JBL’s Everest 110 Bluetooth earphones are neckband-style in-ears that, unlike most of the pairs we test in this price range, aren’t intended for exercise. The selling point here is ostensibly the audio performance, a comfortable fit, and an echo-canceling mic. For $99.95, the audio performance is solid, but there’s no shortage of similarly priced competition offering comparable sound quality and more compelling feature sets.
The earphones are available in blue, gray, or white models. A thin, rounded cable houses an inline remote closest to the right earpiece. The earpieces are rather large, but lightweight—
The inline remote has a covered side panel for the micro USB charging cable connection, two dedicated volume buttons, and a central multifunction button that controls playback, call management, and with multiple taps, track forward or backward. What the central button doesn’t do is more telling—most wireless in-ears we test assign the function of summoning Siri or Google Assistant when the central button is held down for a couple seconds. On the Everest 110, that move will simply power down the earphones. The side button on the remote control allows for pairing with multiple devices. If you buy the Everest 110 GA model, available for the same price, that button summons Google Assistant. It’s an odd choice to go with the Google branding, since so many competing models can summon both Siri and Google Assistant without issue.
The inline echo-canceling mic offers mediocre intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we could understand every word we recorded, but the audio artifact levels were high and
Aside from the eartips and fins, the only accessory the earphones ship with is a micro USB charging cable of generous length. There’s no carrying pouch, which is disappointing considering there’s also no advertised water or particle resistance.
JBL estimates battery life to be roughly eight hours, but your results will vary with your volume levels.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones deliver solid thump and don’t distort at top volumes. If you have the
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the Everest 110’s general sound signature. The drums on this track receive some solid extra bass, giving them a full, round presence, but things don’t veer into
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives enough high-mid presence to retain its punchy attack, though a little more high-mid would add more definition to the track. We hear the highs pushed forward a tad in the mix, bringing the background vinyl crackle and hiss forward a bit, and the sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with gusto.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, sound a bit more bass-forward than purists will want, but plenty of listeners will enjoy the subtle added bass depth. The higher register instrumentation never loses its dominant presence, but again, things could sound a bit
The problem with the $100 Everest 110 is hard to pinpoint—there’s nothing wrong, really. But much of the similarly (or lower-priced) competition is sweat resistant or actually waterproof. The audio performance here is solid, but it’s not audiophile-level—very little in this price range is. And so it’s hard for the Everest 110 to stand out from the crowd. The Jaybird Tarah, the JLab Epic Sport Wireless, the Jaybird X4, and the JBL Reflect Mini 2 are all solid, exercise-friendly options with similar audio performance and relatively similar prices. Each one offers you a bit more for the money than the Everest 110.