JBL C300SI Review

JBL C300si is not currently available at Amazon, but here is the alternative for you according to the editor's choice - JBL T450BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones. These headphones are worth your money. 

JBL’s C300SI are wired on-ear headphones from the Harman subsidiary. This model includes a compact yet stylish design. The lightweight unit only weighs 209g (7.4 oz.). The unit also includes self-adjusting earcups that provide a customized fit. The JBL headphones’ high-power drivers create powerful sound and bass that the US company has become famous for. Other features include a gold-plated 3.5mm jack and 1-year warranty.

C300SI On-Ear Wired Headphones by JBL

Sound Quality

Build/

Durability

Ergonomics

Features

Sound is good but less powerful than similar units.  

Build and materials are excellent and unit is very durable.

The earcups easily stick to the user’s ears and feel tight.

Self-adjusting earcups provide good fit each time you wear them.

What We Liked 

  • Provides good overall audio experience including volume
  • Durable product made with quality materials
  • Gold-plated plug improves sound quality
  • Headphones provide good value for the price point
  • Thick wires provide low impedance

What We Didn’t Like

  • Doesn’t provide much deep bass compared to similar units
  • Warranty-related issues like returning item to JBL facility
  • Sometimes sticks to ears after wearing for a long time.

Part 1: What Is This Product?

The JBL Grip 200 was first available in 2017, so the model has been on the market for a few years. The main benefit is you can find the on-ear headphones for a lower price. Meanwhile, it’s tougher to find than newer models.

These JBL on-ear units are wired units. JBL is a US company that’s a subsidiary of Harman. JBL was founded more than seven decades ago in 1946. It produces a wide range of audio equipment like headphones, earphones, and loudspeakers.

JBL also manufactures the C100SI, C150SI and C200SI models. These are all in-ear earphones rather than on-ear units and in the price range of budget models. The C100SI and C200SI units also include mics that allow you to make and take mobile phone calls while wearing the earphones.

Part 2: Who Is This Product for?

JBL C300SI review

Who Is This For?

The JBL C300SI is a wise choice for consumers looking for budget headphones that provide good quality and value.

However, they provide good value for the price point. This is due to factors like the unit’s decent quality, functionality, features, and so on. They’re a good option if you want affordable quality units.

In terms of sound quality, the C300SI includes powerful 40mm drivers that produce good sound quality. There’s been some criticism that the unit doesn’t create powerful bass.

However, the sound quality is generally good for the unit’s price point and better than earbuds. This is due to features like the gold-plated plug, which is quite rare for headphones in this price range.

If portability isn’t critical, then the C300SI also is a better option versus in-ear products. They’re heavier/bulkier but also more comfortable for long sessions in recording studios, for example. Another practical application is home or office desktops/laptops that are less portable than smartphones/tablets.

The C300SI also offers solid ergonomics. This is based on features like the self-adjusting earcups that provide a customized fit each time you wear the units. The units are also quite lightweight at about 7.4 oz. This is about half the weight of the heaviest on-ear headphones on the market.

Finally, the C300SI is a good option if you want coverage through a manufacturer’s warranty. JBL offers a 1-year warranty. This isn’t the best offering on the market but provides some coverage for your purchase. Make sure to read the terms & conditions.

Who Is This Not for?

Just as no “perfect” headphones exist the JBL C300SI isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for the cheapest headphones, you should consider in-ear units since they are generally cheap.

If you're also looking for more portable units then you also should pass on the C300SI. The first reason is it’s on-ear headphones rather than in-ear earphones. So, you’d be dealing with a larger and heavier unit compared to tinier earbuds like Apple Airpods.

A related issue is the C300SI isn’t cordless. If you want more mobility when using your headphones, you should skip on corded units. It’s tougher to do workouts or housework when the unit has to be plugged into your smartphone, tablet, or media player.

Let’s get to brass tacks in terms of the C300SI’s functions and functionality. It provides good value for its price in terms of durability, sound, and ergonomics. However, if you’re looking for top-notch marks in these areas, then the C300SI isn’t the best choice.

Here are some reasons. The unit has received some criticism for sometimes breaking within months, lacking booming bass, and being tight-fitting on the ears. These are all issues you typically wouldn’t have with high-end headphones.

Finally, the C300SI isn’t a good option if you want a long-term warranty. The manufacturer’s warranty is only valid for one year. It’s also received some criticism because of the logistics so read the fine print.

Price

The under-$50 price tag means the C300SI is in the price range of budget headphones. It still provides good value for the price so if that’s a priority you should definitely consider this unit.

