Which JBL earbuds are best?

Earbuds are the most popular way to listen to music on the go. They are small, lightweight and discreet, so you can comfortably carry and wear them everywhere. And thanks to modern engineering, they can offer just as robust bass and sound as large over-the-ear headphones.

When it comes to choosing a pair of earbuds, JBL makes some of the best options in the business. They have a variety of models to choose from to fit every budget and need. For premium audio quality and features, though, few can compare to the JBL Tour Pro+. They offer rich sound with impressive bass and no perceptible distortion at high volumes. The Tour Pro+ also boasts eight hours of battery life, which can be extended up to 32 hours when using the extra charges in the case.

What to know before you buy JBL earbuds

How you’ll use them

One of the first things to consider when choosing any pair of earbuds or headphones is how you plan on using them. Suppose you’ll be using your headphones primarily for exercising. In that case, you’ll have different requirements than someone who mainly listens to music while commuting to work on public transportation or watching media on their laptop. Earbuds for working out need to be durable, highly water-resistant and stay in place well during intense activities. If purchasing earbuds for casual listening throughout the day, sound quality and battery life are often higher priorities. 

Even different forms of exercise may require different features. For example, those who exercise in the gym may want to block out as much background noise as possible so they can focus on their workout without being distracted. Conversely, someone who cycles or jogs outdoors may want a pair of earbuds that allows some ambient noise to pass through so they can stay aware of their surroundings. 

Should you go wired or wireless?

These days, most people prefer truly wireless earbuds. They are more discreet, easier to shove into a pocket and allow total freedom of movement of the head without worrying about a cord getting caught on anything. You’ll also never run into an issue where the cord gets damaged, resulting in unusable earbuds. Thanks to modern Bluetooth technology, wireless earbuds also offer audio quality on par with wired models.

There are still a couple of reasons you may want to opt for wired earbuds. They are easier to keep track of, making them a good choice for anyone prone to losing small items. They also don’t require charging because they are powered via their wired connection. 

What to look for in quality JBL earbuds

Noise cancellation

There are two main types of noise cancellation — active and passive. Active noise cancellation is more popular because it is more effective. Earbuds with active noise cancellation create a 180-degree phase-shifted tone from ambient noises that effectively makes them inaudible. Passive noise cancellation should be more accurately referred to as noise isolation. Earbuds with passive noise cancellation simply rely on the seal the ear tips create to block out outside noise and enhance the audio quality of your music.

Ambient Aware mode

There are times you may want to be aware of what is happening around you while still being able to enjoy your music. JBL’s ambient aware mode was created for just this purpose. When this feature is turned on, you’ll be able to clearly hear outside noises without having to pause your music.

Talk Thru mode

JBL’s Talk Thru mode is similar to Ambient Aware in that it lets you hear noises from outside your earbuds, but in this case, it’s specifically speech. When Talk Thru mode is activated, your music is lowered and speech is amplified so you can easily have a conversation with someone without having to remove your earbuds.

Voice assistant compatibility

If you find your smart voice assistant invaluable, look for JBL earbuds that offer full voice assistant compatibility. JBL earbuds with this feature are designed to work seamlessly with Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. 

Water-resistance

JBL makes both water-resistant and waterproof earbuds with ratings from IPX4 up to IPX8. IPX4 and IPX5 are suitable for working out, as they offer enough water resistance to stand up to both excessive sweating and being caught in light rain when out jogging. If you need a pair of earbuds for swimming or that can stand up to heavy rainstorms, you’ll need to opt for their IPX7- or IPX8-rated models. These can withstand being fully submerged in water.

Battery life

Battery life in JBL earbuds varies from as little as four hours per charge up to as many as 10. Most truly wireless models also include a charging case that can extend this to as much as 40 hours of total usage before requiring access to a power source.

Speed charge

JBL headphones can take as long as two hours to recharge fully. Some models have a speed charge feature to ensure you always have some juice when needed. This allows you one or two hours of usage time after just 10 or 15 minutes of charging.

How much you can expect to spend on JBL earbuds

The most budget-friendly wired JBL earbuds cost as little as $12, with truly wireless models starting at $40. The most expensive wireless models cost $200.

JBL earbuds FAQ

Do JBL earbuds have good audio quality?

A. Yes. JBL is a well-respected brand in the audio equipment industry and is known for making speakers, earbuds and headphones that offer premium audio quality at affordable prices 

What is the warranty on JBL earbuds?

A. JBL earbuds come with a 12-month warranty. The warranty begins on the date of purchase and is only valid on purchases made from authorized resellers in the U.S.

What are the best JBL earbuds to buy?

Top JBL earbuds

JBL Tour Pro+ TWS

JBL Tour Pro+ TWS

What you need to know: These sleek earbuds offer fully customizable sound and multiple microphones for crystal clear voice calls. 

What you’ll love: Their adaptive noise cancellation is impressively effective at blocking out background sounds. They also feature Ambient Aware and Talk Thru modes for when you want to hear what’s happening around you.

What you should consider: They have a tendency to fall out of the ears of some people and may not be ideal for exercising.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top JBL earbuds for the money

 JBL Vibe 100 TWS

JBL Vibe 100 TWS

What you need to know: These basic earbuds offer better sound and build quality than most other models at a similar price point.

What you’ll love: Most users find them very comfortable to wear for long periods. They come in several colors, too, so you can show off a bit of your personal style. 

What you should consider: They are not water-resistant and do not have active noise cancellation.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

JBL Reflect Pro+

JBL Reflect Pro+

What you need to know: Thanks to an IP68 rating and wingtips to hold them in place, there are few better options for fitness enthusiasts. 

What you’ll love: They come with several sizes of wingtips and ear tips to help you achieve the perfect fit. They are also fully compatible with voice assistants and offer 10 hours of battery life in the earbuds.

What you should consider: Audiophiles may have to spend some time tweaking settings to find a sound quality they are happy with.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

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