JBL has a solid reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality audio products, including headphones. Let’s examine more closely several of the best JBL wireless headphones in different styles for different situations, to help you choose which model is most appropriate for your needs.
You may already be an expert in headphone design, in which case you can certainly skip to the next section to check out the various models. But JBL headphones have developed some innovations with specific descriptive terms. We’ll explain most of these below.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
Design: In, On or Around
Headphones come in three physical configurations, and JBL makes models in all of them. In-ear phones, or earbuds, fit snugly inside the ear. They usually include an assortment of soft tips to fit different ear canal sizes. They’re very effective at blocking out outside sounds.
On-ear headphones have ear cups connected by a flexible band and rest lightly on the ear. Even with the best models, the constant ear pressure can become uncomfortable after wearing for an hour or more. This design doesn’t block ambient sounds very much, which can be a plus or minus, depending on your situation.
Around-ear headphones are the most comfortable for long listening periods while offering excellent sound isolation. They usually provide the highest-quality listening experience because the drivers are larger. Most audiophile-quality headphones are of this type.
What about “pure wireless?”
All of the headphones reviewed communicate with a computer or mobile device using the Bluetooth protocol. This means that no cable is required to connect the headphones to the host device (though several models also provide one as an option).
However, some headphones have a wire connecting the left and right earpieces, and often a headband. “True wireless” phones have only the two earpieces, with no wire holding them together. It can be nice not to have a cable, which can get in the way, and also fail over time. But it’s easier to lose one of the small earpieces if they’re not always kept in the case when not in use.
Dust and Water Resistance
Headphones or earbuds intended for sports or outdoor use are generally tested for their ability to withstand dust and water, and then given an IP rating.
What is an IP rating?
IP stands for Ingress Protection, which is a manufacturer rating system that states how well a product will stand up to contamination from either solid or liquid particles.
The first digit refers to its tolerance to dust, with 0 meaning no protection and 6 being completely dustproof. The second digit represents its resistance to liquids (sweat, rain, etc.), ranging from 0 (zero protection) to 9 (extremely waterproof). If an “X” is included instead of a digit it means that it hasn’t been tested.
JBL wireless headphones use Bluetooth technology to communicate with your host devices. Most models are configured with Bluetooth version 4.2. One model reviewed uses version 5, which brings a few advantages. It tends to pair with a host more quickly, and also has the ability to transmit at a higher speed at the cost of reduced range.
Special JBL Features
JBL has developed numerous technical innovations that improve performance. These features may or may not be available on a particular headphone model, as indicated in our reviews.
Ambient Aware Technology uses the microphones to pick up outside ambient sound, mixing it with the program content you hear. It can be switched on or off. This is especially useful if you’re in a public place where you need to be aware of your surroundings – jogging on a public street, for example.
TalkThru Mode drops the music level down, allowing you to talk to your friends without removing the headphones.
Speed Charge lets you partially charge the internal battery in just a few minutes. Normally, a full charge can take several hours.
Multi-Point Connection is an option that enables the headphones to switch between two Bluetooth devices. This is useful if, for example, you’re watching a video on a laptop or tablet, and you receive a call on your phone.
JBL Pure Bass, on the other hand, is mostly just a marketing phrase. Many JBL headphones, especially in-ear models, apply some boost to the lowest bass frequencies to simulate the sound of large speakers.
JBL My Headphones App
This application is available for free from Google Play or Apple’s App Store. Using your mobile device, you can control several headphone settings. It provides 3 EQ presets and lets you create or customize EQ settings to suit your personal preference.
Also, you can select Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa as your voice assistant, adjust settings for Ambient Aware, TalkThru, and noise cancellation. Product tips and FAQs are also available here.
Top 8 JBL’s Best Wireless Headphones Reviews
Let’s begin with some in-ear models to consider…
1 JBL ENDURANCE SPRINT Wireless Headphones – Best Budget JBL In Ear Wireless Headphones
JBL Endurance SPRINT in-ear headphones are designed to be secure and comfortable during a strenuous workout. Available in black, blue, red, yellow, and teal, they’re extremely lightweight and ergonomically constructed with ear hooks to provide maximum stability.
The hooks are magnetic, so they can be conveniently stored. Rated waterproof with an IPX7 rating, they include three earbud tip sets to ensure an optimum fit.
With Bluetooth version 4.2, up to eight hours of playback is available from a single charge of the 120mAh lithium-ion battery. This is less than most other models, but it’s a tradeoff for reduced weight. They include Speed Charge technology to give you an hour of use from ten minutes of charging.
Despite their small size and moderate price, Endurance SPRINT headphones are capable of providing the full-range sound JBL is known for. The 10 mm drivers deliver a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz.
