As truly wireless earbuds, the Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t are nearly identical
The Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t are nearly identical as earbuds. Aside from different color options, both sets of earbuds get the same battery life, the same charging case, and the same 4-microphone setup for calls and using voice assistants. Both sets of headphones can connect to Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa, depending on the operating system of the connected device.
The biggest differences between the two all come down to the purpose of the Elite Active 65t. These are more sport- and activity-oriented earbuds. As such, they feature two things that the Elite 65t buds do not: an integrated motion sensor and an IP56 rating.
The motion sensor tracks your activity as you work out, and you can see the data it's gathered using the Jabra Sound+ app on your iPhone.
IP what now?
The other differentiator between the Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t is the IP, or Ingress Protection, rating. You've probably seen other electronics with some kind of IP rating. On top-of-the-line smartphones, for instance, IP ratings of IP67 or IP68 are common. The Elite Active 65t have a rating of IP56, while the Elite 65t have a rating of IP55, but what exactly does that mean?
IP ratings are broken down into two parts: the first number, which indicates the level of dust protection, and the second number, which is about liquid protection. An IP56 rating means that the Elite Active 65t are protected from some dust ingress (5) and from high-pressure water jets from any direction (6). This is in contrast to the Elite 65t, which are also protected against dust ingress, but only low-pressure water jets from any direction, hence their IP55 rating.
Jabra says that this IP rating means that the Elite Active 65t are better protected against sweat. That's undoubtedly true, as sweating doesn't exactly apply the same pressure to the headphones as high-pressure water jets, but just be clear that this isn't exactly what that IP56 rating means. But then, there is no IP rating the specifically calls out sweat.
Unless you need activity-oriented earbuds, save some cash and get the Elite 65t
Both the Jabra Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t are excellent earbuds, packing solid sound into a small package. Neither have a real functional advantage over the other in everyday use, so unless you feel like you need the motion sensor or sweat resistance of the more expensive Elite Active 65t, I would recommend picking up the Elite 65t. You're getting mostly the same earbuds and saving anywhere between $20 and $40 in the process.
Great general-purpose wireless earbuds
The Jabra Elite 65t feature impressive sound in such small, wireless earbuds, with support for digital assistants from Apple, Google, and Amazon. Four built-in mics help keep calls and voice command clear, while the hear though feature brings in audio from the world around you at your discretion.
Aside from the built-in motion sensor and the IP56 rating, the Elite Active 65t are essentially identical to the Elite 65t in both form and function. A great, if pricey, choice for those looking for fitness-oriented wireless earbuds.
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