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JBL E45BT Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Mar 13, 2018 at 04:05 pm
JBL E45BT Wireless Picture
6.3
Mixed Usage
5.8
Neutral Sound
6.5
Commute/Travel
7.2
Sports/Fitness
6.2
Office
4.8
Wireless Gaming
6.4
Wired Gaming
6.1
Phone Calls
Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The JBL E45BT Wireless are decent mixed usage wireless headphones, similar to the JBL E55BT Wireless, but with an on-ear fit. They have great battery life and wireless range, and a satisfyingly well-balanced sound. Unfortunately, although their build quality is decent, it feels a bit cheap, and they don't have the best isolation for noisy environments. They're also not as comfortable as the over-ear JBL E65BTNC headphones.

Our Verdict

6.3 Mixed Usage

The JBL E45BT aren't bad for mixed usage. They have a good battery life, great wireless range, and a reasonably well-balanced sound profile. They're not the most comfortable headphones, and their build quality feels a bit plasticky, but they're a good option for most uses. However, like most Bluetooth headphones, they have a bit too much latency, meaning that they won't be ideal for gaming and home theater.

Pros
  • Stable and breathable.
  • Great wireless range and battery life.
Cons
  • Disappointing noise isolation.
  • Plasticky build quality.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
5.8 Neutral Sound

The JBL E45BT are sub-par for neutral sound. They have an overemphasized bass response, although it doesn't drown out instruments and vocals. It also has a decent reproduction of higher frequencies that's not too sharp. Unfortunately, their soundstage is poor due to their closed-back on-ear design, and they're a bit inconsistent in the bass range.

6.5 Commute/Travel

The JBL E45BT are adequate for commute and travel. They're lightweight, easy to use, and decently portable. However, they don't block much noise for busy city commutes, and their on-ear design isn't as comfortable as the JBL E55BT Wireless.

7.2 Sports/Fitness

The JBL E45BT are decent for sports. They're lightweight, breathable, and tight enough to stay on your head when jogging. Their wireless design makes them less likely to fall because the audio cable got hooked on something, and they have a decently efficient control scheme. However, they're not as stable as the JBL E55BT Wireless and won't be the most portable headphones for more intense workout routines, which may hinder your movements.

6.2 Office

The JBL E45BT are mediocre for office use. They have a long continuous battery life and a decent sound for hours of continuous listening but do not block much noise. You may hear the chatter of a lively office, and they leak a bit at high volumes, meaning that you may distract some of your colleagues in quieter conditions.

4.8 Wireless Gaming

The JBL E45BT aren't suitable for wireless gaming. They have a bit too much latency, a mediocre mic, and no customization options. Also, they're not the most comfortable headphones to use for long gaming sessions, although at least they come with a versatile audio cable that is compatible with most console controllers and PCs.

6.4 Wired Gaming
6.1 Phone Calls
  • 6.3 Mixed Usage
  • 5.8 Neutral Sound
  • 6.5 Commute/Travel
  • 7.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.2 Office
  • 4.8 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.4 Wired Gaming
  • 6.1 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Mar 11, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  4. Updated Mar 13, 2018: Review published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JBL E45BT have the same design as the JBL E55BT Wireless but with on-ear cups instead of over-ear ones. They share the same headband, frame, and button layout, although the buttons on the JBL feel just a bit cheaper. The only real difference is the size of their cups, making these headphones a bit more compact, and they protrude less when on your head. They both look decently well-designed, if a bit plasticky, but should be good enough for most.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.4 lbs
Clamping Force
0.8 lbs

The JBL E45BT have an on-ear fit that's fairly comfortable but not enough for long listening sessions. The small ear cups are decently padded but may constrain the top of your ears which, coupled with the moderately tight fit, causes a bit more listening fatigue than the JBL E55BT Wireless.

6.3
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Okay
Feedback Okay
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Bluetooth Sync

The JBL E45BT have the same control scheme as the JBL E55BT Wireless. It is a simple and efficient three-button set-up for call/music, track skipping, and volume controls, and 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.

7.8
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 2.5 ยฐC

The JBL E45BT headphones have a 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 decide to use them for sports.

6.8
Design
Portability
L 3.5"
W 6"
H 2.2"
Volume 46 inยณ
Transmitter Required No

These headphones are reasonably portable and fold into a more compact format. They won't be the easiest to carry around on your person, but they'll easily fit into a handbag or backpack. Unfortunately, they do not come with case or pouch, which is slightly disappointing.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

The JBL E45BT don't come with a case or pouch.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The JBL E45BT have a decent build quality that's almost identical to the over-ear JBL E55BT Wireless, and they have a more premium-looking design than the JBL T450BT. 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 cheap, most noticeable with the buttons on the right ear cup. They're sturdy but don't feel as durable as the Skullcandy Grind Wireless.

7.5
Design
Stability

These headphones have a stable fit, and they're tight enough on the head for running but may not be as stable as the JBL E55BT Wireless for some. 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 movement and physical activity.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • JBL E45BT headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.8 dB
Treble Amount
0.21 dB
6.5
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.75 dB

The JBL E45BT have an alright frequency response consistency. They show more than 12dB of variance at 20Hz in the bass range, which is significant and quite noticeable. It's 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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
5.0
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
6.19 dB
Mid-Bass
8 dB
High-Bass
8.49 dB

The JBL E45BT have poor bass accuracy. The response is overemphasized across the range, although it's flat. 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.

However, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response, and your experience may vary.

6.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.31 dB
Low-Mid
1.42 dB
Mid-Mid
2.74 dB
High-Mid
5.37 dB

The mid-range accuracy is okay. 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.

