JBL is a name I heard a lot in college and my early years in Washington, DC, but until recently I hadn’t heard any of the company’s current products. My experience with the Synchros E50BT over-ear Bluetooth headphones ($149.95 USD) indicates that I should tune back in.
Out of the box
Inside the box, the Synchros E50BT headphones nestle in a black plastic cradle. In a compartment affixed to the inner side of the box lid are two cables: an audio cable with a straight 2.5mm plug on one end and a right-angled 3.5mm plug on the other, for use when the battery runs down; and a 2.5mm-to-USB cable for charging the battery. Also included are a quick-start guide, and warranty and safety information.
The E50BTs are made mostly of plastic, with a little metal, and their looks are impressive: futuristic with a retro accent. There’s a huge JBL logo on each earcup, and another on the leatherette-covered headband. The button behind the logo comes in different colors: black with silver, blue, red, purple metallic, and white with silver accents.
A unique swivel connection permits movement on two axes, allowing the earcups’ positions to be easily adjusted, from front to back and from side to side, to fit almost any head. This and the headband’s flexibility allow the cups to be folded for packing, and continuously adjustable sliders let the earcups be positioned for a secure fit. No carrying pouch is included, but I’ve found that Walmart’s camera department always has a case that will fit, at minimum cost. The earpads -- foam covered with leatherette -- are of generous size. The actual space for each ear is slightly oval, its diameters measuring 1.875” by 1.75”; each overall earcup is 3.5” in diameter. The E50BTs weigh 10.2 ounces and, despite all the plastic, feel solidly built.
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