Jbl under armour streak. Crinacle s

Buyer’s Guide

Ah yes, “wireless”. A word that sends shivers down the spine of any self-proclaimed audiophile and the catalyst for many an internet argument. And yet its popularity grows, unfettered by claims of inferior audio and further bolstered by the success of Apple’s Airpods.

But you know, given its appeal to what is mainly the mainstream consumer market, there doesn’t seem to be anyone doing a proper comparison of these true wireless buds solely on the metric of “sound quality”. And so here I am, bringing to you my perspectives on these little things ranked in the order of worst to best.

Here is when I remind everyone again that this is my opinion on the best sounding TWS earphones. Let the other tech review sites talk about the build, the usability, the UI etc. whatever. I’ll FOCUS on what I’m good at and what most readers skip to in the first place.

Master list of reviewed TWS IEMs

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.

In-Ear Fidelity is supported by the following:

The list below is specially curated as a showcase of all the TWS IEMs that I would recommend at different price points. For IEMs not shown below, refer to the master list of links above.

This list is arranged by grading (lowest first), followed by MSRP for those within the same grade (highest first).

Local Hype

MSRP: 120SGD (~90)

Here’s an interesting one from a brand that many of you probably haven’t heard of yet: Nuarl.

It’s a Japanese brand that’s more known well in my hometown of Singapore for reasons still unknown to me. The NT100 is one of the cheaper TWS models in this list and is pretty much the kind of sound that you would expect for a sub-100 IEM. Pretty standard and almost generic V-shaped signature that should appeal to many, but ultimately doesn’t really stand out from the crowd in any technical way.

Safe buy I guess. You get what you pay for.

Grade: C

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

The Expected

It’s cheap. It sounds average. And it’s probably Edifier’s zero effort cash-in on the TWS boom.

The average stuff are the hardest to talk about because there’s nothing to praise nor to roast. The TWS1 has decent bass but with issues in the upper midrange, making things sound overly harsh and/or forward. Other than that, it’s more or less a case of “you get what you pay for”.

Grade: C

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

The Beater

Driver configuration: 1DD 1BA

The name of the S2’s game seems to be “adequate performance for bottom-dollar price”, and to that I think KZ has done it. The S2’s sound quality does not impress and neither does its plasticky build quality, but for 50 you don’t have much grounds for complaining.

The S2 has a mainstream house; elevated bass and treble for an exciting V-shaped response, though the shape of the V is slightly biased towards the treble. Unfortunately the S2 strays into sibilance, a flaw that is arguably its biggest sonic dealbreaker, but overall there’s nothing too offensive about the S2’s sound, tonally or technically.

Unfortunately the existence of the S2 in KZ’s lineup seems like a mystery, especially when you can get their very own E10 for just 10 more.

armour, streak, crinacle

Now the ergonomics are different between the two of course; the E10 has those odd ear hooks that some have complained about, while the S2 is a more traditional “bud”-type fit that should work for more people. But in terms of sound, the E10 has a better tonal balance and does not come with the sibilance that the S2 has.

But if you absolutely have to spend 50 on a TWS set (possibly cheaper on the street), the S2 is an adequate pick. Just don’t expect too much.

Grade: C

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

Combo Breaker

And so Audio Technica breaks out of the D ranks and into the high Cs.

armour, streak, crinacle

The SPORT7TW has a more unique tuning, sporting (heh) a U-shaped signature that emphasises the sub-bass and upper treble regions. Unfortunately, there is also rather bad sub-bass rolloff so the SPORT7TW can’t quite dig deep when the track calls for it. The treble boost also unfortunately strays into the sibilance regions, resulting is potential harshness and stridency for many ears.

In general, the SPORT7TW earns the award of being “above average” having clean bass lines and tonally correct (if a little shouty) midrange, which is already more than what I can say for many wireless earphones here.

Grade: C

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

That Linus TWS

Driver configuration: 1BA 1DD hybrid

If you’re like me, you probably first heard of the Liberty 2 Pro when LinusTechTips shilled talked about them on his YouTube channel.

I didn’t have much hope in them in the beginning since it was my belief that most general-tech-reviewer-sponsored headphones usually doesn’t live up to the expectations of the average audiophile, and instead are targeted towards the mainstream consumer. So imagine my surprise when I actually liked the Liberty 2 Pro.

Yes, it has its fair share of problems. The bass quantity is probably too much for a lot of people, the midrange is shouty and I detect the treble straying into sibilance at times. But the Liberty 2 Pro really is my “guilty pleasure” listen in the sense that I absolutely love the bass presentation. It’s rumbly, it’s impactful and yet retains a sense of cleanliness not normally heard of in IEMs with this level of bass quantity.

If they had reined in the midrange tonality a little better, I probably would’ve purchased one myself. Alas, that’s my personal dealbreaker.

Grade: C

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

Excellence in Theory

I’ve told this to a few others IRL: the TWS5’s FR response is basically a screwed up version of my neutral target curve with my desired bass response of a sub-300Hz boost.

