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Reviewed on Mar 14, 2019 , Marc Henney, Sam Vafaei, Jake Thauvette, Yannick Khong

JBL FreeX Truly Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.1
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.3
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.4
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
8.0
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
7.3
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
4.6
Gaming
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Truly Wireless
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The JBL Free X are decent truly wireless in-ears. They are virtually identical to the JBL Free in nearly every respect. They have a compact earbud design that should be comfortable for most but may not fit everyone equally well. They have a decent, well-balanced sound and are suitable for most music genres. They also have great isolation and do a decent job at blocking out noise. Unfortunately, like many truly wireless earbuds, their battery is mediocre, and they have a disappointing integrated microphone. They also have worse latency than most Bluetooth headphones, which won't be great for watching video content and gaming.

Test Results
Design 7.8
Sound 7.2
Isolation 7.9
Microphone 5.7
Active Features 5.4
Connectivity 2.6
Pros
  • Decent sound.
  • Great isolation.
  • Compact and portable design.
Cons
  • Very high latency.
  • No volume controls.

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7.8

Design

Score components:

The JBL Free X are indistinguishable from the JBL Free. They have the same durable, compact earbud design and come with an identical hard charging case. The case doesn’t add too much bulk, so the JBL Free X are portable in-ears, even when they’re charging. They have a stable fit that’s good for working out and are quite comfortable. Unfortunately, their unique earbud design may not fit everyone well, and their control scheme lacks volume control.

Style

The JBL Free X have the same compact earbud design as the JBL Free. The earbuds are quite thick but relatively narrow. They feel fairly dense and durable, but less high-end than some of the more premium truly wireless models we’ve tested, like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. The JBL Free X have a more rugged look and don’t feel as polished as the Apple AirPods. On the upside, they come with a good circular charging case that isn’t too bulky and even has a transparent cover so you can see if the earbuds are done charging without opening it.

7.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Weight : 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0 lbs

The JBL Free X are comfortable in-ear headphones. They’re very lightweight and come with various tip sizes and earbud sleeves to help you find a good fit. Though the JBL Free X aren’t quite as comfortable as the earbud-style Bose SoundSport Free, the difference is negligible and they’re more comfortable than other truly wireless in-ears like the Jabra Elite Sport. However, they have a unique shape that may not fit everyone, especially those with smaller ears.

5.8 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Ease of use : Great
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
What it is: A transparency feature that uses the mics of the headphones to let you hear what is doing on around you without removing them.
When it matters: If you want to be aware of what is going on around you without removing your headphones or while still listening to your audio. This is typically a feature for the noise canceling headphones and passively isolating in-ears that block a lot of noise.
Good value: Yes or adjustable.
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The JBL Free X have two physical buttons on each earbud. Pressing the button on the right earbud will play or pause your music, answer calls, and trigger your device’s voice assistant. The button on the left earbud is for track switching: press once to skip to the next track or press twice to go back to last track. This very simple control scheme is easy-to-use and the buttons are good and clicky. Unfortunately, like the JBL Free, the Free X have no volume controls. You’ll have to reach for your audio device whenever you want to raise or lower the volume of what you’re listening to, which is a bit disappointing.

9.1 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.9 C

Like most truly wireless in-ears, the JBL Free X are very breathable headphones. This makes them a good option for working out since they won’t make your ears sweat as much as over-ear headphones. The JBL Free X barely cause any changes in temperature, even after long periods of use. They do trap a little heat in the ear canal due to their in-ear design, especially if you add the rubber sleeves to the earbuds, but the difference is still fairly negligible and won't make you sweat more than usual.

9.5 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
L : 1.1 "
W : 1.2 "
H : 0.7 "
Volume : 0.9 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The JBL Free X are very portable and will fit in almost any pocket. Their unique earbud design makes them a bit smaller than most truly wireless headphones, making them one of the most portable headphones we've tested. The case would also easily fit in larger pockets.

