SOUND - 8.5
COMFORT - 9.2
CONNECTIVITY - 8.5
BUILD & DESIGN - 8.5
PRICE - 7
BATTERY LIFE - 9
JBL has released the S400BT adding to the Synchros line of headphones which are inspired by premier JBL nightclub sound systems found the world over. I was lucky enough to pickup a pair of these headphones at the JBL CEWEEK NYC event on June 25 and 26.
DESIGN & COMFORT: The S400BT comes in two color options: all black or white and blue with a black shell carrying case. They feature a stainless steel headband with plush cushioning underneath, the headband is also extremely flexible and durable. The circular earcups are also covered with plush cushions and makes these headphones very comfortable to wear over long periods of time. The headband, like other recent JBL models, features numbered click-stops for a precise, balanced ear-to-ear fit, and it also folds down at the hinges above the ear into a more compact shape.
The left ear, houses a touch sensitive control panel that allows for control of volume, play, pause and track changing done by different swipe gestures. Calls can also be answered via the touch panel and also on the left ear is the audio jack port, bluetooth pairing and power buttons. The right ear hold the NFC sensor for pairing to NFC enabled devices.
SOUND: These headphones deliver a great audio experience, whether listening to it wirelessly via Bluetooth or with the included audio cable. They provide great bass for those who love that extra kick when listening to their music these headphones holdup to Rick Ross – B.M.F. ft. Styles P. However, the bass is not overbearing to the point where is becomes distorted. When listening to Coheed & Cambria – Welcome Home the midrange and highs are clear and well sculpted and provide for clear vocals with little to no distortion and endless low-end.
CONNECTIVITY: These headphones sport several ways you can connect your listening device of choice, all of which are seamless and simple. They can be connected using BT 3.0, which has now become the standard for most Bluetooth devices. They also have the ability to connect to all newer Android devices possessing NFC technology. However, Apple devices don’t posses NFC, but despite the lack of NFC technology, pairing with an Apple iPhone 5s was a breeze, and the headphones will auto-pair when you next power them up . Pairing this device via NFC is extremely simple. One just taps your NFC Smartphone (with NFC turned on) against the NFC sensor on the right side of the headphones, this engages pairing and turns bluetooth on, if off and pairs your device. The headphones can also be connected to devices via standard 3.5mm audio jack which also allows one to listen to the headphones even after the 16 hour battery life runs out.
CONCLUSION: The JBL S400BT is a well designed technologically sound device. It is easy to use and setup, and provides great sound for you audiophiles out there, whether you are looking for great bass or clear vocals and instruments. However, there are a few aspects that were troubling but not enough so to lower my rating. One such aspect is that during calls the other party is unable to hear me clearly, they can however hear everything around me. So if you do use these headphones for calls make sure you are in quiet surroundings. Another is the hyper-sensitivity of the touch panel, which can lead to unwanted track changing or pausing of songs. The S400BT may also be considered a little pricey costing $229.95 when compared to other headphones in this category. However, despite these drawbacks these headphones will not let you down in the long run and since they are durable you will not be disappointed.