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JBL Tune 510BT
February 15, 2021
Original: $49 USD
224 x 206 x 51mm
JBL makes plenty of bass-heavy headphones, and the JBL Tune 510BT is another option for bass heads. This wireless headset features JBL’s signature sound, Bluetooth multipoint, a built-in microphone, and voice assistant integration all for under $50 USD. But even with everything this headset brings to the table, it’s lacking in the comfort department.
Let’s see if this headset is a great budget option or just plain cheap.
Editor’s note: This review was updated on September 15, 2023 to update the isolation, microphone, and frequency response charts.
What’s it like to use the JBL Tune 510BT?
The JBL Tune 510BT is an on-ear Bluetooth headset. It’s compact and foldable, making it easy to store in a backpack or desk when you’re not using it. The build doesn’t feel too sturdy, and the design is nothing special. If not for the large JBL logo on each ear cup, you could easily mistake this for any cheap headphones.
I find the headset to be pretty uncomfortable, since the ear pads rest on the ears rather than around them. This also makes it pretty unpleasant to wear with glasses, and I can feel the stems of my glasses digging into my head almost immediately after putting the Tune 510BT on. The ear cups are surrounded by a wrinkly fabric that makes sounds if I move, which can detract from the listening experience. Overall the headset looks and feels a lot like the Sony WH-CH510, another on-ear headset within the same price range.
How do you control the JBL Tune 510BT?
This pair of JBL headphones houses controls on the right ear cup. There are volume controls, identified with plus and minus icons. See the table below for a list of controls.
|Double pressHold (2s)Hold (5s)
The headset also has integrated support for voice assistants like Siri or Google, so you don’t even have to take your phone out to use the assistant. Instead, you can activate the assistant by pressing the multi-function button twice.
What Bluetooth codecs does the JBL Tune 510BT support?
The JBL Tune 510BT connects using Bluetooth 5.0. It supports the SBC and AAC audio codecs, so this headset is good to use with Android or iOS, though it only supplies reliable high-quality wireless audio to the latter.
To pair the headset to a device, hold the power button on the right ear cup until the LED turns on, and open the Bluetooth settings menu on your device. Simply select the JBL Tune 510BT in your Bluetooth settings, and you’re done.
Yes, the headset supports Bluetooth multipoint, meaning you can easily switch which device you’re listening from. If you’re listening to music on your computer and get a call on your phone, it will pause your music to let you take the call using the headphones, then resume when you hang up.
To enable multipoint, you need to initiate a connection with a primary device. After that, press and hold the multi-function and volume up buttons on the headset simultaneously for two seconds. Then, select the JBL Tune 510BT from your secondary device’s Bluetooth menu.
How is the battery of the JBL Tune 510BT?
JBL claims the battery will last 40 hours, and in our testing, we found that to be very accurate. The Tune 510BT lasted 40 hours, 43 minutes at a constant output of real music peaking at 75dB (SPL). The battery life of this headset is one of its most redeeming qualities. It also supports fast charging, with five minutes of charging giving you two extra hours of battery life. The JBL Tune 510BT charges via USB-C cable, which comes in the package with the headphones.
How well does the JBL Tune 510BT block noise?
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Isolation on this headset is typical for this style of headphone. As the chart suggests, low-frequency noises like the garbage truck outside my window aren’t blocked at all, but the headset reduces higher-pitched sounds like my keyboard or plates clanging in the kitchen more noticeably. When I wear these JBL headphones on a commute, they don’t do a great job blocking out the people talking on the phone on the bus. Isolation isn’t going to be as good with any on-ears compared to over-ear headphones, so this isn’t surprising.
How does the JBL Tune 510BT sound?
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The frequency response for the JBL Tune 510BT is bass-heavy, with a notable boost in the range below 150Hz. Above that, the general response shape follows the gist of our house curve, but with a notable boost in the highs, that adds emphasis to higher vocals and other high frequency sounds like hi-hats. This frequency response would definitely cater more to people who love bass-heavy music like EDM.
Lows, mids, and highs
When I listen to Exception to the Rule by Better Oblivion Community Center, the low-frequency synthesizer at the beginning of the song is a bit overpowering. While Phoebe Bridgers’ vocals and other higher-frequency sounds like hi-hats aren’t overpowered by it, Conor Oberst’s lower vocals and the piano definitely take a back seat.
DVNO by Justice sounds great in this headset, and even with the added emphasis, I can still hear other sounds amid the song’s bass line. The occasional claps are a bit too loud due to the intense treble emphasis. You can expect most dance music to sound pretty good through this headset.
How is the microphone on the JBL Tune 510BT?
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The microphone on the JBL Tune 510BT is surprisingly good. Voices come through clearly, and while it suffices for a phone call or video call, it’s still not a mic you’d want to record a podcast with. Background noise is handled quite well, but the person on the other side of your call will still hear some processing artifacts along with your voice. Listen for yourself and vote to let us know what you think:
JBL Tune 510BT microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
JBL Tune 510BT microphone demo (Street conditions):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Is the JBL Tune 510BT worth it?
If you want an affordable and compact pair of headphones with a bass-heavy sound, this could be a good option for you. As long as you can handle the ear cups pressing on your ears, and you don’t wear glasses or have any piercings, the JBL Tune 510BT shouldn’t cause too much discomfort. It will get you through many commutes with its great battery life.
If you do wear glasses, or find that your ears and head get sore easily from tight headphones, these won’t be the headphones for you. Additionally, if you want good noise isolation, these won’t give you much of that. Look elsewhere for good isolation and higher quality sound, and consider getting over-ear headphones, or in-ears if you need something compact.
What should you get instead of the JBL Tune 510BT?
If you’re looking for a budget pair of on-ear headphones and don’t quite like the sound of the JBL Tune 510BT, you can’t go wrong with the Monoprice Hi-Fi On-ear Headphones. This headset is only $15 USD and sounds great, though it’s wired so you will need a headphone jack or the appropriate dongle to use it.
If you’re interested in a wired headset with a similar design to the JBL Tune 510BT, then you might be interested in the JBL Tune 500, which has comparable sound quality and good build quality.
If you want a good pair of on-ears that are under $100 USD, the Jabra Elite 45h is a reliable option for commuters, with great battery life and a microphone too. You get access to the Jabra Sound+ app where you can customize your listening experience and access updates down the line.
If you want Bluetooth on-ears, the AKG N60NC supports the AAC and aptX Bluetooth codecs and has active noise canceling. For $119 USD, this isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s great if you want a high-quality on-ear option.
Frequently asked questions about the JBL Tune 510BT
No, the JBL Tune 510BT doesn’t have an IP rating, and therefore isn’t considered water-resistant.