7.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : Hard case
L : 2.7 "
W : 2.7 "
H : 1.1 "
Volume : 8.0 Cu. Inches

The JBL Free X have the same plastic hard charging case as the JBL Free. This case should protect the earbuds if you accidentally drop them, but it may open on impact, causing the earbuds to fall out and get damaged. The case is a bit bulky, but should fit a bit better in your pockets than some of the other truly wireless charging cases, like the Bose SoundSport Free’s case.

7.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

The JBL Free X have the same good build quality as the JBL Free. The earbuds feel dense and durable enough to survive a few accidental drops and the case is sturdy. Although they’re sturdy, they don’t look or feel as high-end as some of the other truly wireless headsets we've reviewed.

7.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

The JBL Free X are good earbuds for sports, thanks to their stable in-ear design. They come with multiple silicone tips and earbud sleeves to help you achieve a good, secure fit. Once in your ears, they don't move around much, but the unique shape of the earbuds may not fit as well for everyone, especially those with smaller ears. They should be good enough for running and working out for most people, but you may find yourself adjusting the fit of these earbuds a bit more often than other truly wireless in-ears. If you’re looking for headphones to wear mostly while running and working out, then you might want to consider models with ear-hooks instead, like the JBL Endurance Peak.

Cable
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

The JBL Free X come with a short, flat micro-USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.2

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)

The JBL Free X are decent-sounding truly wireless in-ear headphones. They sound nearly identical to the JBL Free and have deep, punchy bass, a well-balanced and clear mid-range, and great treble. Their bass is heavy enough to be suitable for EDM, hip-hop, and dubstep without overpowering the higher frequencies important for genres like pop, jazz, or classical. However, vocals and lead instruments could sound a tad pushed back and lacking in detail, due to dips in their mid and treble ranges. The JBL Free X have excellent imaging, but like most in-ear headphones, they don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

9.3 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.03 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.96 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.73 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.44 dB

The JBL Free X have outstanding bass. Low-Frequency Extension (LFE) is at 10Hz, which indicates deep and extended bass. Low-bass, responsible for thump and rumble, is slightly overemphasized by about 2dB, but otherwise, the response throughout the range is flat and well-balanced. This means the Free X have deep and punchy bass that isn’t overpowering. It’s well-suited for all music genres, even though the lower frequencies are slightly emphasized.

8.6 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.9 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.73 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.9 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.48 dB

The mid-range performance is excellent. The response in low-mid and high-mid follows our target curve well, but mid-mid is slightly underemphasized. The 2dB dip around 700Hz nudges the vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix, giving a bit of emphasis to the bass frequencies. Overall, the mid-range of the JBL Free X is quite well-balanced and produces clear and accurate vocals and instruments.

8.7 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.57 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.51 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.57 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.03 dB

The JBL Free X have excellent treble. The response is relatively even throughout the entire range and is quite well-balanced. However, the wide and shallow dip around 5kHz will have a subtle but negative effect on the detail and presence of vocals and lead instruments. In addition, the dips and peaks between 6kHz and 10kHz will make sibilants, like S and T sounds, a bit uneven.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
9.0 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.21 dB

The JBL Free X have excellent frequency response consistency. Assuming the user can achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones. However, if the user cannot achieve a proper air-tight seal, they could experience a drop in bass.

9.1 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.16
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.68
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.02
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
1.93

The imaging is excellent. The weighted group delay is at 0.16, which is very good. The group delay graph also shows that the group delay response never crosses the audibility threshold, suggesting tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the left and right drivers of our test unit were well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

1.1 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
N/A
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
0.5
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0 dB

The JBL Free X have a bad soundstage. Creating a large and speaker-like soundstage is partially dependent on having a speaker-like pinna activation, and in-ear headphones bypass the pinna (the outer ear) and don't interact with it. Therefore, their soundstage will be perceived as small and located inside the listener's head. The JBL Free also have a closed-back design, which means that their soundstage won't feel as open as open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods.

