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JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Mar 27, 2020 at 10:32 am
JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless Picture
5.8
Mixed Usage
6.0
Neutral Sound
5.5
Commute/Travel
7.7
Sports/Fitness
5.1
Office
4.7
Wireless Gaming
4.7
Wired Gaming
5.6
Phone Calls
Type Earbuds
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The JBL TUNE 220 are disappointing truly wireless earbuds. While their earbud design may please people who find in-ears uncomfortable, they're made of hard plastic which may cause some people to experience pain and fatigue on the ears during extended listening periods. Their sound profile is almost completely lacking in bass, and unfortunately, they don't have a dedicated companion app for EQ settings. Their battery life is very disappointing at 2.3 hours, and they take over 1.5 hours to charge in their charging case.

Our Verdict

5.8 Mixed Usage

The JBL TUNE 220 are disappointing headphones for mixed usage. Their sound profile is very bright and lacking in bass, and their 2.3-hour single-charge battery life is bad. People who find in-ears uncomfortable may prefer their earbud design, though unfortunately, they're made of hard plastic and can get painful in the ear during extended use. On the upside, they feel quite stable in the ear, and they don't block out much background noise, making them a good option for people who run outdoors and want to stay aware of their surroundings.

Pros
  • Earbud design may be good for people who dislike the fit of in-ears.
  • Decently stable fit.
Cons
  • Very short battery life with long charge time.
  • Sound profile is almost completely lacking in bass.
  • Terrible noise isolation.
  • Fairly cheap look and feel.
6.0 Neutral Sound

The JBL TUNE 220 are mediocre truly wireless headphones for neutral sound listening. Their sound profile is very bright and they don't have a dedicated companion app to access any EQ settings. On the upside, both their mid and treble ranges are quite accurate and neutral, but unfortunately, their bass is almost non-existent.

5.5 Commute/Travel

The JBL TUNE 220 are sub-par headphones for commuting and travel. Their 2.3-hour battery life is very short, and they take over 1.5 hours to recharge. They also block almost no background noise, so they won't help cut out the rumble of bus or plane engines or block out the chatty person in the seat next to you.

7.7 Sports/Fitness

The JBL TUNE 220 are good sports headphones. Despite not having stability fins, they feel quite stable in the ear and shouldn't fall out during most light workouts or runs. They also block out almost no background noise, which could be good if you like to stay aware of your surroundings while working out. Unfortunately, their sound profile is completely lacking in bass so it won't do much to help keep you pumped up at the gym.

5.1 Office

The JBL TUNE 220 are poor headphones for office use. They won't block out chatty coworkers, and they can leak a fair bit of audio if you play music at higher volumes. Their battery life also only lasts 2.3 hours, and they take over 1.5 hours to fully charge, so you'll need to take long breaks without music during your day.

4.7 Wireless Gaming

The JBL TUNE 220 aren't recommended for wireless gaming. They aren't compatible with PS4 or Xbox One, and while you can connect them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, their latency is likely too high for gaming.

4.7 Wired Gaming

The JBL TUNE 220 are Bluetooth-only headphones that can't be used wired.

5.6 Phone Calls

The JBL TUNE 220 are sub-par headphones for phone calls. They have an integrated microphone, which means you can easily take calls while on the go, but like most Bluetooth headphones, their microphone's quality is only alright overall. It will also be difficult for the person on the other end of the line to hear you if you're in moderately noisy environment.

  • 5.8 Mixed Usage
  • 6.0 Neutral Sound
  • 5.5 Commute/Travel
  • 7.7 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.1 Office
  • 4.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 4.7 Wired Gaming
  • 5.6 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JBL TUNE 220 have a similar style to the Apple AirPods, but with a cheaper-looking matte finish. While the model we bought are gray, they also come in a wide range of other colors. They're fairly non-descript looking and have a JBL logo on the right earbud. They also have a blue dot on the left earbud and a red dot on the right earbud, which correspond to dots on the case, making it easier to place them properly.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0.0 lbs

The comfort is okay. They're similar to the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless, with an earbud design that doesn't enter the ear canal deeply but have slightly smaller earbuds that may fit better for some people. Unfortunately, these headphones are made entirely out of hard plastic, which may cause some people to experience pain and fatigue on the ears after wearing them for extended periods.

