JBL Synchros S100a In Ear Headphone Review
JBL is a familiar brand when it comes to audio devices, and it is not surprising for them to have a line of in-ear headphones. Late last year, JBL released the Synchros lineup of headphones and what we have is the entry level in-ear headphone – the JBL Synchros S100a. What a nice pair of in-ears these are…minus the quirks.
Design and Features
The overall look and feel is really quite clean specially this white or Glacier color variant that we have on hand. A black or Onyx color variant is also available. The housing of the drivers probably has the most premium vibe out of the whole product. This is probably due to the die-cast lightweight aluminum design of the housing. I really like the unpainted aluminum look on the Glacier variant because it looks clean and goes well with other devices with similar finish.
The outer side of the housing has hashed groves around the edges which adds some texture to the tiny thing. The JBL logo is painted on the flat surface and was actually peeling off on our review unit…that can be a good thing if you hate brand logos. I wish that they etched the logo instead…using paint gives an impression that they got a mass produced in-ear headphone and plastered the JBL logo on it.
Another thing you’ll quickly notice is the angled design of the ear-buds. It’s up to your preference if you like this or not, but I had a hard time fitting the Synchros S100a correctly. A simple trick I did was to switch the left and right buds…but that screws up stereo.
The JBL Synchros S100a comes with a mic and remote that’s housed in plastic. The plastic feels OK…it doesn’t feel cheap nor does it feel premium, and it looks good. If anything I wish they’d smoothen out the edges where the plastic meet a little more.
Do keep in mind that the remote of the Synchros S100a is not optimized for Apple devices. The center button will work for almost all mobiles but the volume controls are dead for Apple devices. As a matter of fact, the volume controls will only work for Samsung, Nokia Lumia, and Sony Experia mobiles according to the description on the box. You might be thinking that it’s unusual for JBL to leave out the Apple users…don’t worry, they didn’t because a Synchros 100i is available for the Apple users with a fully functional remote.
The cables are flat, smooth, and narrow…flat cables are popular now because it prevents tangles. A nice thing to have especially if you like storing your in-ears in your pocket or bag.
Speaking of storage, the JBL Synchros S100a comes with a small leatherette pouch with a large JBL logo in the middle there on one side and the word Synchros on the other. Inside, the pouch is lined with a velvety material to prevent scratching. A nice thing to have so we can have a place to store the extra silicone ear buds and clip if you’re not the type to store the in-ears in a travel pouch. Do note that the pouch can easily store all of the goodies easily if you’re planning a long trip.
The silicone earbuds come in three sizes so you can find the best fitting bud for you. The silicone buds made the in-ears comfortable to use and the lightness despite its size adds to the comfort. The clip for the cable is a useful little thing if you’re the clip using type. it’s easy enough to attach to the cable and has enough bite to keep your cable in place…but I doubt that it would hold if you plan on doing something vigorous.
As I shared earlier, the angled ear-buds was tricky for me to get a good fit, and it’s important to get a good fit to truly hear what an in-ear can really do. Once you get it fitted correctly, these in-ear JBLs are balanced with good bass reproduction, crisp highs, and great mids. Vocals are strong and clear, guitar plucking are beautifully reproduced, chimes and other high pitched sounds are not painful to listen too and not too crisp, and humming bass are audible and not overly powerful.
If you’re looking for a bass heavy pair of in-ears, I’d look for something else. But if you like a balanced, powerful, and clear sound experience, and do not mind the angled ear buds, then the JBL Synchros 100a is definitely worth looking at. These in-ear headphones are priced at PHP 5,299 and are available in JBL stores around the metro.
JBL Sound Gallery, B3 Bonifacio High Street – 856-5041
JBL Acoustical Space, 4th Floor SM Megamall, Cyberzone Bldg. B – 919-6012
JBL Digital Dreams, 4th Floor, SM North Annex Cyberzone – 856-5041