REVIEW: Jabra Evolve 65t UC Wireless Earbuds
We’ve been playing with Jabra’s business focused Evolve 65t UC wireless earbuds for a few weeks now and we have to say, we’re impressed. The sound quality is as good as you’ll find on Jabra’s sibling devices such as the Elite 65t Active wireless earbuds and the convenience and conference call audio quality that comes thanks to the included Skype for Business certified USB Bluetooth dongle really makes all the difference.
The wireless in-earphone world has seen some interesting developments, with everyone getting in and making a pair you might well want to check out. We’ve seen a great pair from RHA Audio, the obligatory white pair from Apple and the recent follow-up that just came out and we’re currently testing Master & Dynamic’s MW07 earbuds.
We have previously reviewed the Jabra Elite 65t’ Actives (Active meaning they’re sweat resistant) and as good as these earphones are, Jabra feels they could be better for business. When it comes to work and If you live on your phone, you’ll be fully aware of “Unified Communication”, and rely on apps like “Skype for Business”. You’ll also know that know you need a different class of earphone to be able to use all of these platforms, which is why Jabra has developed something for that.
In fact, it has developed something that takes almost everything that is good about the otherwise-excellent Elite 65t and Elite 65t Active and makes them better for business.
Called the Evolve 65t, you could say they’re the business-focused Elite 65t, because they kind of are. They’re both familiar, and yet also different.
Features & Design
We feel like we’ve played with these earbuds before, and when you see the Evolve 65t, you’ll probably understand why: to the naked eye, the Jabra Evolve 65t earphones look exactly like the Jabra Elite 65t Active.
And when we say these look exactly the same, we’re not messing. They look identical, with the same bulbous design meant to slip into your ear canal and remain comfortably, the same boom arm, and even a practically identical case.
In fact, the only difference that you can see easily is the case colouring, with the paint job on the Jabra Elite 65t being a bright orange (for the pair we tested), while the paint job on the Jabra Evolve 65t being a subdued matte black, closer to a charcoal. You do get a pouch to keep that case in but it’s more so to hold your case and the newly added USB dongle for easy Bluetooth pairing with your PC or laptop (more on that later.)
Outside of that, the technology seems largely the same, with four microphones, a 6×5.1mm speaker on each ear, no active noise cancellation with instead reliance on passive noise cancellation technology, a version of ambient noise listening supported by “HearThrough”, and a button on each side.
The only real noticeable difference between the Jabra Elite 65t and the Jabra Evolve 65t will be from how you use them, because while both can be easily connected to a phone or tablet over Bluetooth — two simultaneously, no less — only the Evolve 65t comes with a USB dongle paired for easy Bluetooth.
That is to say if you normally have trouble pairing Bluetooth earphones with your laptop, this is one pair of earphones you won’t see that same problem with. Simply plug in the included dongle, and the Jabra Evolve 65t are included.
Using them outside of this is exactly the same, with the earphones switching on when you pull them out of the tiny case, while buttons on either side control playback and HearThrough (two clicks on the right earphone), while the notches on the left earphone provide volume up and volume down, as well as skipping tracks.
Jabra also makes an app which includes the reference for these controls, as well as equaliser settings and the ability to play sounds to relax with, such as noise and rain.
Sound-wise, there’s very little to complain about on the Jabra Evolve 65t, and given they’re quite clearly based on the Elite 65t, that should come as little surprise.
We found a relatively solid balance with a decent amount of bass for the size. Even though the Jabra Evolve 65t fit between fingers, the sound is clearly much bigger, with room for both the sound and air to move.
In songs with more punch, such as Beyonce’s ‘Partition’, the bottom end was actually more pronounced than we expected without losing too much in the way of detail.
You might not expect it, but there’s a relatively decent amount of balance on offer from these tiny earphones, and just that surprising punch of bass, made better when you find the tip that matches you ear and helps complete the seal.
The performance of Evolve 65t’s microphone is average, and this also goes for the proprietary dongle. In silent areas, recorded or transmitted speech using the mic sounds okay, but with the help of the dongle, it will somehow improve and become more clear and detailed which is good.
For noisy environments, it will be slightly challenging to differentiate the ambient noise from speech, but we’re talking about really noisy areas in this case, yet if you’re in a moderately loud environment, it will perform better.
One of these earbuds USPs is that they are Skype for Business certified to provide validation for a high-quality experience and, having used them for quite a few Skype conference calls with colleagues, I can definitely confirm that they offer a stable and clear audio experience.
With so much in common with its Elite 65t Active sibling, you may not be surprised to find out just how spot on the battery life is between the two models.
Outside of the charge case, the Evolve 65t deliver five hours per charge, meaning you can leave them on for a good five hours before they’ll start begging you for more battery life. The charge case will get you another two full charges from that, bringing the total life up to 15 hours.
That might not be as high as the AirPods and the 24 hour maximum, and a year on, we kind of hope Jabra could have improved it a little, but it’s also very good still, and provided you only listen to your earphones for a few hours per day, you should only need to charge the case once a week. It’s microUSB, mind you, so you probably have a plug nearby that can handle it.
Overall, the Evolve 65t are a great pair of business-orientated earbuds but that’s an important point. These earbuds are really made for those of you who work on your phones all the time, taking Skype for Business calls from your PC or laptop or constantly jumping between conference calls whilst on the go.
The USB dongle really is a life saver and the ability to jump between the phone and PC for calls is fantastic but, if this isn’t something you do or need to do, you would be more then happy with a pair of the Jabra Elite 65t earbuds instead given how incredibly similar both models are with the Evolve only really offering the dongle and UC support for business professionals.
If you are a business user, you’ll be happy to know that the Jabra Evolve work with some of the more popular platforms including Microsoft Teams, Cisco, Google Hangouts, Unify Circuit, Fuze and Alcatel Rainbow — on top of being able to be used with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri for day-to-day commands.
You can pick up a pair of the Jabra Evolve 65t UC Wireless Earbuds VAT free for £265 on the official Jabra website.