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Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
JBL E55BT (2016)
See Top Ranked Closed-Back Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs JBL E55BT (2016)

Analysis:

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) is a great Closed-Back Headphone for its $279 asking price.

The JBL E55BT (2016), however, while a reasonable product for $56, doesn't stack up against its competitors quite as well. If you're considering Closed-Back Headphones in the $80 range, you might want to check out some better options.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) has managed to impress reviewers from some of the most highly trusted sources on the internet, including SoundGuys and Tom's Guide. It performed great in their in-depth hands-on roundups - it was awarded the "Best All-around" title by SoundGuys and "The best headphones" by Techradar in their respective Closed-Back Headphone roundups. That's high praise, especially when coming from such high-quality sources.

Returning to the JBL E55BT (2016), SoundGuys, a source that's known for its high-quality in-depth testing, has great things to say about it. In fact, it was named its "Bang for your buck" in its "Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts" roundup, which is quite a feat.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. Digitaltrends, What Hi-Fi?, TechHive, CNET, and Rtings, for example, preferred the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017), while PCmag rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) got reviewed the highest by Digitaltrends - it gave it a rating of 10, while the JBL E55BT (2016) most impressed reviewers at Headphone Review, which gave it a score of 8.1.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Closed-Back Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Closed-Back Headphones being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) and JBL E55BT (2016) managed averages of 8.9 and 7.5 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs. JBL E55BT (2016) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Tom's Guide
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
PCmag
Techradar
CNET
TrustedReviews
The Verge
Head-fi
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
$279
JBL E55BT (2016)
$56
Has average expert review score
7.5
Overall Avg. for Closed-Back Headphones
7.5
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts” 
Last updated: 17 Oct 2018
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound
in “Best Sony headphones 2020: Top wireless and wired Picks” 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best headphones
in “Headphones, speakers, and soundbars: the best audio tech we heard at IFA 2019” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best audio gifts for grads 2018” 
Last updated: 5 May 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best Sony headphones 2020: 10 models to appeal to your inner audiophile ” 
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Wireless Headphones for Quality Sound” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2018
Recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Bang for your buck
in “Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts” 
Last updated: 17 Oct 2018
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Over-Ear
in “Best JBL Headphones in 2020” 
Last updated: 9 Jan 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 7.3 out of 10
in “Best JBL headphones” 
Last updated: 29 Apr 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 7 Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Under $100 - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
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