6.7 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.758
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
22.941

The total harmonic distortion performance is okay. The overall amount of THD is elevated, especially in the mid and treble ranges. This could make the sound of those frequencies a bit of harsh and impure and will mostly affect vocals and cymbals.

7.9

Isolation

Score components:

The JBL Free X have very good isolation performance. If you can achieve a proper fit, they create a good seal that isolates a fair bit of noise. Although they don’t have an active noise cancelling feature, they block out speech and most higher-frequency noises like fan sounds fairly well. They also have excellent leakage performance, which means that if you find they don’t reduce ambient noise enough, you can raise your volume a bit without having to worry about others hearing what you’re listening to.

7.1 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy environment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-21.68 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-10.31 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-20.67 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-35.02 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.14 dB

The JBL Free X have decent noise isolation. They achieved about 10dB of isolation in the bass range, responsible for the rumble of airplane and bus engines, which is good for passive isolation. They isolate by about 21dB in the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, which is very good. They also do a good job at isolating sharp sounds like sibilants (S or T sounds), achieving about 35dB of reduction in the treble range. The JBL Free X didn’t isolate as well as the JBL Free in our tests, but this may be because the large earbuds can be difficult to fit in our dummy head and the scores obtained are within the tolerances of our testing.

9.6 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
23.83 dB

The leakage performance is excellent. Most of the leakage is concentrated in a narrow band in the mid-treble range, from about 5KHz to 10KHz. This makes their leakage very thin and sharp sounding. The overall level of their leakage is also very low. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage averages around 24dB SPL, and peaks at around 37db SPL, which is far below the noise floor of the average office.

5.7

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The JBL Free X have a disappointing microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound thin, noticeably muffled, and lacking in detail. However, it will still be decently easy to understand. In noisy situations, the microphone will struggle to separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud environments, like a busy street.

5.3 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
472.58 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
3.09 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
2957.7 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
8.506
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
42.07 dB

The JBL Free X have an integrated Bluetooth microphone with poor recording quality. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 470Hz and HFE (high-frequency extension) is around 3KHz, which means that speech recorded or transmitted with this microphone will sound thin, lacking a bit of detail and noticeably muffled. However, it will still be relatively easy to comprehend, since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4kHz range. If you want truly wireless earbuds with a better mic, then check out the Jabra Evolve 65t. They use a proprietary dongle to achieve better mic performance and are quite a bit more expensive than the JBL Free X , so they may not be worth it for everyone.

6.0 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
12.85 dB

The JBL Free X’s microphone has mediocre noise handling. In our SpNR test, this mic achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of approximately 13dB, indicating it is best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud or loud situations.

5.4

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

Like the JBL Free, the Free X have a mediocre-at-best battery. The Free X provide roughly 3 hours and a half of continuous playback and take about an hour and a half to fully charge, which isn’t quite on par with most truly wireless in-ears we’ve reviewed. On the upside, their charging case provides up to 5 extra charges, so you can stretch their battery life to up to 20 total hours of playtime. Unfortunately, they do not support the JBL My Headphones app, so they aren’t as customizable as some of the other truly wireless headsets like the Jaybird Run.

6.0 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
3.4 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.4 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Auto-Off Timer
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

The JBL Free X have a mediocre battery. They provide 3.4 hours of continuous playback and their case provides 5 additional charges, which results in an estimated total of 20 hours of battery life if you place them in their charging case when not in use. Their battery should last you a full day of use if you take breaks to charge them, but they won't be ideal for long periods of continuous use. If you want a truly wireless design with a better battery, then consider the Apple AirPods.

0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The JBL Free X do not support the JBL My Headphones app, like the JBL Everest Elite 700 do.

2.6

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: When you want to know whether your headphones will be compatible with your various audio sources, like your smartphone, tablet, gaming consoles, PC, smart TV, amplifiers, etc.
Score components:

The JBL Free X are Bluetooth headphones that can’t pair to multiple devices simultaneously and don’t support NFC. They have a great wireless range, though, so you should be able to leave your audio source in one room and walk around to nearby rooms without experiencing audio cuts. Although the JBL Free X didn't seem to have the same connection stability issues as the JBL Free, we don’t yet have a test to confirm this. They also still have way too much latency to be a suitable option for watching video content.

