I’ve had a handful of folks ask me to recommend relatively cheap Bluetooth headphones that aren’t too bulky. My go-to answer for them has always been something from the JBL E Series. The E45BT and E55BT have been my favorite to share for the stylish, utiliarian commuter. Now I’m excited to say that JBL has released their newest member of the E Series family, the JBL E65BTNC. As the name suggests, these headphones can connect via Bluetooth and have an active noise canceling feature. But how does it affect the sound, and does it really block out enough noise? I’m about to find out with this JBL E65BTNC wireless noise cancelling headphones review.
JBL E65BTNC Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones Review
In the Box
-JBL E65BTNC headset
-Micro USB charging cable
-3.5mm cloth coated cable with mic and one button remote
Control and Connection Specifications
As I open the box of the JBL E65BTNC, I notice the design of this headset looks almost identical to the E55BT. The most notable difference (and it is still a small difference)is the ear pads. The JBL E65BTNC’s earpads are just a little bit thicker and fluffier than the others. It still has the same durable design which has a cloth bound headband and compact, sleek, pleather coated earcups.
One other difference is the way the JBL E65BTNC fits on the head. While it is true that the E55BT does an excellent job of noise isolating, the JBLE65BTNC squeezes the head just a bit tighter. As a result, it isolates the sound further, even before the active noise cancellation is turned on.
The JBL E65BTNC has a Bluetooth connectivity range of about 30 ft. I test this by walking as far away as I could inside my office. In fact, it reaches beyond 30 ft but works best when it has line of sight to the device.
I’m extremely impressed by the battery life of the JBL E65BTNC. When active noise cancelling is turned on, the battery lasts for 15 hours. By contrast, the active noise cancelling is turned on, the battery lasts 20 hours. But the most impressive quality involving the battery life is the charging time. Two hours of charging yields 24 hours of playback! What?! This opens these headphones up to another level of convenience for world travellers and local commuters alike.
The noise cancelling is actually quite impressive. For some reason I was expecting the active noise cancelling to be weaker than it is. But wow! These block out sound quite well. It is a simple feature as there are no frilly controls to customize the noise cancellation. It is simply “on” or “off”. There is something to be aware of though. The active noise cancelling function will be turned on if you are using the headphones wirelessly. In other words, the Bluetooth connection and the active noise cancellation are inextricably bound, but noise cancellation isn’t bound to Bluetooth (you are able to turn noise cancellation on and off when the headphones are wired).
The JBL E65BTNC headphones have the classic JBL sound signature. It has nice thumping bass, thick low-mid frequencies, a slightly scooped but also somehow lively mid-range, and average high frequencies. Listening wirelessly with noise cancellation makes the sound stage really lose steam. Once the you listen via a wire and turn the noise cancellation off, the sound stage expands. It isn’t particularly impressive, but that is the case for ALL noise cancelling headphones so I won’t put too much weight into it here. I only mention it to let you know that there are ways to listen to these headphones with better sound quality than other ways.
JBL has done a great job with the E65BTNC. Not only are they affordable, but they are extra convenient for travelers and commuters because of their extended battery life and charging time and folding headband. For the price point of $199.99, they are a great deal.
The JBL E65BTNC is available for the best price here: