These two new earphones from JBL look nearly identical, but their price tag isn’t. What makes the $40 difference? Learn more in our JBL Endurance DIVE vs SPRINT comparison review.
JBL Endurance DIVE vs SPRINT, What’s the $40 Difference?
JBL Endurance DIVE vs SPRINT – Build & Design
At first glance, these earphones look very much the same. However, a closer look reveals a thicker, more durable cable on the JBL DIVE. Both units feature soft flex hooks, but Endurance DIVE’s is thicker. Since it is specifically designed for use in the pool and need to stay put while you free dive and open swim. SPRINT’s lighter cable makes sense for a unit that is primarily used for fitness regimens outside of water.
The earbud housings and ear tips are the same despite the DIVE’s primary aquatic functions. I tried both of these earbuds outside of water and found that they feel the same. The over-ear-hooks are angled and designed with a twist and lock feature that take getting used to, but once properly situated they are very comfortable. I unfortunately didn’t have access to a pool to truly test how the ear tips compare to underwater earplugs, though my co-worked did and described the experience as:
“You just pop them in and turn them until they seal in your ear. They feel about as comfortable as your Speedo goggles. That is, they’re not cotton balls in your ears, but they certainly don’t hurt.”
Regardless, both pairs of earbuds provide a decent amount of sound isolation.
JBL Endurance DIVE vs SPRINT – Features
Interesting enough is that both JBL Endurance SPRINT and Endurance DIVE are waterproof with an IP rating of IPX7. This means SPRINT and DIVE can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. A drawback of the DIVE, as pointed out by my co-worker, was that DIVE cannot maintain the Bluetooth signal once underwater. However, this is where the $40 difference makes itself known. DIVE is built with 1 GB of internal memory that holds up to 200 MP3 formatted song – perfect for underwater use. That $40 also gets you a silicone case. The addition of internal memory makes sense to me since the local pool I’ve been to in the past doesn’t allow cellphones due to safety and privacy concerns, so essentially there’d be nothing to hook these earphones up to.
Both earpieces are button-less and are designed with touch controls that are rather sensitive, to the point where trying to adjust the volume often results in pausing your music. However, I’m not one to constantly adjust my volume so it’s not a deal breaker. Their unique looking earbud housings are built with touch surfaces. SPRINT’s touch surface surfaces feature a single LED which indicates powering on, pairing, and connected. DIVE features two different LEDs, one for pairing in addition to a second for the MP3 player.
DIVE and SPRINT provide an 8 hour battery life and can provide an 1 hour of playtime with a quick 10 minute charge.
JBL Endurance DIVE vs SPRINT – Sound & Overall Performance
As far as sound goes, I was incredibly surprised to find that the units sounded exactly the same offering a punchy low end with nice sub-bass. The mids are lush while the highs (at least for me) were the right amount of present. Though, some may find them a teeny tiny bit bright.Otherwise, both of these earphones truly deliver. P.S. Both are built with 100 mm dynamic drivers and reach a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hertz.
I find the only real difference is a thicker wire and internal memory on the DIVE. If you don’t plan to swim with your wireless buds you may want to save yourself a few bucks. however, if the opportunity to go phone-less is mildy appealing (and if so, interesting) then the $40 for a wireless walk man makes total sense. The choice is yours.
JBL Endurance DIVE vs SPRINT – Specs (DIVE & SPRINT)
Driver Size: 10mm, Dynamic Driver
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
Battery Life: 8 Hrs
Quick Charge: 10 min = 1 Hr