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Reviewed on Mar 15, 2018 , Marc Henney, Yannick Khong

JBL E55BT
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.6
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.2
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.3
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.9
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.6
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.7
TV
Score components:
5.4
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The JBL E55BT are average wireless headphones for most use cases. They have a stylish design with a decent sound and a comfortable design. They're lightweight yet decently well-built and they're pretty easy-to-use. They do well for most use cases but do not block enough noise for very noisy environments and won't be the best headphones for watching movies or gaming.

Test Results
Design 6.8
Sound 7.3
Isolation 5.0
Microphone 6.1
Active Features 6.3
Connectivity 6.1
Pros
  • Comfortable and lightweight design.
  • Above-average sound quality.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Inconsistent bass.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.

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6.8

Design

Score components:
JBL E55BT Design Picture

The JBL E55BT headphones have a simple and straightforward design. They come in a couple of color variations to match your preferences and tastes. They're also more comfortable than the JBL E45BT and so, you can keep them on for hours without much fatigue. They do, however, make your ears a bit warmer than the on-ear design of the E45BT, and although they're decently well-built, they look and feel a bit cheap once in your hands. On the upside, they're decently portable, easy-to-use, and stable enough to exercise with.

Style
JBL E55BT Design Picture 2

The JBL E55BT have a simple design and clean look. They look almost identical to the E45BT but with over-ear cups instead of on-ear ones. They have a relatively thin headband and decently sized oval ear cups that are well padded and relatively well-built. They have a few color schemes that stand out, like the red version we reviewed, but there's also a more understated all-black variation that some may prefer. The ear cups protrude a bit once on your ears and the buttons on the right ear cup look and feel a bit plasticky, but overall, they're a stylish looking headphone that should work for most.

7.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
JBL E55BT Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.9 lbs

The JBL E55 are comfortable headphones. They have decently sized ear cups that fit well around most ears. They're lightweight and do not put much pressure on your head. However, the ear cup padding is a little stiff which is most noticeable after long listening sessions. They will get a bit fatiguing after wearing them for a while.

7.0 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
JBL E55BT Controls Picture
Ease of use : Average
Feedback : Average
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : Bluetooth Sync

The controls scheme on the headphones is simple and efficient. You can skip tracks, play/pause audio, and control the volume with their easy-to-use three buttons set up. They also have an additional button to enable the Bluetooth pairing mode. The control scheme is responsive but the buttons feel a little cheaply made.

6.4 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
JBL E55BT Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.9 C

The JBL E55BT are not the most breathable headphones. They create a fairly decent seal around your ears, so they will make you sweat a bit more than usual if you use them while working out. They should be oaky for more casual listening, like most closed back over-ears with regular pads but they won't be as breathable as the JBL E45BT.

6.3 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
JBL E55BT Portability Picture
L : 5.2 "
W : 5 "
H : 2.8 "
Volume : 73 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The JBL E55BT fold into a more compact format which makes them decently portable. They're still somewhat cumbersome to carry around on your person since they won't fit in any pockets and do not come with a case. But compared to other over-ear headphones they're pretty small and should easily fit into a handbag or backpack.

0 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case or pouch.

7.0 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
JBL E55BT Build Quality Picture

They have an above-average build quality, but slightly cheap and plasticky ear cups. The headband is decently flexible and has a thin metal frame that makes it sturdy enough for repeated use or accidental drops. The ear cups are also decently dense and won't get damaged if the headphones fall once or twice, but the quality of plastic used in their build feels cheap. This is most noticeable with the buttons on the right ear cup. They're a sturdy headset they just don't feel as durable as some cheaper options like the Bluedio T4.

7.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
JBL E55BT Stability Picture

These headphones are stable enough to jog or work-out with but won't be the ideal headphones for intense sports. They're wireless and won't move much during physical activity thanks to the slightly tight fit. However, the protruding ear cups sway a bit when running or doing strenuous exercises.

Cable
JBL E55BT Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.3 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

The JBL E55 come with a 1/8" TRRS audio cable with in-line controls and USB charging cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.3

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
JBL E55BT Frequency Response

The JBL E55BT is an above-average sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a deep and powerful bass, a balanced mid-range, and a neutral treble. This makes them quite versatile and well-suited for a variety of genres from EDM and Hip-hop, to rock and podcasts. However, the bass is slightly hyped and prone to inconsistencies, their mid-range is a bit recessed which makes vocals sound a little thin, and their treble could lack some detail on leads and cymbals. Additionally, they image great, but like most other headphones, don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

8.0 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
JBL E55BT Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.03 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.31 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.47 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.42 dB

The bass is very good. Low-frequency extension is at 10Hz, indicating a very deep bass. Low-bass and mid-bass are quite flat but overemphasized by more than 3dB. This adds a bit of excess kick and thump to the sound, without making it too muddy, thanks to the less overemphasized high-bass. Therefore, the JBLs would be a good choice for those who want a bass that is hyped without being too boomy. Also, their bass delivery varies significantly 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.