Effortless call management…
Three-button touch control and a built-in microphone lets you manage calls and music effortlessly, so you’re not distracted from your workout routine. The controls feel a bit sensitive to touch, which could be a hindrance in some situations.
- Comfortable to wear for long periods.
- Very inexpensive.
- Touch controls can feel too sensitive.
- Relatively short battery time.
2 JBL Tune 220TWS – True Wireless In-Ear Headphone – Best True Wireless JBL In Ear Headphones
Tune 220TWS are true wireless earbuds, with no connecting wire. Internal 22 mAh batteries provide three hours of power. When not in use, they’re stored in the charging case, which also functions as an additional power source, providing 16 additional hours. Weighing just 1.98 ounces (56 g), they’re available in black, blue, green, gray, pink, and white.
Nice and loud…
The 12.5 mm drivers feature JBL Pure Bass sound and offer full-range frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz. With an impedance of only 32 ohms, they’re capable of plenty of volume.
The 220TWS come with Bluetooth 5.0, so they pair to your mobile device faster. Hands-free stereo phone calls are effortless with the built-in on-ear controls. Google Assistant is also supported.
- Completely wireless with Bluetooth 5.0.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- No Speed Charge option.
- Not rated for water and dust resistance.
3 JBL Reflect Mini 2.0 – In-Ear Wireless Sport Headphone – Best JBL In Ear Wireless Headphones for the Gym
For listening to music while playing sports or exercising, JBL’s Reflect Mini headphones are an excellent choice. They’re extremely lightweight – just 0.5 ounces (15 g), and with an IPX5 rating, are considered sweatproof. Three sizes of included earbuds ensure you’ll get a perfect fit. You can get them in black, blue, green, gray, or white.
The drivers are small, just 5.8 mm. Yet they have a dynamic frequency response of 10 Hz – 22 kHz. And with a relatively low impedance of 14 ohms, they provide ample volume.
A 3-button remote control mounted on the cable connecting the earpieces makes it easy to manage music and phone calls or access Alexa or Google Assistant. This cable is reflective, which makes you more visible at night. A micro USB charging cable is included, along with a molded carrying case.
Equipped with Bluetooth 4.2, Reflect Mini can go up to 10 hours on a single charge. And a quick 15-minute recharge will give you another hour of playback time. Some users have reported difficulty pairing to Windows 10 computers and some Android models, although Apple devices appear to have no problems.
- Very lightweight.
- Extended frequency response.
- Reflective cable.
- Possible slow pairing to some Android and Windows 10 devices.
4 JBL Under Armour FLASH – Sport In-Ear Headphones – Best JBL In Ear Wireless Headphones for Running
UA FLASH in-ear headphones were developed jointly by JBL and Under Armour, the renowned developer of sports clothing and shoes for men, women, and children. They’re made specifically for runners, designed to stay put during a vigorous workout. And they’re “storm-proof” – sweat and waterproof, rated IPX7.
These are true wireless earbuds, with no connecting cables. Included are three sizes of ear tips and winged ear tip enhancers to guarantee a snug fit, a sleek aluminum charging case with a Micro USB port, and a charging cable. Owners also receive a 12-month MAPMYRUN membership.
FLASH includes what Under Armours calls “Bionic Hearing.” This refers to JBL’s TalkThru and Ambient Aware features, described in our introduction. Both options are selected by tapping on the earbuds.
The internal batteries provide up to five hours of use, while the battery case can offer an additional 20 hours. Unlike many headphone models, FLASH doesn’t include an onboard volume control.
- Very comfortable.
- “Bionic Hearing.”
- No volume control.
Now, let’s look at a couple of on-ear designs…
5 JBL LIVE 400BT – On-Ear Wireless Headphones – Most Comfortable JBL On Ear Wireless Headphones
JBL LIVE 400 BT headphones are great for traveling since they fold up easily into a purse or backpack. And you get a full 24 hours of play for a 2-hour Speed Charge of the 700mAh battery. They’re reasonably lightweight at 6.83 ounces (186 g) and built to fit comfortably on your ears, with soft padded ear cups and headband.
A detachable cable with remote can be used for traditional wired operation. Or they can be used in wireless mode, using Bluetooth 4.2.
With large 40mm drivers, LIVE400BT headphones deliver full-range sound (20 Hz – 20 kHz) with enhanced bass. And they’re compatible with the JBL My Headphones app, so you can customize the sound profile and other parameters. Also, they include both Ambient Aware and TalkThru technology.
By tapping the ear cup, you can easily play music, make phone calls, send texts, or access Google Assistant or Alexa, all without looking at your phone.
But there’s a catch…
Noticeably missing is any noise cancellation feature. Also, they’re not rated for dust and water resistance.
