Jabra Elite 65t - ENGADGET REVIEW

Whether you like it or not, true wireless earbuds are having a moment. They actually have for a while now, and Apple's introduction of AirPods only added fuel to the fire. Most of the big names in audio have introduced models, following the path Bragi forged with the Dash back in 2016. While Bluetooth issues still plague some of the current options, the devices as a whole have come a long way since their infancy. It should come as no surprise that Jabra, a company with a solid track record for Bluetooth headsets and audio gear, has one of the best, if not the best, sets with the Elite 65t.

Jabra Elite 65t true wireless earbuds review


  • Affordable price
  • Great audio quality
  • Quick and easy pairing
  • Low-profile design

  • Call quality suffers in noisy environments
  • Extended wear gets uncomfortable
  • On-board controls can be awkward


The Elite 65t avoids the common pitfalls of true wireless earbuds with great sound and enough battery life to ensure you’re not charging several times a day. If you’ve been looking to eliminate one of the last remaining cords in your life, this is definitely one of the best options. And it’s an affordable one, too.

Before my time with the Elite 65t, the Bose SoundSport Free changed my mind about wireless earbuds. The sets I'd used before were fine, but they weren't compelling enough for me to drop my wireless over-ear headphones for a set of earbuds. The issues I encountered are common among true wireless headphones: the two buds would regularly lose connection with each other, or had super-limited range. The audio also didn't wow me. If I'm going to wear wireless earbuds to the gym, they have to have full sound, with a decent amount of bass to help me keep the energy up. Bose did that for the most part, and it was the first time I realized I should give totally wireless earbuds another shot.

Enter Jabra. The company's Elite 65t are compact and nestle neatly in your ear. Unlike the SoundSport Free and AirPods, they don't stick out too far. You won't look silly, and you also don't have to worry about getting snagged taking off your warm-ups. The 65t are also comfortable, unless you wear them for a while without a break -- it's around the hour mark that the Elite 65t starts to bother me. But I haven't found earbuds yet that I could wear with absolutely no discomfort. I chalk that up to having something stuck in your ear rather than a large padded earcup encircling it. There's only so much you can do.

The Elite 65t are all black, with a silver face. On both buds, there's a circular area on the outside that houses onboard controls. A small arm-like piece juts out from there, holding the set's microphones. The right bud handles play/pause and summoning Siri or Google Assistant, while the left can adjust volume (short press) and skip tracks (long press). These controls are handy, but it still means pushing them further into your ear when you press. I quickly discovered that you can hold that arm to make it slightly better. It's not a deal-breaker, but just know you're going to feel some pressure when you employ those controls.

Like several other wireless earbuds and headphones, the Jabra Elite 65t will automatically pause when you remove one or both from your ears. Sure, it's a common feature, but that doesn't make it any less handy. Ditto for the included charging case. Jabra promises five hours of battery life for the earbuds and another 10 hours banked in the case, for 15 hours total. I never tested the five-hour limit, as I plopped them back in the case after each use; however, I only had to charge the whole package about once a week, and I was using them for at least a little while every day. And on gym days they got extra use, because they're dust- and sweat-resistant (IP55-rated). Basically, battery life shouldn't be a concern for you here unless you plan to wear them continuously during an eight-hour workday.

As much as I liked Bose's SoundSport Free, that set had a serious bug where the audio wouldn't sync properly when I was watching video. I was concerned that the Elite 65t would have the same glitch. I'm happy to report that's not the case. With Jabra's set, I had no issues watching The Handmaid's Tale or The Looming Tower on my phone or laptop. Again, it sounds like a simple thing, but it's an issue that many totally wireless earbuds still suffer from.

