Current deal: The Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless have dropped by $100 on Amazon.com. See all Cyber Monday deals on headphones.

JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Dec 05, 2019 at 10:46 am
JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless Picture
6.9
Mixed Usage
6.8
Neutral Sound
7.4
Commute/Travel
7.8
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.1
Wireless Gaming
5.0
Wired Gaming
6.3
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The JBL Tune 120 are pretty versatile truly wireless headphones that are decent for most uses but don't excel in anything in particular. These headphones are also decently comfortable, but using their control scheme pushes the headphones deeper into your ears, which can be painful and annoying. They offer about average battery life when it comes to truly wireless earbuds. They don't necessarily stand out from the different available options on the market, but are rather affordable and well-rounded headphones that should please most people, if you get a unit with matched drivers.

Note: Unfortunately, our unit had mismatched drivers, so the bass on the right earbud was noticeably thinner and less thumpy, which is disappointing. However, this might be specific to our unit and if you get two good performing earbuds, they should sound well-balanced and neutral.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. These headphones are a good option for someone that wants a pair of decently comfortable and versatile headphones. They do a decent job for most uses but aren't designed for any specific one. They can be used for sports just as much as you can enjoy your music on the bus. However, due to their high latency, they can't be used for gaming and people might notice a delay when watching video content.

Pros
  • Versatile pair of headphones.
  • Decently comfortable.
  • Very good passive isolation performance.
Cons
  • Slightly cheap feeling.
  • Sub-par microphone.
  • Our unit has mismatched drivers.
6.8 Neutral Sound

Decent for neutral sound. Unfortunately, our unit had a severe mismatch between the L/R drivers, especially in the bass range. Our right bud offers noticeably less bass, resulting in a thin sound profile. However, the left bud is pretty neutral and if you get a unit with two good earbuds, we expect them to be rather neutral-sounding for in-ear headphones.

7.4 Commute/Travel

Good for commuting. These headphones are decently comfortable and their passive isolation is decent at blocking out the deep rumble of a plane or bus engine. Their 4-hour battery life should be more than enough for your daily commute but is more than likely too short for long flights. On the upside, they're very portable and easy to bring around.

7.8 Sports/Fitness

Good for sports. These headphones don't make you sweat more than usual and they're easy to bring around to the gym. There's no cumbersome wire, but they aren't the most stable truly wireless option out there and they don't have an IP rating. There are noticeably better truly wireless sports headphones available.

6.7 Office

Passable for the office. These headphones do a good job of isolating against work environment noises like ambient chatter and the A/C unit. However, the in-ear fit might not be the most comfortable to wear during a full work day. Also, the 4-hour battery life won't be enough for you to listen to your music all day long and you'll probably need to charge them during your lunchtime.

5.1 Wireless Gaming

These headphones can only be used via Bluetooth and aren't recommended for wireless gaming due to their very high latency.

5.0 Wired Gaming

These headphones can't be used wired.

6.3 Phone Calls

Mediocre for phone calls. Like most truly wireless in-ears, these headphones have a sub-par performing integrated microphone. The recording quality lacks detail and sounds muffled, and it struggles to separate actual speech from background noise.

  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 6.8 Neutral Sound
  • 7.4 Commute/Travel
  • 7.8 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 5.1 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.0 Wired Gaming
  • 6.3 Phone Calls
  1. Update 2/5/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JBL Tune 120TWS are fairly straightforward truly wireless headphones. They're small and have a glossy finish, which may be prone to fingerprints. However, their design does make them protrude out of the ear quite a bit. They're also available in various colors, so you can pick up the ones that match your style.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These headphones are decently comfortable. They come with three different silicone tip sizes to help you get the best fit possible. However, their design enters the ear canal a bit, which can be uncomfortable during long listening sessions. Also, pressing the buttons on each bud pushes them even more inside your ear. On the upside, you can easily grab the bud when pressing the button, which helps it not be as painful.

5.2
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The JBL Tune 120's control scheme is just okay. The buttons are very clicky and offer good tactile feedback. However, pressing them pushed the buds inside the ears quite a bit, which can hurt. They also don't offer volume control, which might be a deal-breaker for some.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 C

Like most in-ears, the JBL Tune 120 don't trap too much heat inside or around your ears. They're great for sports as you won't sweat more than usual when using them.

