Jabra has announced a trio of headphones to kickstart a brand-new “Elite” franchise. These are the Elite 65t, a completely wireless in-ear pair; an “active” version of the Elite 65t, specially optimized for sports; and a Bluetooth — but not fully wired — variant, dubbed the Elite 45e. (The “e” stands for earphones; the stands for “t” for truly wireless.)
First up: the Elite 65t and its sporty cousin. Both these sets of earbuds come with five hours of battery life and a charging cradle that’s good for two further recharges. Jabra is promising lightweight design and superior sound quality in both products, but as ever with wireless headphones, the proof is in the listening. The active version of the 65t add an integrated accelerometer for tracking activities via the Jabra app, and has an IP56 sweat, water, and dust certification backed up by a two-year warranty. So sweat on them until you break them, then get a new pair. Nice!
More unusually, both the Elite 65t and Active 65t also have built-in Alexa integration, meaning users can ask Amazon’s assistant questions, check the news, or shop — all using the earbuds’ own microphones. Both 65ts also have “one-touch access” to Siri and Google Assistant, although it’s not quite clear how this differs in functionality from using Alexa. Both products have touch controls, with play / pause on the right earbud, and volume on the left.
Jabra isn’t saying much about the wired Bluetooth buds, the Elite 45e, but they seem to have the same basic specs without access to various digital assistants. All three products will be available exclusively through Best Buy, with the Jabra Elite 65t costing $170 (out in mid-January); the active variant coming in at $190 (out in early April); and the wired 45e priced at $100 (also out in early April).