If you’re shopping for wireless headphones for your iPhone, the obvious pick seems like the Apple AirPods 2. But choice is never a bad thing, and if you’re planning on hitting the gym with your new headphones, you should consider the Jabra Elite 65t wireless headphones.
In our guide, we’ve put the Apple AirPods 2 and Jabra Elite 65t headphones side-by-side to see what sets them apart. We’ve compared these premium headphones on design, built-in features and battery life. Catch all the details below.
Apple AirPods 2 vs Jabra Elite 65t: design
Apple hasn’t made any external changes to the iconic AirPods since the first-generation AirPods launched in 2016. All the changes on the AirPods 2 are internal – a different chipset for improved talk time and a voice-activated Siri, for example.
As with every other Apple product, the AirPods 2 rock a clean, elegant look. There’s a slight change to the new AirPods charging case, which now has a single LED on the front of it to tell you whether it’s charging.
The Apple AirPods 2 weigh the same as the older buds. There’s an eye-pleasing chrome tip at the bottom of both buds, which are only available in a solid white colour.
We think the Jabra Elite 65t wireless headphones have a more original look compared to the Apple AirPods 2. The buds burrow deeper into your ear, keeping them firmly in place if you’re listening to your favourite tunes on the move.
Jabra’s in-ear headphones are made from plastic. You’ll spot several holes on the side of each bud, which are used to pick up your voice when you’re using the voice assistant or making a call.
You have a couple of colours to pick from if you’re buying the Jabra Elite 65t headphones – Titanium Black, Copper Black, Gold Beige and Copper Blue. We appreciate the variety and wish Apple offered more options for the AirPods 2.
Both the Apple AirPods 2 and Jabra Elite 65t wireless headphones can be used with wireless charging cases.
Winner: Jabra Elite 65t
If you’re shopping for a unique-looking pair of headphones, we’d pick the Jabra Elite 65t’s over the AirPods. Visually there’s more to them, and they’re water resistant unlike the AirPods 2.
See also: Wireless headphones under £60
Apple AirPods 2 vs Jabra Elite 65t: features
Pairing the Apple AirPods 2 with your iPhone is an absolute breeze. Once you lift the lid on Apple’s charging case, your iPhone will buzz with a notification letting you know your headphones are connected.
Technically, you can use Apple AirPods 2 with Android smartphones, but the pairing process is slightly slower. You have to press the back of the charging case and then manually dive into your phone’s Bluetooth menu to search for the AirPods.
Pairing the Apple AirPods 2 with your iPhone is an absolute breeze.
Obviously, being an Apple product, the AirPods 2 use Siri to manage your voice commands. Double-tap the AirPods 2 and you can bark orders, whether that means running a Google search or skipping a song.
With the Jabra Elite 65t headphones aimed at fitness fanatics, it won’t come as a surprise to hear they’re protected with a water and dust-resistant shell. The AirPods 2 don’t have that same protective coating.
You get a couple of on-ear buttons with the Jabra headphones. You can adjust the volume on the left earbud with a single press, or hold your finger down to fast-forward or rewind your tracks. On the other bud, a single press will pause or resume your music. The same button lets you answer or end phone calls.
The Jabra Elite 65t headphones support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands.
Pairing these headphones is an easy job. You press down on both buds at the time time, and they’ll power on and sync with each other in a couple of seconds. After that, just loop in your smartphone from its Bluetooth menu.
We’ll call this one a tie. Both of these wireless headphones have plenty of features that improve the experience. Not all of them are shared, though – the AirPods may be easier to pair, but the Jabra headphones are water-resistant.
Apple AirPods 2 vs Jabra Elite 65t: smartphone apps
The AirPods don’t use an official, dedicated smartphone app. Instead, when synced with your iPhone, you’ll see information under the Batteries widget. You can check the battery life of each individual earbud and the charging case too.
It’s easy to lose track of your wireless headphones if you put them down for a couple of hours. For that extra peace of mind, Apple has the Find My iPhone app, which also works with AirPods.
Launch Find My iPhone, tap your AirPods in the drop-down menu and you’ll be shown a map. If the dot on the screen is green, you can have your AirPods 2 play a sound to make them easier to find.
Jabra’s smartphone app lets you choose between Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby.
The Jabra headphones partner with the free Jabra Sound+ app. Once installed, you can use the app to access a handy equalizer. Doing so means you can tweak the sound of the headphones based on the type of music you’re listening to. You might want to configure one profile for smooth jazz and another for hard rock, for example. We’ll leave that part up to you.
Jabra’s smartphone app also lets you choose your default voice assistant. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby are all supported. You’ll have to go with the AirPods 2 if you’re a Siri fan.
Winner: Jabra Elite 65t
Apple’s AirPods aren’t configured through a separate smartphone app. The Jabra Sound+ app puts loads of handy features in one spot, including the equalizer, voice assistant toggles and Jabra phone call settings. It makes for a better, easier-to-understand user experience.
Apple AirPods 2 vs Jabra Elite 65t: battery life
When shopping for a pair of wireless buds, it’s important to know how long you’ll get from the headphones on a single charge. If you’re out and about away from a plug socket, you’ll be on the hunt for wireless headphones that will last you a full day.
Apple is convinced that the AirPods 2 will give you “5 hours of listening time – and now up to 3 hours of talk time”. With the charging case, you’ll be treated to “more than 24 hours” of listening time, or “up to 18 hours” of talk time. The previous generation of Apple AirPods offered a less impressive “11 hours of talk time”.
According to Jabra, the Elite 65t wireless headphones will last “up to 5 hours” if you’re using them outside of the charging case. That’s enough for a gym visit, but if you’re heading on a long journey you’ll want more.
With the bundled charging case, the Jabra Elite 65t headphones have a claimed battery life of “up to 15 hours”. You can get two full recharges on-the-go using the charging case.
Winner: Apple AirPods 2
If you value battery life over everything else, go for the AirPods. Both the AirPods and Jabra’s last roughly the same amount of time outside their charging cases, but the AirPods last up to 24 hours tucked in their holster.
Apple AirPods 2 vs Jabra Elite 65t: verdict
Both of these wireless headphones offer fantastic audio quality and support for voice commands that help you interact with your smartphone.
For ease of use, the Apple AirPods 2 come out on top – they’re quicker to pair on iPhone. Support for Find my iPhone is a massive perk and could save the day if you lose your buds.
But ultimately, if you’re buying wireless headphones for the gym, we think you’ll be delighted with the Jabra Elite 65t headphones. If you’re used to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands, you’ll feel right at home. The water-Resistant design is a major selling point.
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