JBL E55BT review: This mid-priced Bluetooth headphone delivers solid sound

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The Good The JBL E55BT is an attractively designed over-ear Bluetooth headphone that's relatively comfortable, sounds decent and works reliably. It folds up and flat and has decent battery life.

The Bad A bit of treble push, no carrying case included.

The Bottom Line JBL's new top-end model in its "value" E-Series Bluetooth headphone line delivers solid sound and a comfortable fit for the price.

7.5 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Sound 7
  • Value 7

Not everyone wants to spend $300 on a premium Bluetooth headphone, which is where products like JBL's E55BT come in. An over-ear headphone and top-end model in JBL's "value" E-Series line of wireless headphones, the E55BT is the successor to the E50BT and retails for $150, £100 and AU$230. It comes in multiple color options.

While the E55BT didn't blow me away with its sound or build quality, it's a likable headphone that sounds decent, is attractively designed, fits comfortably and has good battery life: 20 hours at moderate volume levels. It also worked nearly flawlessly, with minimal Bluetooth hiccups and easily paired and repaired with the iPhone 6S ($250 at Best Buy) and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge I used in my testing.

Like the on-ear E45BT, the E55BT has integrated music control buttons on the right ear cup (along with a built-in microphone for making calls) and also comes with a detachable fabric cable with a one-button remote for wired listening. No carrying case is included.

The controls are on the right ear cup.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Equipped with 50 mm drivers, the E55BT delivers plenty of bass but manages to avoid sounding boomy or muddy. It's good bass, not great bass. The midrange, where you'll find vocals, is fairly natural and not overly aggressive (forward sounding). There's some treble push, which makes the headphone sound fairly detailed but also a little bright.

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