Full Reviews

JBL E25BT Wireless in-ear Headphones Review

Finding a way to write about a set of bluetooth headphones isn’t easy. Okay, it may sound like it isn’t hard to present thoughts and feelings on any product. It is. A review takes time. Any review you read here has a thought process: a plan on what I’ll focus on, and what I’ll ignore. Answers to questions I feel many people will ask, and much more. It is easy to do a phone review, because I’ve done that for years. But for earphones…

Okay, so… which earphones/headphones do you currently have? Did you buy them or did they come included with your phone? How would you rate them? Would you spend money on quality earphones? What’s the maximum amount you’d pay for earphones?

I picked these up from AndroidKenya.com back in May of this year. He had like 2 different pairs of wireless earphones. And I really wanted bluetooth sets back then. The box says price is Ksh. 4,995. However, currently on JBL.com they are on offer for $29.95 which translates to about Ksh. 3,000. Problem is they don’t deliver to Kenya. So you have to walk into a local store or use third party importers. Anyway, if you don’t want to read this whole post and just want to know if they’re worth the money, THEY ARE.

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Unboxing:

Inside the box you’ll find:

  • The Earphones
  • Orange-coloured Micro-USB Cable
  • Extra Ear-pods to suit different ear types
  • Lots of paperwork

What I like:

Sound Quality:

I will not try to sound like a sound-guru and talk about things I really don’t understand. I’ve used many earphones, and of late, I’ve even got the AKG earphones with the Samsung Note 9. I like the JBL E25BTs because of a couple of things:

  • Clarity – everything is clear. If you’re watching a movie, if you’re listening to music, or a podcast, I feel like all sounds, if not most, come out in a nice way. I don’t know how to say this, but when listening to music you feel both the lows, mids and highs without distortion.
  • Softness – your ears don’t hurt from the sound as is the case with the usually included earphones from some companies. I mean yes, the rubber pods on your ears are soft, but the sound is also soft, but loud. You don’t feel hissings, distorted highs, or plain noise when listening to different genres of music like rock.
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in-ear
  • Bass – Someone told me JBLs are known for bass. Someone else said, when they tested this earphones, that they don’t have enough bass. I feel like they’re perfect. They’re not flat. No. But they’re not overdone. The bass is just perfect.

Battery Life:

I feel like this is the only reason you should get these earphones. The company promises 8hrs of use. That’s a lie. I get about 6hrs of use. And this is with mostly continuous music. And that’s also perfect.

This is what I love most: When I am about to leave the house, I’ll connect the sets to my phone via bluetooth and leave that connection on for the whole day without any worries my battery would die off. They stay around my neck such that whenever I want to listen to music, I just hit play on my phone and ‘plug in the pods to my ears’.

And this is the real definition of wireless. You have them around your neck constantly. There are no cables to the phone, there’s no bulky stuff to deal with, except for the cord around your neck. And whenever you want to watch a video on YouTube or listen to a song, you don’t have to do any work like plugging it into the 3.5mm jack or to setting up the bluetooth connection and blah blah. It just works. And it works the whole day.

When I have longer sessions of listening to music, like when traveling, after about 4hrs of continuous use, there would be a beep saying battery low. But when I have breaks between listening, it will take even two days without the beeps.

The volume level also counts: I normally have it between 50% to 70% volume because they’re in-the-ear pods and they naturally block all external sounds, so just mid-level volume works perfect. Between 50%-70% the battery life is great with music. At over 90% volume, you’ll notice battery drop much faster if your phone indicates bluetooth battery. But switching off and reconnecting will probably restore battery levels.

I remember I watched 5 episodes of Money Heist without recharging the headsets. I was in a silent room and volume was set at just above 50%.

Charging to 100% is about 15 to 30mins depending on level of drain.

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With Galaxy Note 9’s AKG earphones

Continuity:

And this is my favourite thing about these earphones. It can connect to two devices at once. So I can have them connected to both my laptop and my phone. Or my phone and my TV at once. And you don’t know how amazing that is.

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Say I am going somewhere where I’ll need to use my laptop – like work. I leave the house with the earphones connected to my phone playing music. When I get to work, I open my laptop, and hit play on my music on the laptop. The headphones will automatically stop my music on the phone and pick up the music from the laptop. Great! I don’t have to reconnect, disconnect and blah blah. I don’t have to find the 3.5mm jack on my laptop and plug in anything. If I want to continue with phone music or to watch something from the phone, the connection is still there and I can just move back to phone. Plus everytime there’s a notification on the phone, or if someone calls, the headsets will remind me. Even better!

Okay say I am going home from work and I’m listening to music through the earphones. Once I get home, I will switch on my TV, and immediately start listening to anything on TV using the earphones. Anyone who has an Android Box knows the beauty of this. You connect the TV to your bluetooth headphones and each time they’re on they’ll be autoconnected so you don’t have to make noise to whoever whether it’s someone you live with, or your neighbours.

I’ve especially loved watching movies in the night with the headphones without being the loud, annoying, inconsiderate neighbour.

The range is amazing too. Without walls and barriers you can go about 7 metres from phone, or laptop and the audio will still reach the earphones. In my place, I can walk between rooms when something is playing and the audio won’t break up.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 AKG Headphones
With wired headsets, you’ll need to constantly be plugging in and removing to use on another device. But they’ll save your phone if it drops.

Noise Cancelling

There’s no noise cancelling whatsoever built-in. Nope. That they are rubber pods inserted in your ears makes them naturally cancel almost all external sound. And it is so good, you can sit in a loud matatu and still hear your own music – with the exception (obviously) of the incredible, almost-terrifying bass in certain matatus.

Waterproof?

I am not saying they’re waterproof. No. I don’t know. But they have handled sweat and being rained on pretty well since May. The material used for the cable is really good. I believe this is what people call braided cables. It is great. The plastic components of the earphones are also very well sealed.

What I don’t like:

  • The cable: I don’t dislike that it is short. Nope. I hate that I have to attach it to my shirt’s collar. There’s this sort of hook that comes attached that allows you to hook it to your shirt collar, but it broke off really easy. And now the earphones always hang around my neck. I think completely wireless earphones – like Apple’s AirPods or Google’s Pixel Buds – are the way to go now.

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  • The extra parts: there’s this big JBL branded section that shows when bluetooth is connected or not. It is quite big and it has to stay either attached to your collar or hanging on your neck. No it has no weight, so you won’t feel it, but it just doesn’t look too good. There’s also the volume controls section that will always hang close to your right ears.

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  • No App Companion – I wish there was a dedicated app to tune the earphones’ output. Or to show usage periods and show battery life and such data.

If you want great wireless earphones with good sound quality, ones that will last you a while… get these earphones. They’re great. I like them. And I believe they’ll last me long given that it’s November and I’ve had them since May. Are you already wireless? Or do you swear by the 3.5mm headphone jack?

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