Sound Over Design
JBL is one of the biggest household names currently when it comes to audio products. With their E-series, they cover a large majority of the market by offering up excellent-sounding headphones, albeit with lower build quality, at a very low price.
The E55BT is everything you need from a pair of wireless headphones but doesn’t excel in any one area specifically. So, are these headphones even worth it?
Let’s find out in our in-depth JBL E55BT Review…
The budget price is most noticeable here. If you were to close your eyes, and have someone put these on your head, you would think they are much more expensive.
The plastic design creaks a lot when you man-handle them, but once they’re on your head, the squeaking seems to disappear. There are five different colors to choose from, and the tangle-free cable even matches the color you pick. Nice touch, JBL.
Lacking in comfort…
The headband isn’t very comfy, though, and feels quite stiff on your crown. We experienced a lot of discomfort after about an hour and a half of using them.
The earpads are synthetic leather, which is very much mainstream at this point. Most manufacturers opt for this not only for the cheaper production costs but also for the feel and premium look it provides.
Could be more intuitive…
The controls are all housed on the right ear cup and are responsive, although they are all flat and sunk into the ear cup. This led to us having to guess which button is which, for the majority of the first few hours.
There is no case included here, but the headphones can fold up at the hinges for easy storage. The plastic nature does make them prone to scratches and even some more serious damage. Getting a case will save you a lot of heartbreak later on.
The sound profile has definitely been altered. Is it a bad thing? By all means, no.
Balanced and clear…
JBL has perfectly crafted a sound profile that will be enjoyable to most general consumers. There are boosted lows for some extra punchy bass, and the highs have also been emphasized to add some extra shine.
That said, if you want great reference headphones on a budget, stay far away from these.
Good isolation with an ANC…
The headphones seal well, which helps isolate the listener. This is especially important here because there is no ANC present.
Furthermore, the seal also creates an amazing soundstage, which is usually absent at this price range.
The bass does distort quite a bit because of the amount of boost that has been applied to the low frequencies. But it does add a sense of urgency and warmth to the bass, which is mostly pleasurable.
Get in the groove…
Listening to pop and EDM, we found ourselves constantly wanting to jump up on the table and start dancing. The bass and large soundstage really do create a pleasing listening experience.
Unfortunately, that fun sound does alter some other genres of vocal-heavy music. If you enjoy vocal-heavy music like indie folk, these will cause some auditory masking in the mid-range.
Battery and Connectivity
JBL opted for multipoint connectivity over hi-res audio codecs, which is disappointing. On a standard SBC connection, we found that there was almost a 1-second delay between the video we were streaming and the audio on the headphones. AAC or aptX would have fixed this problem.
That said, the multipoint does work well. Switching between our phone and laptop was seamless.
General connectivity wasn’t great, though. Moving 3-feet away from the device we were connected to would cause it to stutter or even disconnect.
Will last throughout your commute…
The battery life here is good, but not great. With 20 hours of playback on a full charge at 50% volume, you will have more than enough for long commutes or workdays.
The headphones charge using micro-USB, which isn’t great or future proof at all. It takes two hours to fully charge the headphones.
Who are the JBL E55BT for?
If you are looking for an affordable pair of headphones that can do everything, then these will appeal to you. The design quality isn’t the best, but the great sound profile and wide sound stage make up for it.
Studying, commuting, and more…
The headphones are also great for students who are usually pinching pennies and always on the move. The multipoint connecting makes it easy to switch between your phone, tablet, or laptop while on the move.
Likewise, the lightweight, foldable design means they won’t be taking up too much real estate in your bag.
The sound isolation is good, which makes these suitable for people commuting daily as well. These headphones will keep out most noises you encountering during a daily commute, whilst sounding pretty darn good.
JBL E55BT Review Pros and Cons
- Great sound.
- Wide sound stage.
- Multipoint connecting.
- Lag when watching videos.
- Connectivity issues.
- Cheap build quality.
Looking For Something Else?
Is comfort your main concern? Then have a look at the Most Comfortable Earbuds and Most Comfortable Headphones currently available. Or, if you want to lose yourself in your music? Then find exactly what you want in our reviews of the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds on the market in 2020.
JBL E55BT Review Final Thoughts
JBL has made a superb budget option that offers great sound quality, above all else. If you are on a tight budget and appreciate great sound over comfort or style, then we highly suggest giving these a try.
If you want something with a more neutral sound profile, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x has an audiophile friendly sound around the same price.
Wherever and whenever, may music fill your soul.