Review: JBL/Roxy Reference 250 Headphones

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JBL has always been a purveyor of fine audio, which makes total sense considering its parent company is Harmon Kardon. A few years back, I reviewed some Reference 220 earbud headphones, which were affordable and sounded great on the iPod. This time around, JBL has teamed up with Quiksilver’s surfin’ sister company Roxy on a line of headphones that are catered towards young women. Do they stand the test of time? Perhaps.

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Sleek packaging, sexy design and sonar sound

The Reference 250s come with two sets of adjustable rubber earbuds and a built-in microphone. When I met with JBL a few weeks ago, they stressed to me the importance of having the microphone. With video chat and the iPhone being a huge influence on today’s youth, leaving a microphone out of a pair of earbuds is simply not an option. Two color sets are available – I reviewed the lime green/blue set which is pretty much unisex compared to the pink/orange alternative. Each pair comes with its own stylish carrying case that can also hold some money and credit cards – perfect for when you hit the beach.

But enough about the style. How does this collaboration of Roxy and JBL stand up to my 120 GB music collection? Simply put: they work great and blow the standard iPhone/iPod earbuds out of the water. Deep, rich bass, resounding highs and strong mids are what encompass the Reference 250s. The only problem is getting them to properly fit in your ear. After a little earwax and time, you’ll have no problem getting them in what appears to be “the sweet spot”. This “spot” is just the perfect blend of highs and lows, allowing everything from techno to rock music to folk to sound awesome.

Oh and did I mention the price? Only $39.95. A goddamned bargain considering what the competition is putting out. Don’t be deceived by the funky packaging and design – these are true JBL headphones pumping out quality sound. Any young girl or even guy would love to have a pair of these with their iPod.

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