Best JBL Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best JBL headphones you can buy in 2022.
JBL is arguably best-known for its cheap and cheerful Bluetooth speakers, but the US brand also makes some superb headphones. Not heard of JBL? The firm is part of Harman, whose other audio brands include AKG and Mark Levinson, so you could say it knows a thing or two about sound quality.
How to choose the best JBL headphones for you
If you want a pair for home use, to plug into your hi-fi system, then a pair of wired over-ear headphones is probably best. For a pair to use with your phone on the go in-ear earbuds or on-ear headphones might be a better bet.
Your next decision is between wired and wireless. Wireless headphones and wireless earbuds are great for their cable-free convenience, but it's a technology that generally attracts a higher price tag compared to wired counterparts of similar sonic quality.
JBL also makes noise-cancelling headphones, for those who want to block out the world, and sport headphones, such as the Reflect Flow Pro. The latter prioritise workout-friendly features and waterproofing.
Last but not least, the best JBL headphones are typically characterised by lively, entertaining sounds with plenty of bass. We've picked our favourite models below...
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These sporty, waterproof in-ears are like champion heptathletes – strong in all areas.
Features include active noise-cancelling, complete with an ‘ambient’ mode that lets you stay aware of your surroundings, plus customisable on-bud touch controls. Battery life is strong: 10 hours from the buds plus another 20 hours from the charging case.
More importantly, JBL hasn't compromised on sound quality. The Reflect Flow Pro sound entertaining, detailed and engaging – a performance that extends well beyond what most would expect from a pair of 'workout buds'.
It’s a shame these JBLs don’t support Bluetooth in aptX form (for higher-quality transmission between them and compatible sources) or multi-point connection, but neither feels like a dealbreaker.
Whether you're after a fitness buddy or simply want a great-sounding pair of wireless buds, the Reflect Flow Pro are the best JBL headphones you can buy right now.
Read our full JBL Reflect Flow Pro review
These on-ears offer wireless Bluetooth connectivity, noise-cancelling and a double-figure battery life. Par for the course for premium on-ears, you might think, but one glance at the price and you'll do a double take.
They certainly look very appealing, although, again, the finish is not quite as hardwearing as we would like, Still, as compromises go, it's preferable to sacrificing sound quality. And it seems JBL agrees. Bass is punchy and tight, with plenty of weight and power. It lends low frequencies a depth and heft that's not matched by many headphones in this price bracket.
Dynamic shifts are handled with aplomb, while they sound expressive and confident through the whole frequency range. The one snag is that the bass can at times be a little overbearing.
The noise-cancelling is impressive as is the battery life (12 hours with wireless and noise-cancelling, 22 with noise-cancelling turned off, or 30 when plugged in with noise-cancelling on). For the money, these are truly stellar wireless on-ears.
Read the full review: JBL Tune 600BTNC
With no shortage of true wireless sports headphones around, JBL had its work cut out in this popular market. Happily, the Reflect Flows don't disappoint. They deliver a bass-heavy sound that's ideal for the gym, especially if you don't want to resort to massive cans (which, if you're moving a lot, many people won't).
Battery life is impressive too, standing at 10 hours, or 30 hours with the case. The finish started to rub off after only a few days of testing - which isn't ideal - but otherwise, they impress us.
Sound-wise, they're crisp with plenty of detail, and they time very well indeed. Bass is suitably cavernous, while the instruments sound distinct no matter how complex tracks become. The newer Reflect Pro Flow add noise cancelling technology, but if you're on a tighter budget, these are some of the best cheap true wireless earbuds around.
Read the full review: JBL Reflect Flow
The JBL LivePro+ offer some attractive features – including active noise-cancellation and oversized (11mm) full-range dynamic drivers – at an affordable price.
The active noise-cancelling is decent enough, with three stages (‘everyday’, ‘travel’ and ‘active’). Battery life is seven hours from the buds, plus three further charges from the included case. Wireless charging via any Qi-certified pad is a nice touch.
Sound is unrelentingly perky. There's proper immediacy to the way the LivePro+ handle the midrange, and enough space around a vocal for it to sound convincing. As far as ‘engagement’ and straightforward ‘fun’ are concerned, the JBL are a match for any true wireless in-ears around its price point.
