Gadget review: JBL headsets - Your music on the go

Oct 13, 2014, 07:09 IST | Hassan M Kamal

JBL recently launched two Bluetooth headsets — the E40BT and Reflect BT — each designed to meet certain needs and priced the same. Hassan M Kamal test drives both

JBL E40BT: Made for everyday
Firstly, if you are an audiophile looking for some great quality sound, don’t read any further, because this device is not meant for you. However, if your need happened to fall between the wired as well as the wireless, and you are not so finicky about every beat in your favourite music, you may want to take a look at the new JBL E40BT.


The clarity of sound was beyond what we expected, thanks to the 40mm drivers, and the battery lasted for over 10 hours in three separate occasions, making it a perfect companion for long travels. Since it has an aux-in support, your experience is not limited even when the battery drains out. But what made us appreciate the device even more is how comfortably it sits on your ear. We have tested headphones from trusted brands in the past, where the ear cups would put too much pressure on the ears, making it uneasy to stay hooked in to the earphones for long periods.

The sound controls are placed on the ear cups, which may take time to get used to, but are nevertheless, easy to use. Unfortunately, we found the overall sound being compromised while using the mic, which comes across as a huge disappointment, more so because everything else was just perfect. The headphones are great for daily use, especially if you are a fan of heavy-bass music.

Price: Rs 6,999
Availability: To be announced soon
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JBL Reflect BT: Runners’ special
I’m not a runner, but whenever I have run, listening to music was never a pleasant experience. As you try to focus on speed and motivate yourself to go the extra mile is exactly when the wire creates a tangle across your face. And you go: ***!
I’ve used a wide range of earphones that are either too bulky to stay intact inside the ears, or come with long wires that interfere while you run. With the JBL Reflect BT, the experience was different. The headphones come with ergonomically designed ear buds that not only give you an extra grip while on the run, but also keep the noise at bay. A tad too much actually, so be careful while running on the street.

The next best thing is it’s wireless, and so, you don’t have to worry about irritants dangling around your neck or interfering with your focus. The reflective wire sits quietly on the back of your neck, allowing you to focus on the activity. It also has a clip that allows you to adjust the length of the wire, depending on your body type. But most importantly, the sound feels smooth. The device has 8.5mm drivers on both earpieces to provide decent quality sound on the go. The in-built mike is good if you have to attend to phone calls.

Unfortunately, the battery doesn’t last beyond three hours (JBL claims around five hours of playtime), limiting the earphone’s usage to exercise or other short activities. Don’t depend on these earphones if you plan to go cycling, hiking or take up other adventure activities. It’s a great earphone, but only for running.

Price: Rs 6,999
Availability: To be announced soon
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