The JBL E45BT are decent mixed usage wireless headphones, similar to the JBL E55BT, but with an on-ear fit. They have a great battery life and wireless range and they sound good enough for most listeners with a satisfyingly well-balanced sound. Unfortunately, although their build quality is decent, it feels a bit cheap and they do not have the best isolation for noisy environments. They're also not as comfortable as the over-ear E55BT.
- Above-average sound quality.
- Great wireless range and battery life.
- Sub-par noise isolation.
- Plasticky build quality.
The JBL E45BT have a decent design and look almost identical to the JBL E55BT but with on-ear cups. Their smaller format makes them more portable and breathable. They also have an efficient control scheme and an above-average build quality, although they're slightly plasticky and not as durable as some of the other on-ears we've tested within their price range. The buttons especially feel a bit cheap, but they're responsive and easy-to-use. Unfortunately, the on-ear design is a bit less stable for running and much less comfortable than the over-ear fit of the E55BT.
The JBL E45BT have the same design as the E55BT but with on-ear cups instead of over-ear ones. They share the same headband, frame, and button layout although the buttons on the 45BT feel just a bit cheaper. The only real difference is the size of their cups which make these headphones a bit more compact and protrude less when on your head. They both look decently well designed, if a bit plasticky, but should be good enough for most.
The JBL E45BT have an on-ear fit that is somewhat comfortable but not enough for long listening sessions. The small ear cups are decently padded but may clip the top of your ears which coupled with the moderately tight fit, causes a bit more listening fatigue than the JBL E55BT.
The JBL E45BT have the same control scheme as the E55BT. It is a simple and efficient 3 button set up for call/music, track skipping and volume controls as well as a dedicated Bluetooth button and power switch to turn the headphones on. The buttons feel a little plasticky and cheap but deliver decent feedback and are easy to use.
These headphones have a decently breathable on-ear design. They do not fully cover your ears so the outer-ear will remain relatively cool while you exercise. They still trap a bit of heat and won't be as breathable as in-ears or earbuds but should be good enough if you do decide to use them for sports.
These headphones are decently portable and fold into a more compact format. They won't be the easiest to carry around on your person but they will easily fit into a handbag or backpack. Unfortunately, they do not come with case or pouch which is slightly disappointing.
The JBL E45BT have a decent build quality that's almost identical to the over-ear E55BT. The headband is flexible and has a thin metal frame for reinforcement. The ear cups are also fairly dense, making the headphones sturdy enough to handle a couple of accidental drops without getting damaged. Unfortunately, the plastic used in their build quality feels a bit cheap, which is most noticeable with the buttons on the right ear cup. They're a sturdy headset, but they just don't feel as durable as some of the competing options within the same price range, like the Skullcandy Grind.
These headphones have a decently stable fit, and they're tight enough on the head for running, but not as stable as the E55BT. They slipped more often during the testing procedure compared to the over-ear variant but maintained a stable fit for more casual activities. They should be decent enough for sports but won't be the best headphones if you have an intense workout with a lot of movement and physical activity.
The JBL E45BT is a decent sounding pair of closed-back on-ear headphones. They have a well-balanced, deep, and punchy bass, which is great for bass-heavy genres, but their bass delivery is quite inconsistent and highly dependent on the user and their positioning.
They also have a good and neutral mid-range, but vocals and lead instruments tend to sound a little thin on them. Their treble is also quite well-balanced, but a tad hyped, which combined with the recessed mid-range, gives the headphones a slight V-shaped or "smiley face" sound profile. Additionally, and like most other on-ear headphones, they don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.
The JBL E45BT have an excellent bass. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, indicating a very deep bass. Also, low-bass, mid-bass, and high-bass are virtually flat but consistently overemphasized by about 2dB. This means that the bass of the JBLs is deep, thumpy, and punchy enough to handle bass-heavy genres like EDM, Hip-hop and film scores.
The mid-range performance is good. The wide 4dB dip between 250Hz and 700Hz, thins out vocals and lead instruments a bit, by reducing the emphasis on their fundamental frequencies. As a side effect, this usually gives more room to the lower frequencies in the mix, which results in a more pronounced perception of kick and thump in bass. Additionally, the response above 700Hz is virtually flat and within 0.3dB of our neutral reference.
The treble is great. The overall response is a bit uneven but well-balanced. The 5dB peak in low-treble brings out a bit of excess detail in vocals and lead instruments, and the 5dB peak at 7KHz, adds a bit of excess brightness and sibilance (S and T sounds) to the treble.
The JBL E45BT have a mediocre frequency response consistency. In the bass range, they show more than 12dB of variance at 20Hz, which is significant and quite noticeable. This is mostly due to their on-ear design and sub-par ergonomics which affects their bass delivery and makes it highly dependent on the position of the headphones. However, their performance is a lot more consistent in the treble range.
The imaging is good. Their weighted group delay is 0.27 which is within good limits. Also, the GD graph shows that the group delay response never quite crosses the audibility threshold. This indicates a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. In terms of driver matching, the L/R drivers of our test unit showed some mismatch in frequency and phase response. This could skew the stereo image a bit and have a negative effect on the placement of instruments in the image. However, the mismatch is not very large and the effect would be subtle.
The JBL E45BT has a sub-par soundstage. Due to their on-ear design, the drivers don't have enough distance to activate the resonances of the pinna (outer ear) like a loudspeaker, and that shows in the inadequate PRTF accuracy and size values. Also, they don't show a notch in the 10KHz region, further indicating that their soundstage will be perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head as opposed to in-front.
The JBL E45BT have a good harmonic distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion at 90dB SPL is quite low and within good limits. At 100dB SPL however, there is a significant change in THD in high-bass and low-treble. This suggests that the JBL may struggle to produce a clean bass under maximum load, and that their treble may sound a bit harsh and fatiguing to some.
The JBL E45BT do not isolate well in loud, noisy environments. Their small on-ear cups can block some high frequencies, but do not prevent the low rumbling noise of an engine or the chatter of a lively office from seeping into your audio. This makes them less than ideal for commuting although they do perform slightly better than the E55BT. However, this is mostly due to the variance in getting a good seal with the over-ear vs. the on-ear cups. Unfortunately they also a have a bit of leakage at high volumes so they may be slightly distracting to those around you in quieter conditions if you play you music moderate-to-really loud.
The isolation is sub-par. These headphones don't have active noise cancelling, and isolate passively. Because of that, they don't isolate in the bass range at all, meaning they will let in the low rumbling sounds of an airplane or bus engine. In the mid-range, important for blocking speech, they isolate by 10dB, which is decent. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they reduce outside noise by 27dB, which is above-average.
The leakage performance is below-average. The significant portion of the leakage, is spread from 500Hz to 4KHz, which is a relatively broad range. This means their leakage sounds fuller than that of in-ears and earbuds, but not as full as open-back headphones'. Also, the overall level of the leakage is not very loud, just above the noise floor of most apartment rooms. So if you listen to these headphones at moderate volumes, then the leakage shouldn't be a concern, even in an apartment setting.
The integrated microphone of the JBL E45BT has below-average performance. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with it will sound rather thin, and noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. But it will still be relatively easy to understand. In noisy situations, however, they will struggle to separate speech from background noise, in moderate and loud environments like a busy street.
The integrated microphone has a mediocre performance. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 281Hz suggests that speech recorded/transmitted with this mic will sound rather thin. The HFE of 3.5KHz indicates that recorded speech will noticeably lack detail and presence. However, speech would still be decently intelligible with them in quiet environments.
- 100% SpNR
The noise handling performance of the mic is below-average. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 14dB, suggesting that the JBL E45BT are best suited for quiet environments, and may struggle in moderate or loud places.
The JBL E45BT have a good battery life of 26 hours when playing continuously at average volumes. They also charge relatively quickly at 1.9 hours. This should be more than enough for most use cases, and they have passive playback so you can use an audio cable if the battery dies. Unfortunately, they have no app support for added customization and no auto-off timer to save power when they are not in use which is not ideal.
These headphones have a good battery life and decent charge time. They last quite a bit longer than the over-ear E55BT at 26 hours compared to 19 but unfortunately do not have an auto-off timer like the Everest Elite 700. On the upside, you can use them passively with the audio cable if the battery dies and while they charge. However, they do not support audio while charging when used wirelessly which is a little disappointing.
The E45BT do not support the JBL Headphones app.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
These headphones have a dedicated Bluetooth button for easy pairing with multiple devices but no NFC support. They can pair simultaneously with two Bluetooth sources and come with a versatile audio cable that has an in-line mic compatible with most consoles and PCs. They also have a great wireless range that should be more than enough for most use cases, but like most Bluetooth headphones, they have a bit too much latency for watching a lot of video content or gaming.
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
They connect wirelessly via Bluetooth and can pair simultaneously with multiple devices. Unfortunately, they do not have NFC support, but on the upside, they are fairly easy to pair thanks to their dedicated Bluetooth pair button.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
The JBL E45BT come with a versatile cable that has an in-line mic compatible with most consoles and PCs. The in-line remote also has limited functionality for both iOS and Android and is not OS specific.
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
These headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7.
The JBL E45BT have a great wireless range. They reached up to 49ft when the Bluetooth source was obstructed and almost 165ft in direct line-of-sight. This should be more than enough for most use cases and office environments and will be a decent option if you have a fixed source like a TV or PC.
These headphones like most Bluetooth headsets will not be ideal for watching movies. If you need to watch a lot of video content, then use them wired, since they have practically no latency with the audio cable.
In the box
- JBL E45BT Headphones
- Audio cable
- USB cable
Compared to other Headphones
The JBL E45BT are decent wireless headphones for most use cases. They have a great range and battery life and an above-average sound. Their on-ear fit is not as comfortable as some of the other on-ear headphones we've tested. They also have a bit too much latency for gaming and watching movies, but they're versatile enough for sports and even for some critical listeners.
The JBL E55BT are decent wireless headphones for every day casual use. They have the same design as the E45BT but with over-ear cups and have about the same performance in most aspects. They are a bit more comfortable though. Your preference between on-ears and over-ears is what will matter most but the E55BT are slightly pricier.
The Beats EP On-Ear are slightly better sounding wired on-ears than the JBL E45BT. They have a sturdier and more stable design for sports although they're a bit less portable since they do not fold into a more compact format. They also do not have the convenience of a wireless design which is a bit better for everyday casual use. If you want the best sounding of the two headphones, then go for the Beats EP. However, for about the same price the E45BT are a bit better for most use cases and come with an audio cable.
The Beats Solo2 Wireless are a better-built alternative to the E45BT. They have about the same performance in most categories but are a bit more stable for sports and have a much more premium design that feels a bit more durable. However, the price difference may not be worth it for some, and the Solo3 Wireless are a much better headphone so depending on the value to put on design, the JBL is the cheaper option for roughly an equivalent set of features.
The Skullcandy Hesh 2 are a cheaper alternative to the E45BT. They have an easy to use control scheme and straightforward wireless design that's average for most use cases. Unfortunately, they do not have the best build quality, and they're not the most comfortable headphones to wear for long listening sessions. If you're on a tight budget then maybe consider the Hesh 2, but for most use cases the JBL are better and would be more on par with the Skullcandy Grind.