JVC is one of Japan’s most established manufacturers, with more than a century of history in the field of consumer electronics behind it. Of course, wireless headphones are today a key market focus for the manufacturer and this model, the HA-S65BN, is not only an inexpensive choice, but one that boasts active noise cancellation as well.
The pleasantly light plastic construction of these headphones offers padded earcups and a padded headband, while the earcups themselves are flexible with a rotary motion. The headband is also length-adjustable, allowing for a more comfortable fit. This JVC headphone model is available in black or dark blue variants.
The device has a battery life of between 11 and 16 hours, depending on whether or not you have ANC enabled. Charging takes place via conventional USB, with three hours usually enough to complete a full charge. An audio cable for conventional operation is included as standard.
Technically speaking, things are straightforward enough, with no compatible apps currently available. There are four controls on the right earpiece. For volume control, there’s a recessed switch, with this doubling as a title skip function as well. Another recessed button is on hand to provide start and stop functionality, while also providing you with control of virtual assistants when connected to a smartphone, as well as basic telephony controls. The on/off switch of these headphones is discreetly marked and can also be used to initiate Bluetooth pairing. At the touch of this button, you can also enable bass boost, although it’s worth noting that this function is subtle in its capabilities. Finally, a slider switch is on hand to activate noise cancellation functionality.
The headphones offer a secure fit with good levels of wearing comfort. The specified running time of the battery with noise cancellation enabled proved correct, if not a little better than advertised. With Bluetooth 4.1connectivity used, things remained stable within the usual range. The buttons on the right earpiece aren’t easily identifiable, even after a long period of getting to grips with these headphones. As such, I tended to rely on my smartphone for go-to control of these headphones.
Noise cancellation can be turned on with a simple flick of the relevant switch. It’s fixed in its intensity levels, but the results are good. Lower frequency noises were effectively reduced and music was more audible. Although there was a slight background noise still evident, any music tracks playing tended to mask this. Sadly, extras like automatic adaption to specific environments or temporary switch-off for telephony applications aren’t available with this headphone model from JVC.
The JVC HA-S65BN delivers convincing enough results for the price bracket, even if the headphone model is limited to SBC codec standard. Without noise cancellation in action, insulation against external noise is moderately successful. The same can be said of sound leakage in the other direction, with enough here to ensure your immediate neighbours on the bus or train won’t be bothered. Not bad when you consider these headphones are capable of some impressive levels.
When enjoyed in a resting position, the music experience on offer here can be intensified further by switching on background noise suppression, which operates on an increase-to-increase ratio. The sound image is both full and powerful, with plenty of detail and resolution.
In addition to true low bass, the 30mm drivers with neodymium magnets deliver a tight bass that’s only slightly overemphasised in the upper registers. Optional bass boost is available, yet decidedly subtle.
The mids are also well represented. Rock productions boast plenty of bang with these headphones, while acoustic instruments and vocals are reproduced clearly with resolved contours. Voices are easy to understand and are encompassed by perceptible space.
The treble range sounds open and doesn’t suffer any hard edges, although it doesn’t quite achieve the airiness and resolution you’d expect from this manufacturer. Thanks to the ability to reproduce the finer details, however, the result is a beautifully resolved stereo panorama in which smaller movements can clearly be identified.
In general, I’d consider these headphones to be a flexible fit for almost any genre. It handles pop and rock equally well, while also proving suitable for electronic dance music. These headphones also hold up well with the likes of jazz and classical recordings.
When in purely passive operation, the enhanced electronics don’t factor into play. Instead, these JVC headphones prove much less convincing in terms of performance. Things sound altogether more flat, duller in the treble range and, ultimately, less powerful and insufficient when it comes to the bass range. However, it’s worth noting that the device can indeed be used with an empty battery. If you still have battery reserved when connected via cable, you can also utilise noise cancellation properties.
Finally, telephone calls are acceptable in quality. However, voices sound a little muddled on both sides of the conversation.
JVC places the HA-S65BN in an attractive price bracket below the 100 euro mark. With impressive enough sound quality, good levels of wearing comfort and optional noise cancellation tech as standard, the HA-S65BN is a convincing audio package for those after an everyday performer. In the future, however, the manufacturer should put a focus on improving the overall operation of such devices by integrating more tactile controls.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 22.000 Hz (Passiv); 20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance30,2 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)105,04 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head500,5 g
- Weight with cable180 g
- Weight without cable168 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- Cable with mini jacks (1.2 m)
- USB charging cable
- Available in black/blue and black
- BT codec: SBC
- BT version: 4.1
- BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP