JBL Free Review: The long-awaited JBL Free Truly Wireless Earbuds are here rivaling Apple AirPods. As the resident truly wireless earbud tester here at MajorHiFi, I decided to give these babies a whirl and see how they hold up.
JBL Free Review, Truly Wireless Earbuds
JBL Free Review – Pairing
This step isn’t as easy as I’d like it to be. It took me a couple of tries as well as my co-worker. The first time pairing is always the toughest, but after it should become a bit easier.
*I will admit as a special note, that the left earbud cut out on me every so often. This was not the case for my co-worker. Though, he did mention the buds took him a good 20 minutes or so to pair. I’m still on the hunt for why the left earbud issue happened to me. When I figure that out I will update this story.
JBL Free Review – Build/Design
The buds are built out of a hard grade, durable material – the kind you find on affordable, but well-crafted headphones. To achieve a comfortable and proper placement, the buds need to be fit with the included gel sleeves and gel ear tips which come in a number of different sizes.
The buds are shaped like half of a heart that’s slightly curved. This allows the earpiece to nestle and secure itself within the conch of your ear. I’ve used other TWS buds with this shape and I’ll admit for me this fit isn’t usually ideal. After awhile, my ears ache from having something foreign wedged inside the conch all day. However, I did not experience the ache with JBL Free. I think it’s because these ear pieces are smaller than others I have tried. This snug fit actually holds the earpieces inside of your ears pretty well. I tried shaking my head vigorously from side to side and the buds stayed in place.
The front of the buds feature LED lights (blue and white) around the logo which indicate whether the earpieces are in pairing mode, charging mode, or just low on battery life. They alternate between blue and white.
JBL Free Review – Features
The buds are also water resistant with an IP rating of IPX5 which means these buds are equipped to survive against powerful jetting water. You can’t take them for a swim, but you’re more than welcome to take a jog in the rain while wearing them.
Commands are performed by pressing on the logo (on either earbud) which acts as a single multifunction button. The right earbud allows users to pause and play music as well as answer and end calls. The left earbud allows users to skip back and forth between tracks.
JBL Free Review – Performance
The buds are able to reach a pretty efficient battery life in comparison to its competitors. Many other TWS earbuds run on a short life span of 2.5 hours while one of the best, being Apple AirPods run up to 5 hours. Other top competitors reach about 4-4.5 hours. These buds reach up to 4 hours. I’d say this is a pretty good amount of time. The portable charging case supplies an additional 20 hours. I find a small, portable case pivotal in keeping your tunes going and really make the TWS experience worthwhile. When the buds aren’t in use it’s quite natural to place them back in the case for safe keeping. It’s an added benefit to have them charge while stored away.
When it comes to sound, JBL Free is better than expected. Iterating the sound of their other wireless headphones, these truly wireless earbuds provide clear audio with a progressive midrange, decent highs, and a relaxed bass line. The buds could provide more clarity, but one could fairly argue that truly wireless earbuds for $149.99 can only provide so much. Compared to the high number of TWS earbuds I’ve tested, JBL Free checkout as pretty darn good. Though, bass heads may want to look elsewhere if looking for a more progressive bass line. Jaybird Run can do that for you.
Interested? Grab JBL Free at the lowest price at Audio46. Use discount code “majorhifi” to receive a percentage off of your order when checking out.