JBL is one of the most well-known consumer Audio Brands out there, and for good reason; they make a diverse range of products for all types of situations and lifestyles. Today I’m going to focus on one of their flagship athletic wireless earbuds: the Endurance Race. While JBL makes other wireless earbuds for everyday use, the Endurance race is designed specifically for extended athletic use. The Endurance Race runs for $79, putting it in fairly competitive spot in terms of athletic earbuds. Let’s see how the do.
What’s in the Box
- JBL Endurance Race TWS Headphones
- USB-A to USB-C Charging Cable
- 3 pairs Eartips
- 1 Pair Eartip Enhancers
- Charging Case
- Quick start guide/Warranty
Look and Feel
Since these are athletic headphones, comfort and durability get top priority. The Endurance Race was designed specifically for athletic use and is meant to be seamlessly integrated into a variety of different exercise styles. The optional Enhancer tips are designed using Twistlock technology, allowing the user a greater seal during more rigorous usage. The twistlock function took some getting used to for me, but after a while it felt seamless. Aesthetically, the Endruance Race is noticeable, but not overly so, and the charging case is both easily transportable and looks good. Overall, the design feels both comfortable and durable. While I didn’t try running in them, I wouldn’t worry about doing so.
While sound is important, JBL put a lot of emphasis on durability with the Endurance Race. It features an IP67 Certified dust and water proof design, meaning they can be fully submerged in water up to 1m* and can survive in nearly any climate. The bass is powered by JBL’s signature 6mm Bass Driver, which gives it rich and powerful low end response. It features the standard range of wireless Earbud features: ambient noise cancellation/monitoring, Talkthru which begins monitoring outside sound if it hears you talk, and JBL headphone app integration to customize sound parameters and controls. The Endurance Race has a battery life of 30 hours and can be fully recharged in 2.
*From JBL’s website, I didn’t personally test this
The JBL Endurance Race has a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz and an impedance of 16 Ohms.
The Endurance Race has a fitting soundstage for its purpose. While it’s ultimately up to preference, you typically don’t want an overly distracting soundstage in a pair of workout headphones. The Endurance race hits a nice balance; the stereo field is still wide enough where panning effects are present, but not so much that it becomes disorienting. The dynamics are noticeably pushed, but that allows me to hear everything in the mix regardless of background noise. While the noise cancellation is pretty good and changeable via the Ambient Aware setting, it doesn’t fully filter out background noise, since you need a level of situational awareness in most exercise settings.
I kept the EQ setting in the JBL Headphones app off unless otherwise specified
The low end is noticeably boosted, but not overly so. For exercise headphones, the Endurance Race’s low end boost is less egregious than many of its other counterparts. The lows are powerful, present, and give mixes energy. While they aren’t the most tonally complex lows I’ve ever heard, they serve their function well and do a good job of not interfering with other elements.
The mid range on these has a definite U-curve to them, and everything comes through clearly. As with the lows, the mids are pushed to the front in order to make sure you can hear them in any variety of athletic pursuits. I did find some leads and snares to sound slightly thin at times, but never in a way that was distracting.
The highs are the most subdued part of the Endurance Race. With the lows and the mids being so present, it was the right call to keep the highs more minimal. They still provide details that are needed, but you aren’t going to get an absurd amount of air or details out of these, but those would most likely be lost anyway depending on the situation you’re in. The highs never got harsh or shouty, making the Endurance Race great for long-term listening.
As somebody who absolutely requires headphones while exercising, I can safely say that the Endurance Race is easily one of the best I’ve used. I can tell that JBL put a lot of thought into both ergonomics and sound character in order to make an optimized listening experience for working out. Despite being optimized for exercise scenarios, the Endurance Race also sounds great on its own and functions well as an all around pair of headphones for day-to-day use. These are definitely worth the price if you’re looking for a solid pair of workout headphones.