Jabra 65t with Charging Case
Jeff Li/IBTimes
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By definition, Jabra Evolve 65t are not In-Ear Monitors (IEMs). But they could be the closest to the first truly wireless IEMs available on the market right now.

If you're unfamiliar with the term IEM, they are custom molded ear pieces that are made to fit the ear shape of live musicians. The custom made shape means they were the pinnacle of both comfort and sound isolation. Though the Jabra 65t are not made to be IEMs, its design team has undoubtedly taken design points from its ergonomics, which gives the 65t similar traits and strengths, making them a compelling offering.

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Shape of Your Ears

When looking through the current catalogue of wireless earbuds, many designers choose to follow simple combinations of geometric shapes like a circle, cylinders, rounded rectangles...etc. But when looking at a pair of Jabra 65t, no basic geometric shapes can be used to describe it. Once I inserted the buds into my ears, fitting them properly through a twisting motion (FYI, exactly as one inserts IEMs), comprehension came over me that the unique profile was a close match to the contour of my ear cavity.

Perhaps it would be overly smug for Jabra to compare the 65t fit to IEMs, which is why the comparison is not uttered even once on their website. But the user experience I had with these earbuds paralleled to using custom IEMs, and came with benefits of a custom fit: the ergonomic shape of the earpieces takes pressure away from the silicon tips, which causes less listening fatigue as compared with earbuds that rely on the tips alone to hold them in ear.

The unique body shape I found also forms an additional seal with my outer ear on top of the silicon seal inside of my ears. As a result, with the 65t you get two levels of seal, which then gives you a one-two-punch of better sound isolation along with a big bass reproduction. These seal will also stay sealed - even from opening or closing your mouth while talking or even eating.

Another added benefit to the excellent seal and fit of the 65t is that you do not need ear hooks to hold these buds in - even when on the run. The seal is good enough that though I tried moving around vigorously, even by shaking my head from side to side, the earbuds never once came close to dislodging from my ears. For anyone who has a tendency to lose wireless earbuds, this snug fit is a must. Especially if ear hooks aren't your thing, those who wear prescription glasses or wears sunglasses frequently, buds like these will stay put while keeping your ears clear of obstruction.

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More Control than You Expect

Having used a few wireless earbuds, I have to confess that I skipped the instruction manual (Which I soon regretted). After some trial and error with the controls on the buds, I realized that the 65t had quite an ambitious control scheme - all without adopting capacitive controls like its competitors.

The right button is what you would expect: play/pause, call pickup button, with the addition of a double press to get the hear-through mode activated (for hearing the sounds in your environment).

But the controls on the left earbud are Jabra's curve-ball, where what seemed like a mirrored button from the right is actually a two-way rocker that can be used for volume up/down, or next/previous track. The extra functionality took some getting used to, but after a few tries I quickly realized that they've actually added tiny dimples to make distinguishing the two buttons easier. Once I got used to the extra degree of control, I found myself reaching for my phone far less, which is a testament of the usefulness of this implementation.

Solid, Focused Sound

If a good bass response is what you look for in your earphones, then the 65t won't disappoint. Coupled with the aforementioned excellent duo-layered seal, these earbuds are equipped with capable drivers that produce rich, punchy bass and balanced mids and highs.

As it normally is, with sealed fit earbuds, you wouldn't expect a wide sound stage, but rather a more focused stage. This I found to be preferable when on the move - you wouldn't want random sounds to come from beside or behind you in surround sound while jogging on the sidewalk!

These Jabra Evolve 65t also includes a Jabra 370 Link, which is an USB dongle that provides a fast and reliable connection with any PC. Like my review of the Jabra Evolve 65e, I am a huge fan of this. You get instant connectivity (no Bluetooth pairing process), longer range, and to my pleasant surprise it even produced less noise as opposed to a normal Bluetooth connection.


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Who is the Jabra Evolve 65t for?

For those who needs earphones that can be worn comfortably over long periods of time that has excellent sound isolation, the Evolve 65t should be on your short list. Though it is not a newly released earphone, its competitions will still struggle to match its comfort and fit. These earphones would suit those taking flights who are not interested in carrying and wearing noise-cancelling headphones that's comparatively bulky and prefers the freedom of wireless earbuds, while still enjoying excellent sound isolation, and a rich sound.

Sam is a production engineer turned tech writer who specializes in seeking out gadgets that enhances productivity while still looking sharp. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Business Travelers.

Photo from amazon.com