On the other hand, you shouldn’t expect the durability, sound, or features of other brands like Sennheiser. In that case, you should be prepared to shell out thousands of dollars.

Ease of Use

In terms of overall ease of use, a wired headphone like JBL C300SI is generally less user-friendly than wireless earbuds in particular. When using these JBL headphones it will be tougher to move/store the unit. You’ll also have to deal with wires.

Another issue is the compatibility of 3.5mm headphones with various devices. For example, last year Apple stopped shipping 3.5mm headphone adapters with its latest iPhones. So, you’ll have to spend an affordable amount.

The corded functionality can also be a plus. While wireless connectivity can be more convenient, it can also cause problems when the WiFi signal is weak wherever you’re using the headphones, for example.

Another big issue when using the C300SI is it’s received some criticism for being uncomfortable. They include a self-adjusting feature but tend to have a tight fit. This can be especially uncomfortable when wearing the headphones for long sessions.

Part 3: What’s Included

The JBL C300SI includes the following items in the box:

  • JBL C300SI headphones
  • Warranty/Safety Card

Part 4: Overview of Features

Lightweight/Compact

These JBL headphones are small, compact, and lightweight for on-ear headphones. They weigh about 7.4 ounces (209g) with dimensions of 7 x 18 x 15 cm. This feature is important in terms of portability so you can take it with you on summer vacations, business trips, etc.

How lightweight are these units? They’re still much heavier than the lightest earbuds at 5 grams (0.2 oz.). However, the heaviest headphones are around 14 ounces, so the C300SI is also about 50% of that weight.

Neutral Color

The black headphones are a neutral color so you won’t have any problems pairing them with your device or outfit. The downside is the headphones aren’t available in multiple colors. However, the unit’s hue is still a plus since “black goes with everything.”

Affordable Price

The JBL C300SI was released with a cheap price tag in early 2016. Since then the original price has been discounted at online retailers like Amazon. You can save even more through perks like free shipping via Amazon Prime.

Since the JBL headphones are a few years old, you get outstanding value at a budget-friendly price. This is a plus versus new models with significantly higher prices.

Powerful Driver

The driver’s size is 40mm. The range for on-ear headphones is about 30mm to 53mm. So 40mm is basically in the mid-range. On the other hand, it’s also significantly more powerful than canalphones that can have drivers as low as 9mm.

It’s worth noting that the driver’s size is one of the various factors that determine a headphone’s audio quality. However, it’s still a perk of the C300Si versus other units due to its price point.

Wired Headphones

It seems like the digital world is going wireless. However, wired headphones still provide some key benefits. While Bluetooth tech has improved drastically in recent years, you’ll still have to spend more if you want the same audio quality vs. comparable wired headphones. So, in terms of audio quality, you’ll generally get better value from wired headphones.

A few other perks are related to ease of use. Using 3.5mm audio cables means you won’t have to deal with any software-related compatibility issues. Like most wired headphones the C300SI won’t require a battery let alone the hassles of juicing up the battery pack when it’s out of juice.

JBL C300SI

Manufacturer’s Warranty

The C300SI is available with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. This provides a full 12 months of protection after the purchase date of the unit.

As always it’s critical to read the warranty’s terms & conditions. The fine print explains what the warranty does and doesn’t cover.

3.5mm Jack

If you’re using a desktop/laptop, then this jack provides outstanding compatibility. In fact, it’s more common to use on-ear headphones with PCs/Macs than earbuds due to issues like the devices being less portable.

The situation is a little different if you’re using a smartphone or tablet. In that case you might need to use a 3.5mm adapter. However, what’s important is you can still use these quality JBL headphones.

Self-adjusting Earcups

This feature adds comfort each time you wear the unit. As a result, you won’t have to make adjustments if someone else used the headphones last, for example.

Established Company

JBL manufacturers various products including loudspeakers and headphones. James Bullough Lansing founded the company 70+ years ago in 1946. Its first products were a loudspeaker and high-frequency driver.

It’s always best to go with an established company instead of a generic or off brand. The problem with the latter is there’s a greater chance you’ll have problems like quality control and customer service. It’s a risk you arguably shouldn’t take.

Gold-coated Plug

It should be noted that other materials like silver and nickel can also provide similar functionality to gold. In truth, a small amount of gold is used for the coating.

Gold also has some drawbacks since it’s a soft metal, for example. However, one of the main benefits is it’s highly corrosion-resistant. So, it’s certainly a good option when used for coating metals like aluminum.

