We judge all headphones and earbuds on a scale of 10, analyzing the categories we think are most important: sound, comfort, design, battery performance, and, if applicable, special features.
Here's how the JBL Club One wireless noise-canceling headphones stack up.
JBL’s range-topping Club One wireless noise-canceling headphones are an exciting new option in this incredibly competitive product category. At a quick glance, the over-ear headphones are a noteworthy alternative to the class-leading wireless cans from Sony, Bose, and Bowers & Wilkins, thanks to a timelessly cool design, a host of handy features for everyday use, and the audio brand’s signature sound.
• Sound: 8/10
• Comfort: 8/10
• Design: 8/10
• Battery Performance: 8/10
• Overall Score: 8/10
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE JBL Club One:
Their design is inspired by pro-grade headphones
Their audio quality is among the best in its class
The over-ear design is pretty bulky, but they're still pretty comfortable
Their retail package includes a duo of audio cables
The audio quality of the JBL Club One is an instant contender for the best in its class. The headphones’ sound is rich and vibrant throughout the entire frequency range, thanks to a pair of superbly tuned 40-millimeter audio drivers. Regardless of the audio content I played, they delivered a powerful bass that didn’t overwhelm, a well-defined midrange, and crisp highs.
Unlike some of their similarly priced rivals, the Club One headphones are also certified as capable of playing Hi-Res Audio content. I profoundly enjoyed listening to Deep Purple’s album In Concert With the London Symphony Orchestra. “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming” — one of my favorite tracks in this album — sounded mesmerizing. Steve Morse’s glorious guitar solo, the symphony orchestra’s harmony, and the energy of Royal Albert Hall’s audience were reproduced and full of detail.
You can tweak the headphones’ sound to your liking via a mobile app. In addition to creating your personalized equalizer setup, the latter gives you the option to use presets created by famous DJs. The app is also handy for updating the headphones’ firmware, as well as for setting up access to Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant.
The JBL Club One’s noise-canceling tech performed well. The headphones did a solid job in tuning out the noise from my air conditioner, as well as the traffic from the busy street underneath my second-floor window. However, they couldn’t detach me from reality the way the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 did.
In line with the expectations set by their pricing, the Club One headphones performed well during FaceTime, Google Duo, and Zoom calls. JBL has equipped cans with two microphones, ensuring that call participants heard me loud and clear. Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, on the other hand, helped them maintain a flawless connection with an iPhone 11 Pro and a Microsoft Surface Book 3 while I tested them.
The Club One headphones are uncompromisingly comfortable, despite having a bulky over-ear design (they weigh more than 13 ounces!). Thanks to swiveling ear cups with exceptional padding and a headband that didn’t cause unnecessary pressure, I spent hours using the cans without feeling any discomfort.
The headphones’ tactile button controls are more reliable than the touch-sensitive ones found in some of their similarly priced competitors. They are conveniently placed on both ear cups.
You'll also find a dedicated button for controlling the noise-canceling experience. You can switch it on or off, as well as activate Ambient Aware or TalkThru modes. The last one is handy for having quick conversations because it lowers the volume and disables the noise canceling.
In the metal, the Club One design is understated and utilitarian. That’s hardly a surprise, because, as the product's name suggests, it has been inspired by the headphones used by professional DJs and musicians.
The cans are made using high-quality materials like metal and leather, and have a number of thoughtful design details. Some of the coolest parts are polished metal accents on the ear cups, audio drivers with a subtle orange finish, and mesh covers with JBL’s iconic exclamation point.
BATTERY PERFORMANCE: 8/10
According to JBL, the Club One can deliver up to 23 hours of wireless playback with the noise-canceling tech switched on (up to 25 hours in wired mode). Disabling the feature will get you up to a rather amazing 45 hours’ worth of tunes. The headphones have a futureproof USB-C connector for charging.
During my testing, I found the cans’ performance to be in line with JBL’s claims — I didn’t have to charge them for days. Overall, their battery performance in noise-canceling mode is stellar, but not on par with that of Bowers & Wilkins and Sony offerings in the same price range.
The JBL Club One headphones effortlessly combine old-school charm, great sound, and all the convenience we’ve come to expect from a pair of top-shelf wireless headphones.
Compared to the product category’s popular Bose and Sony wireless headphones, the Club One stand out by being just as awesome to use in wired mode. JBL’s cans have wired audio inputs on each ear cup, and they come bundled with two cables — a fabric-covered one with a built-in remote, as well as a longer coiled option for professional use.
In addition to a duo of audio cables, the headphones’ retail package includes a carrying case, a charging cable, a flight adapter, and a 6.3-millimeter adapter for professional use.
If you don’t need such an elaborate wired audio setup from your cans, consider the JBL Club 950NC wireless noise-canceling headphones instead. They offer similar design, sound, and battery performance, but only one wired audio input and bundled cable for $100 less.
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