By all accounts I should be absolutely gushing over the TWS5’s sound, but it sounds pretty normal and unexceptional to me. Yeah, the bass response is pretty nice with the nice and low controlled boost, the midrange isn’t overly forward and screaming in your face, but there’s still a little bit of that TWS1 harshness creeping into the TWS5’s signature.

Overall, pretty good still. Not the worst you can do with your cash and can still service most audiophiles well.

Grade: C

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

Mould Breaker

Driver configuration: 1DD 4BA hybrid

This E10 was kindly provided by Linsoul.

Colour me surprised, KZ made a pretty good pair of IEMs. And it’s TWS!

The E10 has its fair share of flaws, for instance the overly-shouty midrange that pushes vocals straight in your face, or perhaps the slightly thinness in the midrange that isn’t as satisfying as the other lower-midrange heavy stuff on the guide. But apart from all those, the E10 does the whole neutral Diffuse Field-y signature very well.

It’s definitely the most un-KZ sounding IEM in KZ’s lineup, so diehard fans of the brand should stay away. It’s not going to have KZ’s traditionally massive bass boost nor its liberally-tuned treble response, and it’s for that reason that I really believe that the E10 is the best KZ IEM you can get.

As a TWS IEM though? (Almost) no contest. At 60 bones max, it outshines many of the mainstream competitors and establishes itself as a unicorn in the TWS market: a neutrally-tuned option.

Grade: C

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

The Threat

Yeah, you saw the price right. A sub-50 TWS IEM that can dip below 20 if you’re lucky. And, it’s not utter trash.

Even calling the T5 “not garbage” would be doing it a massive disservice. The T5 is good, not just in the realm of the highly-priced TWS market but even in the highly competitive budget IEM market.

You’re obviously going to have to make concessions in terms of build, usability and unit QC, but you all know that I’m not here to talk about all those. In terms of sound and tuning, the T5 is tasteful. Inoffensive yet competent, exciting yet clean.

Everyone else should treat the T5 as a massive threat to the status quo of highly-priced, average-sounding TWS buds. You don’t have a place in the market anymore.

Grade: C

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

The Mainstream

The Airpods Pro needs no introduction but I’ll do one anyways: it is Apple’s first true wireless in-ear and their third IEM overall (shoutouts to the legendary Addiem and the less-legendary iPod in-ears in case anybody remembers these relics).

Now I know what you’re thinking: this is Apple we’re talking about. There is no way that an audiophile would ever like something so mainstream. And in terms of the EarPods and the original Airpods, you would be right. They aren’t bad, but they certainly don’t do anything to distinguish themselves in terms of tuning or raw “sound quality”.

But the Airpods Pro is a little different. It is, and I can’t believe I’m saying it, pretty dang good. Yeah sure, it’s pricey and you can probably still do better with other models on this list. Yeah, it’s probably not going to be better than other established wired IEMs in the same price bracket. But you can certainly do a lot worse.

The Airpods Pro is tuned to be somewhat reminscient of the Diffuse Field target but with that last-octave sub-bass boost, with a smooth and natural midrange tonality that many IEM companies tend to get wrong. My only real gripe with it is that it probably could use some extra midtreble presence, but overall this is a surprisingly good entry by Apple that shouldn’t be overlooked in the audiophile community simply for being mainstream.

Grade: B-

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

The Open

Yeah, I know. Buy Other Sound Equipment, No Highs No Lows etc. etc. and all that. We audiophiles all know that Bose has a reputation of churning out subpar products and masquerading them as “hifi” as part of their marketing. I too, had low expectations going into the SoundSport Free and had no qualms bansishing them into the depths of the lowest ranks if required.

But alas, the SoundSport Free… impressed me. The tonal balance is almost spot on, with minor niggles regarding the upper midrange/treble presentation being a tad too subdued. The bass boost is beautifully done, and the fact that it extends as low as it does despite the open-backed construction is a grand feat by itself.

Yeah, the SoundSport Free kind of cheats in soundstage size by virtue of essentially open, but the benefits in stereoimaging performance is undeniable. It may not be the most detailed, but its combination of great tuning and imaging certainly warrants its high placing on this list.

Grade: B

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

I Visited Japan’s BIGGEST Earphone Store

The Popular

I’ve never held Jabra to a high regard before. They seemed to cater to an audience that were more interested in making handsfree calls than actually listening to music; or at the very least, they gave off that impression.

The Active 65t is… balanced. Very balanced. There is clearly an emphasised bass response but I’d struggle to call it V-shaped; it doesn’t quite have the upper end sparkle for that classification. There are its faults of course, extensions on both ends are mediocre though nothing that really constitutes as a dealbreaker IMO. But as a whole, as one big coherent package, the Active 65t is a damn fine IEM, even in the realm of wired gear.

In a way, they’re a dark horse in that I expected almost nothing yet got served with a nice, ice-cold bucket of reality. A solid product that should deserve its popularity, if there weren’t a thousand posts a week on r/headphones asking for technical support about it.

