JBL offers headphones across a wide variety of prices, and is known for making some of the most popular and affordable bluetooth headphones. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Tune 510BT, which runs for $49.95.
First, if you’re in a rush and need some quick advice for if:
• You’re not too picky about sound quality and love a good deal, but don’t want something that sounds like garbage.
These perform above their price point and will bring a sense of triumph to bargain-hunters. Even if you’re not a sound expert, you’ll be able to tell these are of good quality and appreciate their delivery of your music.
• You’re in a rush to get a pair of headphones before your long flight—will these do the trick?
These have the quality and comfort to let you enjoy your movies, games, or music for long periods of time and don’t have any glaring sonic irregularities that will render them unpleasant or unlistenable to most ears. While these do shield you from outside noise pretty well, do be aware that they are not noice cancelling. If you’re willing to spend a little extra, JBL’s Tune 660NC has a similar sound to the 510, but features both bluetooth and noise cancelation.
• You are pretty picky about sound but can’t afford something too pricey right now.
While these may not blow your mind, they shouldn’t offend your ears either. If you do have any issues with them–for example you want the mid-range, bass, or high end adjusted–just use the built in Equalizer on Apple Music (settings -> Music -> EQ), iTunes (Window -> Equalizer), Spotify (Settings -> Playback -> Equalizer), or download a 3rd party Equalizer app. The 510 have good sound quality, so even if their frequency response feels off to you, a quick retuning should allow you to enjoy their dynamic, detailed abilities.
• All you care about is bass, tons and tons of bass
In this price range, you’re usually not going to find life-changing bass, but you can definitely find satisfying, full low end. The 510 will offer your favorite bass-heavy songs plenty of room to rumble, and pack a bigger punch than their size suggests.
• You want to buy these as a gift for your friend who is really into music or audio
While these have good sound quality for casual listening, they wouldn’t be my first choice for musicians, DJs, producers, or music/sound enthusiasts. If you want to buy some similarly priced headphones for your dearest audio nerd, check out the Audio-Technica M20x for $49 (they also make higher priced Bluetooth models) or the Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro for $79.
• You usually don’t spend more than $20 on headphones, what makes these worth extra?
If you have a $20 pair of headphones you like, spending an extra $30 or so may land you a pair of headphones you love. The 510 also feel a bit better than most headphones their price, meaning they may offer an even more drastic upgrade from the lowest price points.
• You take terrible care of your headphones and want something that won’t break
These are sturdier than their lightweight appearance may suggest. They can fold up too, which makes it possible to store them in small compartments. They could probably handle being dropped here and there, and should stand the test of time.
• Want affordable headphones primarily for working out or running, will these stay on and sound good enough to hype me up?
These have a pretty tight grip on your head and an adjustable head strap, in addition to being very light weight. Because these are on ear and not over ear, they may be a bit better for giving your ears room to breathe, though some prefer the encapsulating feeling of over ears more. Their sound is engaging enough to keep you in the moment and pump up your favorite workout songs with some added punch.
• You just wanna look cute for as little money as possible
These are some of the more stylish headphones in their price range, especially if you get them in white (in my opinion). They’re light and slim enough to comfortably wear around your neck if you’d like to use them as part of your outfit when you’re not listening.
Now, let’s get a bit more in depth…
Looks and Comfort
These have an adjustable headband and only weigh 160 grams (0.13 lbs). Their ear pads are very soft and cushioned, keeping them from causing any ear pain or discomfort. The 510 have a pretty slim, low profile, meaning they won’t draw much attention to themselves, and the feeling of having them on your head should equally fade into the background after a short period of time. These come in black, white, and blue.
As is per usual with JBL headphones, the 510BT offers their signature “Pure Bass” sound. They have up to 40 hours of battery life with a 2 hour charge time, and can also gain 2 hours of listening time with a 5 minute quick charge. These contain a built-in microphone along with controls on the ear-cups to control sound, calls, and voice assistant.
These have a pretty neutral, versatile sound, making them great across numerous genres. They can definitely handle the often complex compositions of modern pop music as well as they can retain the vintage charm of songs from decades past. Their bass response is full-bodied and not over-bearing, meaning it should work well for those that value strong bass but also won’t overwhelm those who are looking for a more balanced sound.
My one conflict with these was their mid range, which at times felt a bit sharp. This will be more prevalent to those who like their music louder, or to those who listen to a lot of music that has a more cutting, ringing sound (mostly found in very old recordings, amateur compositions, or certain types of very resonant voices–like Florence & The Machine or Dolly Parton). All this being said, the added boost these have in the mid range frequencies does give increased presence and immersion to many recordings, and will feel like a strength more than a weakness to many listeners.
The high end on these is great for offering a light shine without going too far and giving these a polarizing sound. The 510 can definitely bring out the sparkle from processed, modern, or high fidelity compositions, and also preserve the soft, delicate textures from more understated, organic songs.
JBL’s Tune 510BT feels like another example of JBL’s consistent quality and versatility as a brand. These exceed expectations and feel like a great bargain that can perform across a wide variety of applications and satisfy an array of listeners and music tastes. If you’re on the fence about buying the 510BT, I can say that likes are, you’ll be satisfied.
You can purchase the JBL Tune 510BT at Audio46