Single JBL UA True Wireless Flash bud in-earSource: JBL

Best JBL Headphones Android Central 2020

JBL isn't as popular as it once was but the brand still makes some great headphones and other audio products, especially ones at reasonable price points. The JBL Live 650BTNC are our best overall pick for having excellent sound, battery life, and comfort.

Best Overall: JBL Live 650 BTNC

JBL Live 650 BTNCSource: JBL

The JBL Live 650 BTNC have the best combination of sound, battery life, and comfort. So let's start with their strong suit: battery life. While there's no fast charging of any sort, the Live 650 BTNC last 30 hours on a single charge. You can get through a long flight and still have some juice leftover. Unfortunately, they use the older Micro-USB connector for charging, which isn't ideal in 2020 where most gadgets are now using USB-C.

The sound quality is exceptional. Despite the bass being boosted, which gives the sound a rather warm sound signature, the rest of it is still balanced and great. Dynamic range is excellent but the soundstage is rather mediocre — it sounds narrow and unnatural.

The Live 650 BTNC feature active noise cancelation (ANC) and an ambient sound mode as well. The ANC is right where you'd expect it to be — in line with previous generations of Sony and Bose's ANC headphones. It's not the best money can buy, but it's still much better than having no ANC whatsoever. You may struggle to hear others around you with the ambient sound mode, especially in louder environments, but it's fine in practically every other case.

Comfort is decent. While you likely won't experience any ear fatigue or pain when they're on your head, your ears may get warm after extended use, possibly forcing you to take breaks in between listening sessions. However, the Live 650 BTNC are decently portable and the ear cups fold and swivel to lay flat. They still leave a rather large footprint in your bag, but fortunately, the carrying pouch is super slim.

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • Solid, warm sound signature
  • Great comfort in short bursts
  • Good ANC performance

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • No fast charging
  • Earcups can get warm after extended use

Best Overall

JBL Live 650 BTNC

All around headphones

The JBL Live 650 BTNC are a pair of solid all-around headphones with great sound and battery life.

Best Workout Buds: JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless

JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless outdoorsSource: JBL

The JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless are great workout buds with their IPX7 water resistance rating. This means that the earbuds can withstand exposure to a puddle, sweat, rain, or snow. The only thing they aren't good for is being used for swimming, though you really shouldn't be using earbuds underwater anyways.

The Endurance Sprint Wireless have a fun sound signature. The bass and treble are boosted quite a bit, while the mids are recessed. This creates a piercing and sharp sound that some may find uncomfortable after a few minutes of listening. Dynamic range, however, is excellent and soundstage is mediocre, but that's expected as most earbuds won't have great soundstage.

Battery life is pretty great with up to nine hours on a single charge. There's no fast charging and they charge over Micro-USB. This means that once they die, you'll be looking at roughly two hours to recharge.

Comfort and fit are excellent thanks to their hook and bud design. This allows the Endurance Sprint Wireless to hook around your ear in addition to being in-ear earbuds, making it nearly impossible for them to fall out. Since they're not true wireless earbuds, the wire helps prevent the loss of a single earbud and adds stability to the buds.

Pros:

  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Excellent comfort and stability
  • Fun sound signature
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Treble boost can be fatiguing
  • Micro-USB for charging
  • No fast charging

Best Workout Buds

JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless

Workout champ

The Endurance Sprint from JBL are excellent workout companions with IPX7 water resistance and nine hours of battery life.

Best On-Ear: JBL Live 400BT

JBL Live 400BT outdoors lifestyleSource: JBL

While not as popular as they once were, on-ear headphones are still fantastic for a handful of reasons including great sound without complete isolation. Enter the JBL Live 400BT, the best on-ear headphone the company currently offers.

The JBL Live 400BT perform excellently with an overall balanced sound signature. The bass is a bit boosted, giving them a slightly warmer sound. However, thanks to their on-ear design, the bass response is highly inconsistent. In some cases, the bass will be vastly boosted, while other times the bass can sound underwhelming. Dynamic range is good but the soundstage is small and instrument separation isn't all that great.

However, battery life is superb with up to 24 hours of battery life on a single charge. There's no fast charging, which means you'll be stuck waiting for roughly two hours to charge from an empty battery. The Live 400BT also charge over Micro-USB, which isn't ideal as the world continues to move to USB-C.

Comfort is decent at best thanks to the on-ear design. The ear cup will more than likely come into contact with the top of your ears as the cups aren't that large. Fortunately, you won't have any issues with warmth on your ear or discomfort towards the crown of your head. They are also fairly lightweight and portable making them super easy to tuck away in your bag when you're done using them.