Grade: B-

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

The Acclaimed

I have read many great reviews on the Tevi. I also get asked to review them very often, so this is me finally running out of excuses not to do so.

I must admit, the Tevi didn’t blow me away when I first heard it. My reaction was more “hm, this is pretty alright” as opposed to the “oh my god how does this sound so good” response that you’d probably expect for a TWS set that’s priced as it is and placed at this rank position.

And that’s the thing, as I pondered it over and gave it a little more reflection and analysis, I realised that the Tevi… didn’t do anything particularly excellent, but in the same vein it didn’t do anything wrong either. It was instead rather focused on being a general all-rounder, hence my initial lack of enthusiasm. Sure you could say that the midrange is a little too emphasised, but it’s not like the tonality is out of whack or even just mildly off. Everything was more or less on point, from the control of the bass emphasis to the delicate balance of treble…

Now if you liked the Etymotic house sound, and I’m not saying that you automatically will (it is kind of an acquired taste), the Tevi is probably the closest you can get to a TWS, bass-boosted Etymotic.

The TWS industry is getting scary. Wired world better step up.

Grade: B

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

Second Dog

While the average person would be splitting hairs between the sound of the XM3 and the XM4 (assuming they aren’t being biased by “newer = better”), for my money I’d rather spring for the XM3.

This doesn’t mean that the XM3 is a worse TWS overall, oh no. While I hesitate to bring in non-audio qualities into this list, the XM4 is far more ergonomic than the comparatively-bulky XM3 with improvements in QoL features across the board. Most would pick the XM4 over the XM3, and I don’t blame them.

But sound-wise, the warmer tuning is a little jarring in an A/B comparison. It’s not a bad tuning by any means, but the XM4 comes off as almost veiled next to the XM3 by virtue of its downsloping sound signature. But hey, maybe the extra warmth and heft in the notes might just be right up your alley.

Grade: B

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

Top Dog

The WF-1000XM3 was mainly tested with noise-cancelling on due to slightly better sound quality.

Technically, I think the Galaxy Buds are just as good as the WF-1000XM3, but for my own money I’d pick the Sonys. A more mainstream sound, better bass response, noise cancelling… sorry, I caught myself straying away from audio for a moment there.

And yet, I don’t have a lot to say about the WF-1000XM3 without getting pretentious and technical with my words. It’s just… good. Or as James Pumphrey would put it, a new level of new good. They called it… great.

You’re pretty much getting “the works” with the WF-100XM3: boosted yet clean bass, correct tonality, treble that sparkles but doesn’t pierce, good definition and actually good imaging (this one is a rarity for me, I don’t mention this often). Similar to the Galaxy Buds, this is a great sounding set of in-ears regardless of technology, wires or not.

Grade: B

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.For more information on the grading system, click here

Objectivist’s Dream

Driver configuration: 2DD

The biggest question I think is on everybody’s mind right now is whether or not the Buds is a true upgrade to the original. And in my opinion, I think the Buds is a case of Samsung giveth and Samsung taketh away, improving on certain aspects but performing questionably on others.

While I wanted with all my heart for the Buds to be the undisputed upgrade to the Buds (and by extension, the rest of the TWS market), I found myself nitpicking far too much to consider the Buds truly superior. The midrange got even shoutier and intense compared to the original Buds, and the timbre of the treble (i.e. hi-hats and cymbals) sound a tad too odd for me (either being a bandwidth issue or one relating to its frequency response). On top of that, the Buds is an IEM I’d consider “fatiguing” and I honestly struggle to listen to them for long listening sessions.

However to end things on a high note, the bass response of the Buds is immaculate. Virtually perfect, even in the context of other wired IEMs. The bass is very clearly emphasised with satisfying impact and deep downward extension, yet remaining free from smearing or masking of the midrange frequencies. The bass response is probably the saving grace that prevents me from saying that the Buds is worse than the original.

Perhaps you could say that my problems with the Buds is less about the Buds itself and more about my issues with the Harman IE target. But regardless, it’s still a solid product that can still be considered as one of the best sounding TWS IEMs you can buy today.

JBL Earbuds, One Side Not Working: How to Fix

The reoccurring issue of a dead or non-responsive earbud is a problem that has plagued folks since the inception of headphones. Despite the positive reviews most JBL earbuds get, they are not immune to this common headache.

While some people might be able to ignore this problem and soldier on with one headphone, the majority of consumers don’t want a product that only half works.

To ensure that you have headphones that emit music from both sides, let’s take an extensive look at all the different reasons why your earbuds are not working on one side.

Solutions For Faulty JBL Earbuds

Regardless of which JBL product you are having issues with, these solutions are designed to fit a wide range of products and can be utilized to fix the issues you are having with your earbuds. Further down you will find fixes for individual products that have issues that are unique to their model.

Check to make sure you are within Bluetooth range before attempting these solutions. For the sake of saving you time, there is no point attempting multiple fixes when the problem is that you are outside of your coverage area.

