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When it comes to premium audio accessories, JBL is considered a trusted name, but the sound quality delivered by its new affordable product – the E45BT on-ear wireless headphones – appears impressive, too, especially for a price of Rs 6,499. Joining the company's affordable E-Series line-up, the Bluetooth-enabled E45BT promises to deliver amazing sound and comfort at an affordable price point. But does it fully live up to it?
Design: Durable & compact
The JBL E45BT is available in matte black, blue, red, teal and white colour options. It has soft ergonomic ear pads, and a less padded but comfortable fabric headband. The design looks neat. The grilles covering the 40mm driver in each ear cup are labelled L and R. The ear cups swing at the connection point to the headband and also fold inwards.headphone ear cups denoting L & R
While the E55BT feels comfortable and the ear cups cover the ear perfectly, the band is a bit small and leaves cups on the ear which may feel a little uncomfortable after 2-3 hours of use.
Each ear cup extends to 5 levels of fits. Because of the small form factor, the band is felt on the head even at the maximum extension. The lack of padding around the headband can irritate after a while.
The power switch, Bluetooth pairing button, a multifunction button for controlling playback, as well as call management and plus-minus buttons for volume controls seem awkwardly placed on the outer panel of the right ear cup.the outer panel of the ear cups
On the right panel is a connection for the headphone cable, and a pinhole microphone. Inserting the cable automatically disconnects Bluetooth to save the battery. The volume levels work in sync with the playing device's master levels which can be a problem at times. Also, combining the volume buttons and track navigation is annoying; it may end up skipping the track if you hold the button for a bit too long.
The left ear cup's outer panel houses a micro USB charging port.
Performance: Decent sound with clarity
The headphones deliver a strong low-frequency punch on tracks with intense sub-bass content without distorting the drivers.
At moderate volume levels, the lows are good and nicely matched with some crisp mid-high and high-frequency output. The headphones don’t sound highly thunderous on heavily bass-boosted songs and the music is produced with good overall clarity.
A track with less deep bass in the mix gives a better sense of the Harman audio’s sound signature. The lows are full and receive beautiful bass depth. The drums have a little extra thump and the vocals are clear with nice contour. The acoustic guitar tones are well sculpted with good highs, mid-highs and lows. The E45BT headphones also provide decent noise isolation, enhancing the overall experience. The headphones played out Pink Floyd’s ‘Division Bell’ album seamlessly with great proficiency.
Hans Zimmer’s musical excellence in the movie ‘Interstellar’ also played with great grandeur and immense clarity on the E45BT.E45BT wired with a single-sided detachable cable, which comes in the package
The sound feels premium when wired with a single-sided detachable cable, which comes in the package. After a few equaliser tweaks, you are good to go. The bass feels punchy and the highs and lows sound perfect, but the premium sound output may appear a bit lacking when played via Bluetooth.
The headphones last 15 hours on a single charge, but this could vary depending on volume levels. Also, the product gets completely powered up in just two hours because of its rapid-charge ability.
Verdict: Premium and affordable but not uniqueA great addition to the JBL line-up
For Rs 6,499, the E45BT headphones offer a crisp sound signature with boosted lows and highs. The product is a great addition to the JBL line-up of affordable wireless headphones but when it comes to overall satisfaction, predecessor E55BT at almost the same price point could be a better option.