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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 Wireless are wireless headphones with a fairly versatile sound profile. 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 uses but don't 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

The JBL E55BT are okay for mixed-use. They have good battery life, a comfortable design, and are a bit plasticky, but are decently well-built. They also have a fairly balanced sound that won't be ideal for fans of neutral sound but should satisfy most casual listeners. However, they don't block a lot of noise, and they won't be the best headphones to game or watch movies.

Pros
  • Audio cable included.
  • Comfortable and lightweight design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
6.7 Neutral Sound

The JBL E55BT are adequate for neutral listening. They're comfortable and fairly well-balanced. They have a good bass response that doesn't drown instruments and vocals, and tapered high tones that don't 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

The JBL E55BT are acceptable for commuting. They're lightweight, easy to use, and decently portable. However, they don't block a lot of noise, so they won't be ideal if you have a very noisy commute.

7.1 Sports/Fitness

The JBL E55BT are decent for sports and fitness. 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 isn't ideal.

6.4 Office

The JBL E55BT are mediocre for office use. They don't block a lot of noise, so you'll hear what's going on around you in a lively office, but on the upside, they don't leak much audio at average volumes.

5.2 Wireless Gaming

The JBL E55BT aren't suitable for wireless gaming. They have too much latency, a mediocre mic, and no customization options. They're not the most comfortable headphones to use for long gaming sessions, but at least they come with a versatile audio cable that's 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. Updated Feb 19, 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 Jun 17, 2019: We've updated the comfort score of this review to better represent how comfortable these headphones are.
  5. Updated Feb 16, 2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  6. Updated Dec 07, 2017: Review published.
  7. Updated Dec 05, 2017: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JBL E55BT have a simple design and clean look. They look almost identical to the JBL E45BT Wireless 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 stylish-looking headphones.

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 are decently comfortable headphones. They have decently sized ear cups that fit well around most ears. They're lightweight and don't 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 control 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 setup. 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 ยฐC

The JBL E55BT aren't 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 Wireless.

6.3
Design
Portability
L 5.2"
W 5"
H 2.8"
Volume 73 inยณ
Transmitter Required No

Like the Skullcandy Hesh 3, the JBL E55BT fold into a more compact format, making them acceptably portable. They're still somewhat cumbersome to carry around on your person since they won't fit in any pockets and don't come with a case, but they 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 don't come with a case or pouch.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

They have decent build quality but feel slightly cheap and have plasticky ear cups. The headband is quite 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 sturdy headphones but don't feel as durable as the Bluedio T4 Turbine Wireless. For better-built JBL headphones, we suggest taking a look at the JBL Everest 710 Wireless.

7.5
Design
Stability

The JBL Live E55BT Wireless have good stability. These headphones are stable enough to jog or work out with but won't be ideal 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. 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 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 JBL E55BT have amazing bass accuracy. Low-frequency extension is at 10Hz, indicating a very deep bass. Low-bass and mid-bass are flat but overemphasized by more than 3dB, which 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 JBL E55BT have decent mid accuracy. 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 JBL E55BT have adequate treble accuracy. 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 and 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 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 JBL E55BT have an excellent imaging performance. 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. Also, 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. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and your experience may vary.

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

The JBL E55BT have a poor passive soundstage performance. The PRTF response graph shows that they 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 a poor noise isolation performance. These headphones don't have active noise cancelling (ANC) and isolate only using their ear cups. In the bass range, occupied by the rumble of airplane and bus engines, they achieve virtually 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 okay. The JBL E65BTNC Wireless are 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 you.

6.4
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
42.91 dB

The JBL E55BT have an unremarkable leakage performance. A 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 most in-ears and earbuds, but not as full as most open-back over-ears.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
6.3
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
281 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.63 dB
HFE
3,517.32 Hz
Weighted THD
4.426
Gain
36.74 dB

The recording quality of the JBL E55BT's mic is passable. LFE (low-frequency extension) 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 understandable 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 a decent battery life and charge time. They don't have an auto-off timer, like the Everest Elite 700 Wireless, 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 don't 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 JBL E45BT Wireless, connect wirelessly via Bluetooth and can pair simultaneously with two devices. Unfortunately, they don't have NFC, but on the upside, they're fairly easy to pair, thanks to their dedicated Bluetooth sync button.

The JBL E55BT won't be ideal for watching video content on most devices. Their latency with PCs and iOS devices is likely too high to be suitable for streaming video or gaming, and you may want to use them wired if audio lag is a concern. However, they have reasonably low latency with Android devices. Also, some apps and devices seem to compensate for latency, so your experience may be different.

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 isn't 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 E55BT are decent wireless headphones for everyday casual use. They have the same design as the JBL E45BT Wireless but with over-ear cups and have about the same performance in most aspects. They're a bit more comfortable, though. Your preference between on-ears and over-ears is what will matter most when choosing between them.

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

JBL Live 500BT Wireless

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 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 also improved on the Live 500BT.

JBL E45BT 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 TUNE 750BTNC Wireless

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. 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.

JBL CLUB 700BT Wireless

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. The E55BT have an over-ear design that some people may prefer for extended periods.

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless

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

JBL Everest 710 Wireless

The JBL Everest 710 Wireless are better headphones than the JBL E55BT Wireless. 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.

JBL T450BT Wireless

If you prefer a compact on-ear design, then the JBL T450BT Wireless could be a decent choice; however, the JBL E55BT Wireless are much better in most other aspects. 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.

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless

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 Skullcandy. The JBL can connect to two devices simultaneously and have an in-line microphone, which the Skullcandy lacks. On the other hand, the wireless range of the Skullcandy is significantly better, and they take half the time to charge for about the same battery life. However, the mid-range of the Skullcandy is pretty underemphasized, which will push vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix.

JBL Everest Elite 700 Wireless

The JBL Everest Elite 700 Wireless are a better, more customizable headphone overall when compared to the JBL E55BT Wireless. The Everest Elite 700 support the JBL Headphones app, and the E55BT don't. This gives them access to an EQ and more customization options, including noise cancelling settings for each 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. 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.

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