Last year, we reviewed the JBL Everest Elite 700, the company’s top-of-the-line consumer headphone. Though we liked the look of that device, we had trouble getting its functions to work correctly and didn’t like the sound. This year, JBL is back with an upgraded model — the Everest Elite 750NC, an over-ear Bluetooth headphone with active noise canceling. Though its new looks are a little flashy for our tastes, we think JBL did well in addressing all the issues in the previous model, making it a decent competitor to the ubiquitous Beats headphones.
Our Everest Elite 700 review unit was a stealthy, but low-key matte black. The 750’s colorways are much more attention-grabbing — our review unit’s metallic steel-blue finish combined with the even more rounded frame of this headphone makes it look very futuristic, which could be either a pro or a con depending on what you’re trying to say with your headphone choice. Comfort is definitely improved over the 700, with large, plush ear pads and a pleather-cushioned headband — a vast improvement over the 700’s Beats-esque rubber arc. Included in the box is a semi-rigid storage case (the 750NC swivels and folds for transport), charging cable, and 3.5mm analog cable.
As with the 700, JBL offers a free iPhone app that allows you to control, fine tune, and even access some hidden features of the Everest Elite 750NC. ANC toggle, equalizer presets, and JBL’s “TruNote” calibration function are all available. In addition, the Ambient Aware function can be adjusted to high, medium, or low, with different sliders available for each ear. There are also screens for firmware updates (none available at the time of our review), a voice prompt toggle (very much appreciated), and an option to set the headphones’ hardware “Smart Button” to toggle either Ambient Aware or Noise Cancellation. It’s a handy, well-designed app that may not get used every day, but is certainly a nice way to expand the features of this headphone.
The 750NC’s controls are all on separate buttons placed around the yoke of the right ear cup, making them easy to discern. The headphone has a sufficiently premium feel, with better hinge design than its predecessor. The 750NC’s noise cancelling is decent — it still struggles with wind, and it’s generally not as good as the Sony MDR1000X, but better than some other models we’ve tried. The Ambient Aware function is also useful, though again not quite as sophisticated as the “voice mode” that the MDR1000X has. Though the 750NC seems well-designed, it has just one puzzling design choice — we don’t understand why JBL put only one “smart button” on the 750NC — the Smart Button has two avaialble functions (the user must choose one in the app), but it’s placed directly next to a Bluetooth button that you’ll probably never use.
JBL says that the Everest Elite 750 features “JBL’s Pro Audio Sound.” As users of some of JBL’s studio monitors, we’re not so sure about that. For example, where the JBL LSR305 sounds neutral by comparison, we found the Everest Elite 750 to have a very boosted low-end. Though this can be fun with many tracks, in others it made vocals sound distant or gave the impression of bass unnaturally dominating the mix. If you’re into this kind of sound, the good news is that overall the 750NC sounds far better than the 700. In short, if futuristic looks and powerful low-end are what you’re looking for, then the 750NC is easy to recommend.
Company and Price
Model: Everest Elite 750NC