5.7
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The controls of the JBL TUNE 220TWS are sub-par. Their physical buttons give good feedback including a beep for almost every command, and their control scheme is easy to use. Unfortunately, they don't have volume control, so you'll have to take out your phone to change the volume, which can be bothersome.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.7 "
W 1.2 "
H 0.7 "
Volume 1.4 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like most truly wireless headphones, the TUNE 220TWS are very portable. Both the charging case and the earbuds themselves are quite small and should easily slide into most pockets.

6.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.2 "
W 2.1 "
H 1.0 "
Volume 4.6 Cu. Inches

The case of the JBL TUNE 220 is alright. It feels quite cheap overall and is made out of cheap-feeling plastic. There are red and blue dots on the inside that correspond to dots on the earbuds, so you know which way to put them into the case, which is nice.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The JBL TUNE 220TWS' build quality is decent. The case and the earbuds themselves are made entirely out of plastic that feels decently solid and dense. Unfortunately, the interior of the case is a glossy plastic that makes it look and feel quite cheap, though this may vary between the different color options. They also don't have any IP rating for dust or water resistance, so you'll want to avoid getting them wet.

7.5
Design
Stability

These headphones feel quite stable in the ears, despite not having any stability fins. Unfortunately, they don't come with different tip sizes, so different people may find they fit more securely than others.

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

  • JBL TUNE 220TWS headphones
  • Charging case
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-12.53 db
Treble Amount
0.08 db

The JBL TUNE 220TWS' sound profile is very bright and lacking in bass, likely due in part to their earbud design. Overall, they aren't the best choice for genres like hip-hop, EDM, or pop, and will likely be better suited to more vocal-centric content or genres.

8.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.38 dB

Their frequency response consistency is great. Due to their earbud design, you might find they sound a bit different in the bass and treble range each time you put them on, but they should perform quite consistently overall.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
1.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
10.88 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
310.89 Hz
Low-Bass
-19.93 dB
Mid-Bass
-8.97 dB
High-Bass
-4.42 dB

The bass accuracy of these headphones is terrible. Likely due to their earbud design having a difficult time creating a proper seal, bass is lacking and nearly non-existent. It's worth noting that due to their one-size-fits-all design, different users may experience the bass differently depending on the size and shape of their ear canal. Let us know in the discussions if your experience differs from our test results.

8.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.73 dB
Low-Mid
-2.1 dB
Mid-Mid
0.13 dB
High-Mid
3.87 dB

The mid accuracy of these headphones is great. Almost the entire range is well-balanced and accurate, making vocals and instruments present and clear. However, the peak in high-mids may make some vocals and instruments sound a bit honky and harsh.

8.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.38 dB
Low-Treble
0.82 dB
Mid-Treble
1.2 dB
High-Treble
-8.84 dB

The treble accuracy of the JBL 220TWS is great. Vocals and high-frequency instruments will be present, but shouldn't sound too painful.

7.4
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.93 db
Dips
0.71 db

The peaks and dips performance of the JBL TUNE 220TWS is decent. The peak in high-mids makes vocals and instruments sound rather intense, especially compared to the rest of the range. There's also a peak in mid-treble that may make some higher-pitched frequencies a bit harsh, though overall it may not be too noticeable.

9.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.19
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.4
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.12
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.36

The stereo imaging of these headphones is excellent. The group delay is below the audibility threshold for the entire range, ensuring a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers of our unit were also very well-matched, though these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

2.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
9.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.3

Like most in-ears, the soundstage of these headphones is poor. This is mainly due to their lack of interaction with the pinna, which is a key factor in giving the sense of a large and in-front soundstage. However, thanks to their earbud design that doesn't go deep into the ear canal, they tend to have a more open soundstage than closed-back in-ears.

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

These headphones don't have a virtual soundstage feature.

