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Today we’re going to be comparing 3 of the most talked about $200 ANC headphones. We have the JBL E65BTNC, the Sennheiser 4.50BTNC and the Sony WH-CH700N. This line up is pretty interesting cause I feel there is no obvious winner here. And since the Sennheiser’s and Sony’s went on sale on prime day for less than $100, I’m willing to bet they’re going go on sale again on Black Friday. And if thats the case drop some turkeys in the comments down below and lets get this video started.
The sennheiser headphones are actually the least expensive headphones here retailing for $180 dollars… where as both the JBL and Sony headphones retail for $199.99. if you want to pick either of these headphones up I’ll have links in the description below and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I suggest you check them out cause these headphones routinely go on sale. And if you want to learn more about either of these headphones then watch their full reviews. And check out the new Merch shelf down below.
First lets get the small stuff out of the way first. All three of these headphones charge via a micro USB port, and both the Sennheiser’s and JBL’s have a 2.5 millimeter audio jack. Where as the Sony’s have a 3.5 millimeter audio jack which I personally prefer. The Sennheiser’s come included with a soft shell carrying case that zips up and has a net inside for you to store your cables and the JBL’s come included with carrying pouch. And unfortunately, the Sony’s don’t bring a carry pouch what so ever. But if you do plan on traveling with either of these headphones on a regular basis, I highly advise you invest in a hard shell carrying case.
The most important thing we’re going to have to compare between these three headphones is going to be their design and fit. All three of these headphones are mostly made out of plastic, and have faux leather ear cups, but their build quality, ear cup design and use of other materials highly differentiate these headphones from one another. Even though the Sennheiser’s are the cheapest headphones here, I feel they have the best build quality and they are the best looking headphones here. The plastic body panels on these headphones have very tight tolerances and I really like the padded silicon underneath the headband, it helps keep these headphones in place. The JBL’s have the second best build quality here and their headband is completely covered in a fabric mesh. And Finally the Sony’s have the least impressive build quality here. Body panels aren’t as perfectly aligned as the Sennheisers and the faux leather on the ear cups and headband feel much cheaper than the faux leather used on either of the other headphones. But don’t think for a second that the Sony’s are going to break apart on you.
But now lets take a closer look at these ear cups. The Sony’s have the biggest and most spacious ear cups here. The ear cups on the JBL’s are slightly smaller, but they also do a pretty good job at encasing your ears… but they aren’t as spacious are the sony ear cups. And finally there are the Sennhesier ear cups which are the most cramped ear cups here and they have the most padding. The padding on the sennheiser’s doesn't cause over heating if you’re just sitting and listening to music, but over heating is an issue if you walk around with these headphones on. Since the Sony’s have the least amount of padding in contact with your skin these headphones actually have the least amount of over heating. And I personally really like the padding on the Sony’s cause the padding is pretty firm, where as the padding on the JBL’s is just too soft so you constantly have to fluff them back up.
When it comes to fit, the Sony’s are the most comfortable headphones here to wear. All three of these headphones fit a little snug if you have bigger head like me, but since the ear cups on the Sony’s are the most spacious they should fit most people just fine. So for those reasons the Sony 700N’s are big head approved. The Sennheiser head phones are also big head approved but they do fit a little more snug than then Sony headphones but they are nowhere as near as tight as the JBL headphones. But just remember, since the Sennheiser headphones have so much padding, they do feel more cramped and they’ll might rest on your earlobes. And unfortunately the JBL headphones are the least comfortable headphones here. They have way too much clamping force and they just never seem to rest comfortably on my head. Even though the ear cups on the JBL headphones swivel a good deal, they don’t pivot enough and as a result they don’t evenly press against your head when you put them on and instead they place a lot of pressure on the anterior portion of your ear. And this can get pretty annoying. And personally I hate headphones that use this type of hinge for their ear cups, cause the Beats Studio 3 are also guilty of this. Cause in comparison both the Sony and Sennheiser headphones have this fork design that holds their ear cups. And this allows the ear cups on both headphones to pivot and swivel more than enough to comfortably accommodate more head shapes. And more importantly they press even amount of pressure around your ears when you put them on.
Now lets talk about battery life cause its all ver the place with these headphones. The JBL’s have the worst battery life here with a clammed battery life of 24 hours… but with ANC turned on these headphone only managed to hit 13 hours of playback time. The Sennheriser’s have a claimed battery life of 24 hours and with ANC turned on these headphones routinely gets more than 20 hours of play back time.