6.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: When you want to connect your headphones wirelessly to a Bluetooth source, like your smartphone, tablet, PC or smart TV.
Score components:
Bluetooth Version
What it is: The version of Bluetooth that the headphones support.
When it matters: Newer versions of Bluetooth, when paired with devices that support the same version, may have improved latency and wireless range performance.
:
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC Pairing
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No

The JBL Free X connect to other devices via Bluetooth. They do not support NFC or multi-device pairing but they do auto-connect to the last paired device when you take them out of their charging case.

0 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: When you want to use your headphones wired with a device that has a regular audio jack (line-out), like a smartphone, PC, or gaming console controller.
OS Compatibility
What it is: Testing the headphones' cable to see which operating system it works with.
When it matters: Some wired headphones don't support all operating systems so this allows you to check if the headphones will work with your device.
:
N/A
Analog Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play analog media using a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack. Includes using a 1/4" or 1/16" TRS with a 1/8" TRS adapter.
When it matters: For listening to music with devices that have a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack, like an MP3 player, tablet, smartphone or PC.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play digital media using a standard USB connector.
When it matters: For listening to music on a PC. A digital USB adapter can offer some advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC or added software support.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

The JBL Free X are truly wireless earbuds that don’t have an audio cable or a wired connection. If you want decent-sounding and stable in-ears with a wired connection, take a look at the TIN Audio T2 or the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear.

2.1 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock, or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a specific frequency range or wired headphones that have a proprietary amp.
When it matters: When you need to know which inputs and outputs the headphones support, so you can set them up with your home theatre system for gaming or watching movies.
Type
What it is: The type of base/dock the headphones use, whether a USB dongle, charging case or docking station. Wired or wireless.
When it matters: Larger docking stations tend to have more controls and sometimes even customization options while smaller USB dongles are more portable. Charging cases allow you to keep your earbuds charged on-the-go.
:
Charging Case
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
No
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
No
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source for the base/dock.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example, a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas an AC adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
USB
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes

The JBL Free X have a charging case that delivers up to 17 hours of extra battery life. However, the case has no inputs and no distinguishing special features like Qi wireless charging on the Altec Lansing True Evo.

8.2 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: When you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially if the audio source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your audio source's signal strength, which may vary between devices.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth source's signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
44 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
83 ft

The JBL Free X have a great wireless range. They measured up to 44 feet of range when the wireless Bluetooth source was obstructed by walls, and up to 83 feet in direct line-of-sight. They didn’t seem to lose connection like the JBL Free did during our tests; however, since we don’t have a specific test for wireless reliability, we cannot confirm whether their connection has been improved.

0 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen. Note that latency also depends on the device and applications you use.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos wirelessly, high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
336 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if you often stream music over Bluetooth. It also slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: Latency is a lot more noticeable when watching videos or gaming than when just listening to music.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A

The JBL Free X have terrible latency and perform significantly worse than most Bluetooth headphones. With 336ms of latency, they are not suitable for watching movies or gaming.

In the box

  • JBL Free X headphones
  • 3 pairs of earbud tips
  • 2 pairs of rubber earbud sleeves
  • Charging case
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The JBL Free X are decent truly wireless in-ear headphones that are virtually identical to the JBL Free. What sets them apart from other truly wireless in-ears is their unique design, which is highly portable but may not fit everybody. If you like their truly wireless design but want something with a more stable fit or better battery life, check out our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds and in-ears, as well as the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds for running and working out.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless

The JBL Free X are overall better truly wireless in-ears than the Bose SoundSport Free. The JBL Free X have a less bulky design and a more portable charging case. They also isolate significantly more noise than the open-backed Bose, which makes the JBL Free X a better choice for commuters or office workers. However, the Bose are better for critical listeners, since they sound better, are slightly more comfortable, and have a longer battery life.

