It’ll be a sad time when I run out of new JBL products to look at, but luckily today isn’t that day. I’m taking a look at a Bluetooth in-ear offering from the company that may well add to my ever increasing stockpile of gym headwear. Gym use aside, let’s see if the JBL Live 220BT are a worthy addition to the ever increasing wireless headphone market…
Of course when a market is crowded you get all the spicy new tech for cheaper and the 220BT’s are no exception, giving you JBL’s “Ambient Aware” and “Talkthru” technology. Ambient Aware is the headphone’s ability to boost your surroundings so you can hear what’s going on around you, and TalkThru allowing you to hear voices and communicate without removing them: both of these functions can be done with the simple press of a button and are both are a great addition to these headphones. For me personally I’m relishing the ability to go into a shop and just press a button whilst I purchase stuff, instead of my usual ‘pull out one earbud and try to hear what the cashiers saying whilst Swedish power metal plays’ move.
Now with any “additional ability” on a battery powered device comes the inevitable loss of longevity, but not so with the 220BTs. They offer a 10-hour battery when charged for 2 hours, with a 15-minute charge giving you an additional hour. These, of course, are numbers pulled off the back of the box but in real terms I found myself charging these around every 5 days after using them in the mornings for the gym and during my commute to and from work. This means that for me I was charging them around every 7 hours and this was whilst having them playing full volume whenever I used them.
With volume in mind, I was also very impressed by how loud they could go and the kind of sound quality you could get when you were pushing them to their max. Like I alluded to earlier, I’ve been listening to a lot of Swedish Power Metal with Sabaton playing constantly no matter where I go, and whilst I’m definitely losing some of the meatier power that you’d get when listening through bigger headphones, at no point was I disappointed with the concise and well-rounded sound I got.
It’s well documented at this point that JBL make solid, affordable and often under-appreciated products in a whole realm of categories but it’s definitely their Bluetooth products that they really showcase exactly why they’ve managed to stay a household name for so long.
With that in mind if you’re out on the prowl for some hardy Bluetooth headphones then you won’t go wrong by looking at the JBL Live 200BT. Why not pop in to your nearest Richer Sounds store and check them out for yourself?
Author: Hal, Plymouth store