But then theres the Sony 700N’s with a claimed battery life of 35 hours, which is way above average for headphones. And with ANC turned on these headphones have had no problem averaging a little over 30 hours of playback time on a full charge. And thee headphones are the only headphones here with quick charging. Even though its not amazing… a 10 minute charge from a dead battery will get you 1 hour of juice.
regarding bluetooth connections, all three of these headphones have stable connections that don’t skip and that can go through multiple walls with no problems. But the Sennheisers have the least amount of latency, so these are the best headphones here for watching videos. Where as the Sony’s have a lot more latency so I wouldn’t recommend these headphones for watching videos.
Now when it comes to active noise cancellation, out of all of these headphones the JBL’s are able to block out the most noise here, but they have a considerable amount of cabin pressure. So much in fact that I can only go few minutes with these headphone on before needing to pop my ears or just needing to take a break. Where as the ANC on both the Sonys and Sennheisers are able to block out about the same amount of noise. But the Noise cancelation on the Sony’s is more impressive cause it has very little to no cabin pressure, where as the Sennies do have a little bit of cabin pressure but its much more manageable than JBL’s.
The ANC on the JBL’s does a decent job of blocking out both constant low frequency sound like road noise and higher frequency sounds like chatter. But like I said, their cabin pressure just make these headphones very uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. The ANC on the other two headphones does a decent job of blocking out road noise but does struggle a bit when it comes to blocking out voices. Both the ANC on the Sony’s and Sennheriser’s will work just fine on a bus ride commute but don’t expect them to be amazing if you’re in a cafe or something. But since the ANC on the Sony’s are able to block out as much noise as the Sennheiser with much less cabin pressure, then the win has to go to Sony.
And finally lets talk about sound quality. I actually think the JBL’s are the worst sounding headphones here. Their sound stage is very narrow, they don’t sound as clear, and they have very little bass. Their sound signature also has too much of an emphasis on the treble so these headphones do sound a little bright. And unfortunately since these JBL headphones don’t connect to JBL’s headphones app so you cant change their EQ settings. The Sennheiser’s have a neutral sound signature and for the most part they sound very good. They sound clear and they have enough bass that should make most people happy. And unlike the JBL’s these headphones don’t start to sound bright if there are a lot of vocals or if the highs really start going. But for the best listening experience I highly advise you listen to these headphones with their ANC turned off which you can deactivate by pressing the volume up and volume down button together for a few seconds. And finally theres the Sony headphones which sound equally as good with noise cancellation turned on or off. Since these headphones connect to Sony’s headphone app you can make them sound how ever you want by either selecting from a few premade EQ settings or you can now make your own. Which was a feature I was asking for when I first reviewed these headphones few months ago. And if you crank the bass all the way up, these headphones are going to have considerably more bass than the other two headphones here. Now as a disclaimer, the 4.50 do connect to Sennheiser’s Captune app… but this app only changes the EQ settings for any music you have stored locally on your phone. If you stream your music like the majority of people do these days this app isn’t going to be useful.
And the last thing I want to touch on here is controlling your music playback. I also feel the Sony’s have the best control buttons here, they have a very easy to use rocker knob and volume rocker combo thats easy to find and it allows you to skip through your music very quickly. The Sennheiser’s have a similar set up, but since these buttons are so small they’re a little harder to find and to tell apart. But they also get the job done. And personally I just don’t like the control button on the JBL. Even though the control buttons are easy to find and to tell apart, I hate that in order to skip or go back a track you have to press and hold the volume up or volume down button. This just takes considerably longer than the other two headphones. Instead, I would like if we could just double tap or triple tap the center button.
So plainly said, I think that out of these three headphone the JBL E65BTNC’s are a hard pass. Mostly because they just don’t fit well. When choosing between headphones, fit is the most important thing to take into consideration. But also added with the fact that these headphones have way too much cabin pressure and their audio quality is lack luster, I can’t recommend them. But choosing between the Sennhesier 4.50 BTNC and the Sony WH-CH700N is a little harder. They both fit well, but the Sony’s are a little more comfortable. But the Sennheiser’s have the better build quality and design. The ANC on both of these headphones block out the same amount of sound, but the Sony’s do it with less cabin pressure. And even though both of these headphones sound pretty good having the ability to adjust the EQ on the Sony’s is a huge plus. I feel the Sony’s are the safe buy here, but if you want something thats built a little better and something that looks cooler then you cant go wrong with the sennhesiers either.