9.3
Design
Portability
L 1.4 "
W 1.5 "
H 1.0 "
Volume 2 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

These headphones can easily fit inside your pockets or a small bag. There's also a magnet on each bud, which can keep them together in your pocket, but its magnetic force is pretty weak and they can easily separate when moving.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.7 "
W 1.0 "
H 2.3 "
Volume 6 Cu. Inches

The JBL Tune 120's case is good. It offers good protection to the buds when it comes to physical damage, scratches, and very light water exposure. The charge port is protected by rubber and the controls are engraved inside the case, which is a nice touch if you always find yourself looking at the manual to remember the control scheme.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The JBL Tune 120 have a decent build quality. They're fairly plasticky and the glossy finish on the earbuds gives off a bit of a cheap feeling. The buds are still fairly dense and should survive a few accidental drops without too much damage. They feel quite similar to the Skullcandy Sesh, but don't have an IP rating for dust and sweat resistance.

7.0
Design
Stability

The JBL Tune 120TWS are fairly stable headphones if you can find a good seal with the different silicone tips available. If not, they can fall out of your ears quite easily with head movement, so they may not be the best option for sports.

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

  • JBL Tune 120 headphones
  • 3x silicone tip sizes
  • Charing case
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-2.42 db
Treble Amount
1.1 db

The JBL Tune 120TWS's sound profile is well-balanced and fairly neutral, although our unit had a significant mismatch in the bass range, making them sound a bit on the brighter side. The right driver was noticeably missing low-bass. Paired with the excited treble, this gives them a rather bright sound profile, but this is only valid for our unit.

8.7
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.27 dB

The frequency response consistency is great. Once you achieve a proper fit and seal with the included tips, you'll likely get consistent bass and treble response every time you use the headphones. There's a bit of variation in the bass range, but this isn't likely to be that noticeable. It was also only measured on the right ear, which is the driver where our unit had a mismatch.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.31 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10.15 Hz
Low-Bass
-4.17 dB
Mid-Bass
0.36 dB
High-Bass
-0.5 dB

The JBL Tune 120's bass accuracy is good. The left ear is quite outstanding, following our curve very well, which results in a powerful bass with a good amount of thump and rumble without sounding too boomy. Unfortunately, our unit had a noticeable mismatch and the right ear's bass was disappointing and lacking in thump.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.68 dB
Low-Mid
-0.06 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.61 dB
High-Mid
1.24 dB

The JBL Tune 120's mid accuracy is great. It's very well-balanced and follows our target curve very well. This results in an accurate reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

7.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.37 dB
Low-Treble
1.85 dB
Mid-Treble
0.71 dB
High-Treble
2.8 dB

The JBL Tune 120TWS have a rather decent treble accuracy. There's a small mismatch between both drivers, but this isn't as audible as the one in the bass range. Unfortunately, the treble slightly goes over our target curve, with some sharp peaks, which can make them quite piercing.

8.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.04 db
Dips
1.1 db

The JBL Tune 120's peaks and dips performance is good. The most noticeable is the mismatch in the bass range, where you get significantly more thump and rumble in the left ear than the right ear. However, this may only be valid to our unit and yours might perform differently. There are also a few peaks and dips in the treble range.

6.6
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.21
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.94
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
5.43
Weighted Phase Mismatch
10.88

The JBL Tune 120TWS's imaging is just okay. The GD graph is under the audibility threshold, which results in a tight bass and transparent treble range. However, there's a noticeable mismatch between our unit left and right drivers, especially in the bass range. This creates 'holes' and skews the stereo image. However, note that these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

0.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.3

Like all closed-back in-ear headphones, the soundstage of these headphones is pretty much nonexistent. This is because creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). The design of in-ears and earbuds is in such a way that fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.238
WHD @ 100
0.162

The JBL Tune 120's weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. The amount of WHD is within good limits, which should result in a clear and pure audio reproduction. Even the spikes on the right ear, in the bass range, shouldn't be audible for most.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated
Isolation
7.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-21.35 dB
Bass
-9.55 dB
Mid
-20.52 dB
Treble
-35.02 dB

The JBL Tune 120 have good passive noise isolation performance, similar to the Monster Clarity 101 AirLinks Truly Wireless. They don't have any ANC feature, so they only passively block out noise. If you can find a good fit with the included silicone tip options, they can reduce a decent amount of the deep rumble of a bus engine. Also, they're great for the office as they greatly reduce the ambient chatter.