- Enhanced bass.
- 24-hour use on one charge.
- No noise cancellation.
- Not rated for dust or water resistance.
6 JBL UA Sport Wireless Train On-Ear Headphones – Best JBL On Ear Wireless Headphones for the Gym
Another collaboration between Under Armour and JBL is the UA Sport Wireless Train. They’re black, with the UA logo emblazoned in red on each earpiece.
Suitable for use at the gym, the outer ear cushions and inner headband are made from a breathable, fast-drying fabric that can be removed and hand-washed. Reasonably lightweight for on-ear phones at 8.5 ounces (240 g), they’re also sweat-resistant, rated IPX4.
Superb low-frequency response…
The 40 mm drivers deliver full-range sound with a low end that goes down to 16 Hz. Oversized controls on the earpieces, noise cancelling microphones, and TalkThru technology let you take phone calls without removing the headphones.
Total battery life in wireless mode is 16 hours, and the Speed Charge feature can give you an hour of use with a 5-minute charge. Bluetooth is version 4.1, which for practical purposes, is virtually identical to the later 4.2 version. They can also be used in wired mode using the included detachable cable.
- Extended bass response.
- TalkThru technology with noise-cancelling mics.
- Wired or wireless operation.
- Older Bluetooth version.
- A bit pricey.
And finally, in our roundup of the Best JBL Wireless Headphones, here are a couple of around-ear models…
7 JBL LIVE 500BT – Around-Ear Wireless Headphone – Best JBL Around Ear Wireless Headphones for Bass
JBL’s LIVE 500 BT around-ear headphones have large 50mm drivers that deliver the JBL signature sound with enhanced deep bass, with a frequency response of 18 Hz – 20 kHz. And with the My JBL Headphones app, you can personalize your listening environment to suit your taste.
Available in black, blue, green, red, and white, they weigh 8.51 ounces (232 g) and are quite comfortable, thanks to the well-padded ear cups and headband. With both Ambient Aware and TalkThru functions accessible by tapping the earpieces, it’s easy to hold a conversation or access Alexa or Google Assistant without removing the headphones.
More than a day’s worth of music…
In Bluetooth (version 4.2) mode, you can enjoy 30 hours of battery life. Speed Charge isn’t available with this model. With the Multi-Point Connection feature, it’s easy to switch from one Bluetooth device to another.
A detachable cable includes a microphone and remote for using the LIVE 500 BT in wired mode. A USB charging cable is also included.
- Large drivers provide full-range sound with strong bass.
- Multi-point connection.
- No Speed Charge.
8 JBL LIVE 650BTNC – Around-Ear Wireless Headphone with Noise Cancellation – Best Premium JBL Around Ear Wireless Headphones
LIVE 650BTNC are premium JBL headphones, with a price tag to match. They’re also the heaviest model reviewed, though just 9.2 ounces (260 g).
Everything you could ever need…
These top-of-the line around-ear phones feature faux leather ear cups and a padded fabric headband, active noise cancellation, multi-point connection, Ambient Aware, and TalkThru Technology, Speed Charging, and of course, hands-free calling.
Battery life with Bluetooth wireless mode is 30 hours or 20 hours with noise cancellation off. A cable with a remote is also provided for wired operation. They’re compatible with the My JBL Headphones app. You can get them in black, blue, or white.
- Extremely comfortable.
- Excellent sound.
- Active noise cancellation.
Looking for more fantastic headphone options?
If so, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Headphones and earbuds for Sleeping, the Most Comfortable Headphones, or if budget is more of a concern, the Best Bluetooth Headphones for under 100 dollars or the Best Headphones under 100 dollars currently available in 2021.
What are the Best JBL Wireless Headphones? Our Choices
Best Audiophile JBL Wireless Headphones
JBL LIVE 650BTNC Headphones
…are exquisite. They’re super-comfortable and sound wonderful. Noise cancellation makes them suitable for wireless listening in noisy environments. Or attach the cable and use them at home with your expensive stereo.
Best JBL In-Ear Wireless Headphones for Sports
This is a harder choice to make. If you like the freedom of true wireless earbuds and don’t need them to be waterproof, the…
…are a great deal. On the other hand, the Under Armour Flash is also true wireless and adds an IPX7 waterproof rating, but at a higher price tag.
If you prefer a model with a cable connecting the earpieces, the…
…provides an excellent mix of ear comfort, light weight, water resistance, and great sound.
Best JBL Wireless Headphones – Final Thoughts
This list is just a small representative selection of JBL’s extensive headphone catalog. You might find a similar JBL model that better meets your needs and fits your budget. In any case, you really can’t go wrong with JBL wireless headphones.