Neutral bass with forward vocals come in a budget-friendly pair of sport earphones from JBL.
Hey everyone, Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room. I’m looking for some cheap sport earbuds and seeing if there’s an alternative to some of the more expensive brands out there. I just reviewed several from Jabra and they did very well in my tests, but today, we’re looking at one from JBL. It’s the Reflect Mini BT’s priced at $99 retail as of this review. As always, you can click on my affiliate link above for the most up to date prices.
PHYSICAL DESIGN & COMFORT
Going over the physical features first, these are a very simple design. The eartips provided have two sets that are a one-piece design that sits in-ear with the attached ear-wing up top. The other two sets are just the in-ear tips themselves, and no ear-wing provided. Either case, the material used are very soft, very comfortable in the ear, and more importantly, they stayed in my ear very well during workouts and during runs. The only issue is they do attract a good bit of dust. Moving to the design and durability, these are all plastic construction with rubber-like ends for a very grippy texture, and the wire guards below are protected with the same material. I know some will have the same concern about how thin the wire is, and indeed, it does feel thin, yet with my time wearing these and throwing them into my bag like any other pair of earphones I’ve tested, they haven’t shown any signs of issues or disconnection. Moving down to the in-line volume controller, I do admit, the buttons feel a bit cheap, they don’t give as much feedback as you’d like to affirm an action – nonetheless, they do work.
On the backside of the controller, there’s a micro-USB port for charging the Reflect Mini. For my test, from a dead battery to full had taken 1 hour and 34 mins to charge, and regarding battery life, JBL claims up to 8 hours of use and from my test of leaving these at about 60% volume, they died at 9 hours and 17 minutes – not bad in that aspect. I would, however, use some caution, as reading up on other customer reviews on both JBL’s website and Amazon, there’s a good handful of people mentioning they’re having battery issues, stating after several months of use, the battery then doesn’t hold a charge. I haven’t yet owed them for several months, so I personally haven’t experienced this, but again, just so you guys are aware.
And the very last features, these are water and sweat resistant, as they should be, for being sport earphones, and from my tests, dripping and spraying water on them, the Reflect Mini’s still work fine. Regarding wireless range, I have this paired to my Nexus 6P Smartphone and walked from one side of the house to the other with no issues whatsoever – and that’s me going through several walls and down to the first floor.
So overall, how is the sound quality? For a $99 pair of sport earphones, from my experience, these did well. Bass may be lacking for some as it doesn’t offer the deep, sub-bass levels that some may desire; however, bass is still evident and it’s very tight and controlled. I would consider these in-ears to have a neutral bass signature and still acceptable for non-bass-heads. The mid-range is clear with voices standing out, and the high-notes and high-pitches of music aren’t droning or causing listening fatigue. Audio separation is there for left and right audio channels, however, the soundstage isn’t as open as I would have liked. But, for a $99 pair of sport earphones, they do just fine. I would say, if you’re on a budget and looking for a very good all-around pair of sport earphones for pop, rock, classical, folk, maybe some EDM and modern day country, these are for you. If you’re into bass for genres of hip-hop/rap, or in general just desire a bit more bass, look elsewhere. I would still caution about the battery life, but other than that, these are indeed super lightweight, very easy to wear, and they stay in the ear.
So that’s it for this review. Be sure to add me onto Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to follow what I do behind the scenes. Remember, I’m Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room, and my website is here to help you make a purchase decision. Take care everyone, I’ll see you on the next one.
[table id=4 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=”a,b,d,e” /] Specs from manufacturer. If incorrect, please contact us.