JBL is a brand that has grown massively in my estimations in recent years. My feelings have evolved from seeing them as a value brand to being really excited when their tech lands in for review. The latest gear to land in is the JBL Reflect Pro Flow. They landed at a great time, just as I was starting to hit the gym. I’ve been going now for nearly three months using these regularly. I definitely feel like these are the best earbuds or headphones for running or working out in the gym.
One of the most important things to look out for in a pair of headphones for running or working out is the design. If you’re looking for a pair of earbuds you need to ensure they’re going to be a snug fit. Ironically, not that long ago this was the downfall of JBL earbuds reviewed by Alex, so I was on high alert straight away.
I’m doing lots of new stuff in the gym. Lying down for bench press, jumping up for burpees and generally just moving around quite a bit. Combining several important design aspects like weight and multiple tips and winglets in the box ensure you get a perfectly snug fit with these buds.
All of this reduces the strain of the buds on your ears, meaning you can wear them longer and focus on your workout. JBL actually launched Project Rock a while back so pop on his rap track and you’re guaranteed to lift more than ever.
An important additional note on the design front is the IP68 rating. The secure fit means you can, in theory, wear these swimming or more conservatively in the shower after your workout.
One area of the design which does stand out as fairly poor is the touch controls. I do feel for JBL here because they’ve fit in an impossible amount of quality and tech into these tiny buds, leaving a small surface area for controls. Through a series of single, double or triple taps on either bud you can control everything. For me, it’s just too much and I always give up and reach for my phone.
Straight out of the traps I’m saying the sound is brilliant, which I’m not at all surprised by for JBL. There’s supreme balance between treble and bass that makes various styles of music crisp and clear but also packs quite a punch. The only fault I could find is that the Custom EQ isn’t going to be for everyone, but at the same time, most people will never go near it anyway.
To support the great sound is some incredible active noise cancelling, an area of earbuds that are mind-blowingly good these days. Whether it be the blocking out the electro house of the gym’s playlist or the grunting counting of the guy on the nearest machine, you can focus on your tunes or podcasts much better than you could with regular earbuds.
The final, also very important, area of sound quality is for calls. While these don’t quite meet the same call quality as the Huawei Freebuds 4, mainly down to the lack of a stem, they are perfectly ok for calls in most scenarios. This is thanks to six internal mics picking up your audio.
Battery And Other Features
The onboard battery life of these buds is something else. With ANC turned on you’ll get up to eight hours and that’s legit. Turn off ANC and you’ll get up to ten hours. That makes these a proper alternative to over-ear headphones on long-distance flights. Better still, the nicely designed carry case stashes a further 20 hours which means you can stay away from a plug for 30 hours. The case even supports wireless charging which, for me, is far beyond a gimmick when you do have wireless charge pads dotted around the home. You can also charge using USB-C if that’s more your thing.
In terms of bonus features, the JBL Reflect Pro Flow support Google Assistant and Alexa, giving you touch-free controls and access to the smart assistant of your choice on the go.
JBL Reflect Pro Flow: The Verdict
There are no better headphones for the gym on the market right now. I’ve tried lots of different styles and approaches to audio while working out but the JBL Reflect Pro Flow are the only buds that are bordering on perfection for working out. Along with my smart padlock, these are one of my favourite gym gadgets.
The one catch is that these are pricy at the bones of €200. You can buy the JBL Reflect Pro Flow from Amazon.co.uk.