8.0 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
JBL E55BT Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.72 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.31 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.61 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.16 dB

The mid-range performance is great. Low-mid has a 4dB dip centering around 300Hz, which thins out the vocals a little bit. But this will also give more room for the thump and kick of the bass to come through. The rest of the mid-range is virtually flat and flawless, ensuring a well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

8.4 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
JBL E55BT Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.04 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.11 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.68 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.29 dB

The treble of the JBL E55BT is excellent. The only remark here is the relatively broad 5dB dip centered around 5KHz, which negatively affects the presence and detail in vocals/leads. Otherwise, the response is well-balanced and even, which is important for a good reproduction of vocals/leads as well as cymbals.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
5.8 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
JBL E55BT Consistency L JBL E55BT Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.03 dB

The headphones have a sub-par frequency response consistency. The consistency in the treble range is very good, with the maximum deviation being less than 3dB. However, in the bass range, we measured as much as 18dB of variance at 20Hz across our human subjects. We also noticed having glasses on could break the seal the JBLs and cause a drop in bass.

8.5 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
JBL E55BT Group Delay JBL E55BT Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.78
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.09
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
4.52

The imaging is great. Their weighted group delay is 0.23, which is very low. Also, the GD graph shows that the entire response is below the audibility threshold which ensures a tight and fast bass, and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched, which is important for the accurate localization of objects (like voice, instruments, footsteps) in the stereo image.

4.6 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
JBL E55BT PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.48 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.47 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.41 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.1
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

They have a sub-par soundstage. The PRTF response graph shows that the JBL E55BT don't activate the resonances of the pinna (outer ear) much, which is one of the big factors in creating a speaker-like soundstage. Therefore, the soundstage will be perceived as small and located inside the listener's head.

7.3 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
JBL E55BT Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.312
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
4.41

The harmonic distortion performance is about average. At 90dB SPL, the overall amount of THD is low and within good limits. At higher volumes, however, there is a noticeable rise in distortion the bass range and around 5KHz which could make the treble sound a bit harsh and fatiguing.

5.0

Isolation

Score components:

The JBL E55BT only passively isolate against ambient noise. They create a decent seal around your ears that blocks some high-frequency noise from seeping into your audio. However, in most cases, they won't isolate enough for loud, noisy environments like those involved in commuting and traveling. You can mask some of the noise if you play your music at higher volumes but the headphones will leak a little and may distract those around you.

4.3 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
JBL E55BT Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-11.34 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.86 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-6.92 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-28.5 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.29 dB

The JBL E55BT have sub-par isolation. These headphones don't have active noise cancelling and isolate only using their ear cups. In the bass range, occupied by the rumble of airplane and bus engines, they achieve no isolation In the mid-range, important for blocking speech, they achieve only 7dB of reduction which is sub-par. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they isolate by more than 28dB, which is above-average.

6.4 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
JBL E55BT Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
42.91 dB

The leakage performance is below-average. The significant portion of leakage sits between 500Hz and 4KHz, which is a relatively broad range and concentrated in the mid-range. The overall level of leakage is not very loud though. Therefore, their leakage will sound fuller than that of in-ears and earbuds, but not as full as an open-over ear's leakage.

6.1

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The integrated microphone has a mediocre performance. In quiet situations, speech recorded or transmitted with the JBL's mic will sound relatively thin and noticeably muffled, and this will have a small negative effect on speech intelligibility. In noisy environments, the JBL E55BT will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud situations like a busy street.

6.3 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
JBL E55BT Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
281.0 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
4.63 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3517.32 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
4.426
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
36.74 dB

The recording quality of the E55BT's mic is below-average. LFE (low-frequency extensnion) is at 281Hz, making recorded or transmitted speech to sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.5KHz, results in a speech that is noticeably muffled and lacking in detail, but it will still be decently intelligible, since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4KHz range.

6.0 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
JBL E55BT SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
11.35 dB

The integrated microphone has mediocre noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 11dB, suggesting they're are best used in quiet rooms and may struggle to separate speech from background noise in moderate to loud environments.

6.3

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The JBL E55BT have a good battery but no app support for added customization. They lasted about 18.5 hours on a single charge, which should be enough for most use cases, and they have passive playback so you can use an audio cable if the battery dies. Unfortunately, they do not support the JBL Headphones app which makes them less customizable than the Everest Elite 700. It also means they do not have an adjustable auto-off timer, which is a bit disappointing and slightly reduces their battery performance.

7.0 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
18.5 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.9 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

These headphones have an above-average battery life and decent charge time. They do not have an auto-off timer, like the Everest Elite 700, but have passive playback, and you can use them while they charge if they're plugged in via the audio cable but not wirelessly which is a little disappointing.

0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

They do not support the JBL Headphones app.

6.1

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The JBL E55BT do not have NFC but 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're also fairly easy to pair thanks to their dedicated Bluetooth sync button on the right ear cup.They have a good 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.  

