JBL has pretty much built a headphone to suit everyone’s needs. The Everest Elite 100 is an Bluetooth In-Ear Active Noise-Cancelling headphone. Most In-Ear Active Noise-Cancelling headphones are pretty hit or miss in terms of noise cancelling and sound quality, favoring one over the other. JBL has managed to engineer a headphone that is quality in both areas.
JBL Everest Elite 100 Review
At first I was a little thrown off by the large neck band that the earbuds are attached to, but after putting it on and wearing it for a while I actually forgot I was wearing it. The neckband has a very ergonomic design and good counterbalance to ensure it can be worn for hours on end without causing issues. A feature I overlooked at first was the remote controls on the neckband, which are well placed and easy to look over. The headset controls are pretty standard: volume, play/pause, and JBL’s ambient awareness.
The battery life is around 6 hours which isn’t amazing seeing how it is a newer release, but the headphone is pulling a lot of weight behind being Bluetooth, noise-cancelling, and having JBL’s ambient awareness. The earbuds come with ear fins attached to the units which helps them stay in your ear while not adding much additional pressure to your ear.
For being an In-Ear noise-cancelling headphone the Everest Elite 100 does a pretty good job of cancellation. It takes care of most low-end background noise that can be going on around you, and like every other active noise-cancelling headphone high frequency content is pretty difficult to take care of and will bleed through. But when listening to music at a reasonable level the headphone isolates you pretty well from most noise.
JBL Smartphone App
Being an Elite model the headphone has access to JBL’s My Headphone app for more control over the headphone. The only features you can’t use without the app is the Medium Ambient Awareness setting and the ability to turn off noise cancelling. The UI is pretty basic and all of the information is available on one page. So you can easily monitor battery life, ambient awareness, and noise-cancelling. And what app would be complete without EQ settings, coming packed with standard EQ presets like Jazz, Vocal, and Bass. The App gives you the ability to create your own preset with a very generous 10-Band EQ to sculpt your preferred response.
Common trend running in the Everest series is a lack of treble content to which the headphone follows a warmer sonic quality. Another thing is that noise-cancelling tends to narrow out the sound stage, which can be annoying but when you’re trying to focus on noise cancelling some sonic discrepancies are alright.
Like I mentioned the Everest series all have a warmer sound quality to their headphones which makes sense because a lot of consumers are used to this type of sound. The low end is pretty powerful which gives bass and kick drums a nice added punch to them. There is a decent amount of detail in the headphones which gives them a forward leaning low end.
There is some additional coloration in the mid range which is to be expected. This causes vocals, acoustic, and rock music to come out pretty well when listening to music. There is plenty of clarity in the mid range when listening with and without noise-cancelling.
The sonic weakness of so many wireless headphones is in the high end. There is a lack of extension into the high end which takes away the brightness and airiness in recordings. Which in turn makes a things like brass and strings come off a little dull and unengaging. While you can make up for some of this with EQ it doesn’t fully bring it back from the dead.
With being an in-ear and noise-cancelling the soundstage is crushed pretty thin. While you can turn the noise-cancelling off to regain some of the width there isn’t much else to help. This is just a natural side effect of the technology and is something that will be difficult to overcome.
This sounds like a JBL Everest headphone, they all have similar sonic footprints. For being an in-ear active noise-cancelling headphone JBL has engineered a pretty decent piece of technology. With the market also being pretty slim in this area I wouldn’t be surprised to see this being one of the better selling models out there in time. Especially at a time where companies seem to be abandoning headphone jacks. The main thing going against this headphone is the battery life of 6 hours, if it was around 8 hours a lot more could be going for it.
While working fine for shorter domestic flights this might be a problem for international fliers who might want to stick to long lasting over the ear noise cancelling headphones. But, this headphone would work great in a noisy open office environment. Another good Bluetooth in-ear active noise-cancelling headphone is the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC40BT coming in at around the same price range.
If interested in grabbing JBL Everest Elite 100 it’s available for the lowest price on Audio 46 using discount code “majorhifi” for a percentage off during checkout. It is also available at a competitive price on Amazon from authorized retailers.