Factory Reset Your JBL Earbuds

If you are experiencing issues with a quieter or completely silent earbud, chances are the easiest fix is going to be resetting the Bluetooth connection. This is an easy process that will take little more than five minutes at the maximum and the steps are simple to follow.

Before resetting your Bluetooth, double-check that both earbuds are completely charged to ensure that you don’t misdiagnose the issue. You can determine this from most JBL products by a charging light that will emit from the earbuds. If you cannot see this light on one of the earbuds then your problem stems from more than just a glitchy BlueTooth connection and we will alleviate the problem further below.

How to reset most JBL earbuds:

  • Take out both earbuds from their charging case and put one down, it doesn’t matter which.
  • With the earbud still in your hand, tap the button three times, holding it down on the third tap for no less than five seconds.
  • Both earbuds will shut off which will be signified by the LED powering off.
  • Hold the button on both earbuds until they boot up.
  • If done as instructed, the earbuds will be blinking blue. They are now in pairing mode.
  • Connect them to your preferred device and see if the quiet or non-responsive earbud is working.

How to reset JBL Tune earbuds:

  • Remove the JBL Tune earbuds from your connected devices.
  • Plug the charging case into a working power source.
  • Place the two earbuds back into their charging ports.
  • Grabbing only the right earbud, hold down the button for no less than ten seconds.
  • Clear any pairing information on your phone that has to do with the earbuds.
  • Your earbuds have been reset, you can now re-pair them with your device of choice.
  • Test to make sure both earbuds are working correctly.

How to reset JBL Vibe earbuds:

  • Delete or remove the earbuds from their connected device.
  • Remove the earbuds from their charging case.
  • Hold down the singular button on the back for no less than five seconds.
  • For certain models, wait until a blue and white light begins to flash, indicating the reset has completed.
  • Pair the headphones with a device of your choosing to check if the quiet earbud is working correctly.

How to reset JBL Live 300TWS earbuds:

  • Like most JBL wireless earbuds, start by unpairing the earbuds from your connected device and removing the right earbud from its charging port.
  • There is a sensor found on the inner part of the earbud, put your finger over it or place it into your ear to cover the sensor.
  • Now tap the touch button twice and hold it down for five seconds on the opposite side of the earbud.
  • Your earbud will power off, place it back into the charging case.
  • The middle light in the charging case will blink an alternating blue and white to inform you it is in pairing mode.
  • You will need to form a fresh pairing with your Smart device, once it is connected check to see if your earbud problem has been resolved.

This solution is going to be the typical fix for this issue and should you encounter it again you can follow the same steps to fix the problem. If this hasn’t resolved the dead earbud then continue reading for further fixes.

Clean the Charging Case and Earbuds

If you have put your earbuds into their case and noticed that one of the charging indicator LEDs has not lit up then the problem is more than likely an obstruction in your charging case. While this can also mean that the charging case itself might be damaged, the simplest fix is taking a bit of elbow grease to the product.

What you will want to do is grab a toothpick and non-abrasive cloth, towel, or dry wipe for the cleaning process. To start you will want to very delicately press against the trio of charging extensions to see if they are cooperative to the touch and pop back quickly. If this does not happen, then you likely have some amount of sediment or grime that is affecting your earbud’s ability to fully connect to their case.

This can be remedied by using the toothpick and cloth and gently removing any unwanted debris, gunk, or earwax that may have collected in the delicate area. You should be sure to do this process with a delicate touch, or risk breaking the charging case altogether. Do not use any chemical substances or metallic objects as they could irreparably damage the product.

Deplete The Battery

You won’t find this solution on most google searches but it has been making the rounds as an unconventional method for fixing dead JBL earbuds. For whatever reason, by allowing the faulty earbud to drain out all of its battery and then recharging it, it seems to fix the issue of quiet or silent earbuds. Before you do allow the battery to drain, make sure to disconnect the earbuds from any paired devices you may have.

Once it is disconnected, simply leave it out of the charging case until it fully depletes its charge. Some of the craftier folks who came up with this unique method recommend leaving the earbud outside of the case for at least 6-8 hours or overnight to make sure it is completely out of juice. Once you are sure that the earbud is unresponsive (poke it a couple of times with a stick if you want), you can now place it into the case to charge.

If successful, the earbud should illuminate to inform you it is charging and once it has achieved a competent enough battery, retest the earbud to see if the audio has returned to normal. If you are still experiencing a silent or unresponsive earbud, continue to individual solutions.

Check The Audio Balance

Some JBL earbuds offer a customizable audio balancer that can be accessed via your mobile device or personal computer. If you are curious whether or not this is the issue, simply go onto your paired device and find the audio or sound option in the settings.

If your earbuds or device have the option for audio balancing, you will find it in the dropdown list of options in this menu (it could also say sound balance).

If the settings are all even then the slider should be smack dab in the middle. If you notice that it is leaning heavily to one side, simply readjust it back to the center of the slider.

Once it has been readjusted (if it needed to be), try playing music or audio and see if the audio level feels even on both headphones. If you are still left with a quiet earpiece, take a few deep breaths for the safety of your immediate surroundings and continue to the next solution.

Place Earbuds into Stereo Mode

Similar to the audio balance, several people might have the misfortune of mono sound earbuds without even knowing.

Mono mode is designed for people to listen to the audio while still being able to hear their surroundings, it is ideal for those who listen to music while working. Unfortunately, it can also confuse some people into thinking one of their earbuds is dead.

If your earbuds have a mono and stereo mode, you will be able to find them in one of two places; either in the Sound/Audio settings or in Ease of Access. The option for mono and stereo might say something like Mono/Stereo or Mono or Stereo sound.

If the setting is set on Mono, switch it to Stereo and see if your issue has been resolved. If not, it may be time to look into your warranty (if you have one) to see what other options are available to you.

Miscellaneous Solutions for Specific JBL Earbuds

While the answers listed above are certainly worth giving a shot before continuing to individual fixes, sometimes a one size fits all guide does not cover all the different devices a consumer might have.

While researching solutions for JBL earbuds, I came across a few model-specific issues that felt worth addressing.

JBL Tune 225

The Tune 225 has encountered an error that is unique to the product, both headphones can not play audio in tandem with the other. Both can play music independently, but when you attempt to play through both earbuds then one is frustratingly quiet.

Thankfully, there is a solution to this infuriating problem.

  • Disconnect any paired devices that may be connected to your earbuds.
  • Take out both earpieces from their charging case.
  • Wait a couple of seconds and place both earbuds back into the case.
  • Look for both LEDs on each earpiece and make sure they are lit up.
  • On the back of either of the earbuds, press the button three times.
  • Your earbud will respond by dimming the LED momentarily, then it will flash blue and white.
  • Repeat steps 5 6 on the opposite earbud.
  • The earbuds will now attempt to connect to each other. If successful, the LED will change to a solid white on both earbuds.

JBL Free X

The Free X is one of the more budget-friendly options you can find from JBL, which is known as one of the premier brands of headphones and speakers. Like the Tune 225, this product has an issue that is exclusive to this specific model of the earbud.

  • Take out the right earbud from the charging case. It will begin attempting to pair, you can discern this from a blinking blue light.
  • Now take out the left earbud as well. If successful, the left earbud will automatically connect and both lights will be blue.
  • Place both earbuds back into their individual charging pod.
  • Now, hold down the main button on each earbud for no less than five seconds.
  • The indicator light will flash white and blue if done successfully.
  • Now pair your Free X earbuds and see if the problem has been resolved.

Conclusion

Earbuds, headphones, and auditory earmuffs are a vital part of any music lover’s daily routine. If it wasn’t for good playlists and discreet headphones, many of us would be virtually unemployable.

That doesn’t mean they can’t irritate the life out of us from time to time, even ones as promising as JBL earbuds.

Thankfully, like most things in life, it can be solved with a little research and a few choice words tossed in the general direction of whatever isn’t working !

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armour, streak, crinacle

JBL Earbuds, One Side Not Working: How to Fix

The reoccurring issue of a dead or non-responsive earbud is a problem that has plagued folks since the inception of headphones. Despite the positive reviews most JBL earbuds get, they are not immune to this common headache.

While some people might be able to ignore this problem and soldier on with one headphone, the majority of consumers don’t want a product that only half works.

To ensure that you have headphones that emit music from both sides, let’s take an extensive look at all the different reasons why your earbuds are not working on one side.

Solutions For Faulty JBL Earbuds

Regardless of which JBL product you are having issues with, these solutions are designed to fit a wide range of products and can be utilized to fix the issues you are having with your earbuds. Further down you will find fixes for individual products that have issues that are unique to their model.

Check to make sure you are within Bluetooth range before attempting these solutions. For the sake of saving you time, there is no point attempting multiple fixes when the problem is that you are outside of your coverage area.

Factory Reset Your JBL Earbuds

If you are experiencing issues with a quieter or completely silent earbud, chances are the easiest fix is going to be resetting the Bluetooth connection. This is an easy process that will take little more than five minutes at the maximum and the steps are simple to follow.

Before resetting your Bluetooth, double-check that both earbuds are completely charged to ensure that you don’t misdiagnose the issue. You can determine this from most JBL products by a charging light that will emit from the earbuds. If you cannot see this light on one of the earbuds then your problem stems from more than just a glitchy BlueTooth connection and we will alleviate the problem further below.

How to reset most JBL earbuds:

  • Take out both earbuds from their charging case and put one down, it doesn’t matter which.
  • With the earbud still in your hand, tap the button three times, holding it down on the third tap for no less than five seconds.
  • Both earbuds will shut off which will be signified by the LED powering off.
  • Hold the button on both earbuds until they boot up.
  • If done as instructed, the earbuds will be blinking blue. They are now in pairing mode.
  • Connect them to your preferred device and see if the quiet or non-responsive earbud is working.

