- Noise cancellation can be disabled/reduced
- Passive listening via wired headphone cable
- Helpful mobile app
- Very good sound quality
- Noise cancellation isn’t as strong as other headphones
- At lower levels, there is an audible hiss with noise cancellation
- Buttons for volume, pause/play, etc. can be easily confused
The JBL Everest Elite 700 are solid noise cancelling headphones, but they aren’t the best on the market.
The Everest Elite are wireless, over-ear, noise-cancelling headphones with great audio quality and a few interesting features. Their original MSRP was a little pricey at $300, however, you can find them all over the place at around $225 now. Here they are on Amazon. We like them at $225, but being the deal hounds that we are, we’d love them at $175. In any case, we’ve enjoyed testing them.
Design of Everest Elite
The headphones are solid and durable, but are noticeably heavier than other headphones we’ve tried out—you will feel the weight of them on your head. They have soft, very comfortable earpads that completely cover your ear, making the sound isolation pretty much as good as you’re going to get. They’re fine for extended listening and are perfect for the noisy office environment. And when you do take them off, they fold up (somewhat) for storage, easily fitting into your messenger bag or backpack.
On the back of each earcup is a set of buttons. On the left you have three buttons: volume up, volume down, and the multifunction button, which allows you to skip/previous track, manage calls, and more. On the right you have the Smart Button, which can be customized within the companion app to (1) allow the headphones to automatically set your ambient awareness levels based on the sound around you or (2) to turn on/off the noise cancelling altogether. You also have the power button on the right earcup. Our one gripe with the button setup is that all of the buttons feel the same, making it frustratingly easy to pause when you meant to adjust the noise cancelling setting or to reach for the right earcup when you really needed the controls on the left. As silly as it sounds, there’s a learning curve with the buttons and button layout. The Everest Elite also have a built-in microphone, which works surprisingly well considering how far it actually is from your mouth—during phone calls we never had anyone complain that they were having a hard time hearing us.
Using the Everest Elite 700
Overall, we really enjoy the user experience with the Everest Elite. That includes everything from the noise cancelling technology to the sound quality itself. We love that they are wireless, but also come with a headphone cable if the battery ever dies or if you want to use them for passive listening (i.e. wired, no noise cancellation). The pairing process is simple, just like any other Bluetooth headphones and the stability/range of that wireless connection is solid—we managed to go about 100 feet from our phone before the signal started to cut out and walls, doors, and people only occasionally disrupt the music playback.
In terms of battery life, expect an average of 13 hours of continued playback on a single charge. Of course, this will depend on volume levels and the ambient aware setting, but on the whole, we were pleased with the battery life. You can also just use them with noise cancellation on and no music playing. JBL says that battery life in this case will be up to 25 hours, though we didn’t get around to testing this. They also charge via MicroUSB.
Sound quality and noise cancellation
Sound quality is really good, as we’ve come to expect from JBL products. Very clear, crisp sound with with heavy bass, analogous to the Beats Studio. The one thing is the noise cancellation is audible and can sound like a subtle hiss. Of course, you can turn noise cancellation off, but then why would you buy noise cancelling headphones? The point is the noise cancelling technology works fine, but it’s more audible than we would have liked. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s not a home run either.
One highlight with the Everest Elite, however, is that they work with the My JBL Headphones app, which allows you to control the EQ settings to best fit your personal preferences. You can switch from deep bass to classical, etc. based on the music you’re listening to. The app also allows you to adjust the noise cancellation settings.
Closing thoughts on JBL Everest Elite 700
We like them, but don’t love them. They have so much going for them like the sound quality, fit, and battery life, but we feel they missed the mark somewhat with the noise cancellation and button layout. At $300, we’ll pass, but at $225 or less, they’re a lot more interesting.