Apple AirPods 1 Truly Wireless 2017

The JBL Free X are better truly wireless in-ears than the Apple AirPods in general. The Free X sound better, isolate more noise, have an easier-to-use physical control scheme, and have a more stable fit for sports. However, the AirPods are much more comfortable than the Free X, have a significantly better battery and are easier to use with Apple devices. The Free X are a better choice for most use cases, but if you’re a fan of the Apple ecosystem, the AirPods could be worth looking into.

Beats BeatsX Wireless

The JBL Free X are slightly better wireless in-ears than the Beats BeatsX. They’re more comfortable, are more well-built, and sound a bit better. However, the BeatsX have a much better battery since they’re not truly wireless, charge very quickly, pair more quickly with Apple devices, and isolate more noise. If you prefer the fit and durable design of the JBL Free X, they’re a better choice, but the BeatsX are worth considering if you need the extra battery life and prefer a more stable fit.

Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless

The JBL Free X and the Samsung Gear IconX are both decent truly wireless in-ears. They’re both well-designed and have similar isolation and microphone performance. The Free X sound slightly better out-of-the-box, but the IconX can be customized via EQ presets in the Samsung Gear app. The IconX also have a better battery, a more stable fit, and volume control. They’re both decent choices for most use cases, but the IconX may be more advantageous for those who prefer more feature-packed headphones.

Conclusion

7.1 Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Decent for most use cases. They have a balanced sound for critical listening, a stable yet comfortable fit for sports, isolate noise fairly well for commuting, won’t leak too much sound at the office, and are overall comfortable and portable truly wireless in-ears. On the downside, however, they don't have volume controls, which isn't very practical. They also have very high latency, which makes them less-than-ideal for watching TV or movies and have an inadequate microphone for multi-player gaming.
7.3 Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Decent for critical listening. The JBL [nolink:Free] X have great bass, a well-balanced mid-range, and excellent treble. They sound relatively neutral and well-balanced overall. However, their high-mid and low-treble ranges are a bit recessed, which may make some instruments and vocals sound slightly distant. In addition, since they're closed-back in-ears, they don’t have the same soundstage as open-back, over-ear headphones for critical listening. That said, their audio reproduction is quite good, and they sound balanced enough to please most listeners.
7.4 Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Decent for commute and travel. The JBL [nolink:Free] X have very good isolation and do a decent job at blocking out most noises. They don’t isolate as well as headphones with active noise cancelling in the bass range, but their performance will likely be acceptable for most, especially those who can get a good seal. They’re very portable and have a simple, easy-to-use control scheme, but lack volume controls, which means you’ll have to pull out your phone whenever you want to adjust the volume.
8.0 Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Great for sports. The JBL [nolink:Free] X have a stable yet comfortable in-ear fit. They're lightweight and portable with an easy-to-use control scheme. Unfortunately, they have no volume controls and their unique design is not as stable as other truly wireless headphones. They also don’t have an IP rating, so they may not be as sweatproof as other sports in-ears, like the Jabra Elite Active 65t.
7.3 Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Decent for office use. The JBL [nolink:Free] X isolate speech quite well, which makes them suitable to use in a lively office. They also have excellent leakage performance, so you shouldn’t bother your colleagues if you raise your listening volume a bit. Although their battery does not last very long continuously, if you take short breaks to charge them in their case, they could last you all day. They don’t support multi-device pairing, though, so you’ll have to manually switch between your work computer and your smartphone throughout the day.
Inadequate for watching TV. The JBL [nolink:Free] X have too much latency for watching movies or TV show and they don’t support any low-latency codecs. In addition, their in-ear design may start to get uncomfortable after a while and won't be ideal for watching movies or multiple TV show episodes in a row.
4.6 Gaming
Poor for gaming. The JBL [nolink:Free] X have a disappointing microphone and way too much latency to be suitable for gaming. They also do not have a companion app, which means they aren’t as customizable as most gaming headsets.

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