4.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.91 dB
Low-Treble
6.25 dB
Mid-Treble
6.21 dB
High-Treble
-0.74 dB

Their treble accuracy is poor. The overall response is overemphasized 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.

6.8
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.07 dB
Dips
1.8 dB
7.6
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.27
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.18
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
3.09
Weighted Phase Mismatch
10.06

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 hurt the placement of instruments in the image. However, the mismatch is not very large, and the effect would be subtle. Also, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

4.5
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.64 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.44 dB
PRTF Distance
4.03 dB
Openness
4.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.2

The JBL E45BT have a poor passive soundstage performance. 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, which 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.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.215
WHD @ 100
0.141
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated
Isolation
5.0
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-12.19 dB
Bass
-0.35 dB
Mid
-10.01 dB
Treble
-27.06 dB

The JBL E45BT have a disappointing noise isolation performance. 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 alright. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they reduce outside noise by 27dB, which is also okay. You can also check out the more recent JBL E65BTNC Wireless if you prefer over-ears and also need a bit more isolation for your commutes.

6.3
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
43.24 dB

Their leakage performance is acceptable. A significant portion of the leakage is spread from 500Hz to 4kHz, a relatively broad range. This means their leakage sounds fuller than many in-ears and earbuds, but not as full as most open-back headphones. Also, the overall level of the leakage is not very loud, just above the noise floor of most apartment rooms. If you listen at moderate volumes, the leakage shouldn't be a concern, even in an apartment setting.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
6.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
281 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
5 dB
HFE
3,466.89 Hz
Weighted THD
4.709
Gain
35.88 dB

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.

6.1
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
13.78 dB

The noise handling performance of the mic is unremarkable. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 14dB. This suggests that they're best suited for quiet environments and may struggle in moderate or loud places.

Active Features
7.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
26 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
26 hrs
Charge Time
1.9 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

The JBL E45BT have a good battery performance. They last quite a bit longer than the over-ear JBL E55BT Wireless at 26 hours compared to 19, but unfortunately don't have an auto-off timer like the JBL Everest Elite 700 Wireless. On the upside, you can use them passively with the audio cable if the battery dies and while they charge. However, they don't support audio while charging when used wirelessly, which is a little disappointing.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The JBL E45BT don't support the JBL Headphones app. For similar on-ear headphones that have a nice app and a great parametric EQ, take a look at the JBL Live 400BT Wireless.

Connectivity
8.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
163 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
168 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
147 ms
Android Latency
120 ms

The JBL E45BT have great Bluetooth connectivity. They connect wirelessly via Bluetooth and can pair simultaneously with multiple devices. Unfortunately, they don't have NFC support, but on the upside, they're fairly easy to pair, thanks to their dedicated Bluetooth pairing button.

These headphones aren't ideal for watching movies. They have less latency than the JBL E55BT Wireless but if you need to watch a lot of video content, then use them wired since they have practically no latency with the audio cable.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.3 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

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.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don't 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 2019 Edition Wireless.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The JBL E45BT are decent wireless headphones for most uses. They have a great range and battery life and a fairly well-balanced sound. Their on-ear fit isn't as comfortable as 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 use.

See our recommendations for the best on-ear headphones, the best headphones under $100, and the best wireless headphones.

JBL E55BT Wireless

The JBL E55BT Wireless and the JBL E45BT Wireless are practically the same headphones, but the E55BT are over-ears while the E45BT are on-ears. They have very similar audio reproduction and are built the same way. However, the over-ear design is more comfortable for most and is steadier on the head for sports. On the other hand, it's not as breathable as the E45BT's on-ear design. There are also more bass delivery inconsistencies with the over-ear E55BT, and they have noticeably shorter battery life and wireless range than the on-ear E45BT. 

JBL T450BT Wireless

The JBL E45BT are better headphones than the JBL T450BT. The E45BT have a more premium-looking design that's more durable than the T450BT. They also sound better and have a headphone jack, so you can use them wired if their battery dies or with your console controllers. The E45 also have better battery life and can pair with two devices simultaneously, unlike the more budget T450BT. On the other hand, the T450BT are more lightweight, portable, and stable for sports than the E45BT.

JBL Everest 310 Wireless

The JBL Everest 310 and JBL E45BT are very similar on-ear headphones. Both have a sound profile that is better suited for bass-heavy genres due to their recessed mid-range. However, the Everest model feels slightly better built than the E45BT. They also isolate more noise due to their cups covering the ear more. On the other hand, the E45BT have slightly lower latency, so you might not notice the delay as much on these. They are also noticeably more stable, which is good for sports. Also, the Everest 310 has a unique music sharing feature that lets you connect another pair of Bluetooth headphones to the Everest and listen to the same audio content.

JBL Live 400BT Wireless

The JBL Live 400BT are a little better than the JBL E45BT Wireless. They're both on-ear headphones with a similar sound profile. However, the Live 400BT are better-balanced and have a parametric EQ in their app, making their sound profile more versatile. They have the same build quality and design, but the Live 400BT have more control options thanks to their talk-through mode. They also leak a little less and have longer battery life. On the other hand, the E45BT have slightly lower latency, so you might not notice the delay as much on these. Overall, the Live 400BT would be the better pick for most.

Sony WH-CH500 Wireless

The JBL E45BT Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-CH500 Wireless in every way. They have better sound quality, build quality, sound quality, battery life, can be used wired even if the battery is dead, and they support full multi-device pairing. The Sony have slightly better feedback on their control scheme and have NFC support for easier pairing, with better wireless range. The Sony are usually cheaper than the JBL.

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