I am not sure exactly when I started finding low fidelity experiences unacceptable but it’s been creeping up on me. I had become frankly pretty lazy about audio experiences, which is strange because I love music. I suspect deepening my use of Spotify has been something to do with it. But over the last 12 months or so I have been investing in improving my audio experiences.
For office use I bought some over the ear cans, the Phillips Fidelio X2s – which are great. So much clarity of sound, low and high end.
I decided I also wanted something better than the fairly throwaway headphones I had been using with my phone. Investing in headphones always feels risky because I am someone that has an unfortunate tendency to lose things. But I was Heathrow Airport and I decided to try something new. Oh my goodness though there are so many different types of headphone and I was suffering from some real choice anxiety. Then I remembered a recent review of Jabra’s Elite65e headphones by my business partner Stephen O’Grady and I jumped in.
The 65e headphones are excellent. For one thing, the wireless functionality is really game changing. I had previously been skeptical about bluetooth headphones, but they’re really excellent. The freedom of movement is really notable. It’s cool when you’re on a plane or something to leave your phone charging in your seat, and walk around listening to music. The bluetooth is a decent decent up to 10 meters or so in my experience.
The sound quality is on point. The bass in particular has good feel. The sound is crisp whether you’re listening to electronic music or the folk/pop. The sound is not as good as over the ear headphones obviously, but I find proper headphones uncomfortable if i am trying to to sleep or relax. In ear headphones suit me better for travel. Stephen is a big fan of active noise cancelling functionality for travel, but I find noise cancelling headphones actually increase the kind of treble noises, cups or cutlery clinking that stop me from sleeping. When I am on a bus or something, though, the noise cancelling functionality is notable and pleasing.
The telephone experience is also infinitely better with the 65es. Some other in-ear headphones had made my voice sound weird and stuff to myself when on calls – not so with the 65es. They also seem to integrate pretty well with the software on my Pixel 3. Before my experiences with the 65e I would have felt a little grumpy about the fact the Pixel 3 doesn’t have a headphone jack- yes, I was one of those people. But not any more.
A word of caution. I put the 65es down on a table at a bar, which had a little water on it, and after that the sound became intermittent. That is – they are not water resistant, or at least I wouldn’t trust them to be. Luckily I was able to exchange them for a new pair, and now I am more careful about that.
In sum, the 65es are reasonably priced, offer decent sound for the price, and they’ve immediately become an indispensable piece of kit when I am traveling long haul, or even just getting the bus to work.
Not sure how long the offer will last, but for right now at least it seems John Lewis has the Jabra 65e headphones on sale at £89.99, which is a pretty decent discount.