JBL Endurance Peak Review

JBL Endurance Peak Review

Over the past year, JBL has consistently delighted me with great headphones at extremely affordable prices.  And now I’ve got the new JBL Endurance Peak earphone sitting on my review desk.  Priced at $95, this waterproof and sweatproof true wireless earphone offers an inexpensive listening setup for on-the-go use.  But how does it sound?

JBL Endurance Peak Review

JBL Endurance Peak Review

The Endurance Peak comes with a charging case, a micro-USB charging cable, three pairs of eartips, and a pair of rubber twistlock guards.

Relatively small in size compared to some other Endurance models, this true wireless earphone still offers a larger profile than AirPods, the RHA TrueConnect, or offerings from Audio Technica and Sennheiser.

Battery life comes in at a fair 4 hours on the earpieces, and an additional 24 hours via the charging case.  While not class-leading, that battery life is still decent – especially for a water- and sweat-proof exercise earphone.

Two spingy, rubbery clips at the back of the earphones wrap over the back of the ear, ensuring the Peak stays in place whether you’re running, lifting, cycling, or just going about your daily routine.  Aiding this, the JBL twistlock guards fit the natural contours of a wearer’s ears, securely but comfortably.

A convenient auto-off feature triggers when the earphones leave my ears and a tiny magnet in the over-ear loop makes contact with the base of each earpiece.

Playback adjusts by way of a touch-sensor on the right earpiece, though volume adjustment must still take place on your phone or other Bluetooth enabled device.  When handling phone calls, the Peak delivers sound in Mono.

Running on Bluetooth 4.2, the Endurance Peak doesn’t support aptX or AAC profiles, relying on the more basic SBC protocol.  While decent for MP3-quality files, this may compress quality for lossless formats like FLAC and ALAC.  Still, even for SBC, the sound remains impressive.

JBL Endurance Peak Review

Specifications

Frequency Range:  16-22,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance:  NA
Sound Pressure Level (SPL):  NA

From the specifications, we can gather that the JBL Endurance Peak delivers a fairly normal listening experience.  In terms of frequency range, this earphone might offer a little extra extension in the lows, but with a smooth high end.  While not rated by JBL, impedance and sound pressure seem fairly adequate, with ample volume under most conditions.

JBL Endurance Peak Review

Low End

Lows feel vibrant and full, though perhaps just a little artificial.  Despite not supporting higher-quality codecs, the sound still holds adequate detail in this part of the frequency range.  Bass comes in with impact, giving the Endurance Peak a solid if rousing profile that easily lends itself to my morning routine of pumping iron and getting swole.

Midrange

Vocals seem relatively intact, though instrumentation sounds slightly pinched or compressed here.  For pop, rock, electronic, and hip hop, this isn’t so bad; I still hear most of what I would expect to hear, though finer details and nuances may be missing.  Yet, there’s no real distortion to speak of, and the sound remains relatively natural to my ears, allowing me to still thoroughly enjoy the JBL Endurance Peak as a wireless workout earphone.

High End

Slightly rolled off, the highs don’t sound bright – or so rich as to appear harsh or uncomfortable.  Female vocals remain smooth and contrasting, though some instrumentation (particularly violins) may suffer here.  All in all, it’s still a competent and enjoyable high end, and one that remains engaging despite any shortcomings.

Soundstage (?)

It should come as no surprise that the Endurance Run lacks a true sense of soundstage.  Afterall, we’re talking about a true wireless, in-ear headphone here – and one that doesn’t support AAC or aptX.  That being said, there’s the tiniest amount of depth to the sound, allowing things to sound interesting, but never really feeling as wide-open as a higher-end pair of earphones.

JBL Endurance Peak Review

Call Quality

Call quality seems decent, with the mono sound feature allowing calls to be heard with better quality.  Pickup with the on-board mic is decent, though I did have to make sure I was enunciating my words at times; performance may be less stellar if you tend to mumble.

JBL Endurance Peak Review

Recommendations

Overall, the JBL Endurance Peak offers excellent value for the price, though the sound quality may not measure up to audiophile standards.  Still, for a scant $119, the sound remains passable compared to most other earphones.  Add in the true wireless factor, along with some excellent build quality and neat design choices, and you’ve got a pretty impressive earphone.

If you’re willing to spend more, I might recommend the Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW earphones – but only if you have a lot of lossless audio on your phone and need to keep the quality.  Otherwise, even this earphone loses out to the Endurance Peak.

But what if $119 lands outside your price range?  Is there a cheaper alternative that delivers the same experience?  Well, a similar sound can be had from the JBL Reflect Contour2 at $99.  While this model retains a cable that hangs at the back of a user’s neck, it also offers a decent 10 hours of battery life and reflective piping on the cable.

Final Analysis

As a true wireless earphone for working out – and one that won’t break the bank – the JBL Endurance Peak strikes me as a success.  The $119 price tag is a paltry burden to bear when considering the perks of this earphone – a good sound, strong build, and great features that make using it a breeze and a half.  Our take?  For a truly wireless workout solution, the JBL Endurance Peak is a home run.

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