7.0
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.456
WHD @ 100
0.343

The weighted harmonic distortion of these headphones is decent. While audio reproduction should be fairly clean and pure, there may be some noticeable distortion at higher volumes.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the TUNE 220. Our results are only valid when using the headphones at these settings.

Isolation
1.2
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-2.37 dB
Bass
0.1 dB
Mid
0.73 dB
Treble
-7.74 dB

The isolation performance of these headphones is terrible and they block almost no background noise. While this can be good if you want to stay aware of your surroundings, these won't help block out chatty coworkers or the low rumble of bus engines.

7.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
38.92 dB

The leakage performance of these headphones is decent. While people very close by may hear your music a bit if you play it at very loud volumes, people a few feet away likely won't hear much, especially in a mildly noisy environment.

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

The JBL TUNE 220 have an integrated microphone in the earbuds.

7.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
306.43 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.74 dB
HFE
3517.32 Hz
Weighted THD
0.206
Gain
6.83 dB

The recording quality of the microphone on these headphones is decent. Like with most Bluetooth headphones, your voice will sound muffled, though it should still be clear and easy to understand.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
11.21 dB

The noise handling of this microphone is mediocre. Even in moderately loud environments, it'll be difficult for the person on the other end of the line to hear you.

Active Features
5.3
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
2.3 hrs
Additional Charges
5.0
Total Battery Life
13.8 hrs
Charge Time
1.6 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port micro-USB

The overall battery performance of the JBL TUNE 220TWS is disappointing. Their 2.3-hour battery life off a single charge is among the shortest we've ever tested, and they take over 1.5 hours to charge. Luckily their case should give you up to five additional charges, though their long charging time means that you can't quickly power them up during a lunch break. If you want a pair of earbud-style truly wireless headphones that last longer off a single charge, check out the Microsoft Surface Earbuds 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 220TWS don't have a dedicated companion app.

Connectivity
6.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
213 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
313 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
310 ms
Android Latency
153 ms

The JBL TUNE 220 are Bluetooth-only headphones. Unfortunately, unlike many JBL headphones, they don't support multi-device pairing. Also, their latency on both PC and iOS is high and you'll likely notice a bit of lag. Luckily, we measured a lower latency on Android, though it may still be a bit too high for gaming or watching videos. It's worth noting that some apps seem to compensate for this, so your mileage may vary in real-life usage.

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

These headphones 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

These headphones are Bluetooth-only and can't be used wired. Their charging case charges via Micro-USB, and a very short cable is included.

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

These headphones aren't compatible with the PS4. While they'll connect to any Bluetooth-enabled PC, their latency is likely too high for gaming.

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

These Bluetooth-only headphones aren't compatible with the Xbox One.

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 case for these headphones holds up to five additional charges and, like most truly wireless headphones, doesn't have any additional inputs.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

Unlike most truly wireless in-ears, the JBL TUNE 220TWS have an earbud design similar to the Apple AirPods but feel quite a bit more stable in the ear as they don't slide around as much. Overall, however, there isn't much to make them stand out much over other truly wireless offerings. Check out our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds and the best Bluetooth earbuds.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019 are better headphones than the JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless. The Apple are much more comfortable, look and feel much more premium, have a more accurate sound profile with a bit more bass, a much better battery life, and some customization options on iOS. On the other hand, the JBL's controls are easier to use and provide better feedback, and they feel much more stable in the ear.

Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless. The Skullcandy are a bit more comfortable, have a better case, a more balanced and accurate sound profile, much better noise isolation, and better battery life. On the other hand, some people may prefer the earbud design of the JBL as they don't enter the ear canal as deeply.

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless are better wireless earbuds than the JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless. The Razer have much more bass, though some people may find them too bass-heavy. They also have a better battery life, a dedicated app with EQ presets, and lower latency. On the other hand, the JBL are available in a wider range of colors and have a much better microphone.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are much better truly wireless headphones than the JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless. The Apple are much more comfortable, have better controls, look and feel much more premium, feel more stable thanks to their in-ear fit, have a much more accurate and balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, isolate way better thanks to their ANC, have a better battery life, and have some customization options available on Apple devices. On the other hand, the JBL are available in a wide range of colors and have a better microphone.

JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless Price

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