Northridge, Calif.-based audio electronics company JBL recently announced its newest complete lineup of in-ear and over-ear headphones, including the Synchros S700 ($350), Synchros S500 ($300), Synchros S300 ($200), Synchros S200 ($130) and Synchros S100 ($100).
The lineup's flagship model, the S700, is fantastic for its sound quality, sleek design and overall audio experience. After listening to a wide variety of music through the S700 premium powered over-ear stereo headphones, my Apple ear buds felt like I’d been enjoying Justin Timberlake’s smooth crooning through cotton balls.
The Synchros S700 headphones are comfortable and luxurious, constructed with lightweight die-cast aluminum, leather and brushed steel. JBL's use of authentic quality materials make these particular headphones look and feel as good as they sound, showing that the S700 are a clear departure from conventional plastic headphones, like Beats by Dr. Dre ($180-400). JBL found a way to make high-quality headphones that feel heavy in your hands but light on your head.
The steel-reinforced headband of the S700 headphones is unhinged and foldable for a compact design that feels both smooth and durable. One interesting feature: There are measurements clearly printed on each side of the band above the ear cups, which allow you to adjust the S700 to your head and make it easy to remember exactly where they fit best. This small addition doesn't take away from the overall look of the headphones; in fact, the markings are reminiscent of the old-school metal rulers I used in school: clean, cold and well-defined.
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The leather ear cushions of the S700 headphones fit perfectly over your ears and incorporate 50mm drivers which run on a lithium-ion rechargeable battery for roughly 28 hours of listening. The Synchros S500 powered headphones -- one step below the S700 -- forgo the rechargeable battery for a pair of AAA's which provide an estimated 20 hours of tunes, hence the $50 price drop.
The S700 is equipped with an on-board amplifier and loaded with JBL's proprietary “LiveStage” digital signal processing and “Pure Bass” performance for an unparalleled listening experience.
JBL's “LiveStage” signal processing delivers a more lifelike sound experience. The idea is to provide the listener with a more realistic sound, as if they are actually at a live concert or rocking out to the speakers in their room. This is where the fun starts. “LiveStage” can be turned on and off with a large button discretely placed in the middle of the left ear cup for easy access. I tested out a few live recordings and in-studio tracks, with “LiveStage” on and off, to see if I could tell the difference, and the difference is obvious.
With “LiveStage” turned off, the track sounds polished and blended, but with “LiveStage” turned on, the music instantly feels open and layered, providing a greater sense of spacial presence and separation. It's as if you can feel the air in between you and the stage in an outdoor stadium. You can differentiate between the backup singers in the distance, the high hat on the drum kit, the screaming fans and the heavy strumming of the guitar and bass, adding depth to songs I've listened to thousands of times.
Most people love bass; and the more bass the better. JBL's Synchros S700 headphones are a bass lover's dream. Their “Pure Bass” performance provides unbeatable clarity and raw power. I put on a little Kanye West and Daft Punk to test it out and I was seriously blown away. You can enjoy the deepest-hitting drums, at any frequency or volume, without sacrificing sound quality.
The Synchros S700 come with two detachable three button cables, one iOS remote/microphone cable compatible with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, and another universal remote/microphone cable compatible with iPhone, Google, Android and Windows. This is a huge perk for me because I often switch between my music and my iPhone while I'm on the go.
The only downside to the S700 is the fact that they don't feature noise cancellation technology. If you are in the market for a great pair of noise canceling headphones look into the Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Canceling headphones which retail for $299.
JBL's Synchros S700 over-ear headphones are priced at $350 and will be available in early December.
The Synchros S700 headphones provide a genuinely unique and engaging listening experience unlike anything I've ever heard before. JBL's “LiveStage” signal processing technology and “Pure Base” performance truly enhance the sound, reinforcing JBL's professional audio quality. They are light, comfortable, high-quality and durable. They may be on the pricier end for over-ear headphones, but they are worth every penny. Now go rock out.
Features and Technical Specifications:
- Die-cast aluminum frame and soft leather ear cushions
- Proprietary “Live Stage” signal processing technology for a more realistic sound experience
- Signiture JBL sound with “Pure Bass” performance
- Built in rechargable batter lasts up to 28 hours
- Carrying case
- Available in Onyx (black) and Glacier (white)
- Detachable cable design with iOS 3 button remote/microphone cable and universal 3 button remote/microphone cable
- Premium 50mm driver
- Frequency response: 10Hz – 22kHz
- Maximum SPL: 117 dB @ 30mW
- Connections: 3.5mm jack