Touted as the lightest in-ear headphone, the JBL Reflect Mini writes some big checks. But with a price tag of $59.95, how does it stack up to other earphones?
JBL Reflect Mini Review
The Reflect Mini comes packaged with two pairs of regular silicon eartips and two pairs of ergonomic silicon eartips – complete with clips that gently press against the contours of your ears to hold them in place during exercise.
To be sure, these earphones are exceedingly lightweight. Comfort, too, is top-notch. Without using the ergonomic tips, you’re likely to forget they’re in your ears. But even the ergonomic tips, while a little less comfortable, are still an amazing fit – they remained in my ears even when I took the Reflect Mini for a quick run.
Frequency Range: 10-22,000 Hz
The only given specification for the Reflect Mini is the frequency range. However, the impedance seems to be very low – in the twenties or teens, so it should be perfect for mobile devices and portable players. Harmonic distortion seems to be okay – the sound is neither messy nor squeaky clean, but so-so. Volume is decent – if I had to guess, I’d peg it at around 110-115 dB.
With plenty of detail and decent control, the low end on the Reflect Mini is of surprising quality. Bass impact is present, but nowhere near overpowered. This helps prevent the bleeding we see with other entry level sports earphones. So yeah, mad props to JBL on this tight low end.
Practically perfect in almost every respect, the midrange offers accurate instrumentation and vocals. Without the usual compression or distortion that we see on cheaper earphones, the sound here is nothing short of awesome.
If there has to be a down side to the JBL Reflect Mini, it’s the high end, which sounds just a tad bit thin. While not too bright, the middle highs seem a bit lacking in detail, making the high end in general sound a bit hollow and out-of-sync.
With some depth and placement, the Reflect Mini has about as much soundstage as an in-ear headphone ought to have. The sound still seems very much inside your head, but with plenty of contrast and articulation.
It’s lightweight, it’s comfortable, it sounds great in the lows and mids, but lacks some detail in the highs. Despite my penchant for listening to violin concertos, I still have to admit this is one hell of an earphone.
If you’re looking for a new workout earphone and don’t want tons of bass, the JBL Reflect Mini is definitely for you. With ample detail, it’s a hard one to beat. In fact, if you’re looking for a sweat-proof earphone with a neutral sound, this is probably as close as you’re going to get. Sure, you could also consider the super-popular Jaybird X2, but you’re only going to get more bass and less detail, with a higher price to boot.
If you do want more bass, though, and you’d prefer to stay at the same price, you could always consider the much-recommended Sennheiser CX 2.00 (though it isn’t sweat-resistant).
Stop hemming and hawing over the lesser workout earphones and give the JBL Reflect Mini the attention it deserves. Its even-keeled sound signature and wealth of detail ensure a refreshing listening experience you won’t soon forget.