After testing countless sports earphones, I’ve only found one or two brands that get the fit perfectly right. JBL is one of these companies. And thus far, none of their sports models have disappointed me in terms of build quality and sound. So, I was interested to find out what JBL can offer for really cheap. The JBL Endurance RUN is the least expensive earphone in the Endurance Series. Does it retain the great ergonomics and fun sound signature of JBL’s pricier sports models? Let’s find out in this JBL Endurance RUN Review.
JBL Endurance RUN Review
In terms of fit, JBL employs its trademark TwistLock technology. Basically, you put in the buds, and then twist them until they “lock” in place. JBL gives you the option of hooking the earphone wires around your ears or simply popping them in. This is a peculiar design because it means that you have to swap right with left depending on how you want to wear the buds. So, right might mean left, depending on how you want to wear them. Hmm…Different.
For me, the Endurance Run felt comfortably secure, and even more so with the over-ear fit. However, it felt slightly less snug (though more comfortable) than the more expensive models from JBL’s Reflect Series, like the Reflect Contour and Reflect Mini. If you sweat like Robin Williams (rest in peace), sometimes the only solution is a rubber tip that goes in the outer contour of your ear or an over-ear hook to keep the buds in place. But as long as you don’t sweat buckets, this simple design should be more than sufficient.
Remember when stereo became a thing? Neither do I because I wasn’t born. So, can we again discuss the interchangeable left and right ear buds? Don’t expect an accurate representation of your music, folks. This is a first for me. But hey, the priority here is your 3 mile run, not whether JT’s backup vocalist are singing from the left or right of the stage. And if you’re only listening to podcasts, then disregard the latter.
The general build quality of the Endurance Run seems sturdy. You’ve got a reinforced rubber T-shaped connector, and a solid remote that’s free from any wiggly buttons. It’s sleek, it’s light, it’s no nonsense. More important, the Endurance Run is sweatproof. Don’t go swimming with them, of course. But they won’t short out from a quick rinse after your run. Another fun feature is the magnetic earpieces, which stick together when they’re hanging off your ears. This way, you won’t lose one of the buds behind your neck or down your shirt.
The cable comes with a remote, which allows you to play, pause, skip tracks and answer calls. You can also activate hands free calling by using your inept voice assistant, like Siri, or her wicked stepsister, Google Assistant. (Call clarity is decent.) Unfortunately, you will have to control volume from your phone, which can be a pain in the butt when trying to work out. Another thing I would have loved is a flat cable, or one that was covered in a woven material to minimize tangles. Oh well.
First, rest assured that these inexpensive wired earphones sound better than any $50 pair of wireless earphones on the market. So, if your priority is great sound over a wire-free experience, then you’ve already won.
If you’ve owned a pair of JBL headphones, you probably love bass. Nothing to be ashamed of. Love is love. But even those who are a little bass shy can enjoy the Endurance Run because the low frequencies aren’t nearly as deep as some of their other models. In fact, for most people, it will be just the perfect amount of bass. There’s enough low-end oomf to do justice to pop and hip-hop, but not so much bass that it clouds the rest of the mix. Pop sounds clean, punchy and fast. Furthermore, in terms of genre, the Endurance Run is one of the most versatile earphones I’ve tested in the JBL line-up. Combining the rich low frequencies with a present midrange, you can expect a warm and full-bodied sound that makes big choruses sound big and meaty. And in terms of detail, I was impressed by how much clarity and separation these buds offered for the price. Acoustic guitars had decent definition and resolve, making the Endurance Run suitable for Bob Dylan fans too. But how about classical music? I’m surprised to report that the high frequencies conveyed a nice amount of transparency for $20 earphones. Strings displayed texture and nuance, while pianos offered a generally realistic sense of tone. Golf clap.
There’s not much to think about here. The fit is comfortable and secure, the build is great (besides JBL not caring about left vs right stereo channels), and the sound is primo for 20 bucks. Volume control on the remote would have been nice. But other than that, I have no complaints. I dig them.
You can find these sweat resistant kittens for the best price at:
Audio 46: JBL Endurance RUN Sports Earphones (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)
Driver Size: 8.2mm Dynamic Driver
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz