We've currently tested over 50 JBL headphones and earbuds. They're a well-known brand that packs their devices with active features like music sharing or auto-off timers.
The best JBL earbuds we've tested are the JBL Live Pro 2 TWS True Wireless. These earbuds have an ANC feature that can reduce noise like rumbling engines during your commute or background chatter at the office. They have a slightly V-shaped sound profile, so your audio has extra rumble and punch while instruments are bright. It's well-suited for genres like pop and rock, but the companion app has a parametric EQ and presets if you prefer a different sound.
The JBL's battery lasts about eight hours of continuous use, and there's an auto-off timer to help conserve power when you're not using the buds. You can always top them up in the case, which holds around three extra charges. The earbuds are well-built and have a great customizable control scheme.
Unfortunately, they don't have the most comfortable or stable fit and can pop out of your ears when you're talking. The JBL Live Pro+ TWS True Wireless are similar earbuds that are more comfortable and less likely to fall out of your ears during workouts, but they have a less effective ANC and shorter continuous battery life.
The JBL Endurance Peak 3 True Wireless have a sport-oriented look, with ear hooks and a 'TwistLock' design that give them great stability during moderate and intense exercise. They also have an IP68 rating, which protects them against dust and brief submersion in water, and have a 10-hour continuous battery life, meaning they won't die to get damaged during long, arduous excursions in more unpredictable terrain.
Although they lack noise cancelling, they can still block out some ambient sound like office chatter. They also have a very bass-heavy default sound profile to help keep you pumped up at the gym, but their companion app has a graphic EQ and presets to fine-tune the mix to your liking. Unfortunately, their tight ear hook design doesn't accommodate smaller ears well, so you'll need to adjust them more often. Try the JBL Tune Flex True Wireless if you want more comfortable earbuds. They come with two different ear tips, one with a deep fit and another with a shallow fit, so you can try out what's comfortable for you. That said, they have poor noise isolation, so you'll hear a lot of what's going on around you.
The JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless are the best JBL wireless earbuds in the budget range we've tested. These lightweight earbuds don't have the same ear hook design as the JBL Endurance Peak 3 True Wireless, but they stay in your ear during moderate exercise. They also have an IP54 rating for protection against dust and water exposure and a battery that lasts just over eight hours on a single charge, making them well-suited for days in the office and weekends out on the trail.
Their default sound profile is fairly neutral. There's adequate thump and punch in the bass range to compliment genres like EDM and hip-hop, but an overemphasis in the treble range makes vocals and instruments sound harsh and piercing. Thankfully, their companion app has a parametric EQ and presets to help you fine-tune the mix to how you'd like. They can passively cut out a fair amount of mid and treble-range background noise, like office chit-chat or whiny PC fans, though they don't isolate you that well from the deep rumble of bus and plane engines. If you're looking for budget buds with better noise isolation performance, try the JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless. They can passively cut out more noise from voices and high-pitched tech around you, but their battery doesn't last as long, and they don't come with any sound customization options.
The JBL Live 660NC Wireless are the best JBL wireless headphones we've tested. These over-ears have a few tricks up their sleeves. They support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected to your smartphone and PC simultaneously. They also have a companion app, which offers a parametric EQ and presets to help you customize their otherwise bass-rich sound profile to suit your tastes. They even have an ANC system, and while they have some trouble cutting down the low rumble of bus engines, they do a better job of tackling office range sounds like ambient chatter and the hum of computer fans.
They're well-built, and there's a metal plate inside the headband to help reinforce it. They're decently comfortable and lightweight but have a high clamping force, making their fit slightly fatiguing over long periods. However, this prevents them from moving around too much, and they have better stability than the JBL Live Pro 2 TWS True Wireless, making them a solid choice if you're looking for over-ear headphones for working out. They last just under 26 hours continuously and have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life if you forget to turn them off.
Anker is often seen alongside JBL when looking for lower-end, more affordable headphones. However, Anker's products offer a better noise isolation performance than even the best JBL earphones. Some of their products even support LDAC, a codec designed for Hi-Res Audio. However, JBL's headphones tend to have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their companion app offers a parametric EQ compared to Anker's graphic EQ. If you'd like to learn more, check out our article on the best Anker headphones.
While JBL and Skullcandy target the budget range with their lineups, JBL have a more expansive range of products at different price points. Many of their products are also better built and have more neutral default sound profiles than Skullcandy's plasticky designs and generally bassy sound. That said, Skullcandy's models are more flashy, and some people may even prefer their unique collaboration colorways to JBL's more muted colors. For more info, check out our picks for the best Skullcandy headphones.
Overall, JBL makes feature-packed headphones and earbuds with a well-balanced sound as they closely follow the Harman curve. However, their design and fit may not always be the most comfortable, and despite their price, they have a plasticky build that can feel a bit cheap.
JBL has quite a few lineups, but there aren't clear distinctions between a few of them. Some are sorted by rough price brackets:
Others are sorted by usage or intended audience:
In addition, JBL uses some abbreviations at the end of their products' names to indicate particular features:
Feb 02, 2023: We've replaced the JBL Club 950NC Wireless with the JBL Live 660NC Wireless as the Club aren't currently available. We've also added brand comparisons with Anker and Skullcandy as well as expanded information regarding their product lineup.
JBL offers a variety of headphones and earbuds for different uses. They generally have a well-balanced sound, but you can EQ most of them with their companion app if you want it to sound slightly differently. While they don't produce headphones as comfortable as other popular brands like Bose and Sennheiser, and they don't offer any models specifically catered for audiophiles, JBL has packed their colorful designs with unique features like music sharing that make JBL a great brand for casual, everyday headphones.