A while back, we reviewed the AKG N90Q headphones that were developed in partnership with Grammy-winning music legend Quincy Jones. Those headphones were nothing short of phenomenal, but they came with a phenomenally high price tag. Since then, JBL has been busy trying to bring Jones’s expertise to headphones that won’t leave you broke, and the result is the JBL E55BT Quincy Edition Headphones — wireless over-ear headphones priced at a much more comfortable $199.
The JBL E55BT Quincy Edition Headphones come in a choice of grey or pink with gold accents, including a gold Q emblem for Quincy, with a minimalist yet attractive design. The headphones are sized just right — not too large, but the ear cups are big enough to cover your ears. Those ear cups are very comfortable thanks to super soft leather.
JBL describes the ear cups as form-fitting, but this is where we disagree. The ear cups feel kind of loose, making for an awkward fit that, while not uncomfortable, just feels a bit strange. It’s as if the ear cups are angled on an outward slant that allows for outside audio leakage. We’ve never experienced this type of fit with other headphones. To test, we had several people try on the headphones and they all agreed that the ear cups fit felt comfy, yet loose as if they are on an unusual angle.
So where does Quincy come in with the JBL E55BT Quincy Edition Headphones? For starters, he’s in the sound. Jones helped create these headphones’ unique sound signature, and indeed, the audio is excellent. All genres of music sound balanced and crisp. The bass is not very strong, which is something we appreciate. Overall, the audio sounds top notch, especially considering the $200 price tag.
But, Quincy Jones wasn’t just involved in the sound. The headphones use his voice for voice prompts when you’re doing things like pairing or turning the headphones on or off. Quincy’s voice is super soothing and certainly a nice change of pace from the usual cold computerized voices you usually get from Bluetooth audio products.
Call quality on the other hand isn’t so good. Callers said that I sounded fuzzy and that they could hear lots of background noise while I was walking along the street. I also couldn’t hear them very loudly or clearly. Overall, the headphones get the job done but they aren’t well suited for calls.
Battery life on the headphones are excellent — JBL claims 20 hours, and that’s around what we experienced. A tangle-free cable with remote is also included for making calls when the headphones battery runs out.