The new JBL Reflect Mini BT is a wireless workout earphone with a unique sound, a good fit, and a competitive price of just $99.95. But is it the right earphone for you?
JBL Reflect Mini BT Review
These earphones come with two regular-fit silicon tips, as well as two ergonomic tips – complete with clips that press against the contours of your ear for a superior fit. Also included in the box is a USB charging cable.
At first glance, the build looks a bit uncomfortable, with most of the electronics jammed into the fairly large earpieces. However, after fitting them in place, I have to say the result is quite comfortable – it’s all too easy to forget you even have them in there.
Pairing is easy – just hold down the power button on the in-line remote, give it a second or two, and you can connect. Battery life is rated at eight hours, but I stretched mine right up to nine with the volume at a comfortable level.
Frequency Range: 10-22,000 Hz
Like the non-wireless Reflect Mini, the BT version only has the frequency range listed on the box. However, the nominal impedance is low (in order to work with portable players and smartphones), and volume is decent – though it doesn’t seem quite as loud as the wired version. I guess it’s right around 105 or 110 dB, while harmonic distortion is probably less than or equal to 0.5%.
Without the usual exaggerated bass we see on most workout earphones, the JBL Reflect Mini BT offers a breath of fresh air. There is still some bass, and with decent impact, too. But control is surprisingly good, minimizing bleed and ensuring a clean-sounding low end.
The mids on the Reflect Mini BT might suffer from a slight amount of compression, but it seems barely noticeable most of the time. In general, the midrange exhibits some impressive clarity and tonal accuracy – enough to give me the impression of a fairly flat and even-keeled sound that lends itself well to critical listening with any genre of music.
Slight relaxed and nowhere near bright, the high end offers some detail, but may also exhibit some clipping where the high highs are concerned. That being said, the resulting sound is smooth, if just a little less detailed. Female vocals are still commendable, and even tracks making heavy use of strings aren’t at a total loss. Suffice to say, if you prefer a slightly subdued high end, you’ll love this sound.
To its credit, the JBL Reflect Mini BT does sport some impressive depth. However, placement is, as to be expected with an in-ear headphone, practically nonexistent. As a result, some instruments sound squashed together, and it’s hard to pinpoint their positions in regard to soundstage, but the sound is still deep, with ample detail. It’s not the perfect earphone for Tannhauser, but it’s still a good runner up.
The JBL Reflect Mini BT goes against the grain by offering a sound rarely heard with most workout earphones – a relatively flat and even-keeled listening experience that delivers on detail while keeping things comfortable.
If you just have to have more bass in your workout routine, skip this earphone for the more expensive Jaybird X2. However, if you don’t want to add bass to every single track in your exercise soundtrack, I recommend the Reflect Mini BT as an accurate, comfortable alternative. And at $99, it’s a steal – Klipsch sells a similar sound with wireless compatibility for $149, and their earphone isn’t even sweat resistant.
With a decent price, a good fit, and an incredibly accurate sound, the JBL Reflect Mini BT skips massive amounts of bass in favor of a more controlled approach – one that is sure to impress critical and casual listeners alike.
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