How to reset JBL Tune earbuds:

  • Remove the JBL Tune earbuds from your connected devices.
  • Plug the charging case into a working power source.
  • Place the two earbuds back into their charging ports.
  • Grabbing only the right earbud, hold down the button for no less than ten seconds.
  • Clear any pairing information on your phone that has to do with the earbuds.
  • Your earbuds have been reset, you can now re-pair them with your device of choice.
  • Test to make sure both earbuds are working correctly.

How to reset JBL Vibe earbuds:

  • Delete or remove the earbuds from their connected device.
  • Remove the earbuds from their charging case.
  • Hold down the singular button on the back for no less than five seconds.
  • For certain models, wait until a blue and white light begins to flash, indicating the reset has completed.
  • Pair the headphones with a device of your choosing to check if the quiet earbud is working correctly.

How to reset JBL Live 300TWS earbuds:

  • Like most JBL wireless earbuds, start by unpairing the earbuds from your connected device and removing the right earbud from its charging port.
  • There is a sensor found on the inner part of the earbud, put your finger over it or place it into your ear to cover the sensor.
  • Now tap the touch button twice and hold it down for five seconds on the opposite side of the earbud.
  • Your earbud will power off, place it back into the charging case.
  • The middle light in the charging case will blink an alternating blue and white to inform you it is in pairing mode.
  • You will need to form a fresh pairing with your Smart device, once it is connected check to see if your earbud problem has been resolved.

This solution is going to be the typical fix for this issue and should you encounter it again you can follow the same steps to fix the problem. If this hasn’t resolved the dead earbud then continue reading for further fixes.

Clean the Charging Case and Earbuds

If you have put your earbuds into their case and noticed that one of the charging indicator LEDs has not lit up then the problem is more than likely an obstruction in your charging case. While this can also mean that the charging case itself might be damaged, the simplest fix is taking a bit of elbow grease to the product.

What you will want to do is grab a toothpick and non-abrasive cloth, towel, or dry wipe for the cleaning process. To start you will want to very delicately press against the trio of charging extensions to see if they are cooperative to the touch and pop back quickly. If this does not happen, then you likely have some amount of sediment or grime that is affecting your earbud’s ability to fully connect to their case.

This can be remedied by using the toothpick and cloth and gently removing any unwanted debris, gunk, or earwax that may have collected in the delicate area. You should be sure to do this process with a delicate touch, or risk breaking the charging case altogether. Do not use any chemical substances or metallic objects as they could irreparably damage the product.

Deplete The Battery

You won’t find this solution on most google searches but it has been making the rounds as an unconventional method for fixing dead JBL earbuds. For whatever reason, by allowing the faulty earbud to drain out all of its battery and then recharging it, it seems to fix the issue of quiet or silent earbuds. Before you do allow the battery to drain, make sure to disconnect the earbuds from any paired devices you may have.

Once it is disconnected, simply leave it out of the charging case until it fully depletes its charge. Some of the craftier folks who came up with this unique method recommend leaving the earbud outside of the case for at least 6-8 hours or overnight to make sure it is completely out of juice. Once you are sure that the earbud is unresponsive (poke it a couple of times with a stick if you want), you can now place it into the case to charge.

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If successful, the earbud should illuminate to inform you it is charging and once it has achieved a competent enough battery, retest the earbud to see if the audio has returned to normal. If you are still experiencing a silent or unresponsive earbud, continue to individual solutions.

Check The Audio Balance

Some JBL earbuds offer a customizable audio balancer that can be accessed via your mobile device or personal computer. If you are curious whether or not this is the issue, simply go onto your paired device and find the audio or sound option in the settings.

If your earbuds or device have the option for audio balancing, you will find it in the dropdown list of options in this menu (it could also say sound balance).

If the settings are all even then the slider should be smack dab in the middle. If you notice that it is leaning heavily to one side, simply readjust it back to the center of the slider.

Once it has been readjusted (if it needed to be), try playing music or audio and see if the audio level feels even on both headphones. If you are still left with a quiet earpiece, take a few deep breaths for the safety of your immediate surroundings and continue to the next solution.

Place Earbuds into Stereo Mode

Similar to the audio balance, several people might have the misfortune of mono sound earbuds without even knowing.

Mono mode is designed for people to listen to the audio while still being able to hear their surroundings, it is ideal for those who listen to music while working. Unfortunately, it can also confuse some people into thinking one of their earbuds is dead.

If your earbuds have a mono and stereo mode, you will be able to find them in one of two places; either in the Sound/Audio settings or in Ease of Access. The option for mono and stereo might say something like Mono/Stereo or Mono or Stereo sound.

If the setting is set on Mono, switch it to Stereo and see if your issue has been resolved. If not, it may be time to look into your warranty (if you have one) to see what other options are available to you.

Miscellaneous Solutions for Specific JBL Earbuds

While the answers listed above are certainly worth giving a shot before continuing to individual fixes, sometimes a one size fits all guide does not cover all the different devices a consumer might have.

