Good headphones are a pleasure, and to not be tethered to a cord is even better. As such, JBL’s new series of headphones are good to very good. They’re easy to wear, offer great sound, have
acceptable (rechargeable) battery length (rated at 18 hours), and provide standard controls on your music (pause, start, volume). You can even take calls with them if you’re paired to your
phone. What’s missing are certain nuances on how to use them in the instruction manual.
Design and physical attributes
Both the JBL Synchros E40BT and the Synchros E50BT sport an
industrial straightforward appearance, mostly of plastic and metal internal structure. with padded ear-covers made of “protein leather.” I had not heard of this beast before so I looked it up. It’s
a marketing term for leatherette, and some of the JBL ad content also does refer to it as leatherette (think of “pre-owned” cars). Nonetheless, they are comfortable, even after hours of wear.
The 50BTs weigh in at 10 oz (285g) while the 40BTs weigh in at 6-3/4 oz (190g). My head is not terribly large, and perhaps that’s why these do not have to squeeze my head too much. As it was,
it was not possible to look up at the ceiling with either headphone without one hand on the headphones to prevent them from falling off.
One other issue with over-ear headphones is that on warm days they may not be the most comfortable. Also, if you have large ears, again they may not be the most comfortable. Either way, your
mileage may vary, but these are things to consider.
There are telescoping extensions from each ear piece that extend through the headband allowing the ear cups to reach ears on larger heads. Each ear-piece has double-axis rotation so they not only
tip/flex inward toward the head but also rotate/pivot toward the chin. This makes it very easy to maneuver them to fit just about any head.
The over-ear design does block a reasonable amount of external sound from coming in, but these are not noise-canceling headphones. Nonetheless, I would have no problem taking these aboard an
airplane for some noise relief. If I pause the music, I can reasonably have a quick conversation. For a real conversation, I would take the headphones off.
JBL Synchros E50BT
While there is some charge to the lithium-ion batteries when the box is opened, it takes several hours to fully charge the batteries. There are two cords provided with these headphones, one with a
USB end to plug into your computer, router, or wall/USB power source, while the other end plugs into a special jack on the headphones. The 2nd cable can be used between any 1/8″ sound source and
this same jack on the headphones. Thus, if your headphones are out of power, you can still listen to your music the old fashion way: attached. While I did not listen to music for a full 18
continuous hours, the time rating is probably correct. While listening to both for many hours…