Recently we checked out one of JBL’s more mid-tier noise-canceling headphones with the Live 660 NC. It featured a tight but punchy sound signature, and a solid amount of noise-canceling with extra features. In my opinion, JBL has become one of the most reliable wireless headphone manufacturers on the market, producing functional products with good battery life and only the latest in Bluetooth connectivity. The Reflect Mini NC is like the Live 660 NC but in true wireless form. Some of their true wireless earphones have been successful, but their sports-focused models have been their bread and butter in this area. Is the Reflect Mini NC one of the best of the bunch?
What You Get
- 1 x REFLECT Mini NC
- 3 x Sizes of ear tips
- 3 x Sizes Earfin Stabilizers
- 1 x Charging case
- 1 x Charging cable type-C
- 1 x Warranty/Warning (W/!)
- 1 x QSG/Safety Sheet (S/i)
Look and Feel
On the outside, these appear like your standard JBL true wireless workout bud. It’s unstemmed and goes for a more simplistic, ergonomic style of earphones. There’s an effort made to add a bit more flair to the outside touch surface of the earbuds, with a silver ring adding some aesthetic flourish to the Mini NC. Otherwise, this is a mostly plastic build with exchangeable rubber wing fins. As for the fit, the Reflect Mini NC an exceptionally sturdy earphone, and should sustain its support through rough workout routines. Jogging with the Reflect Mini NC should be a breeze, and you shouldn’t have to worry about them falling out no matter the ear size.
Design and Functionality
The smaller 6mm driver features a solid amount of power as far as true wireless earbuds are concerned. I find this issue isn’t as present with JBL products, and the Reflect Mini NC continues that prospect. Like most of their other products, the Reflect Mini NC features app support from JBL’s “My Headphones” app. Here you can access noise-canceling and ambient mode without having to use the touch controls. If you do plan to use the touch controls, they’re very responsive and provide good feedback. I wouldn’t expect anything less from JBL. The noise-canceling is very effective, as you can adjust in certain ways through ANC tuning. Other app features include changeable controls, and an optional EQ with a few presets.
Bluetooth 5.1 gives the Reflect Mini NC a stable connection and high range. During my time listening to the earbuds, I never experienced any delays or dropouts.
You should get about 7 hours of playtime at full charge with the Reflect Mini NC. With an additional 14 hours supplied by the charging case, that should bring the earbuds to a total battery life of 21 hours. I was able to get in a lot of listening time with these buds, as I do with most JBL products. For the most part, you can always expect a generous battery life with any JBL product, and the Reflect Mini NC should be able to last you through entire workouts and long commutes.
To be honest, expecting a wide and layered soundstage from JBL might be asking for too much. It really isn’t their wheelhouse. With that being said there’s still a considerable amount of clarity to enjoy, but it’s presented within a constricted headspace. Spatial imaging is somewhat intact but is never allowed to feel truly open. The sounds just bounce around their bubble, which in some ways is effective with certain genres, especially ones that are more synonymous with popular workout playlists. In that sense, the Reflect Mini NC is doing its job, just don’t expect much else outside of some effective separation and transparency.
Like with most JBL products, you can expect an ample bass response from the Reflect Mini NC. It’s tight and solid, featuring a bodied tonality that makes the most considerable impact throughout the sound signature. The bass is presented as pushed more forward than the other bands of frequency, but it never feels too bloated or overbearing. When using the Reflect Mini NC as workout buds, you’ll rejoice with how much punch and impact is produced within its timbre. Hip-hop beats have a strong vibrating resonance, while hard rock and metal provide a hearty slam that keeps the listener engaged.
The midrange also has a considerable amount of fullness to them. I appreciated the limited recession in the frequency response, as a good number of true wireless earbuds seem to include. Although they’re still set back amongst the more prevalent bass tones, the mid frequencies still stick out with nice textures and details here and there. Of course, you can do your best with the EQ to attenuate some frequency bands or bring them out. Naturally, the mids fulfill instrumental clarity and vocal articulation.
There doesn’t appear to be a strong treble presence on the Reflect Mini NC in any sense. The most aggressive tones are completely smoothed out, so much so the timbre of the highs becomes hollow. There’s just not much emphasis here, making a lot of the timbre appear much more flat. On certain tracks, there are sparks of color, but even then their ability is completely limited. It’s easy to digest, and never harsh, but some sizzle would have been welcome here.
JBL excels in making effective wireless products for a casual audience to enjoy. As a pair of workout buds, the Reflect Mini NC will give you most of what you might be asking for. It has a tight, hard-hitting sound signature with efficient noise-canceling and responsive controls. The level of quality here is rather standard for JBL at this price range, so if it sounds like it’s up your alley you’ll definitely enjoy it.
Pros and Cons
- Effective noise-canceling
- Strong bass
- Responsive controls
- App support with EQ
- Stable connection
- Limited treble
- tight soundstage
The JBL Reflect Mini NC is available at Audio 46.