With smartphones shunning the 3.5mm headphone jack, the world of truly wireless earphones has seen growth like never before. And it seems the competition is not going to die anytime soon. One of the latest wireless products to join the race is the Amazon Echo Buds. These compact and sleek earphones not only promise to put Alexa in your ears, but they also promise to bring great battery life and good audio quality to the table.
Jabra Elite 65t is another popular set of wireless earphones. Released in 2018, Elite 65t was among the few wireless earphones that delivered great audio quality. And two years down the line, the popularity still hasn't died down.
The Elite 65t has a slim profile and is sweat-resistant. Plus, it is priced around $20 more than their peers. Hence, that begets the simple question — can the new earphones dethrone the older ones? Or does the Jabra Elite 6T still has what it takes to beat the Amazon Echo Buds?
Well, that's what we are going to find in this post as we pit the Echo Buds against the Elite 65t.
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Design and Fit
Since the last couple of years, the size of truly wireless earphones has gone down significantly. Now, most earphones are designed to fit snugly into the cavity of your ear without compromising on the sound quality. Plus, if you find the proper fit of ear tips, the buds stay out in your ears and do not fall off.
When it comes to the looks of the Jabra Elite 65t, they manage to walk the fine line between sleek and bulky. They are not too slim to fit in seamlessly into the ear cavity which causes them to protrude out a bit.
Neither are they too bulky to give your ears a goofy appearance. Lastly, the double tone finish gives these wireless earphones a premium look. You can pick from three color options - Titanium Black, Copper Black, and Gold Beige.
On the upside, the fit is snug, and they manage to hold on quite well even when you run or do strenuous activities. What's more, they seal the ear canal completely, which ends up giving an immersive sound experience with little outside noise filtering in.
Though Amazon's Echo Buds are not one of the smallest earphones, they are slightly smaller than the Elite 65t. They are sleek and fit well into the ear cavity. And unlike the one above, they do not have a two-tone design. Rather, they have a mix of both matte and gloss look, which amps up the look of the buds a bit.
The design is smooth, which makes then incredibly easy to handle. Plus, these buds ship with two sets of wingtips, which you can insert if you are looking to use them during your gym hours.
And that's not the end of the story. There are no physical buttons in this one. Instead, there are two touch-sensitive buttons on each bud. On the downside, you won't find the light rim on these buds that are generally associated with Echo products like the Amazon Echo and the Echo Plus.
Being touch-sensitive buttons, you can customize them to suit your preferences. You can customize the tap-actions (one tap, double-tap, or tap to hold) to wake up Google Assistant, change the music tracks, or enable noise reduction, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Buds.
However, they do have a limitation. There's no direct way to tweak the volume level. Either you have to do so from your phone or ask Alexa to do so. Remember the aforementioned 'Alexa on your ears' phrase? Yes, this is one of those scenarios.
Bluetooth: Connectivity & Codec
Both earbuds support Bluetooth 5.0, which brings a better range and faster connectivity to the table. When it comes to the connection, the reviews have been a mixed bag, with some users complaining about the frequent cuts and connection drops.
During our time with these buds, we didn't find any connection issues. They stayed connected with dropouts.
The Echo Buds also have a mixed bag of reaction when it comes to the connection. If we go by the user reviews on Amazon, quite a few users have complained about the frequent connection dropouts and the slow pairing process.
When it comes to Bluetooth codec, the Elite 65t doesn't have much to boast of. They support the plain simple SBC Bluetooth codec. So yeah, you'll have to sacrifice high-quality audio fidelity. In some cases, you might even face slight latency issues, especially when watching videos.
On the upside, the Echo Buds support AAC and SBC Bluetooth codec. There is minimal lag, and you can easily watch YouTube videos or stream movies on apps like Netflix or Prime videos.
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Features: Voice Assistants and Companion Apps
One of the highlights of the Amazon Echo Buds is Alexa. Just like any Amazon Echo device, these tiny buds are always listening for the wake word.
Unlike the Jabra Elite 65t, where you have to press a button to wake the assistant, here saying the simple wake word suffices. Alexa integration is pretty great.
When it comes to the companion app, the Alexa app lets you do a lot. From adjusting the EQ and asking Alexa for navigation to switching on/off the ambient mode and picking the assistant of your choice, you can do a lot.
Similarly, the Jabra Sound + app bundles several nifty controls such as sound transparency (HearThrough) feature, built-in Equalizer, and Soundscapes. Plus, features like Find My Earbuds come into use if you tend to misplace your gadgets too often.
One of the best features in both the Echo Buds and the Elite 65t is the Auto Pause. Simply peel off the buds, and the music will pause on its own.
Battery & Charging Time
When it comes to earphones and headphones, you wouldn’t want to invest in products that max out at three hours, however awesome they may sound.
Both these earphones have pretty average battery life. While a single full charge on the Jabra Elite 65t will get you around 6 hours, the case will give you an additional 10 hours. And the folks at SoundGuys have tested this claim and found that the 65t gave an output of around 5.8 hours on medium volume.
Amazon claims that the Echo Buds can last up to five hours. On the other hand, the charging case is good enough to give you around three full recharges.
When it comes to real-world usage, the folks at Digital Trends found these buds to last around 4.5 hours if you have both the Bose ANR on and Alexa on.
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Let's talk about the sound features first. The Echo buds bundle Bose's proprietary Active Noise Reduction (ANR), which eliminates regular noises, especially when you are out in the streets or traveling. Though it's less extensive than ANC, it does its job of giving you an isolated feeling.
These buds sound excellent with a balanced sound signature. If you recollect all the Amazon Echo products, bundle amazing sound quality. However, do note that these buds do not get too loud. The sound quality has been praised by many users on Amazon, with users speaking highly of the great audio output.
Do note that the sound quality and noise isolation also depends on the fit of the earphones.
The Elite 65t has neither Active Noise Isolation nor Active Noise Cancellation. But on the upside, the ear tips do a pretty great job of isolating the ambient noises. Again it has a catch as it depends on you to find the right size of ear tips.
Aside from that, the 65t also packs a transparency feature named HearThrough, which allows you to adjust the degree of ambient noise. That can be used to monitor outside surroundings, especially for traffic and other noise when running outdoors.
Picking Better Wireless Earbuds
The Jabra Elite 65t and the Amazon Echo Buds are similar in many respects, whether it's the battery life or the Bluetooth connectivity.
Although the Elite 65t is an older product, it's known for producing great sound for casual listening. However, the low bass may leave the music lover in you a tad bit dissatisfied.
Though the Echo Buds check all boxes on paper, the user experience doesn't paint a pretty good picture. This first-generation wireless earphone of its lineup leaves much to be desired when it comes to connectivity, re-pairing issues, or the fit of the case.
At times, the buds do not fit well into the case, which causes them to lose charge.
So, which one will you trust?
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