The input headphones sector is dominated by Philips, Edifier, JBL and Sony, which unfortunately left Brazil. But Harman, owner of JBL, should take advantage of this gap to vary its portfolio, which is already hyper diversified, by the way. O JBL Tune 510BT is a good example of this. Launched in April 2021, the model soon attracted attention for offering up to 40 hours of sound, fast charging and a good cost-benefit ratio, as it has a suggested price of R$ 299.
Bluetooth 5.0, multipoint connection and Pure Bass technology, which emphasizes bass are other highlights of the headphones. Can it be superior to the JBL Tune 500BT and the Edifier W800BT? Or is it better to invest in the Philips TAUH202? I spent a few days with the new JBL Tune 510BT to understand your proposal and share my impressions in this review.
JBL Tune 510BT Review on Video
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The Tune 510BT was provided by JBL on loan and will be returned to the company after testing. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.
Design, comfort and controls
The JBL Tune 510BT is a traditional headset. It hasn’t strayed from the 500BT, which is the company’s triumph in the entry-level category, and is still very similar to the Tune 660NC and Sony WH-CH510. Unlike the Edifier W800BT, which has a more sophisticated finish, the headphone from JBL has a basic purpose and focuses on robustness, with simple plastic throughout the entire structure, including bow and shells. It is not a super-resistant material, as we expect, and requires a certain amount of care from the user when handling it.
Flexible, the headphones can be easily adjusted to the ear and proved to be very comfortable, without generating pressure even on the first day of use. We’re also talking about a practical everyday headset that allows you to keep your shells and be carried in your backpack and suitcase. Despite being a good product for everyday use, the 510BT was designed for indoor environments (train, subway, offices and homes), therefore, it is not recommended for physical activities, as it does not have IP certification against water.
JBL chose the right shell to allocate the volume, on/off and play/pause buttons, also used to trigger virtual assistants by pressing twice (works with Siri, Google Assistant, Bixby, but Cortana was left out “Does anyone use Cortana?” This same button can pause and play songs and podcasts with one press. The USB-C power connection is also there: the position seems awkward, as the input is at the bottom on many headphones. However, the arch hinge ends up protecting the connection during use, which justifies the choice of placing the loading door on top. Finally, only the auxiliary cable input was missing, right?
The gadget has Bluetooth 5.0 and video latency is practically non-existent, so this is a good device for watching YouTube videos, movies and series on streaming platforms. One thing I like about JBL headphones is the multipoint connection, commonly found on premium wearables. With it, I can use the 510BT on multiple devices at the same time, being able to switch from a song on the PC to a connection on the smartphone easily. And in my tests this feature worked very well.
The JBL Tune 510BT has a sonic signature that I like a lot. As expected, it has a preference and tends to make the sound more chunky, with very active bass thanks to Pure Bass technology. The most interesting thing is that this power is not aggressive, so, even at high volumes, the pounding doesn’t make your ear hurt. For the more demanding ones, it’s worth noting that you won’t find instrument separation and a spectacular sound stage in this headphone, and that’s not a problem.
When playing cold, from Maroon 5 and Montero, by Lil Nas X, I could analyze that the Tune 510BT emphasizes the vocals on both tracks and the highs seem to get more shy due to the space that the bass gained — the low frequencies are very prominent. Despite that, I see that this is a good phone for anyone who is always listening to pop, electronica and hip-hop. If you often listen to these genres, this model by JBL will certainly please you.
On more complicated ranges, I thought the 510BT could slip badly, but the performance was even satisfactory for an entry-level product. Even Flow, by Pearl Jam, starts out congested with drums and guitar dominating, but then the song becomes pleasant, rich in detail and without strident music. As an input headphone, it doesn’t offer active noise cancellation and passive cancellation is just ok.
Microphone and battery
Many people may wonder if the JBL Tune 510BT is a good option for video calls, phone calls and to send audios on WhatsApp. My answer is yes! The microphone picks up what you say very well and the background noises even seem to be toned down. The setup is great for those looking for the basics of meetings on Zoom or Google Meet, for example.
The highlight of this product is the battery. The brand promises up to 40 hours of music on just one charge and 5 minutes in the socket guarantees another two hours of sound. If we look at the competitors, you can see that this JBL lags a little behind. For example, the W800BT, one of Edifier’s biggest hits, offers an impressive 75 hours, and the Anker Soundcore Life Q10, 60 hours of playback.
The point here is that 510BT has such good range that it would be unfair to criticize it because competitors offer more. I received the sealed phone with 60% battery and this charge was enough to listen to music while working for more than four days. In another test, with the battery at 100%, I put it to play via Spotify at 09:00. After 9:41am of breeding, at 6:41pm, they still had 90%.
JBL Tune 510BT: is it worth it?
What makes the JBL Tune 510BT an excellent option is precisely its basic proposal. Throughout the structure, the company simply followed the recipe of its predecessors, which has been working well, and put more batteries in this generation for those who don’t want to worry about the outlet. It is worth remembering that the Tune 500BT from 2019 was released with a battery for 16 hours of playback only. And, of course, the 510BT is a cheap phone and it’s even hard to say it’s not worth it considering all that.
On the other hand, I understand that the proposal here is to focus on Bluetooth and multipoint connection, a feature that works very well. However, I would like the auxiliary cable input to be present, to make the product even more versatile. Bluetooth 5.0 still does the trick, but we already have input headphones released in 2021 with version 5.2.
Even with these cons, the JBL Tune 510BT is still a great product for everyday life, especially for the home office. The sound quality is also very good for the category and autonomy is a big highlight. If, however, you are looking for an experience beyond the sound part, the Sennheiser HD 250BT, the new entry-level model from Germany, did very well in the tests of the Techblog. It is also worth following up on the rivals mentioned throughout the review.
Bluetooth Headset JBL Tune 510BT
- Very interesting value for money
- Comfortable design
- Energetic sound to please most people
- Good microphone for video calls
- What a bizarre (good) autonomy
- Didn’t get any extra design details
- No input for auxiliary cable
- Could have Bluetooth 5.2