Published on October 16th, 2017 | by Greg0
JBL E55BT Quincy Edition: Sexy, Inside And Out
In a world crowded with headphones, it can be hard to stand out. Lots of headphones offer a vast range of features and functions, from various ways to reproduce sound (planar magnetic) and new materials (carbon fiber) to multi-driver solutions and even some with different connectors (like Lightning cabling). There are in-ear monitors and weatherproof exercise models, some with active noise cancellation built for travel, and of course wireless Bluetooth versions. Today, we’ve got the latter type of set,
The JBL E55BT Quincy Edition Wireless Over-Ear headphones certainly stand out visually, living up to the name of the legendary producer Quincy Jones, thanks to their classy gold metallic details and matte black body. The soft leather headband and fairly flexible design make them comfortable and the mid-size form fitting ear cushions help block out external sounds. There are larger, plusher types at a higher price point, but these are both affordable and attractive, without sacrificing style and without adding weight. Pairing is easy, plus you’ll get twenty hours of battery life between charges, a fairly impressive number for this level of reproduction and volume output from the 55mm drivers.
Now part of the Harman family of companies, JBL boasts a huge range of models, covering just about every consumer, prosumer, and professional niche you can imagine- and we’ve seen their home theater line and soundbars, portable Bluetooth speakers, even earbuds in the past. A bit of trivia- the company name is actually an acronym for it’s founder, James Bullough Lansing, and they have over 70 years of experience making audio gear that has meant they understand the details. Included in the package are a detachable audio cable for wired listening, the necessary micro USB-to-USB charging cable, a user guide, and a basic-but-handy neoprene carrying case. We liked that these fold-up for easy portability, and only have subtle branding on the smooth exterior of the E55BTs. The buttons and onboard controls are more mixed though, and can take a little bit of practice as they are bunched together.
The best part of the set, and most distinctive feature, are the sweet sounds of Quincy himself- the custom, clearly-Quincy recorded voice prompts which were a lot of fun. We also enjoyed the overall sound signature, especially on R&B and Motown tunes, anything jazzy, thanks to brassy highs and a fair bit of warmth throughout the spectrum. Bass levels were a little muted, but sounds were clear and punchy, and made for a friendly, enjoyable pair suitable for just about anyone who loves Mr. Jones. Available now in stores and online, expect to spend around $185 for the JBL E55BT Quincy Edition- we tested them out in black but a rose gold version is also available.