I recently was able to review some on-ear headphones from JBL, the Everest Elite 300s. They were great headphones – super comfortable and excellent at limiting ambient noise. Today I’ll be reviewing another set from JBL, the E25BT in-ear Bluetooth headphones. These $60 headphones are extremely portable while also delivering great sound. Keep reading for all of the details.
Sound quality is where it all begins when reviewing headphones and the JBL E25BT delivers. The sound is true and pure. I’ve been using these headphones full time for about a week and can’t say enough good about them. I hear every instrument and every muttered word in all of the music and podcasts that I listen to. There’s no bass bump here but that’s not really an issue for me. I don’t listen to bass heavy music, as a rule. What you do get is excellent sound that seems to ring true to the original recordings.
One side effect of the excellent sound is that the recording imperfections of some of the older music I listen to are brought to the forefront. Dale Jamon by Machito is one of the ones that I had no idea sounded so poor. Be forewarned.
FEATURES AND DESIGN
JBL covers all of the bases for wired Bluetooth headphones. There are replaceable earbud tips so you can find the right fit. Volume, skip, and play/pause can all be controlled by the three button module that’s integrated with the cable that connects the two earbuds. Long pressing the volume buttons handles the skip. The E25BT also serves as a hands-free calling device. The play/pause button does double duty as the phone button. You use it to answer and end calls. The microphone is built into the same three button module.
In addition to the earbuds, JBL has included some extras in the box. There’s a tiny (10 inch maybe?) MicroUSB cable for charging and a neck clip that allows you to attach the cable to your collar. I found the neck clip unnecessary but others that wear the headphones out and about more might find it useful. There’s also a tiny little pouch for storing and transporting the headphones and accessories. It’s just big enough to fit everything JBL includes and slides nicely into most pockets.
The E25BT is available in several colors – black, blue, red, green, and white. It’s an attractive set. I’ve been testing the red version and one thing I really like about the color is that it lets people know that I’m using them. This is important to me in an office setting where folks tend to just walk up and start talking. The striking red color lets them know to get my attention before starting a conversation.
One feature that is absent is water resistance. JBL clearly states on their website and in the documentation that the E25BT are not sweat or water proof. JBL’s Reflect line fills the sweat proof workout-ready niche if that’s what you’re looking for.
The battery in the E25BT headphones is a tiny 120 mAh. JBL claims up to 8 hours of battery life and I’m seeing a reasonable 6-7 hours on a single charge with volume at approximately 50%. That’s pretty good but not enough to get through a full workday if you’re listening straight through. Recharging from empty takes from 1.5 – 2 hours so a mid-day top off charging session should be enough to get you through. One thing to note is that you cannot use the headphones while they are charging.
There are three different tips included with the E25BT so I imagine one of them will fit your ears nicely. I used the default tips and have had no problems. The earbuds are angled slightly forward so that sounds feed right into your skull. The headphones stay in my ears 95% of the time. They aren’t designed for jogging or strenuous walking, however. If you start moving around too much they will come out. I’ve had them pop out a couple of times when ascending or descending stairs. That extra little motion is enough to shake them loose. I haven’t had any discomfort from the headphones. The silicone tips are soft and non-irritating. The cord that connects the two earbuds is covered in braided nylon and is quite comfortable on the back of your neck. Some headphones of this type pinch and grab at hair, but not these.
The E25BT is a nice set from JBL. The sound quality is great – as long as you aren’t looking for super bass. You really pick up on everything that your music recordings have to offer. They’re comfortable and pretty reasonably priced. My one wish for these headphones would be extra battery life. If you have a situation where you don’t need 15-20 hours of battery life these are easy to recommend. You can pick them up for $60 from Amazon.