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Comfort is OK
  • Micro-USB for charging
  • No fast charging

Best On-Ear

JBL Live 400BT

Lightweight and portable

The JBL Live 400BT feature great sound quality and long battery life. They are super portable and lightweight as well.

Best In-Ear: JBL Reflect Mini 2

JBL Reflect Mini 2Source: CNET

The JBL Reflect Mini 2's sound signature is solid. The bass is boosted by a good margin, giving them an overall warmer sound signature. Both the mids and treble are balanced overall, the dynamic range is excellent, and soundstage is almost non-existent (although this is expected as most earbuds have a small soundstage due to their size).

Comfort is excellent if you're alright with their wing and bud design. Instead of a hook like some other fitness-style earbuds, the wing attaches to the inner portion of your ear. Some may find this uncomfortable or the buds may flat out not stay in your ear. That aside, the Reflect Mini 2 are super comfortable and you shouldn't have any issues with ear fatigue or pain. Being earbuds, the Reflect Mini 2 are super portable and can easily be worn around your neck or thrown in your pocket.

Battery life is excellent with up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. Unlike most other JBL headphones, the Reflect Mini 2 feature fast charging. With their fast charging technology, you'll get an hour of audio playback with a 15-minute charge. They charge over Micro-USB which isn't ideal, especially if you own a modern smartphone.

Pros:

  • Great sound
  • Excellent comfort
  • Long battery life
  • Fast charging!

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Wing design may not fit some ears

Best In-Ear

JBL Reflect Mini 2

In-ear tunes

With long battery life, great sound, and comfort, the JBL Reflect Mini 2 are perfect for those who want in-ear earbuds.

Best Over-Ear: JBL E55BT Wireless

Lifestyle of JBL E55BTSource: JBL

The JBL E55BT Wireless are not only stylish but are also functional. They sound solid with a good, boosted bass. The midrange is slightly boosted and the treble is balanced.

Comfort is excellent if you have smaller ears. Despite them being marketed as a set of over-ear headphones, the cups aren't as large as others. At the same time, the cups aren't small enough to classify as an on-ear headphone either. If your ears are small, the fit is great but if you have average or bigger ears (like me) the headphone will cause major discomfort, especially around the top of your ear. Otherwise, the headband probably won't squeeze your head too much and your ears won't get warm, even after long periods of listening.

Battery life is great with up to 20 hours on a single charge. The earbuds aren't fast charging-capable, which means you'll be waiting around two hours if you have a dead battery. Unfortunately, you're stuck with Micro-USB for charging as well.

Pros:

  • Great comfort for smaller ears
  • Long battery life
  • Solid, bass-boosted sound

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Not fast charge capable
  • Can be uncomfortable for larger ears

Best Over-Ear

JBL E55BT

Over-ear tunes

Bass heads reunite! The E55BT feature a fantastic, bass-boosted sound with great battery life, and decent comfort.

Best True Wireless Buds: JBL UA True Wireless Flash

Single JBL UA True Wireless Flash bud in-earSource: JBL

The JBL UA True Wireless Flash feature surprisingly excellent sound. Other than a slightly recessed treble, they are rather balanced overall. Dynamic range is excellent and soundstage is mediocre, but that's to be expected with earbuds.

Comfort is excellent. The UA True Wireless Flash use a wing and bud combination to maximize comfort and fit. You won't have any issues with ear fatigue or discomfort as the buds don't enter the ear canal at all. Portability is excellent (these are wireless earbuds, after all). The included charging case is rugged and is a little bit larger than most charging cases for truly wireless earbuds, but it'll fit most pockets just fine, even if your pocket is packed filled with other things.

Battery life is decent with up to five hours of listening time on a single charge. The charging case will net you an additional 20 hours, giving you a total of 25 hours of battery life. While that's all great, the charging case uses the Micro-USB connector, which isn't ideal as USB-C becomes more common.

Pros:

  • Decent battery life
  • Excellent comfort
  • Superb sound quality

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Case is a bit large

Best True Wireless Buds

JBL UA True Wireless Flash

Cord-free listening

The JBL UA True Wireless Flash offer great sound, battery life, and comfort. Their only downside is charging over Micro-USB.

Best Value: JBL Tune T120TWS True Wireless

Single JBL Tune T120TWS earbud lifestyleSource: Amazon

If you're looking for the best bang for your buck, and want to stick with JBL, the Tune T120TWS True Wireless are your best bet. In terms of sound quality, they are bass boosted quite a bit. The mids and treble are balanced, giving them a warmer, bass-heavy sound overall.

