More and more brands are hopping on that truly wireless earbuds train, and why wouldn’t they? As people become increasingly mobile, so do gadgets.
Jabra has made a name for itself as a top quality brand when it comes to audio devices, they’ve even snagged a couple of world firsts under their belt to prove it. The company developed the world’s first ultra noise-cancelling microphone and the world’s first Bluetooth headset, to name a few. They’re backed by the GN group, which has a 150 year history in the business of audio so again, they’ve got pedigree.
But how exactly do their wireless earbuds stack up against the high standards we place upon the audio devices we review? We shall see.
First off, lets establish one thing. I’ve always used conventional earphones. When I say conventional I mean the ones with the wire. Why? Well for one, the sound quality on wired earphones is always better than bluetooth ones. Then of course there’s the price. With a pair of good quality earphones costing between RM100-RM150 Ringgit, do I really want to spend 4x the amount for that extra mobility? NOPE.
Let’s start with what I liked, shall we? As mentioned above, the sound quality on bluetooth earphones are normally mediocre at best. Both the Jabra Elite 65t and Jabra Evolve 65t earbuds have good sound quality, for truly wireless earbuds that is. It’s worth noting that both models are very similar in terms of sound quality, and when I say very similar I mean they both sound exactly the same to me. The mids and the highs were great, better than the Airpods even with no signs of bass bleeding or distortion. All in all, a solid performance in terms of sound.. if you’re not listening to your music at max volume that is (I’ll get to this later).
Call quality on the Elite 65t’s are good but if you want to go for excellence, the Evolve 65t’s will be your best buds (ha ha). The earbuds are equipped with four microphones -two on the front sides of each one and they work immaculately. Jabra has a long history of making microphones in their headsets, so it’s no surprise that the call quality on the Evolve 65t is exceptional, so exceptional in fact that the first time I made a call with it, my friend thought I had bought a new phone.
In terms of design, these babies look great. Both models are identical and both without a shadow of a doubt look 10x better than the Airpods. Both models fit perfectly in my ears and didn’t make me feel like a moron, which is kind of how the Airpods made me feel.
Build quality is great on both the earbuds and the charging case, with the Evolve 65t’s case getting a nice matte treatment compared to the Elite’s plastic case. Hmm, but do the damn things fall off though? Nope.
I’ve read that some users have problems with how it fits, or that it’s loose but the default ear gels it came with fit me perfectly and even whilst running, it didn’t fall off. I have to add though that both the Evolve and Elite 65t are not the best for sports. Jabra have their Active line for that. The battery life on both are as Jabra says it would be. 5 hours of continuous listening before you need to pop them back into the case, with the case being able to hold 10 hours of juice, which is great.
My favourite thing about these earbuds is the noise cancellation. Again, i’m going to compare it to the Airpod’s as it’s the only other true wireless earphones i’ve tried and I have to say, kudos to Jabra on figuring out a way to tune out the noise. While there is no active noise cancellation, Jabra’s hearthrough function is quite useful. A double tap of the power button on the right ear bud and you enable the microphone on both buds to pick up ambient noises, probably saving you from being run over by that car you couldn’t hear cause of all that noise cancellation.
While I mentioned that the sound quality was good for wireless earbuds, it’s still lacking. The bass, while decent with just an ok amount of punch and kick, is underwhelming. These earbuds are definitely not for bassheads who like a boomy bass. Listening to music at high volumes is also another issue. It tends to crack at max volume, leaving much to be desired. Of course, a quick fix to this would be to just not listen to music at max volume but for those of you who like it LOUD, it will be an issue.
Of course, it’s worth noting that very few people actually buy wireless earbuds for the sound quality, but for the mobility, connectivity and call quality it offers, and in this department, both the Elite and Evolve 65t excel.
Another thing I took issue with is the fact that the charging case is really hard to get open. While i’m sure this doesn’t apply to every Jabra product, the cases for both the Elite 65t and Evolve 65t were difficult to open. To add to this, once you pop it open, there’s a high chance the earbuds fall out. A magnet to hold the buds in place would’ve been nice. You’re going to be paying a lot of money for this, why do niggling issues like this persist?
The controls on both models are not intuitive and there’s a delay from the time you hit pause to the time the music actually stops. On top of that, and maybe it’s my big fingers, but the tiny buttons on the earbuds were mediocre at best. I also had problems with the left ear bud going dark on me. Sometimes, it acted like a phantom earbud and just stopped working. Other times, it would continuously crack or the music would fade in and out. I had that problem on BOTH the Elite and Evolve 65t’s. I honestly expected better from Jabra.
And then there’s the price. At RM 785, the Elite 65t is only slightly more expensive than the Apple Airpods, but is significantly better both in terms of quality and aesthetically. No qualms here.
The Evolve 65t however, just makes no sense to me. Yes, call quality is significantly better and calls don’t drop and background noise is non existent, but are they really worth RM1499? NOPE. Not in any universe, really. But then again, the Evolve 65t was built for professionals who are on the go. For those who require quality audio for their calls to be taken wherever they may be, be it at work or at home or during their morning jog.
If you’re looking for wireless earbuds, look no further than the Elite 65t’s. They offer greater value for money than the Apple Airpods, given that it comes with great noise cancelling, call quality and build quality. It also doesn’t make you look like a complete idiot. Would I toss my conventional wired earphones for the Jabra’s? No, but the freedom of being truly wireless made it an incredibly difficult call.
As for the Evolve 65t’s, the price makes it out of reach for most consumers. It is for that reason, only the Elite 65t’s will be given a rating. If you’re a working professional who needs exceptional wireless earbuds to make conference calls and what not though, then the evolve 65t’s are right up your alley.
Jabra Elite 65t
If you're looking for wireless earbuds, look no further than the Elite 65t's. They offer greater value for money than the Apple Airpods, given that it comes with great noise cancelling, call quality and build quality.