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JBL E55BT Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Mar 15, 2018 at 03:59 pm
JBL E55BT Wireless Picture
6.5
Mixed Usage
6.7
Neutral Sound
6.4
Commute/Travel
7.1
Sports/Fitness
6.4
Office
5.2
Wireless Gaming
6.8
Wired Gaming
6.2
Phone Calls
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.

Our Verdict

6.5 Mixed Usage

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.

Pros
  • Comfortable and lightweight design.
  • Above-average sound quality.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Inconsistent bass.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
6.7 Neutral Sound

Better-than-average for neutral 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.

6.4 Commute/Travel

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.

7.1 Sports/Fitness

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.

6.4 Office

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.

5.2 Wireless Gaming

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.

6.8 Wired Gaming
6.2 Phone Calls
  • 6.5 Mixed Usage
  • 6.7 Neutral Sound
  • 6.4 Commute/Travel
  • 7.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.4 Office
  • 5.2 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.8 Wired Gaming
  • 6.2 Phone Calls
  1. Update 2/19/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  4. Update 6/17/2019: We've updated the comfort score of this review to better represent how comfortable these headphones are.
  5. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

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.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
0.9 lbs

Update 06/17/2019: We've adjusted the comfort score since we felt these headphones are noticeably tighter than the JBL Live 650BTNC.

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.

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 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
Design
Breathability
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
Design
Portability
L 5.2 "
W 5 "
H 2.8 "
Volume 73 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like the Skullcandy Hesh 3, 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
Design
Case
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
Design
Build Quality

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. For better-built JBL headphones, we suggest taking a look at the Everest 710 or take a look at the very similar JBL Live 500BT.

7.5
Design
Stability

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.

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

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

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
2.32 db
Treble Amount
-1.74 db
5.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.1 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
0.86 dB
Mid-Bass
2.16 dB
High-Bass
1.94 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.

7.2
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.68 dB
Low-Mid
-5.68 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.92 dB
High-Mid
-1.47 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.

6.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.42 dB
Low-Treble
-2.89 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.8 dB
High-Treble
-10.07 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. If you want over-ears that follow our target curve more accurately, especially in the treble range, check out the JBL TUNE 750BTNC Wireless.

6.8
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.0 db
Dips
1.85 db
8.5
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.78
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.09
Weighted Phase Mismatch
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
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.48 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.47 dB
PRTF Distance
3.41 dB
Openness
5.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.1

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.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.324
WHD @ 100
0.220
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Unknown
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated
Isolation
4.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.34 dB
Bass
0.86 dB
Mid
-6.92 dB
Treble
-28.5 dB

The JBL E55BT have sub-par isolation. These headphones don't have active noise canceling 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. The JBL E65BTNC do better for noise isolation since they have an ANC feature so if you're often in noisy conditions they may be a better fit for your use case.

6.4
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
6.3
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
281.0 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.63 dB
HFE
3517.32 Hz
Weighted THD
4.426
Gain
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
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
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.

Active Features
7.3
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
18.5 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
18.5 hrs
Charge Time
1.9 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

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
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

They do not support the JBL Headphones app.

Connectivity
8.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
119 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
185 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
150 ms
Android Latency
110 ms

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.

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.

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 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.

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 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.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison 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 so far. 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. See our recommendations for the best wireless headphones and the best over-ear headphones under $100.

JBL Live 500BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL Live 500BT are sort of a newer version of the JBL E55BT Wireless, and perform better. They feel better-built and the folding joints are now made of metal, which don't feel like they might break. They also have noticeably better battery life, with about twice the life of the E55BT. They are also compatible with the JBL Headphones app, which gives you access to a great parametric EQ, while the E55BT don’t have any customization options. The wireless range was also improved on the Live 500BT.

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL E55BT Wireless and the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless are pretty similar, but the JBL E55BT might be a slightly better option. They are a bit more comfortable to wear during long listening sessions and they don’t feel as cheaply made as the Hesh 3. The E55BT can connect to two devices simultaneously and also have an in-line microphone, which the Hesh 3 is lacking. On the other hand, the wireless range of the Hesh 3 is significantly better and they take half the time to charge for about the same battery life. However, the mid-range of the Hesh 3 is pretty underemphasized, which will push vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix.

JBL E45BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL E55BT and E45BT are practically the same headphones, but the E55 are over-ears while the E45 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 on-ear design of the E45BT. 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
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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, and stable for sports than the E55BT.

JBL TUNE 750BTNC Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL TUNE 750BTNC Wireless are better headphones than the JBL E55BT Wireless. The TUNE 750BTNC have a better control scheme, a much better-balanced sound profile that's much more consistent among various people, and have ANC to help them block out background noise. On the other hand, the E55BT last a bit longer from a single charge, are more comfortable, look and feel more durable, and feel more stable on the head.

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT might be a better option than the JBL E55BT for most users, thanks to its nice app that allows you to EQ the sound of the headphones to your liking. They also have very low latency for Bluetooth headphones and have a few more hours of battery life. On the other hand, the JBLs are slightly more comfortable and can be paired with two devices simultaneously. They also come with a cable that has an in-line microphone, which the HD 4.40 lacks.

JBL CLUB 700BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL CLUB 700BT Wireless are better headphones than the JBL E55BT Wireless. The 700BT are on-ear headphones with a drastically longer 55-hour battery and a better control scheme that's slightly easier to use and offers more functionality. They also look and feel better-built, and have a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box. They also have access to a good companion app with a fully parametric EQ, while the E55BT don't have customization options. While neither headphones do a very good job at blocking out background noise, the 700BT leak much less audio, so you can turn up your music to mask noises without bothering those nearby. On the other hand, the E55BT have an over-ear design that some people may prefer for extended periods.

JBL Everest Elite 700 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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 cancelling settings for each individual ear cup. Also, since the Everest are noise-cancelling 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.

JBL Everest 710 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL Everest 710 are better headphones than the JBL E55BT. They are more comfortable and better-built, which gives them a more premium feel. Their battery life is noticeably longer and they have a unique music sharing feature. They also have a more neutral sounding audio reproduction, so fans of bass may prefer the sound of the E55BT. Also, the E55BT are a bit tighter on the head, offer better stability, and are more affordable than the Everest 710.

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JBL E55BT Wireless Price

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