CLUB ONE from JBL

It’s easy to get lost in the woods by companies that make headphones. The market is also huge and spits out new models several times a month.

In the case of JBL, from which we have tested the over-ear headphones CLUB ONE, however, we are talking about a heavyweight that is closely tied to several other heavyweights.

The company, according to its own figures, has passed 100 million headphones sold, but certainly does not stand on its own, as it is the owner of Harman Kardon, owned by Samsung.

Then it doesn’t get any bigger.

For the demanding user

However, the CLUB ONE, which also has two cheaper models in the series called 950NC and 700BT, is it’s very own in the heavier category when it comes to premium headphones. At the same time, it is a new category for JBL, which is already big on affordable headphones for the wider masses.

Certainly, you can’t say that the top model CLUB ONE is. It is a model that is well built-in leather and aluminium. And as JBL has leaned heavily on a number of reputable DJs to develop.

The model therefore clearly bears the impression of being intended for users who have some of the needs of a DJ. Their headphones must be able to reproduce sound accurately and in high quality. At the same time, it must be able to keep the world out when needed. And not least keep being used a lot.

And the demands of a DJ certainly meet CLUB ONE. The model is solidly built and can hold a lot. It’s heavy and feels compact when you’re wearing it. We are not in the lighter and softer class of the leading noise-canceling model on the market, Sony’s WH-1000XM3, or the Bose 700.

It is also possible to choose whether to plug the supplied audio cable into either the right or left side if you are not using the wireless connection. Smart!

Hates that app

We are talking here about a headset that demands the user to be engaged in the sound. In other words, it is more of a desktop model than a lightweight and mobile device you have everywhere.

On the other hand, CLUB ONE delivers the product in the form of a detailed and wide sound image, which is worth adding ears. It’s a pleasure for those who are into music and would like to pay for it.

Less enjoyable is the electronic side of the thing: the app. I already criticized JBL’s app in a review earlier this month. And my experience has been just as frustrating during the testing of CLUB ONE.

Thus it has been a struggle to get the headset to connect to the app, I have not had much luck making Google Assistant work properly and I managed to ruin the first of two test sets when I updated firmware.

The latter is, of course, the ultimate nightmare if you buy an expensive headphone, which dies a few hours after opening the sales box.

Turn on the buttons

I also don’t like the way the buttons on CLUB ONE are disposed. On the left side is a large button on the outside of the device, which I was looking forward to adjusting to the volume or other features I need. But Google Assistant is locked to the button that is the best and most useful on the headset.

Instead, feel for the little buttons that sit on both sides. It can be learned, but it has never been really good and still irritates me.

And no, JBL, I’m not chasing a touch solution, but buttons that are logically placed and have the right size and separation. This is something that especially the buttons on the right side for volume and music control suffer.

And the verdict? Yes, CLUB ONE plays on many good beats and lives up to the demand for good sound. It is well.

But as a whole package, we are not quite in line with the price and expectations that JBL puts the buyers in view.