I love headphones. I love how personal they are. That you can listen to your own music, videos, or games without disturbing other people and the same goes in reverse. I have kids who are constantly listening to music and videos and most of the time, I don’t want to listen to any of that and when they were headphones, I get the peace and quiet I need.
With that said, my favorite type of headphones are wireless Bluetooth ones because seriously, who wants to deal with getting tangled up in wires? And my favorite brand? JBL. I’ve used a lot of JBL headphones over the years and have never been disappointed by them. Hopefully that’s the case with their just released JBL E55BT headphones that I had the chance to checkout before their official release.
The JBL E55BT Bluetooth headphones have a very distinct JBL look, borrowing some design elements from previous headphones. They are attractive to look at and not very flashy, which will appeal to those that want something low-key. However if you want a bit more flash, you can always pick these up in colors other than black and white. You can choose red, blue, and green and those colors make the headphones look pretty flashy. In my case, JBL sent over the blue pair and while it’s not a color I would have picked, they actually look quite good.
The previous E-series JBL headphones I had were the E50BT and while those were very comfortably, they were also quite large. The ear cups on the E55BT are a good bit smaller while still being over the year units. These are more oval in shape and less like a giant circle. It terms of comfort, the new smaller size doesn’t hinder it, in fact they feel just as comfortable and feel less bulky. Another difference is that the controls are no longer mounted on the side as a giant disk. The controls are now individual buttons tucked away on the bottom edge on the right side which make controlling music and other things a bit easier.
Most of the E55BT is made of plastic, which helps keep the package light, though they don’t look quite as premium as previous E-series headphones. However, the addition of the fabric accent piece on top of the headband is a nice touch and helps break up all the plastic. The ear pads have a leather like feel to them with some squishy padding that make them feel really good on your ears.
Lastly, the E55BT features a foldable design which help a lot when you want to store these or throw them in a bag for transport.
On a side note, if you are looking for something with a more premium look, there will be a version of the E55BT tuned by legendary GRAMMY winner Quincy Jones. This version will be outfitted with ergonomic ear cups and finished with rich metallic accents and a stylish leather headband.
When it comes to sound, I am not disappointed by the JBL E55BT. I’m not an audiophile or one of those who can really tell the difference between different bitrates or compression formats. All I know is that I really like the sound of these JBLs.
The E55BT features dual 50mm drivers in each ear. I tried them out with all types of music genre from pop, rap, hip hop, and even a little bit of country. Everything I threw at it sounded perfectly balanced and incredible sounding. The highs are very crisp and clear while the bass has a very punchy sound. Music lovers should really enjoy the sound of these.
Also of note is that because these are over the ear units, the ear cups surround your ear creating a physical barrier between your music and the outside world. With these on and the music pumping, I could not hear much of the outside world. I couldn’t hear my kids screaming my name, or the cartoon they were watching. I was totally lost in my own world and it was amazing.
Aside from the way the JBL E55BT look and sound, there are other extra features you might care to know about. For starters, because they are wireless, they require charging from time to time. Luckily because these will last approximately 20 hours between charges, you’ll be charging these less frequently. Also if you do need to charge up, these charge up really quickly and get you back up and running in about 2-hours.
Of course if you can’t find a place to charge or time to charge, you can always plug in the aux cable and use these like any other wired headphones.
The E55BT also allow you to take calls if you’re using them with a smartphone and can work on multiple devices at once.
I haven’t had one bad experience yet with a JBL headphone and the E55BT continues that trend. While these aren’t quite as premium feeling as the older E50BT, they are quite a bit smaller yet remain just as comfortable as before. These don’t look as huge on your head and will appeal to more people in my opinion.
Aside from the looks, I’m quite satisfied with how the E55BT sound. Again, I’m no audiophile but I think these continue JBL’s trend of producing some really great sounding headphones that not only provide clear and crisp sound, but can also be quite punchy with the lows. They work great with pretty much any music genre as well as with movies and games.
These are great alternatives to those “other” wireless headphones that cost almost twice as much as these. While these might not have the coolness factor with the kids, JBL’s experience with producing top notch audio products shows here with a set of headphones that just feels great and sounds great.