The JBL E45BT officially retails at Rs 6,300, but you can buy it for under Rs 6,000.
The headset features an on-ear design and wireless connectivity.
The sound is comfortable, and fairly standard for a product in this price range.
With smartphone makers taking the supposedly courageous decision to drop the headphone jack, the popularity of wireless headphones continues to rise. In fact, even if your smartphone has a headphone jack, you probably still want to own Bluetooth headphones. There’s just something special about not having to deal with wires. And while Bluetooth headphones, some years ago, had issues with both sound quality and connection stability, those problems barely exist today.
An audiophile will likely look at you funny if you praise Bluetooth headphones, but there’s a certain sense of practicality to it that has helped the technology gain prominence. And with the idea of Bluetooth audio catching on, it’s driven prices down as well. You can now buy decent wireless headphones for around Rs 2,000, and a budget of about Rs 7,000 will get you a capable pair.
Today, we’re reviewing the JBL E45BT Bluetooth headphones, which are priced at Rs 6,300. For someone looking at an affordable entry point to Bluetooth headphones, this option from JBL could be worth exploring. We review the JBL E45BT.
JBL E45BT Design and Specifications
At its price, the JBL E45BT is among the more affordable on-ear wireless options available, and indeed most cheaper options you see will be in-ear headphones. Do note that these are on-ear headphones, and not over-ear headphones. This means that the earcups will sit on top of your ears rather than surround them. The earcups are suitably padded for comfort, and the headband is padded as well. The earcups rotate a bit for comfort, which lets them sit well on your ears.
An interesting part of the design of the JBL E45BT is the fabric-covered headband. This not only helps with comfort but also adds a bit to the aesthetic value of the headset. And although the earcups are plastic, the back of these have a similar texture to the headband. The left earcup has the micro-USB port at the bottom for charging the headset, while the right side has the power switch, volume and play/pause/call answer buttons, 2.5mm jack for wired connectivity, Bluetooth pairing button and microphone.
The JBL E45BT uses 40mm dynamic drivers, with a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz and an impedance of 32 Ohms when used with the power. The headset uses Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless connectivity, and has a claimed battery life of 16 hours on a single charge. During our use, we were able to get about 12-13 hours of use on a single charge, and charging the headset with a regular mobile phone charger will take about an hour or so.
JBL E45BT Performance
I used the JBL E45BT primarily connected wirelessly to a handful of Android smartphones during my review, listening to music over Apple Music and on-device tracks, as well as TV shows and movies such as Electric Dreams and Altered Carbon on the popular streaming services. Focus tracks for the review were Barry White’s Never, Never Gonna Give You Up and Netsky’s Rio.
Starting with the soulful vocals of Barry White in Never, Never Gonna Give You Up, I found the sound from the JBL E45BT to be comfortable, defined enough for a Rs 6,000-odd headset, and hitting the ideal sonic signature for most genres. JBL’s approach to its headphone business has always been mass market, and the brand does indeed sell many headphones in India thanks to its sound. There’s enough emphasis on bass and treble, with a slight drop in sensitivity towards the mid-range. Indeed in this case, Barry White’s vocals were a bit lost in the bass and treble, but I wouldn’t expect more than this from a headset in this price range.
Moving on to drum-n-bass with Rio, the JBL E45BT came into its element. With a focus on beats, bass and instrumentals in general, the track brought out the best in the headset. It’s loud, punchy, aggressive and entertaining enough to listen to. However, it’s a level of sonic quality that would be achievable with wired headphones that cost around Rs 2,000-3,000, so keep in mind that you’re putting in a bit of a premium for the wireless capabilities. Those capabilities are certainly worth the premium if you have a long commute to your college or workplace, and the convenience of no wires is something that more and more people are adopting now.
The JBL E45BT is not only capable for music, but also for watching movies and TV shows on the go on your smartphone. Its loud, comfortable and well-designed for an on-ear headset, offering good sound when it comes to vocals and soundtracks. While the presence of active noise cancellation would have been nice, the sound is decent enough for watching media content as well.
The JBL E45BT isn’t particularly special in any way. It’s got acceptable design, adequate comfort and sound that is standard for wired headphones that are priced around Rs 3,000 or so. Simply put, the headset is inoffensive and perhaps a bit too plain for its own good. However, that’s exactly what’s needed from a headset in this price range; the JBL E45BT is functional and does exactly what it says on the box.
It’s worth picking up if you’re looking for a functional headset for not a lot of money. However, this is a competitive space and you’ll find a lot of other options at around the same price range from other brands as well, including Sony, LSTN, Jabra and Plantronics, to name a few.