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Updated: March 21, 2012 18:41 IST

The comfort factor

Ketaki Bhojnagarwala
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JBL headphones
BUSINESS LINE
JBL headphones

In the personal audio market, JBL has always stood out as a brand you can turn to for quality sound equipment with an affordable price tag. However many music lovers may not be aware that the audio electronics company also has a range of headphones to its credit. JBL's latest over-ear headphones to be launched in India are the JBL Tempo headphones.

Although quite plain-Jane at the outset, the JBL Tempo wins hands down when it comes to comfort. A padded headband is adjustable according to your head size and the padded earcups can be folded flat for easy storage. Apart from the orange embossed lettering on the earcups, the headphones don't stand out much in their plain black colour. The JBL Tempo comes with a gold-plated, 1.2 metre 3.5mm cable, but it doesn't sport any controls, something I missed.

I used the headphones with my iPod over a couple of days to test the sound quality. At high volumes, sound did not get distorted which is a good thing, but my co-workers did complain about way too much sound leakage, even when I was listening to tracks on mid-level volume. Although the headphones didn't do much to keep sound in, they did a pretty good job with noise-cancellation, so my listening experience was never interrupted.

Vocal-heavy tracks that I listened to like ‘Julia' by the Beatles were pleasant but the headphones didn't do much to bring out the melody and variations in vocals. Hip-hop lovers might also be disappointed with the bass reproduction on the JBL Tempo. Although bass wasn't uncomfortably distorted as is the case with many budget audio devices, the JBL Tempo didn't do much to enhance bass in tracks, as was the case with ‘Imma be' by the Black Eyed Peas. Overall, the sound quality was a bit flat and if you're looking for detail in your music, the JBL Tempo might disappoint, although clarity was never an issue.

Even though the audio qualities of the JBL Tempo weren't that great, it did perform well on comfort and I could easily sit through an entire movie without my ears hurting.

I was a bit surprised by the pricing of the headphones, which seems to be a little on the steep side for what it offers. If its comfort you're looking for, these headphones could be a good option, but be prepared for drab looks and average sound quality.

Rs 2,749

Keywords: JBL headphones

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