart from fitness tracking, you also trigger an accompanying HearThrough feature using Active mode. This feature is designed to let in ambient noise to protect you from safety hazards. With this feature, you’ll be able to hear oncoming cars, trains, and more on your runs.
Unfortunately, ambient noise can be distracting when you’re on a workout. That’s especially true when there’s loud music playing in your surroundings. Also, you can’t turn it off while using Active mode, so you may not like this feature as much.
In terms of battery life, the Jabra Elite Active earbuds are more than enough for your fitness needs. That’s because the earbuds themselves can last 5 hours outside the case. Charging them with the case adds an extra 10 hours, adding up to 15 hours in total. Hence, you can expect to drain the earbuds and have the case ready to charge them twice.
How many days of use does that get you? When it comes to real-world use, your mileage may vary. Some people can make them last up to two weeks before needing to charge the case. However, this is anecdotal and it always depends on how frequently you use your earbuds. It is also dependent on how long your workout sessions are.
When you do inevitably run out of juice, the Jabra Elite Active charges pretty quickly. Moreover, it has a quick-charge feature for emergencies. You can easily get 1.5 hours of battery from a 15-minute charging session. Overall, the Jabra Elite Active delivers a pretty decent battery life.
When the Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds debuted, they were pretty pricey at $170. The price has since reasonably dropped to $106 on Amazon. That almost makes it a mid-range wireless Bluetooth earbud at this price point.
Of course, there is a new model from Jabra in the form of the Jabra Elite Active 75t. It’s lighter, has a longer battery life, and has active noise cancellation. Moreover, it has radio charging and is even fully waterproof in certain conditions. However, it does come with a higher price tag at $179.99 on Amazon. That makes it almost 80% more expensive than the Jabra Elite Active 65t.
The Verdict: Jabra Elite Active 65t
When the Apple AirPods came out, there weren’t many good alternatives to compete against it. However, just two years later, the Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds rose to the challenge. Even though they’re now three years old, these fitness earbuds are more than capable of enduring your fitness routines.
These earbuds still offer great sound quality, with lots of customization options for a great listening experience. The overall design is also beautiful, low-key, and durable enough to withstand workouts. Sweat resistance is especially useful when you’re doing intense exercises.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds also have a built-in accelerometer and HearThrough that help with fitness tracking. Even though not everyone will use them, they’re still more than welcome additions, especially at this price point.