JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Jun 02, 2020 at 09:33 am
JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly Wireless Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
7.2
Neutral Sound
7.5
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
6.9
Office
5.8
Wireless Gaming
5.7
Wired Gaming
6.9
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are a fairly straight-forward pair of truly wireless in-ears that perform decently overall for most uses. Their small earbuds make them quite comfortable for in-ears, and even after long listening sessions, they don't cause too much fatigue or discomfort. Their sound profile is fairly well-balanced, making them suitable for a wide range of genres, and their great companion app gives you a ton of customization options, including a parametric EQ and presets. With their stability fins attached, they're stable enough to wear at the gym or during your morning jog, though they don't have an IP rating for sweat or water resistance. Unfortunately, their 4.4-hour battery life isn't great and is quite a bit shorter than the six hours advertised by JBL. Overall, if you're looking for a new pair of truly wireless in-ears, they're a decent choice, but they don't stand out much from the crowd.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are decent truly wireless in-ears for mixed usage. They're comfortable enough to wear all day at work or during a long flight, and with their stability fins installed, they feel stable enough to be a great gym companion. Their sound profile is balanced enough for most genres and content, and their great companion app has a parametric EQ and presets. Unfortunately, they don't block out much background noise, so they may not be the best choice to help block out engine rumbles on the bus or keep you concentrated at work. Their 4.4-hour battery is also somewhat disappointing, so you'll need to toss them in their charging case during your lunch break if you like to listen to music all day at work.

Pros
  • Comfortable for in-ear headphones.
  • Stable design suitable for sports.
  • Versatile and well-balanced sound profile.
  • Great companion app with lots of customization options and parametric EQ.
Cons
  • Less than advertised battery life.
  • Decent-at-best noise isolation.
7.2 Neutral Sound

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are decent for neutral sound listening. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is quite well-balanced and accurate, though they have a fair amount of extra bass. That being said, their great companion app gives you access to a fully parametric EQ and presets, so you can customize the way they sound. Like with most closed-back in-ears, they don't have a wide or open soundstage, and music sounds like it's inside your head as opposed to in front.

7.5 Commute/Travel

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are good in-ears for commuting and travel. While they're comfortable enough to wear during long flights or bus rides, unfortunately, they do a terrible job of blocking out the noise from bus or plane engines. That being said, they do an excellent job of blocking out background chatter, which can be helpful in case the stranger next to you on a flight wants to become friends. Unfortunately, their 4.4-hour battery life likely isn't very long, so you may have to toss them in their charging case to get you through a long flight.

8.2 Sports/Fitness

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are great headphones for sports. They feel very stable with their stability fins attached, and won't fall out or slide even during intense workouts. They have a bit of extra bass to help keep you pumped up at the gym, and they're comfortable enough to wear during your long weekend runs. Their controls are easy to use, so you don't have to worry about taking your phone out mid-jog, and they feel durable enough in case they accidentally get dropped, though unfortunately, they don't have an IP rating for water resistance. Their battery life is also a bit disappointing at around 4.5 hours, though that should still be long enough for most workouts, and you can easily charge them by tossing them back into their case.

6.9 Office

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are okay headphones for office use. While they're comfortable enough to wear for long periods, unfortunately, they only last 4.4 hours off a single charge, so you'll likely have to take a break and toss them in their case to last a full work day. They also do a bad job at blocking out low-frequency sounds, which can be an issue if there's construction happening at your office. On the bright side, they do an excellent job at blocking out other office sounds, like chatty coworkers or A/C units, and they leak almost no audio, so you can turn up your music without bothering the person at the desk next to you.

5.8 Wireless Gaming

The JBL LIVE 300TWS aren't suitable headphones for wireless gaming. These truly wireless in-ears are Bluetooth-only, so they aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4. While you can pair them to your phone or Bluetooth-enabled PC, their high latency and mediocre microphone performance make them less than ideal for any competitive gaming.

5.7 Wired Gaming

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are Bluetooth-only headphones that can't be used wired.

6.9 Phone Calls

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are okay headphones for phone calls. They have an integrated mic in the headphones, allowing you to easily answer a call while on-the-go. Their mic works surprisingly well for Bluetooth headphones, and while your voice sounds thin, it's clear, natural, and distortion-free. The mic's noise handling is decent, though your voice gets drowned out in loud environments.

  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 7.5 Commute/Travel
  • 8.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.9 Office
  • 5.8 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.7 Wired Gaming
  • 6.9 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are fairly straight-forward and standard looking truly wireless in-ears. While we tested the 'black' version, the earbuds themselves are covered in a matte finish that's closer to a dark grey color, with a copper-colored ring around the touch-sensitive controls. They're also available in a wide range of other colors, although selection seems to vary depending on where you live. Despite being made entirely of plastic, they don't look too cheap overall. The case doesn't look exceptionally premium but doesn't look cheap either. It also has a white light around the charging port that lights up when the headphones are being charged.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0.0 lbs

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are quite comfortable for in-ears. They come with three sizes of tips, and four pairs of stability fins to help you get the most comfortable fit and seal. The earbuds themselves aren't too bulky and don't cause too much fatigue during most listening sessions.

