Face-Off: Noise-Canceling True Wireless Earbuds JVC HA-A50T

($99.95) us.jvc.com


If you're on a tight budget and your ears aren't fussy, JVC's HA-A50T is a worthy sub-$100 bud. Music reproduction is middling, but its noise-canceling and ambient sound modes perform on par with some buds at twice the price.

Classic rock tunes on the JVC mostly suffered from thudding bass and a thick mid-range with recessed vocals. More beat-heavy modern recordings fared better but were still hampered by a narrow soundstage and a lack of brightness and presence. The sound overall wasn't bad, though it did pale in comparison with the better-sounding buds in our test.

The JVC doesn't match the noise- canceling competence of the Jabra and Bose models, but it did suppress slightly more noise than the JBL Club Pro+ and other pricier ANC buds. I experienced a dramatic cut-off of oppressive airplane drone with just some white noise humming through, and voices nearly disappeared. Ambient sound comes through the HA-A50T with nearly all the clarity and level as you'd hear with your naked ears—far better performance than I expected given the price.


With no app to customize audio or operation, the HA-A50T is pretty basic. The types of control assigned to each bud is reversed compared to other buds, however. For example, you control play/pause, volume down, and track back via tap, double-tap, and tap-hold on the left bud instead of the usual right, and toggle through the three noise-canceling modes—On, Ambient, and Off—volume up, and skip track on the right bud. After playing with so many buds with pause/play on the right and noise canceling on the left, the JVC took a bit of muscle memory re-training.

The HA-A50T's best and most surprising feature is Touch & Talk. When you tap the right bud to activate Ambient sound mode, music will automatically pause and then restart when you tap ANC back on. This is a feature that I wish all ANC buds offered.

You get plenty of listening juice with the HA-A50T: 6 hours of noise- canceling playback on a single charge, 8 hours with ANC off, plus three additional case recharges. Fully depleted, the case and buds require a hefty 3.5 hours to replenish full battery power.


JVC's buds are IPX4 water-resistant and come with a generous five sets of silicone and memory foam ear tips. The lightweight (0.25 ounce) oblong buds protrude a bit, but don't feel unbalanced. Once twisted in, they stayed put even with aggressive head movements. One drawback is the HA-A50T's case. At around 3.5 x 1.75 x 1.25 inches, it's larger than most, so you'll want to stash it in a bag rather than a pocket.

The Verdict
The JVC HA-A50T's sound quality and ANC are mostly average, but it other- wise offers impressive features and functions for under-$100 buds.