While researching solutions for JBL earbuds, I came across a few model-specific issues that felt worth addressing.

JBL Tune 225

The Tune 225 has encountered an error that is unique to the product, both headphones can not play audio in tandem with the other. Both can play music independently, but when you attempt to play through both earbuds then one is frustratingly quiet.

Thankfully, there is a solution to this infuriating problem.

  • Disconnect any paired devices that may be connected to your earbuds.
  • Take out both earpieces from their charging case.
  • Wait a couple of seconds and place both earbuds back into the case.
  • Look for both LEDs on each earpiece and make sure they are lit up.
  • On the back of either of the earbuds, press the button three times.
  • Your earbud will respond by dimming the LED momentarily, then it will flash blue and white.
  • Repeat steps 5 6 on the opposite earbud.
  • The earbuds will now attempt to connect to each other. If successful, the LED will change to a solid white on both earbuds.

JBL Free X

The Free X is one of the more budget-friendly options you can find from JBL, which is known as one of the premier brands of headphones and speakers. Like the Tune 225, this product has an issue that is exclusive to this specific model of the earbud.

  • Take out the right earbud from the charging case. It will begin attempting to pair, you can discern this from a blinking blue light.
  • Now take out the left earbud as well. If successful, the left earbud will automatically connect and both lights will be blue.
  • Place both earbuds back into their individual charging pod.
  • Now, hold down the main button on each earbud for no less than five seconds.
  • The indicator light will flash white and blue if done successfully.
  • Now pair your Free X earbuds and see if the problem has been resolved.

Conclusion

Earbuds, headphones, and auditory earmuffs are a vital part of any music lover’s daily routine. If it wasn’t for good playlists and discreet headphones, many of us would be virtually unemployable.

That doesn’t mean they can’t irritate the life out of us from time to time, even ones as promising as JBL earbuds.

Thankfully, like most things in life, it can be solved with a little research and a few choice words tossed in the general direction of whatever isn’t working !

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UA True Wireless FLASH by JBL review

The Under Armour True Wireless Flash by JBL includes IPX7 earbuds with a water-resistant aluminum case, making it stand out from other workout packages. Included wing tips keep the earbuds in place during vigorous workouts and listeners are afforded a 12-month membership to MapMyRun. Listeners who want a smaller package should turn their attention to Jabra or Jaybird.

Under Armour True Wireless Flash by JBL

The Under Armour True Wireless Flash by JBL includes IPX7 earbuds with a water-resistant aluminum case, making it stand out from other workout packages. Included wing tips keep the earbuds in place during vigorous workouts and listeners are afforded a 12-month membership to MapMyRun. Listeners who want a smaller package should turn their attention to Jabra or Jaybird.

Water-resistant charging case

Ambient Aware for outdoor exercise

Lacks multipoint connectivity

While workout earbuds are a dime a dozen, the True Wireless Flash by JBL stands out from the crowd with its Under Armour partnership. This affords listeners a one-year premium membership to MapMyRun along with athlete-friendly features to keep you safe and pumped up. But just because these are some of the best JBL headphones doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the buds to buy.

Editor’s note: this review was updated on August 28, 2020, to address the new UA True Wireless FLASH X by JBL, and to update scoring per new testing methodology.

What’s inside?

The included ear and wing tips are likely to fit most listeners and form a secure seal for accurate sound reproduction.

The UA True Wireless FLASH by JBL includes quite a few accessories. Under Armour provides a charging case, micro-USB cable, three pairs of ear tips, three pairs of wing tips, the IPX7 water-resistant earbuds, and a one-year MapMyRun premium membership.

These earbuds are built to last

The aluminum charging case lacks any hint of a sharp edge and features a sliding mechanism to reveal the True Wireless Flash earbuds. While its large 1,500mAh capacity can’t be dispensed to other devices like the JLab Epic Air Elite’s case, it is water-resistant making it more durable than competitors. The attached cord can easily be attached to a backpack; even if it goes unused, it’s a nice touch.

Like the charging case, there’s an absence of sharp corners on the earbuds. Their stout, cylindrical form protrudes from the ear, but the matte black finish and textured design counteract the potential dorkiness factor. The Under Armour logo embellishes each earbud panel, both of which also double as buttons: the left alternates between Ambient Aware and TalkThru hearing while the right operates playback and call controls.

Listeners can operate playback and call controls via the right earbud and use the left earbud to cycle thought listening modes.

The earbuds won’t shake out of your skull though, thanks to the Sport Flex wing and ear tips. They securely hold onto the outer ear and create a strong seal with the proper ear tips installed.

Working out is a breeze

Between the IPX7 certification, ergonomic wing tips, and angled nozzles, it’s apparent that the UA True Wireless FLASH by JBL was designed with athletes in mind. The rounded housings rest securely on the outer ear, which is great for running or weight-lifting. One downside of this is that my ears became sore after 45 minutes of wear from the silicone sleeves chafing the cartilage. Unlike neckband earbuds, though, moving into a horizontal position to bench press doesn’t cause any undue jostling.