In terms of overall sound quality, the Elite 65t is quite good. There's a fullness to the audio here that a lot of wireless earbuds lack, with punchy highs and some deep, booming low end. While there's plenty of bass for blasting hip-hop at the gym, it isn't so much that other genres suffer. The Elite 65t performs well across a range of music, from bluegrass to metal and from synth-heavy tracks to vocal anthems. If audio quality is the primary reason you haven't made the leap to totally wireless earbuds, you're out of excuses. And, while I think these are solid out of the box, you can tweak the EQ to your tastes using the companion app if you're feeling particular. Given Jabra's experience with headsets, I expected audio during calls to at least be decent. Indeed, call quality is pretty good, unless you're in a super-noisy spot -- like a busy street -- which is the only time the person on the other end had trouble hearing me.

Connectivity is the biggest concern for me when it comes to true wireless headphones like the Elite 65t. Most of the pairs I've tried either don't stay in touch with each other or have terrible Bluetooth range, so they're constantly disconnecting when you walk away from the paired device. Neither of those issues occurred during my time with the Elite 65t. Pairing for the first time was quick and easy, and every time I took them out of the case after that, the earbuds automatically connected to my phone and computer. In terms of range, I was able to walk around my three-bedroom house without losing the connection. At times, I could even venture outside, depending on where I'd left my phone.


Though more and more of us are gazing out at the fully wireless universe in 2018, one simple fact remains. There still aren’t many competitive options. Apple’s AirPods, far and away the industry sales leader, helped set the mold thanks to solid connection and battery life — issues that still plague many early true wireless options. But they come up short on sound, fit, and passive noise isolation. Another top option, Bragi’s ostentatiously named The Headphone, have better sound, but still exhibit their own hang-ups — specifically, they lack the now-ubiquitous portable battery case for charging on the go.

In this field of up-and-comers and almosts, Jabra’s new Elite 65t really shine. A solid sounding pair of true wireless headphones with stable wireless connection, good battery life, and advanced features that actually work well in the real world, the Elite 65t offer a blend of everyday usability and fidelity that puts the rest of the market on notice. Unless you’re a die-hard iOS enthusiast or plan to sweat your ever-loving brains out, that makes these the new true wireless headphones to beat.

Out of the Box

The Elite 65t come arrive in a grey box with Jabra’s signature yellow accents that slides open to reveal the two earbuds, a small black charging case, and three sets of rubber eartips. Also included in the box are a micro USB charging cable and a small user guide to get you up to speed on their various features.

Features and Design

At first glance, the Elite 65t resemble the kind of miniature hands-free headset you imagine Derek Zoolander would pair with his tiny little flip phone. But the small extrusion for the mic piece somehow manages to give them some style points, adding to the futuristic aesthetic rather than diminishing it. The earbuds come in all black, with silver accents to add some extra flash to their understated profile.

The included charging case is a small black pillbox with a micro USB charging port on the bottom and single LED on the outside to let you know when it’s charging or needs more juice. A treasure-chest hinge opens the top third of the case, revealing two snug cutouts for the headphones, with a green LED in between that lets you know if the headphones are fully charged. The lid is tightly sealed and can be tricky to open at first, but our fingers cracked the code over time. When the earbuds are in the case, LEDs on their exterior pulse red or green, depending on how much juice they’ve got.

Skross wins top travel adapter accolades

The PRO Light USB – World is described as the best, high-performance world adapter with two integrated USB ports in the category of three-pole travel adapters

Two world travel adapters from Swiss brand Skross have been named “The Best Travel Adapters 2018” by the online magazine Tech Advisor.

The magazine tested all types of adapters, both with and without USB ports, from entry-level adapters for a single country to premium world travel adapters.

Tech Advisor claims that the Swiss brand is “one of the best recognized and most trusted names around when it comes to travel adapters”.

Tech Advisor also states that it is no longer necessary to “build up a collection of different adapters for different countries, as it’s now easy to buy an adapter that can be adapted for just about any region”.

In its rating, the magazine selected one of the Skross Pro series to achieve this: the PRO Light USB – World. The product is described as the best, high-performance world adapter with two integrated USB ports in the category of three-pole travel adapters. It works in more than 200 countries.