7.1
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
Adjustable
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The touch-sensitive controls of the JBL LIVE 300TWS are easy to use and are decent overall. They give you a good amount of control options, including volume control and voice assistant. Unfortunately, swiping forward and backward for volume is difficult as the touch-sensitive surface is quite small. They also only give audio beeps for feedback, which is somewhat disappointing.

9.2
Design
Portability
L 1.7 "
W 1.3 "
H 1.2 "
Volume 2.7 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like with most truly wireless in-ears, the JBL LIVE 300TWS are very portable and can easily be tossed into a pocket.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.7 "
W 1.2 "
H 2.0 "
Volume 6.5 Cu. Inches

The case of the JBL LIVE 300TWS is good. It's made out of plastic but doesn't feel too cheap overall, though it doesn't look or feel nearly as high-end as some more premium options, like the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. They have white light around the charging port that lights up when they're charging, which is nice.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The JBL LIVE 300TWS look and feel quite well-built and durable. Both the earbuds themselves and the case are entirely made out of good, dense plastic, and they feel like they should be able to withstand a few accidental drops or bumps without sustaining too much damage.

8.0
Design
Stability

The JBL LIVE 300TWS feel very stable in the ear with the stability fins attached. Even during fairly intense movements, they don't move or fall out. Without the stability fins, they're stable enough for light movements, but may move or slide out when working out or jogging.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • JBL LIVE 300TWS headphones
  • 3 pairs of earbud tips
  • 4 pairs of stability fins
  • Charging case
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
2.79 db
Treble Amount
-0.84 db

The sound profile of the JBL LIVE 300TWS is quite well-balanced and versatile. While they provide a fair amount of extra kick and thump, their bass isn't too overpowering for genres like rock or country but it can still help bring out the drops in EDM and hip-hop.

9.9
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.03 dB

The frequency response consistency of the JBL LIVE 300TWS is outstanding. Once you achieve a proper fit and seal with the included tips, your listening experience is the same every time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.34 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
12.78 Hz
Low-Bass
4.26 dB
Mid-Bass
3.87 dB
High-Bass
2.6 dB

The bass accuracy of these headphones is good. The entire frequency range is over-emphasized but is fairly even and flat throughout. They provide a good amount of extra kick and thump without sounding too boomy or muddy.

8.9
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.41 dB
Low-Mid
1.18 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.49 dB
High-Mid
-0.07 dB

The mid accuracy of the JBL LIVE 300TWS is great. Almost the entire range is even and accurate, providing present and clear vocals and instruments that don't sound harsh, honky, or cluttered.

8.3
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.31 dB
Low-Treble
-0.77 dB
Mid-Treble
-0.15 dB
High-Treble
-1.64 dB

The treble accuracy of these headphones is great, and overall, the entire range is quite well-balanced and even. Low-treble, responsible for detail and presence of almost all instruments, is very accurate and even, resulting in instruments and some vocals that sound detailed and articulate, without being painful. While the mid-treble range isn't quite as even, it's still even enough that instruments and vocals in that range shouldn't sound too piercing, painful, or dull. Some sounds in the high-treble range, like sibilants (S and T sounds), may sound hissy, while others sound lifeless, though these are likely at high enough frequencies that it won't be too noticeable to most people.

8.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
0.89 db
Dips
1.0 db

The peaks and dips performance of these headphones is excellent. The only noticeable peaks are likely in mid and high-treble, which may make some sounds come across as harsh or painful, though they're in high enough frequencies that they may not be too noticeable to most people.

8.8
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.16
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.99
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.16
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.25

The imaging of these headphones is excellent. The GD graph shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit are very well-matched, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects and instruments (like voices and footsteps) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

0.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.5

Like most other in-ears, the soundstage of the JBL LIVE 300 is bad. This is because in-ears bypass the pinna (outer ear), and don't interact with it. Activating the resonances of the pinna is one of the key factors in creating a speaker-like and out-of-head soundstage. Also, because of their closed-back design, their soundstage tends to be less open than that of open-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.

7.8
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.238
WHD @ 100
0.119

The weight harmonic distortion of the JBL LIVE 300TWS is very good. While they distort a bit more at higher frequencies, it's still all within good limits, resulting in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
3.3.0
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Therefore, our results are only valid when using the JBL LIVE 300TWS with these settings.

Isolation
6.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-18.68 dB
Bass
-3.43 dB
Mid
-19.91 dB
Treble
-34.38 dB

The noise isolation of the JBL LIVE 300TWS is only okay overall. Provided you achieve a proper fit and seal with the included tips, they do an excellent job at blocking out office sounds, like background chatter and A/C units or fans. Unfortunately, on buses or planes, they do a very bad job of blocking out the low rumble of engines.