8.8
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
28.24 dB

The leakage performance is excellent. Like most in-ears, they don't leak too much audio so you shouldn't be worried about bothering people surrounding you. However, blasting your music in a very quiet environment like a library isn't recommended, as some might still hear some thin-sounding leakage.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
5.7
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
293.44 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.33 dB
HFE
2248.0 Hz
Weighted THD
0.798
Gain
-3.64 dB

The recording quality of the microphone is sub-par. Recorded speech sounds muffled and lacks detail. It's still understandable in quiet environments, but the audio quality isn't very good.

6.2
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
15.01 dB

Like most in-ear integrated mics, this one also struggles with noise handling. It has difficulty separating ambient noise and actual speech in even moderately loud situations such as walking down a busy street. This mic is better suited for very quiet situations.

Active Features
5.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
4.3 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
17.2 hrs
Charge Time
1.5 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port micro-USB

The JBL Tune 120's battery performance is rather unimpressive. It holds about four hours of charge on a single charge, which is about standard for truly wireless headphones, but quite inferior to some higher-end models. The case holds about three extra charges according to the manufacturer. However, the case doesn't support wireless charging, and you can't use one bud at a time while the other is charging, which is disappointing. If you're looking for a pair of similarly-performing truly wireless headphones with superior battery life, take a look at the JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The JBL Tune 120 isn't compatible with the JBL Headphones app, which is disappointing since you don't have dedicated customization options like the parametric EQ you get with some over-ear headphones like the JBL Live 650 BTNC Wireless.

Connectivity
6.4
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
135 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
369 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
347 ms
Android Latency
386 ms

The JBL Tune 120 are Bluetooth-only truly wireless headphones. They have a decent wireless range, which shouldn't cause any issues if you keep your source on you, but isn't quite as good as some other competing models out there. They also have high latency, which results in a noticeable delay when watching video content. Some apps and devices offer some compensation, so some people might not notice the delay as much.

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

The JBL Tune 120TWS are Bluetooth-only.

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

As expected, they can't be used wired as they're truly wireless headphones. They only come with a very short micro-USB charging cable.

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

Although the JBL Tune 120 can be paired to a PC via Bluetooth, there's no other way to pair them. They also won't be compatible with the PS4 and aren't recommended for gaming due to their high latency.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can't be used with an Xbox One and wouldn't be recommended for gaming due to their high latency.

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

The JBL Tune 120 come with a typical charging case. It offers about three additional charges according to the manufacturer but doesn't support wireless charging. The case itself charges via micro-USB and doesn't have any inputs other than its charging port.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The JBL Tune 120 are rather affordable and well-rounded performing headphones that don't necessarily stand out for anything. They're versatile and offer a fairly good neutral sound, if you can get a unit with well-matched drivers, unlike ours. They lack customization options and more high-end features like ANC but are overall a good option for people who are looking for a single pair of headphones to suit all of their needs. See our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds, and the best noise cancelling earbuds and in-ears.

Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless

The Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless and the JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless are rather similar performing headphones, but with different designs. The Tune 120 have more of an oval-shape design, while the Indy have a stem design. The Indy have volume control, which the Tune 120 lack. Our JBL unit had mismatched drivers, especially in the bass range, but the Indy have sub-par treble accuracy since they lack a lot of detail, making them better suited for bass-heavy genres.

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless. They have volume control, are better built and more stable, and they last longer on a single charge. On the other hand, the JBL Tune 120 are slightly more comfortable and have an extra additional charge from the case. They also had a mismatch between the drivers, especially in the bass range, making them sound quite thin and bright, while the Elite 65t are well-balanced. The Jabra also have an app that allows some audio customization.

JBL Free Truly Wireless 2018

The JBL Free Truly Wireless 2018 are slightly better than the JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless. They have a more comfortable design and feel slightly better made as well. Our Tune 120 unit also had mismatched drivers, which thinned out the bass and made them sound bright. The JBL Free have more additional charges but have a lower continuous playback time than the Tune 120.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless are noticeably better than the JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless. They're smaller and more comfortable, better-built, and more stable thanks to their fins. They also sound very neutral, and you can slightly customize their sound profile inside the Android app. The Galaxy Buds also have a great single charge battery life, although the case only offers one additional charge, rather than three like the JBL Tune 120.

JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless

The JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless are better overall than the JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless. The 125TWS have a better-balanced sound profile, superior microphone recording quality, and longer-lasting battery life. Meanwhile, the 120 block out a little more ambient noise.

+ Show more
Price trend (United States Last Year)