In the field of two-pole world travel adapters, Tech Advisor chose the MUV USB, stating that it is “...perfect for less power-intensive tech like razors, phones, tablets”. It works in more than 220 countries.

For travelers, the Swiss brand also offers a full range of premium travel accessories in addition to its world travel adapters, covering all needs for mobile power solutions worldwide.

With product design and engineering made in Switzerland, Skross adapters are exclusively produced in its own factory in Thailand, under Swiss management with Swiss quality and safety standards.

Skross travel adapters can be purchased at most airports worldwide.

Jabra Elite Active 65t - CNET REVIEW

Compared to their Elite predecessors, the Active 65ts have a more refined, comfortable design, improved sound, slightly better battery life, excellent call quality and voice support for all major virtual assistants, including Amazon's Alexa on-the-go.

The step-up Active Elite 65t reviewed here looks almost identical to the standard Elite 65t but has some small cosmetic differences, including a slightly grippier finish, plus three feature upgrades: Added sweat-resistance with an IP56 rating (versus IP55 for the standard Elite 65t), a built-in accelerometer and a quick charge feature that allows you to get 1.5 hours of juice from a 15-minute charge in the included charging case. That charging case is also coated with the same, faintly rubberized finish you'll find on the buds.

While I can't say those small upgrades make a major difference, their addition serves to make an already excellent set of truly wireless headphones slightly better -- and that's why we're awarding the Active Elite 65t an Editors' Choice over its less expensive sibling. It's the best overall truly wireless headphone you can buy, as of June 2018.

What's new and different

Unlike the earlier Elite Sport, there's no heart-rate monitor built into these earphones. But that's a good thing.

Removing the heart-rate monitor allowed Jabra to trim down the design and simplify operation, as well as improve battery life to 5 hours (the Elite Sport's is rated at 4.5 hours). That's in line with the AirPods' battery life.

Jabra's included charging case delivers an additional two charges. Although it's not as small as the AirPods charging case, it's still compact and fit easily into my pocket.

Jabra has mostly nailed the design this time around. The earphones come with three different sized eartips and while there are no wings or fins to hold the buds in place, they stayed secure in my ears. With the largest tips I was able to get a tight seal, which is crucial to maximizing bass response.

I found they fit similarly to the Jaybird Run truly wireless headphones. Like that model, after you wear them for a while, your ear canals may start to itch a little. Not to get too graphic, but I simply removed the bud for a moment, stuck my pinky finger in my ear for a quick scratch, then reinserted the bud. Problem solved.

Technically, the Elite 65t is not considered a sports model, though its IP55-rated design makes it splash-resistant and dust-resistant. I used the standard Elite 65t at the gym and while running and it survived just fine. But the Elite Active 65t apparently have an added degree of sweat-resistance that should make them a bit more durable in the long run.

Both the standard Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t stayed in my ears securely during my modestly paced 3-mile runs and I didn't sense that the Active's special coating made a real difference in terms of fit. Currently, you can use the accelerometer -- Jabra calls it a motion sensor -- to count steps in Jabra's companion Sound+ app for iOS and Android. However, there should be other applications for it, such as counting exercise reps, in the future.

Both the Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t are equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, which is just starting to appear in devices and is supposed to create a more stable wireless connection with fewer dropouts. It's backwards compatible with any earlier version of Bluetooth, too, of course.

Advantages over AirPods

I'm a fan of the AirPods, but they don't sit quite securely enough in my ears, which means I can't use them for running or during other sporty activities. Lots of people are able to run with their AirPods, just not me. As I said, the Elite 65t gave a much more secure fit.

The Jabras are noise-isolating earphones, which means they passively seal out ambient noise while the AirPods' open design allows sound to leak in. As a safety feature for runners and bikers, the Jabras do have a HearThrough transparency feature that you can toggle on in the Jabra Sound+ companion app. You can adjust the degree to which you want to let in sound.