Over the last month, we’ve had the opportunity to cover a brand new category of headphones here at MMORPG: true wireless. Today, we’re looking at an exciting and uniquely specialized new true wireless product with the Jabra Evolve 65T. The Evolve features a four-microphone array to deliver what they hope is one of the best microphone experiences on the market, all while delivering the same excellent sound fans enjoyed with last year’s Elite 65T.
- Current Price: $329.99
- Key Features: True Wireless, HearThrough, EarGels™ Silicon rubber ear gels (3 sizes), Auto turn-On When headsets out of charging case, Auto pause Auto pause when one headset out of ear
- Headphone Form Factor: True Wireless
- Speaker bandwidth: Music mode 20Hz to 20kHz
- Speaker bandwidth: Conference mode 100Hz to 10kHz
- Noise Cancellation: Passive
- Microphone concept: A four-microphone ambient noise cancellation technology
- Microphone frequency range: 100Hz to 10kHz
- Microphone bandwidth: 100Hz to 8kHz
- Onboard Controls: Calls, Media, Voice Assistant
- Voice guidance: Double press to access “Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant
- Talk time: Up to 15 hours (with 2x recharging in charging case)
- Charging power & time: Around 2 hours, full charge with dedicated USB wall charger (500mA)
- Bluetooth standard: Bluetooth 5.0
- Wireless range: Up to 10 meters (33 feet)
- Bluetooth pairing list: Up to 8 devices
- Simultaneous Bluetooth connections: 2
- Supported Bluetooth profiles Headset profile v1.2 , hands free profile v1.7, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6, PBAP v1.1
- PC: USB Bluetooth dongle (Jabra Link 370) USB BT audio device. Bluetooth 4.2 – Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE)
- Box contents: Charging case, micro USB cable, 3 sets of silicon EarGels, Pouch, Jabra Link 370, Quick Start Guide, Warranty and Warning Leaflets, TA label
- Headset weight: 6.5g right headset 5,8g left headset, charging case 67g
- Warranty: 2 year
- Jabra Direct: Yes
One of the most interesting developments from the rise of streaming is that more people than ever are investing in good headphones not designed for gaming. For too long, many of us have split our budgets to buy a gaming headset for the PC and a set of earbuds for the rest of our day. Big name streamers like Ninja have popularized the idea of ditching the gaming headset entirely and focusing buying a great pair of headphones outside the gaming world. They can be a bit more expensive but when you decide to use one pair of headphones for everything, you no longer have to worry about budgeting for that whole second pair.
Enter the product we’re looking at today, the Jabra Evolve 65T. They’re a true wireless headphone, which means they connect over bluetooth and there are no wires connecting each bud. These headphones are especially interesting because they put an extra focus on featuring a total of four microphones to block background noise and deliver much better vocal recordings.
This is an interesting and, honestly, much needed focus. If you’ve ever used a gaming headset with a microphone hidden inside the earcup, you already know the problem. The microphones on true wireless headset are positioned way back by your ear, which can often make them sound distant and muffled (depending on where the mic is actually positioned). The mic here, as you’ll hear in the sound sample, is much clearer and could easily be used for Skype, Discord, and, of course, phone calls.
Another interesting feature is that the Evolve 65Ts are made to connect with a computer. In fact, there’s a definite targeting of business users going on here, and YouTube videos on these focus on that almost explicitly. It makes sense. Connect it with a computer using the Bluetooth 5.0 dongle and the headphones automatically pair. When there’s white noise in the background, the additional microphones begin the work of cancelling out that noise to isolate your voice. So, if you’re using them in an office or college union, you’ll still be able to come through clearly and be easily understood.
The downside to this is, like tournament-style gaming headsets, the isolation technology can definitely add compression to your voice, so your recordings (or the person hearing you) will sound thinner and possibly even include the occasional audio artifact. Compared to other true wireless headphones, however, they offer crisper, less muffled vocal capture.
The other bonus to this mic array is that you can activate HearThrough by double-tapping the right earbud’s center button. This turns on the mics so you can hear your surroundings. This is great if you’re out on the road or just want to enjoy your content without being deaf to the outside world.
The rest of the earbud is very reminiscent of the Elite 65T. The version we have here is all grey and shares a near identical external design. In the picture above, you can see the Evolve on the left and the Elite on the right. Even though the buds have a flat, circular face, they’re actually formed to fit into the natural grooves of your ear very well. Once I found the right sized EarGel tip, I could play with my kids, exercise, go for a bike ride with my dog or lay in bed; they were locked in place. This is incredibly important, as with all TWS earbuds, no wires means a fall could easily see one lost. Jabra did a great job here.
They also sound very similar, which is to say great. Out of the box, these buds have a flatter tuning. They don’t overemphasize the bass or push treble to please the audiophiles. Instead, they play a game of slight elevations, bringing the vocals forward with the mids, giving just enough bass to make music and games sound full and detailed. When used without HearThrough, there’s no discernable lag at all, so videos and games stay in sync. There’s also great stereo separation, so if you do use these at your PC for the occasional game, you could jump right into a competitive shooter and not be struggling to figure out which direction footsteps or gunshots are coming from.
If you’d rather have a different tuning to your earbuds, it’s easy to create your own EQ curve using the Jabra Sound+ app. You can also choose from a number of presets for Bass Boost, Speech, Treble Boost, and more. The app also allows you to change other settings, like the amount of sidetone you hear when on a call, whether you want a bass or treble EQ applied to your caller, whether the buds automatically stop playing when you take them out of your ear, as well as a few other functions, like updating the earbuds’ firmware. These are all saved to the buds themselves, so there’s no need to keep the app running after you’ve made your changes. It’s an in-depth suite and delivers everything you’d need; the only thing I miss is the community aspect from Jaybird’s app where you could name and share your own EQs.
When it comes to battery life, the Evolve’s are decent. I was able to get a solid 3.5 hours out of each bud running at 70% volume. Twenty minutes in the charging case gives you a bit under half the battery life back but it does take a bit over two hours to charge them back to full. The included charging case is good for an additional two charges, so for my use-case, I was able to get about 11 hours of playtime before needing to recharge the case.
The case itself is good. It’s nice and rugged and has a strong clip-clasp, so it never opened in my pocket or bag. Even after-market eartips worked fine with being able to fit the earbuds in the case to recharge. Given that much of the competition is looking to 20+ hours of charge time in the case, I would have liked to have seen a bit more juice as well as magnetic retainers for the earbuds. If the case ever did open, they would fall right out and possibly get lost.
At the end of the day, the question you need to ask yourself is whether you need the improved microphone and environmental noise cancelling the Evolve 65Ts bring to the table. If you’re using a standalone mic (improved or not, you’ll still want one if you’re streaming) or don’t take calls often, you might find this unnecessary. At $329, these come in a full $140 more than the Elite 65Ts which can offer a very similar sound experience without the microphone extras.
Ultimately though, whether you go for the Elites or the Evolves, you’re getting a great sounding headphone that offers tons of flexibility in EQ, HearThrough, lag free video and gaming, good battery life, and a comfortable secure fit that makes them easy to use no matter where you go or what you do. I enjoyed being able to connect to two devices at once and easily being able to control my music, volume, and quickly call up Google Assistant. The Evolve 65Ts aren’t priced for everybody but if you’re the kind of user in the market for them, they’re sure to please.
- Excellent sound that’s resilient to EQ
- Full-featured app
- Good battery life
- Comfortable and secure fit
- Good microphone compared to some other true wireless buds
- The current price makes them cost prohibitive purely for entertainment use
The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.