The Jabra Elite 65t has been at the top of our top true-wireless headphones list for almost 7 months now. Although they are of excellent quality and quite versatile, they are not designed for sports use, which requires at least sweat protection and some optional features to control activity.
This is where the Elite Active 65t comes in, almost identical to their predecessors but with liquid protection (IP56 standard) and extra sports features, all for an extra 20€. At the time of writing this article, you can find the Elite Active 65t at around 180€.
On the left, the Active version, on the right the standard
Since these two declinations share the vast majority of their technical data, we will not return in this test on the audio quality of the Elite Active 65t or the reliability of their Bluetooth 5.0 + NFMI connection, which are identical. Instead, we’ll focus on what’s new in this model, i.e. design changes and sporty features.
- For more information on items not covered here, please read our test of the Jabra Elite 65t “standard”
The design of these earphones is the main change in this variation. First novelty: the glossy plastic finish gives way to a matt coating to improve the fit in the ears. In use, we didn’t really notice any difference: the headphones are still just as comfortable and don’t necessarily fit better in the ears, but at the same time the Elite 65t’s fit was already excellent. Either way, nothing to fear on this point: you can run or jump rope without the risk of seeing them fall.
The Elite Active 65t are not strictly speaking waterproof. IP56 certified, they are protected against dust and powerful water splashes. So you won’t be able to take them to the pool to take a dip, but they will withstand a jog in the rain or use them in the shower without a care in the world. We have tested them several times on this point and after more than a month of use, nothing has changed, the headphones still work perfectly well.
Last change, the brand has slightly reworked the headphone case. It is true that this one sometimes tended to open in the pocket, the closing seems to us now more effective, even after more than one less use. However, we have to see what that does in the long run. On the other hand, and it’s a bit of a shame, the case is still as dirty as ever.
While the changes to the design of the Elite Active 65t are appreciable, we find the sports features of the device too limited. In fact, the Elite Active 65t differs from the standard version by its accelerometer, which mainly allows you to count the number of steps taken during your training and to calculate some other statistics. Data that you will find in the Jabra Sound+ application.
Except that this function could very well have been assumed by the smartphone, which also has an accelerometer. So we don’t quite understand the point of the scheme. You can imagine that the challenge for the brand was to add IP56 certification and sports features without making their headphones fatter, but in the end you end up with the bare minimum in terms of sports features.
Note that Jabra still offers for sale its Elite Sport, “true wireless” earphones better equipped with sensors and sports functions. In particular, they include a heart rate monitor to measure your heart rate, something a smartphone is unable to do properly. Nevertheless, as you can read in our test of this model, the Elite Sport are much bigger and much less comfortable than the 65t, Active version or not, and their sound is not as good. It’s up to you to see your priorities.
Even though the Elite Active 65t are not as well equipped with sensors as other models, and thus offer little in the way of statistics to sportsmen and women, these headphones gain a new, improved, sweat-resistant design. The rest of their features have not changed compared to the standard version: the sound, wireless connection or controls are still excellent, which is why we now consider the Elite Active 65t to be the best “true wireless” earphones on the market, ahead of their predecessors.
To tell the truth, one wonders now why one would choose the standard version when one can have this one for only 20 euros more. Their tariff positioning is no longer justified in our view.
- For more information on items not covered here, please read our test of the Jabra Elite 65t“standard”