JBL calls Club One their best headset so far, and that's probably true. JBL is a trademark of Harman, which in turn is owned by Samsung. Harman is one of the world's largest headset manufacturers, and JBL is their brand for slightly cheaper and more youthful products. Maybe that's why I wasn't always impressed by the sound quality of their handsets.
But Club One is not cheap, nor do I notice any of the weaknesses I have encountered in some previous JBL headsets, such as relatively poor sound quality for the price tag or poor Bluetooth reception.
The design feels quite luxurious, definitely nicer than Sony's super WH-1000XM3 which has the right anonymous look. One detail I particularly like is the visible metal grilles in front of the speaker elements, protected by a barely visible fabric mesh.
When I put them on for the first time, I find the covers feel a bit harsh, but with longer use, I find it to be one of the most comfortable over-ear lures I've tested. When I lie down, however, they tend to slip off the head, which is often the case with slightly heavier over-ear headsets.
Hard case included
The accessory set can also be said to be luxurious. A good quality hard case is included. Two wires for wired connection should the Bluetooth battery run out or you prefer it included, one shorter with remote and microphone for calls, and one longer for home stereo. Adapters for headset socket model larger and airplane connector included, and finally a USB charging cable. Battery life is stated to be 45 hours with noise reduction turned off, but with noise reduction it is 23 hours which is slightly less than what the competitors offer. Nor do I feel the battery life as great in practice.
Controlled with many buttons
There are no less than six buttons on the headset, for volume control and pausing music or taking calls, on / off button, bluetooth button to switch between multiple connected devices, and a programmable button for transmitting ambient sound. In addition, the one cover panel is a button to activate voice assistant. The buttons are not always easy to tell the difference between, but if you remove the headset and look at them, the picture clears without having to look in the manual.
An app is available for download, which adds the ability to turn off the noise reduction and select the function of the programmable button, as well as the equalizer. The app can also be used to update the headset firmware.
JBL calls the headset's noise reduction to true adaptive noise canceling, and it should adapt in real time to both the ambient noise and how to wear the headset, if you have eyeglasses and more.
The important thing is not what nice words the technology uses but how the result is. Noise reduction does a good job of removing above all low frequency noise, while higher noise remains. For traffic noise, for example, the cars' engine noise disappears while the rush of tires from asphalt remains. In quieter environments such as offices, you hear that the process adds a weak digital noise and you get better sound if you turn off the noise reduction. The overall feeling is that noise is reduced but not completely removed, and there are other headsets whose noise reduction impresses more, such as Boses and the aforementioned Sony headset.
The headset has what JBL calls its signature sound, which I interpret as the deep bass is exaggerated. In any case, I note it in the music. If there is already a lot of bass in the mix, the gain sometimes makes the bass so strong that it sucks the energy out of the mid-register display.
By the way, I think the headset sounds really good, with no obvious weaknesses in dynamics or rendering. The actual audio file probably lacks better bluetooth transmission protocols than the supported sbc which involves some music compression.
If JBL Club One stands out particularly in any area, it's the call sound. The people I talk to have no problem hearing what I say, and that whether I am indoors or next to a busy road, while the sounds of the cars are not heard either.
There is, as I said, a button for voice assistant too. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are supported, but not Apple Siri. If you press the button you can ask questions to the assistant or give it instructions for music control. Even if you are not a fan of voice control, you can receive notifications of incoming notifications in this way, and choose to have them read, with acceptable quality.
As a whole, JBL Club One is a nice headset. The price tag is in the same cure as Sony's and Bose's best, and compared to them neither music sound nor noise reduction is as good, but in return fit and conversation sound are better. This can be a reasonable priority.