6.8 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
2 Devices
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

These headphones, like the E45BT, connect wirelessly via Bluetooth and can pair simultaneously with 2 devices. Unfortunately, they do not have NFC, but on the upside, they are fairly easy to pair thanks to their dedicated Bluetooth sync button.

9.1 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone

The JBL E55BT come with a versatile audio 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.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

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.

7.9 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
37 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
119 ft

The JBL E55bt had a good wireless range of 37ft when the Bluetooth source was obstructed by walls and almost 119ft in direct line-of-sight. Their range is shorter than that of the E45BT but should be good enough for most environments and use cases.

2.8 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
185 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The JBL E55BT won't be ideal for watching video content. They perform about as well as most Bluetooth headphones with no low latency codecs at 185ms, so if you need to watch a lot of videos, use them wired.

In the box

JBL E55BT In the box Picture

  • JBL E55BT Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

JBL E55BT Compare Picture

The JBL E55BT are decent wireless headphones for every day casual use. They're one of the best wireless over-ear headphones we've tested in the budget category. 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.

JBL T450BT

If you prefer a compact on-ear design than the JBL T450BT could be a decent choice, however, the JBL E55BT are much better in most aspects but are bulkier over-ears. The E55BT are more premium and durable than the T450BT. They sound better, have a longer battery life and can pair with two devices at once. They also have a headphone jack so you can use them wired when their battery dies or with your console's controller. The T450BT on the other hand, are a bit more lightweight, portable stable for sports than the E55BT. 

JBL Everest Elite 700

The JBL Everest Elite 700 are a better, more customizable headphone overall when compared to the JBL E55BT. The Everest Elite 700 support the JBL headphones app and the E55BT do not. This gives them access to an EQ, and a lot more customization options, including noise canceling setting for each individual ear cup. Also, since the Everest are noise canceling headphones, they do much better in noisy conditions. They also have a better build quality and a more durable design overall. On the other hand, the JBL E55BT are more compact and slightly more comfortable, thanks to their lightweight build and the better fit that does not clamp your head as much. 

Sony MDR-XB950B1

 

The Sony MDR-XB950B1 are decently well built wireless headphones for fans of bass heavy music. They don't sound as good as the JBL E55BT but have a slightly better build quality. They also have a unique bass effect mode to really crank up the bass and they're a bit more customizable thanks to the Sony| headphones connect app. If you really like a lot of bass with your music but also want to be able to EQ it depending on the track, the Sony are a good choice. However, the JBL perform slightly better out-of-the-box and they're a bit more comfortable too.

Bose QuietComfort 35

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are great commuting headphones thanks to their comfortable fit and excellent noise cancelling. They do not have as many customization features as some of the similarly designed wireless headphones in their price range but they sound great out of the box and they're versatile enough for almost all use cases. If you have the budget, get the QC35. They're a better headphone in almost every category and they're noise canceling, which is a bit more ideal for commuters. Unfortunately, they are quite a bit pricier than the JBL E55BT

JBL E45BT

 

The JBL E45BT  are decent wireless headphones for most use cases. They have a better range and battery life than the E55BT but about the same sound quality. However, their on-ear fit is not as comfortable as the over-ear fit of the E55s but they are a bit more portable and breathable. If you prefer or don't mind on-ear designs, the E45Bt are a slightly cheaper option than the E55s.

+ Show more

Conclusion

6.6Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Average for mixed-usage. The JBL E55BT have a good battery life and a comfortable design. They're a bit plasticky but decently well-built. They also have a fairly balanced sound that won't be ideal for critical listening but should satisfy most casual listeners. However, they do not block a lot of noise and they won't be the best headphones to game or watch movies with.
7.2Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Better-than-average for critical listening. The JBL E55BT are comfortable and fairly well balanced. They have a good bass that doesn't drown instruments and vocals, and tapered high tones that do not sound too sharp. Unfortunately, their soundstage is subpar, due to their closed-back design, and they're a bit inconsistent in the bass range, especially if you wear glasses.
6.3Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Average for commuting. They're lightweight, easy-to-use, and decently portable. However, they do not block a lot of noise so they won't be ideal if you have a very noisy commute.
6.9Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Decent for sports. They're relatively lightweight and tight enough to stay on your head when jogging. Their wireless design also makes them less likely to fall because the audio cable got hooked on something. However, they get fairly warm during physical activity which is not ideal.
6.6Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Average for office use. They do not block a lot of noise so you will hear what's going on around you in a lively office, but on the upside, the JBL E55BT do not leak much at average volumes.
5.7TV
Score components:
Below-average for home theater use. They have an above-average sound and have a great wireless range, but too much latency for watching movies and a lot of video content. They come with an audio cable which can alleviate some of the latency issues, but it's fairly short and won't be suitable for most home theater setups unless you have an extension cord.
5.4Gaming
Score components:
Sub-par for gaming. The JBL E55BT 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 but at least they come with a versatile audio cable that is compatible with most console controllers and PCs.

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