JBL has been on a role of late. Just recently the company launched the E-series — a line of affordable, stylish, and decent sounding headphones. In fact, all of the headphones in the E-series (E15, E25BT, E35, E45BT, and E55BT) scored excellently in our review — and for good reason. Now, the company is out with a premium version of the flagship E-series headphones — the JBL E55BT Quincy Edition.
As the name suggests, the headphones are tailored with Quincy marketing, and have apparently been tuned to the musical tastes of legendary music producer Quincy Jones. The headphones come in at a whopping $80 more than the “regular” JBL E55BT headphones. Are they worth the extra cash?
If you’re familiar with the original E55BT headphones, then the design of the JBL E55BT Quincy Edition headphones won’t be all that surprising to you. The headphones feature the same decent-but-not-amazing build quality, the same shape, and the same button placement. The only real difference in the design department is the fact that the headphones feature a dark-and-gray color-scheme with gold highlights like the Quincy Jones logo on each ear cup.
On the right ear cup, you’ll find the power switch, volume controls, and a multi-use call control button, while the left ear cup is where you’ll find the microUSB port for charging the headphones.
As we mentioned in our review of the E55BT’s, the button placement can take some time getting used to — the volume buttons and central button are all located right next to each other, and it can be a bit annoying trying to figure out which button is which when the headphones are on.
These headphones feature an over-ear design, but they are built to be portable — as can be seen through the swiveling ear cups that can fold in.
In the box, you’ll find the headphones themselves, along with a 3.5mm aux cable and a microUSB charging cable. You’ll also find a nice carry pouch — which you won’t find with the E55BT headphones.
In general, we like the look of the headphones. The Quincy branding looks good, and we like the black/gray color-scheme.
The JBL E55BT Quincy Edition headphones are relatively comfortable too — but they’re not perfect. There’s a good amount of foam in the ear cups, and you should be able to wear them for hours at a time without them getting uncomfortable.
The fit of the headphones is slightly awkward, and they don’t necessarily offer a perfect seal — but it’s not a major downside and you will get used to that over time. The headband could also have used slightly more foam, but again, it’s not a major downside.
The headphones look decently good and are relatively comfortable — but how do they sound? Thankfully, they sound quite nice.
The bass is present, but it’s not necessarily as strong as we would have expected. In fact, it sounds slightly cut — which is a little disappointing. That’s not to say it’s not there at all — just that it could have used a little extra oomph, especially in the lower bass region.
The midrange is also pretty interestingly tuned. The low-mids are relatively warm, which is good, but there’s a clear bump in the high-mids, which gives the headphones a kind of radio feel to them. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not standard on headphones these days and can get a little annoying at times.
The high-end is perhaps the best-tuned frequency range in these headphones. Cymbals and vocals are able to cut through mixes relatively well, which is nice to hear.
To be blunt, we were a little disappointed with the sound profile of these headphones. They don’t sound bad, to be sure, but they don’t sound better than the standard JBL E55BT headphones either, despite the $80 price increase.
The JBL E55BT Quincy Edition headphones are Bluetooth-connected, and as such you’ll want to consider that connection and the battery life of the headphones. The headphones feature a standard Bluetooth connection with a 10 meter — or 33 foot — range.
The battery life is actually quite good. The headphones feature a 20-hour battery life, which is more than many other headphones on the market. It’s not incredible, but it’s certainly above average.
The JBL E55BT Quincy Edition headphones are good, but are they worth paying $80 over the standard JBL E55BT headphones? We don’t think so. Sure, the design is nice, but we preferred the sound-profile of the original headphones, so we would definitely recommend buying the originals and saving the $80.
That’s not to say these are bad headphones. They’re still well-designed, generally comfortable, and the sound is decent. Thanks to that fact, the JBL E55BT headphones have been awarded the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||50mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||20 Hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth||Cable length||1.2m (4ft)|
||3.5mm||Case type||Soft pouch|