Not everyone wants to spend $300 on a premium Bluetooth headphone, which is where products like JBL’s E55BT come in. An over-ear headphone and top-end model in JBL’s “value” E-Series line of wireless headphones, the E55BT is the successor to the E50BT and retails for $150. It comes in multiple color options.
While the E55BT didn’t blow me away with its sound or build quality, it’s a likable headphone that sounds quite decent, is attractively designed, fits comfortably and has good battery life at 20 hours at moderate volume levels.
Like the on-ear E45BT, the E55BT has integrated music control buttons on the right ear cup (along with a built-in microphone for making cell-phone calls) and also comes with a detachable fabric cable with a 1-button remote for wired listen. No carrying case is included.
Equipped with 50mm drivers, the E55BT delivers a good helping of bass but manages to avoid sounding boomy or muddy. There’s a decent amount of detail for a Bluetooth headphone, but this model doesn’t quite offer the richness and or more refined sound of some higher-end Bluetooth headphones. Nor does it have extra features such as active noise cancellation found in JBL’s step-up Everest Elite 700 wireless noise-canceling headphone. (The E55BT shares some of the design traits of the Everest line, which has a swankier fit and finish though it’s still predominantly plastic).
There aren’t a whole lot of competing models in this $150 price range. You have models such as the Audio-Technica ATH-S700BT and Sennheiser HD 4.40, which feature similar build quality. We’re still waiting on a review sample of the Sennheiser, also brand new to the market, but we should get that soon.
I do like both the sound and styling of this headphone better than than the E50BT. Hopefully, like that model, the E55BT should drift down in price. While it’s not a bad deal at $150, I’d like to see it in the $100-$125 range to call it a really good value.
I’ll post a full review once I more thoroughly compare it to some competing models.
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