Operating the onboard controls is easy to do while exercising since there’s plenty of real estate for your finger to press. You can access Google Assistant or Siri via the left earbud. Unfortunately, there is about a one-second lag between when a command is made and when it’s executed, but it’s functional nonetheless.

Ambient Aware and TalkThru modes

A great safety feature that more workout headphones and earbuds are using is Ambient Aware, which allows you to hear external noise. This feature is a must-have for outdoor runners in particular. It also features TalkThru, which handles external sound differently.

If you plan to run outside, be sure to use Ambient Aware mode so you can remain vigilant of your surroundings.

Rather than simply allowing outside noise in through the earbuds, TalkThru amplifies human voices through the earbuds. Doing so makes it easier to hold a conversation without removing the earbuds. The relayed audio isn’t great: my friend’s voice was laden with static.

While I enjoy both features, Ambient Aware is more practical, since it’s not a big deal to remove an earbud while talking.

Battery life is average

It takes two hours to fully charge the carrying case which provides an additional 20 hours of playback to the UA True Wireless FLASH by JBL earbuds’ standalone five-hour battery life.

Battery life of the UA True Wireless FLASH by JBL is great; according to our objective testing, standalone battery life clocks in at 4.95 hours. This nearly reaches the posited five-hour battery life, and if you play your music at lower volumes than 75dB—which you probably do—then you’ll benefit from extended playback times.

For the price, it’s surprising that the Flash by JBL uses micro-USB charging rather than USB-C. However, this seemingly archaic choice is forgivable since it takes just two hours to complete a full charge cycle. Plus, the water-resistant charging case provides an extra 20 hours of battery life, so it’s unlikely you’ll be without power.

Connection quality is just okay

Unfortunately, connectivity of the UA True Wireless FLASH by JBL is fickle even for true wireless. Connectivity stutters, while not frequent, occur a few times an hour which may be too off-putting for some. The earbuds operate via Bluetooth 4.2 and—unlike the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100—don’t support multipoint connectivity. Additionally, if you plan to stream Netflix from the treadmill, you’ll experience some audio-visual lag as these don’t support any high-quality Bluetooth codecs to reduce latency. With all that said, auto-connect works without a hitch.

How do the earbuds sound?

The UA True Wireless FLASH by JBL have a consumer-friendly sound signature with some bass emphasis and treble de-emphasis. Let’s start with the bass: amplified bass notes give your music more oomph, which is exactly what athletes and general consumers crave.

Passive isolation is quite good for a set of workout earbuds, so you’ll want to listen in mono mode or use ambient passthrough when outside.

Since JBL provides an assortment of ear and wing tips, most listeners will easily achieve a proper fit. The chart above depicts ideal isolation conditions whereby midrange notes like nearby conversations will be somewhat quieted. Distant ambiance, however, is no match for these earbuds as its practically muted. Despite, the fairly neutral tuning and better-than-average isolation, clarity is still lacking with the True Wireless FLASH.

The first 33 seconds of Stromae’s song Papaoutai is clearly reproduced. The opening Dm-Am-C-Dm-G chord progression repeated in the first 13 seconds of the song sounds fine; though even here, the harmonics of each chord are difficult to catch and other instruments have yet to enter the song.

ТОП 5 TWS JBL | КАКИЕ ВЫБРАТЬ?

During the first verse, vocals dominate the song until the chorus starts at 0:49. At this point, multiple percussive instruments come into play and are followed by synthesized sounds which mask Stromae’s lamenting tone. It’s during the chorus that the lack of clarity becomes apparent: the Under Armour True Wireless Flash can manage fairly accurate reproduction of narrow frequency ranges but accounting for the audible spectrum proves difficult.

UA True Wireless Flash vs UA True Wireless FLASH X

The UA True Wireless Flash X and UA True Wireless FLASH have plenty in common: the design hardly deviates, save for the abandoned red accent in the second-generation model. There are expected improvements to the FLASH X internals, though. Standalone and on-the-go battery life is doubled, and the new version supports Bluetooth 5.0.

Sound quality and isolation are the same between the two JBL and Under Armour headsets, and you still get the same software features like TalkThru and Ambient Aware listening modes. And you’re afforded the same 12-Month MapMyRun Premium Membership. Really, if you’re waffling between the two headsets, the original UA FLASH true wireless earbuds are a better deal.

Should you buy the True Wireless Flash in 2020?

While 129 is a reasonable price to pay for true wireless workout earbuds, users may want to save up for something from Jabra or Jaybird.

These earbuds were good when they came out, but as the years have passed, these earbuds are less and less impressive compared to the competition. If you’re willing to increase your budget a smidge, the Jabra Elite 75t buds are a great pick. Alternatively, you could even get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, which feature IPX2 water-resistance as well as Spotify integration. There are plenty of excellent alternatives, and it’s not that the Under Armor True Wireless Flash is a bad deal, rather that there are much better, more advanced options out there.