9.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
23.72 dB

The leakage performance of these headphones is outstanding. When listening at high volumes they leak very little audio, so people next to you likely can't hear what you're listening to.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

These headphones have an integrated microphone.

7.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
329.38 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.77 dB
HFE
7346.09 Hz
Weighted THD
0.513
Gain
0.31 dB

The recording quality of the microphone is surprisingly decent. Unlike many Bluetooth in-ears, your voice sounds very natural and clean without any distortion, though it's still fairly thin-sounding.

7.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
20.38 dB

The noise handling of the microphone is decent. While your voice gets drowned out in loud environments, the person you're speaking to should have no problem hearing you in moderately loud situations.

Active Features
6.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
4.4 hrs
Additional Charges
2.0
Total Battery Life
13.2 hrs
Charge Time
1.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The battery performance of these headphones is mediocre. They last 4.4 hours off a single charge, which is similar to many other truly wireless headphones but is a lot shorter than the six hours JBL advertises. They take 1.3 hours to charge, which is fairly long, and their case only gives around two full additional charges, which gives them a disappointing total battery life overall. On the bright side, they feature an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name JBL Headphones
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Parametric + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The dedicated companion app for the JBL LIVE 300TWS is great. It gives you a ton of customization options, including button mapping, EQ presets, and a fully parametric EQ. You can also turn the headphones' auto-off feature on or off within the app, though it's set to 'on' by deafult.

Connectivity
6.6
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
215 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
366 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
400 ms
Android Latency
255 ms

The Bluetooth connectivity features of these headphones are only okay. They're Bluetooth 5.0 headphones but unfortunately, they don't feature multi-device or NFC pairing for the easily pairing or switching of devices. Their line of sight range is great, though this is very dependant on your environment, and your real-world usage may vary. Unfortunately, we recorded high latency on PC as well as on both Android and iOS while watching a YouTube video. However, it's worth noting that apps and devices seem to compensate for this differently, so you may experience different results.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are Bluetooth-only headphones.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are Bluetooth-only headphones that can't be used wired. They come with a very short USB-C cable to charge their case.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are Bluetooth-only headphones and therefore aren't compatible with PS4. That being said, you can pair them to any Bluetooth-enabled PC.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No

These headphones aren't compatible with Xbox One since they're Bluetooth-only.

2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

The JBL LIVE 300TWS come with a charging case that gives you around two additional charges. Like with most truly wireless headphones, the case doesn't have any inputs.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The JBL LIVE 300TWS are fairly standard truly wireless in-ears, though they perform quite decently overall. Overall they perform similarly to the JBL FreeX Truly Wireless, except unlike those headphones, the 300TWS have a great companion app that gives you access to a parametric EQ, presets, and button-mapping for their touch-sensitive controls. While their 4.4-hour battery lasts longer than the battery found on the FreeX, it still doesn't last nearly as long as some other options, like the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless, or the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless. Check out our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and the best earbuds and in-ear headphones.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly Wireless. The Samsung have a much longer battery that's among the longest we've ever tested on a pair of truly wireless headphones. They also have a nicer case that supports wireless charging, and their sound profile is almost perfectly balanced. On the other hand, the JBL's app offers slightly more customization options, including a parametric EQ as opposed to only EQ presets with the Samsung. The JBL also have a better microphone and easier-to-use controls.

Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless are slightly better in-ears than the JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly Wireless. The Jabra look and feel a bit more premium and durable, last longer off a single charge, and have more charges in their case. Both pairs of headphones have fairly well-balanced but bass-heavy sound profiles out-of-the-box. However, the Jabra's app gives you a graphic EQ, while the JBL's app gives access to a fully parametric EQ so you can fine-tune the way they sound even more.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are slightly better truly wireless in-ears than the JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly WIreless. The Apple look a lot more premium, feel a bit more durable, last longer off a single charge, and hold more charges in their case. They block much more background noise thanks to their ANC feature, and their sound profile isn't quite as bass-heavy, though they don't have a companion app for EQ options like the JBL. The JBL also have a better microphone and may represent better value to some people.

JBL FreeX Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly Wireless and the JBL FreeX Truly Wireless are both decent truly wireless in-ears that perform similarly. The biggest differences between the two are that the 300TWS have touch-sensitive controls that work better overall, a more stable fit thanks to their stability fins, and slightly longer battery life off a single charge. They also have access to a dedicated companion app that works great and adds quite a few customization options, while the FreeX don't have an app.

TOZO T6 Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly Wireless are slightly better in-ears than the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless. The JBL are more comfortable and have a slightly better control scheme with more functionality. Their default sound profile is also better-balanced, and they have a great dedicated companion app that gives you a parametric EQ, presets, and button-mapping options. On the other hand, the TOZO block out much more background noise passively and have a longer battery, including many more charges in their case.

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JBL LIVE 300TWS Truly Wireless Price

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