JBL is a brand we often associate with powerful stereo speakers and automobile audio equipments. It will be interesting to see if the same power and sound quality is carried over to their personal audio products such as the JBL J22 in-ear headphones.
The JBL J22 is marketed as a high-performance pair of in-ears. It’s as as simple as earphones can get with no mic or in-line controls so all you get are the drivers. They do have the J22i if you want a remote with mic for your iPhone.
Even with basic features, the J22 looks really good and gives out that quality feel. It has a nice-looking sandblasted metal alloy housing rims to protect the drivers, silicon sleeves in three sizes, and a rugged silicone strain relief connectors for durability and reduce vibration.
It has flat elastomer cables to resist tangling, not necessarily tangle-free but you can easily untangle the cables if it gets tangled. At the other end of the cable is a gold plated jack which seems a tiny bit longer than standard ones so you don’t have to remove the casing on your device to fit these.
Aside from the extra pair of silicone tips, you’ll also get a carrying pouch to keep things in order when not in use.
The JBL J22 feels comfortable and light on the ears despite looking rather solid. Sound leakage is kept at a minimum only if you really turn up the volume. Noise isolation is as good as other in-ears as long as you fit it snugly in your ears.
Now as for sound quality, JBLs are known for having powerful bass sound signature. The J22 is equipped with JBL Pure Bass for deep and accurate bass production. Tried listening to FiNaTTicZ Don’t Drop That song and I found the bass lacking “œoomph” although the treble was crystal clear which isn’t a bad sound signature for me at all.
It’s not all that bad though especially if you’re not the basshead type. The J22 generally sounds great across the board. Macklemore’s Can’t Hold Us was fun to listen to with this phones, so’s Zedd’s Clarity where you can still clearly hear the lyrics amidst the crowd chanting in the background. Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail to the King gives emphasis on the drums and guitars more than the vocals and JBL’s J22 delivers in that regard. Everybody’s favorite, Anna Kendrick’s Cups was sounded loud and crystal clear on the J22. Finally, Macklemore’s Same Love, a song where you definitely don’t want to miss any lyrics sounded smooth and calming. Love listening it with these headphones.
Overall, despite not hearing the powerful bass JBL’s known for on the J22, I still find these cans easy to appreciate. It’s sound signature should fit those who love a good range of genre other than hiphop. The fit is comfortable and the flat cable is a nice touch.
The JBL J22 retails for Php2,190 which is acceptable given the quality of the product. However, at that price I would want something with built-in remote so I can keep my music device hidden in my bag. But if you won’t be using it while commuting, don’t let the lack of remote keep you from purchasing it. This is already available in all JBL Stores (Bonifacio High Street, SM City North EDSA Cyberzone, and SM Megamall Cyberzone.