JBL Everest Elite 700 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones Page 2


Sound Quality
Generally speaking, the JBL Everest Elite is a fairly good sounding, neutral balanced headphone...for a noise canceler...at this price.

When wired and unpowered, I found it to be somewhat upper-mid forward and a bit hard sounding. Somewhat "cupped hands" and shouty right in the middle of the female vocal range. Also, mid-treble range is somewhat de-emphasized. This is good because this area can be quite annoying if over emphasized, but when missing leads to a lack of nuanced resolve. Cymbals are relatively normal sounding, they're just missing some of their natural shimmer. Bass is tight and well balanced, but a little overshadowed by the shouty mids.

Turning the power on while on the wire, the noise canceling and DSP kick in. Sound remains a bit hard sounding, but shouty mids go away to leave a more neutral signature. Mid-treble remains suppressed taking some of the natural shimmer from cymbals, but again, the sin of omission is better than the sin of too much energy in this range. (For example: The Sennheiser PXC550 had too much energy here making it the PXC550's Achilles heal.)

Bass appears slightly more emphatic here, partly due to less upper-midrange shout, and partly because it simply is more elevated. Bass quality is a little looser however. Fortunately it does not bleed into the mids and remains quite musical overall.

As with many noise cancelers, the treble range can be a bit artificial sounding, but I find the JBL Everest Elite 700 quite good against the noise canceling competition. When compared to QC35, I find the Bose has a smoother sounding response with vocals better in balance with bass and treble; the JBL seems more forward and hard in the mid- and upper-midrange and lacking in resolution. The Bose, however, does seem to have a bit of excess energy between 4kHz and 8kHz that provides a bit more shimmer than needed, but not to the point of an annoying flaw.

Compared with the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless I found the JBL surprisingly less hard and agressive sounding. The Momentum Wireless is clearly inferior with a very forward upper-midrange. Yeesh.

Though mostly plastic and not particularly stylish, I find the build quality and comfort of the JBL Everest Elite 700 very good. Ergonomic button placement give easy control of a rich set of features. TruNote calibration does seem to subtly improve tonality and smoothness. Two levels of Ambient Aware permit increased awareness of outside sound when not needing the very good isolation of full noise canceling on these headphones.

Sound quality is only fair when running on the wire and electronics off; sound is somewhat forward and hard. But many active headphones sound much worse in passive mode; the Elite 700 is listenable, which is better than most.

Sound quality in all active modes, both wired and wireless, are quite good. Only a modest forward/hardness in the upper-midrange, and a lack of nuanced resolve mid-treble modestly mar its performance.

All-in-all, I find this a surprisingly solid offering at this price point, with a solid balance of value in comfort, features, and sound quality rarely found in an active headphone.

The JBL Everest Elite 700 got near the performance of the Bose QC35 at about $100 less, and, to my ears, easily bested the Momentum Wireless in sound quality. It's going up on the "wall of Fame." Gonna be a lot of wireless headphones coming through here soon, the JBL did leave the door open in terms of its slightly hard sound quality. We'll see.

JBL home page and Everest Elite 700 product page.

Watch on YouTube here.

(800) 336-4525

potterpastor's picture

I've seen this at Best Buy, always wondered about it. I know some others who really like it.

A wry smiley face eq for the HD650 and a slightly bigger one for the Momentum 2.0 has worked well for me

potterpastor's picture

Wry wasn't the right word, a small smiley face eq puts the HD650 right in my wheelhouse and a bigger smiley face eq for the M2 tames the forwardness without losing much fidelity, none that I can tell.

AsSiMiLaTeD's picture

Have you listened to the Sony MDR-1000x? I'm really impressed with that headphone and am wondering how this would compare and if it would be an upgrade.

barun432's picture

Have been using the MDR 1000X for a couple of months now and I take couple of flights every week, and boy do they do a good job. Sony also got the tonality right, no bass bloats or harsh highs, just the right balance.

For convenience alone 1000x has now replaced all my portable HPs and also stands between me and a bunch of UIEM/CIEM just because of the isolation it can provide outside. I am not a Sony fanboy and currently I own only one other Sony masterpiece from the 90s the MDR CD 3000. 1000X is here to stay and I think it will be benchmark for all ANC HP manufacturers in the foreseeable future.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
They're on the way.
DrSolstice's picture

Hey Tyll, wondering if you have an update on when your review of the Sony MDR 1000x will be completed and posted. Looking forward to seeing your evaluation of them--especially as compared to the Bose QC35, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, and the JBL Everest 700 Elite.

ulogin's picture

Mark my words! : )

Luigi's picture

And i think that sonically it is the more convenient

Three Toes of Fury's picture

Thanks Tyll for this write up. Ive found JBL to be a bit of a hit/miss producer when it comes to sound quality but i TOTALLY dig that you are checking their stuff out and posting when you like it as they are part of the group of brands commonly found at brick and mortar stores (also Sony, Skullcandy, Bose, etc). If there are some gems within these brands its good to know in case I ever come across a good deal/opportunity.

Peace .n. Living in Stereo


ednaz's picture

The whole "tuned to your ears" made me think about snake oil... I liked your test for clamping to thigh and then to head. Do test head makers provide alternative ears for testing?

I'm still waiting for a noise cancelling headphone that I actually like, instead of just saying "yeah, that'll do for the next 11 hours." I still have a set of Sony noise cancelling headphones I bought back in the 90s. I've tried many alternatives since then and all of them have a weird pressure wave feeling, and a plastic-y or some other term for synthesized reality sound. My continuing disappointment with noise cancelling years ago led me to CIEMs.

I wonder if we're finally getting to where the computational power for great noise cancelling is feasible.

hpscout's picture

I wonder how these would stack up to Sennheiser's recently released HD 4.50BTNC and HD 4.40BT models at CES 2017. The Senns not provide any calibration, but are priced attractively. From the initial limited reviews at the stall, the latter sound good value for money.

Tyll, would be great to hear your view on these Senns.

mactron's picture

I was really disappointed by the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC even though I got them for 149 €. With ANC enabled they sound really band and even without ANC it sounded as if a lot was missing (novice speaking). I just compared them to the JBL Everest Elite 700 in a local store and the JBL sound much better.

Luigi's picture

Sibilant, boomy, suffoceted mids. No way