Part 5:- Alternatives - JBL T450BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones

A word of advice, we suggest you never go after the cheap headphones because what they sell often comes with lack of quality. Today, Tritton Sales tested the most affordable wireless on-ear headphones model JBL T450BT in the JBL series. To decide whether you should go for it or not, read the review:

JBL T450BT is an ideal mix of excellent features with decent sound delivery at less than $50. You will find a charging cable, warning card, safety sheet, QSG, pair of headphones, and warranty card in the box.

Design

It comes in a simple standard design that is similar to other top headphones. Its light on-ear with small ear cups and sturdy non-padded headband. It supports no headphone jack, which means you cannot use it in wired mode, unlike other over-ear headphones. JBL T450BT is entirely made of plastic. Like the sony headphones, you can fold the pair when not in use. The overall simple design let the audiophiles use it without any hassle.

Sound

This utterly wireless device has no port for connecting it with an external playback device. To connect it wirelessly with other Bluetooth devices, press the power button for a few seconds. Once the pairing is done, the LED light stops blinking, followed by a signal sound from headphones. 

For merely $50, the sound delivery is excellent. At highs, no distortion occurs, which is pretty good for the wireless headphones. JBL headphones are widely known for producing deep bass. The lows are also resonant with a nice pop. Even the mids are also decent enough. The treble response is also good but lacks the details like other high-end similar products.

JBL T450BT lacks active noise cancellation features. For canceling the external noise, it makes use of its earcups. The noise doesn't isolate entirely due to this; they are not suitable for use in crowded environments—the noise leaks through the earcups. One thing you can do to counter noise is crank up the volume.

Features

JBL T450BT comes packed with excellent features in comparison to other pairs. You can use this pair casually, but it's not suitable for gym-goers as it is not water or sweatproof. In this case, the Built-in Mic can prove handy. If you want to make or take calls when wearing your headphone, this is another benefit of the T450BT versus the C300SI. You can toggle between music and phone mode by pressing a button.

This feature adds more versatility. For example, if you get a call during workouts or chores, you won't have to spend precious time digging the phone out of your pocket, then tapping the screen several times to take a call.

Unlike the C300SI, these JBL headphones are wireless. So, if you're looking for more mobility when wearing headphones, these are a better option. For example, you can use the T450BT to connect to your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.

This feature offers several benefits. Many of today's mobile devices don't have a 3.5mm jack, so you won't have to buy an adapter. Another plus is there's no risk of dealing with a bird's nest of wires.

Battery Life

How about battery life? You get up to 11 hours of music playback time. So, you could use these headphones for half a day before you have to juice up the unit.

Color Option

This JBL unit is also available in multiple colors: Black and White, our favorite is White. This provides more versatility than the C300SI, which is only available in black.

Make this comfortable, perfect, and fit headphone yours if you are tight on budget

What We Liked 

  • Excellent sound delivery and deep bass
  • Not harsh at highs
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Great design
  • Nice color options
  • Affordable

What We Didn’t Like

  • No padding in the headband
  • No wired option
  • Poor noise isolation

Part 7: Conclusion

We’re ready to announce our verdict for the JBL C300SI. Are these on-ear headphones right for you? If you’re looking for budget-friendly headphones that offer decent quality, sound, and ergonomics, then this is a wise choice.

One key factor is the headphones were released at an affordable price point. Since that was a few years ago in early 2016, the price has been reduced significantly at online retailers like Amazon. This provides exponentially more value due to the rock-bottom price point.

The C300SI includes several features that add value to the JBL headphones. They include 40mm driver, self-adjusting earcups, and gold-plated 3.5mm plug. These features boost the unit’s sound, ergonomics, and compatibility.

There’s also the fact that the C300SI is made by a 70+ year-old company. This automatically provides a generally better experience than picking headphones made by startups, for example.

That said, if you’re looking for mid-level headphones let alone audiophile-level quality then the C300SI will likely disappoint you. The headphones lack a long-lasting design and materials. So, you might have to replace the unit sooner rather than later.

In terms of audio quality, this unit hasn’t received great marks. In fact, it’s been heavily criticized for not providing enough sound and especially bass, which is ironic since the company specializes in loudspeakers.

Yet another issue to mention is the headphones’ ergonomics. It’s received many complaints about the earcups being too tight-fitting and even sticking to the ears. So, if you plan to use the headphones for long-term use, it could be an issue.

The bottom line: The C300SI On-Ear Wired Headphones by JBL isn’t great, but it’s good enough for many consumers.

About the Author Christina lee

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