3 July 2018

REVIEW: Jabra Elite 65e

High spec, small size

Noise cancelling headphones were once a rare thing. Just three or so years ago the only N-C sets we were sent to review were huge, over-ear affairs, usually with a £300+ price tag. These days however, things are improving; both in terms of size and price. Jabra seem to have hit a certain nail on a certain part with their latest set of innovative 'phones, fitting Active Noise Cancelling into a pair no bigger than the type you wear to go jogging. We check out the Jabra Elite 65e.

These wee things are of the neck-band type of headphones, sitting comfortably at the base of your neck with earbuds reaching up to your ears. The bud wires sprout from the ends of the band, something we're not all that keen on, practically and aesthetically. Although we prefer it when wires like this emerge from half way along the band, being closer to the ears, the Jabra Elite 65e are still comfortable to wear and we found the wires didn't get in the way.

The neck band is reassuringly flexible, while the wires are flat in shape to prevent tangling. Unlike other neck band headphones that we've reviewed, the buds have been designed, seemingly, with sport in mind. As well as wedging into your greasy lugholes further, there are hooks on the buds to grab hold of the folds of your ears. It works, too; once fitted, the Jabra Elite 65e stayed put like no other neck-banders we've seen.

But, what about that Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)? Fortunately it is an optional feature on the headphones, and we're glad of that. With it on, the battery life of the Bluetooth cans drops from a decent 13 hours, to an okay 8. If you plan on using them for a prolonged amount of time, or over a weekend away without recharging, choose your ANC listening time carefully.

But, that might be tricky, as with the ANC activated via a switch on the band, all the music we threw at it sounded incredible. The noise-cancellation is subtle, and certainly can't compete with the likes of the (surprisingly affordable) Damson Headspace, but it is very good. The low-pressure numbness the ANC creates is effective at reducing ambient sounds significantly, allowing you to focus on the depth of sound of the tunes.

On that note, all genres of music sounded good, and we have to mention the power of the bass generated by the Jabra Elite 65e; impressive, for such small 'phones. You'll also be impressed by the quality of the mic pickup, ideal for phone calls. It uses three active microphones to not only concentrate the sound of your voice when talking, but also to ignore background and distracting noise. All the calls we made sounded like we were talking on a stable landline while indoors - even when out jogging. Good stuff - especially if you have no intention of using these for sport, and only as a hands-free headset for business. You go-getter.

So... we like these a lot. To be honest, without the ANC we would be slightly less enthusiastic, as there isn't too much to write home about. Currently around £180 on Amazon, the Jabra Elite 65e are not a cheap pair of headphones, regardless of if you're a die hard Jabra and fitness fan. But, once on and working, they are very good, and tick all the boxes we would want for long-term workhorse 'phones.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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