JBL has many good audio accessories available in the market, but the worst scam it has made has got to be with this headphone. The JBL Club One was launched almost a year ago, but in India, the availability became more at the end of 2020.
However, the headphone was discounted to Rs.9k only from its original ₹ 24,999 MSRP in a peculiar way. This was obviously a thing to be looked upon by a geek like me, so I ordered one to test out, but the experience was devastating. Here I will share my personal experience and how the money invested in this headphone has gone waste:
- Frequency response (Passive): 10 Hz – 40 kHz
- Frequency response (Active): 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Sensitivity: 95 dB [email protected]/1mW
- Maximum SPL: 95 dB
- Maximum input power (Passive): 3500 mW
- Microphone sensitivity: -38 [email protected]/Pa
- Impedance: 32 ohm
- Driver Size: 40 mm dynamic driver
- Weight: 378.5 g
- Bluetooth transmitted power: <4 dBm
- Bluetooth transmitted modulation: GFSK, _x001F_/4 DQPSK/ 8DPSK
- Bluetooth frequency: 2.402 GHz – 2.480 GHz
- Bluetooth profile version: A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.5, HFP 1.6
- Bluetooth version: v5.0
- Battery type: Lithium-ion Battery (730 mAh/3.7 V)
- Power supply: 5 V 1.0 A
- Charging time: < 2 hrs
- Music play time with BT on: up to 45 hrs
- Music play time with BT & ANC on: up to 23 hrs
- Music playtime with Aux-in & ANC on: up to 25 hrs
Inside the Box
- Aux-in cable with remote & mic
- Aux-in coiled-cable
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Hard Case & Flight adaptor
- 1 x Warranty / Warning/ QSG/ Safety Sheet / App QSR
- 6.3mm adaptor
The JBL Club One is a great headphone if you are a music lover as it produces crystal clear sound and the quality of the output generated is really great. The bass of the headphones is not too aggressive and is well-balanced to my surprise, it provides a good overall experience with its huge 40 mm drivers.
The highs and lows are not the most accurate but do note the sound is very sweet because even after long hours of listening, your ears do not get hurt, provided you are not listening at over 60% volume. Also, you have a good time when you watch movies with a great surround effect to make the experience more enthralling.
One feature I truly appreciate is that you can finetune the headphone with the app and it really has a great effect because that lets you configure it as per your choice, only when used in Bluetooth mode and if you have installed the MyJBL app.
The overall audio quality is good, comes with Hi-RES audio support but that doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. It produces better audio output when used in wired mode but in Bluetooth mode, your sound experience is a lot smoother. It doesn’t have any latency of that sort in either of the modes and can even be used for gaming as well.
Build & Comfort
This is a bulky headphone weighing around 400gm but JBL has done no compromise on the build quality. It is very sturdy with the metal frame and a lot of padding on the band of the headphone and the earcup is really very comfortable with soft & deep cushions.
Although it’s a bit heavy, it is very comfortable to wear and listen to music, however, after long hours you will feel a little discomfort because of the weight.
JBL has tried a lot to make the headphones customizable with various options accessible from the app directly with various EQs, noise-canceling, and Ambient mode features.
I do appreciate JBL’s Personifi feature that helps to personalize your sound experience with some tests and to some extent does make a difference. There are various signature EQs from various DJs and you can make your own EQ as well. However, the app works only in Bluetooth mode but not in AUX mode.
The headphone features Bluetooth 5.0 and to be fair its range is great as well as it stays connected during long hours of calls or even music. Even across two rooms, you will have enough range to hear the sound from your smartphone.
Intelligent features like Google Assistant or Siri can be accessed with the JBL Club One and you have to set up the default assistant during configuration. The dedicated switch on the left earcup enables to you quickly ask the assistant anything you want.
Mic Quality & Noise Cancellation
Being a premium headphone, you expect good quality microphones, and it features dual-mic technology to provide great audio output. The True Adaptive Noise Cancelling responds to the environment, and it changes in real-time and honestly, the JBL Club One totally blocks outer noise due to the active noise cancellation.
Even without that, the headphone provides some passive noise cancellation with the design and fitting; all in all, the noise cancellation gives a premium experience.
JBL claims that the CLUB ONE gives up to 45 hours of battery life with the only Bluetooth on and up to 23 hours with BT & ANC on. On the other hand, with both Aux-in & ANC on, you get up to 25 hours of battery life. However, in real life, you can use it for almost a week without ANC turned on and if you are a heavy user, then expect 3-4 days of battery life.
The Horrible Experience so far
Even though JBL has made a great premium headphone, but has lacked the basic thing – the user experience. The weird fact about this headphone is that it is listed for ₹ 9,999 on Amazon, yet it is sold for ₹ 24,999 on the JBL official store. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the review, but if you look at the Amazon review section, you will see why everyone hates it as well as me:
I tested the headphone long back at the start of January but then after using it for two or three days the Bluetooth mode stopped working and I thought it might be the case with my unit only. However, I got it replaced from Amazon, then again used it over a week and still after the app & firmware update the Bluetooth indicator stopped working and you can only use it in AUX mode.
This is the case with almost every user who fell into the trap of this headphone, and I sincerely recommend people to stay away from this headphone, howsoever good the audio and build quality maybe.
The fact that this is more of a software or firmware issue, which can be fixed, but JBL doesn’t have any time to do so, although they are offering a replacement, an average user doesn’t have the time to buy it and repair it or replace it now and then. So, no verdict or pros & cons about it, as stay away from it even if it looks attractive.