If, however, you’re interested in a deeper understanding of your favourite music, these probably aren’t the earbuds for you. Still, there's no denying the Live Pro+ are good value. Worth considering.
Read our full JBL LivePro+ review
The wireless Club 700BTs are aimed at DJs on the move – they offer a bulky on-ear design that goes heavy on the bass.
They also boast a marathon battery life (50 hours!), and support for Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants. Yet despite these feature offerings, they manage to remain pretty affordable.
How? There's no noise-cancelling, which helps keep the price down and the battery life up. There's also no aptX support.
Still, there's plenty to like. They're built to withstand life on the road, and charging is very quick at under two hours. The controls are intuitive - much more so than many rivals - and the TalkThru mode lowers the music volume so you can chat with someone without taking the headphones off.
Performance-wise, they pick out a decent amount of detail and provide a real sense of space. As you would imagine for a pair of club headphones, there is plenty of bass to enjoy - at times, in fact, a little too much. But if you like your tunes with plenty of low-end, these are the cans for you.
Read the full review: JBL Club 700BT
These wireless, noise-cancelling over-ears are cheaper than the Club models above – and more compact too, able to fold down to be stashed easily in a coat pocket or bag.
Battery life is impressive, standing at 15 hours with Bluetooth and noise-cancelling activated, 22 hours with Bluetooth alone, or 30 when wired with noise-cancelling switched on. They juice up in just two hours, too.
If you want to save some battery by deactivating noise-cancellation, you'll be pleased to know the over-ear design cuts out plenty of noise on its own.
The audio is towards the low-end, which sacrifices some tonal balance throughout the frequency range. But for the price, this is a trade-off many will be happy to make.
The bass gives tracks plenty of energy, making for an undemanding listening experience. It doesn't work as well for all genres of music, but if dance, hip-hop or rock is your particular cup of tea, it certainly gives an engaging listen.
Read the full review: JBL Tune 750BTNC
These are positioned as higher-end than the JBL Club 700BT headphones in this list. That said, like their stablemates, they offer a beefy, bass-heavy sound inspired by some superstar DJs on JBL's books, like Armin Van Buuren and Nicky Romero.
As such, bass is very much the order of the day, not only in the form of a dedicated Bass Boost button but also in the tonal balance, which is skewed towards the low-end. Fans of head-nodding music will love it, but if you're looking for something a bit more refined, you may be better served elsewhere.
There are also different EQ presets to try out, some related to JBL's vinyl-spinning ambassadors. Fun, sure, but we favour the standard audio, which is very good indeed - it provides a lively, fun listen that'll have you thinking of your favourite club nights.
There's ample battery life to get you through most outings, too: 22 hours with Bluetooth and noise-cancelling activated, a mammoth 55 hours with noise-cancelling switched off, or 30 hours when plugged in using the supplied cable with noise-cancelling turned on.
Fun and exciting with lashings of bass, these are very decent headphones for mobile DJs on a budget.
Read the full review: JBL Club 950NC
How we test headphones
We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, Reading and Bath, where our team of experienced, in-house reviewers test the majority of hi-fi and AV kit that passes through our door.
Of course, testing headphones don't often require such facilities (though we do often try audiophile headphones in our reference hi-fi system). What is important in our headphones reviewing process is that each pair is compared to the best in its price and style class – whether that's one standout pair or a few we favour the highest among the 100+ pairs we listen to each year for reviews and What Hi-Fi? Awards judging. What Hi-Fi? is all about comparative testing, and we keep class-leading products in our stockrooms so we can always compare new products to ones we know and love.
We are always impartial and do our best to make sure we're hearing every product at their very best, so we'll try plenty of different types of music and give them plenty of listening time (and time to run in), while the wired headphones that might warrant being used with a DAC are tested with a suitable one. It's not just about sound quality, of course. If a pair has active noise cancellation – increasingly the case these days – we'll ensure part of our testing involves using them in different environments.
All review verdicts are agreed upon by the team rather than an individual reviewer to eliminate any personal preference and to make sure we're being as thorough as possible, too. There's no input from PR companies or our sales team when it comes to the verdict, with What Hi-Fi? proud of having delivered honest, unbiased reviews for decades.
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