In terms of comfort, the Tune T120TWS True Wireless are excellent. The earbuds are super small and the ear tips don't shove in your ear canal. You won't experience any sort of discomfort or fatigue from them unless you're not a huge fan of bass, which could be an issue.

For battery life, you'll get four hours of audio playback on the buds themself, with an additional 12 hours with the charging case, netting you a total of 16 hours of battery life, which isn't bad by any means. You'll also get fast charging, with a 15-minute charge adding an extra hour of charging time on the case. Unfortunately, you're stuck with Micro-USB here when it comes to charging the included charging case.

Pros:

  • Long battery life (buds + case)
  • Excellent, bass-heavy sound
  • Superb comfort
  • Fast charging capable case
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Could be uncomfortable for those who don't like bass

Best Value

JBL Tune T120TWS True Wireless

Great sound for a low price

The Tune T120TWS offer great battery life, sound quality, fast charging, and comfort for a great price.

Bottom line

JBL isn't the audio brand it used to be, but its reputation has remained steady over the years. You can get solid audio accessories, including headphones, for a reasonable price. They're not the most technologically advanced headphones — all the entries on this list still use the aging Micro-USB port for charging, for example — but you'll still be getting great bang for your buck in most cases.

The JBL Live 650BTNC are the best all-around headphones the company makes. They offer great battery life, solid ANC performance, and a superb warm sound signature many people will love.

Their only real downside is that the ear cups get warm after a little bit of use, and the fact that they're still using Micro-USB for charging. The latter seems to be more of a JBL issue though, as most of their headphones, even newly released ones, are still using that connector.

How to choose the best JBL headphones

JBL Synchros headphones lifestyleSource: JBL

When looking at JBL headphones, the company typically focuses on the overall experience more than anything else. There are a few outliers, but generally speaking, JBL creates great headphones regardless of the price point.

You'll also want to look at comfort, which JBL is pretty decent at. Some of their headphones are super comfortable, while others can be comfortable with a little work.

Lastly, battery life is super important as you don't want to get stuck with dead headphones halfway through an 18-hour flight. Longer battery life is ideal here, but whether or not they can fast charge is important as well.

Sound Quality

Sound quality should be the top priority for potential headphone buyers. It doesn't matter if they're super comfortable or look pretty if you can't hear what you want to listen to. Fortunately, JBL makes great-sounding Bluetooth headphones.

The Live 400BT makes the top of our list for having an overall great sound, including a balanced midrange and treble response and great soundstage.

Our second pick goes to the UA True Wireless Flash. While they don't have the greatest soundstage, the sound signature itself is balanced, giving you a set of earbuds that will reproduce sound the way the artist intended.

Best JBL headphones, ranked by sound quality

  1. JBL Live 400BT
  2. JBL UA True Wireless Flash
  3. JBL E55BT Wireless
  4. JBL Reflect Mini 2
  5. JBL Live 650 BTNC

Comfort

JBL has a spotty track record when it comes to comfort. Some of their headphones are super comfortable, while others become uncomfortable almost immediately or after a little bit of usage.

The Tune T120TWS True Wireless and UA True Wireless Flash surprisingly take our top two spots as the most comfortable JBL headphones on our list. Both are true wireless earbuds and feature excellent comfort. There are no signs of discomfort or fatigue, even after several hours of listening.

Our third pick is another set of earbuds, the Endurance Sprint Wireless. They feature a hook and bud design and can be super comfortable once you find the right tip size. After you get the fit just right, they'll be ready to go for several hours at a time. It's unlikely that you'll feel any discomfort or fatigue.

Best JBL headphones, ranked by comfort

  1. JBL Tune T120TWS True Wireless
  2. JBL UA True Wireless Flash
  3. JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless
  4. JBL Reflect Mini 2
  5. JBL 650 BTNC

Battery Life

Unsurprisingly, over-ear headphones tend to have longer battery life than earbuds, and that holds true here. Our top two picks are the Live 650 BTNC and Live 400BT, both of which are over-ear headphones. The Live 650BTNC get up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge, while the 400BT net you 24 hours.

Our third pick is a pair of true wireless earbuds, the UA True Wireless Flash. They technically get more battery life than the 400BT, at 25 hours and 24 hours respectively. However, the 400BT gets 24 continuous hours of listening while the UA True Wireless Flash require a break every four hours to recharge in the included charging case.

Best JBL headphones, ranked by battery life

  1. JBL Live 650 BTNC
  2. JBL Live 400BT
  3. JBL UA True Wireless Flash
  4. JBL E55BT Wireless
  5. JBL Tune T120TWS True Wireless

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Peter Cao is constantly listening to and analyzing headphones and earbuds. When he's not on the clock, he plays video games or listening to even more headphones.

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