JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jan 20, 2021 at 09:44 am
JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless Picture
5.8
Neutral Sound
5.6
Commute/Travel
7.8
Sports/Fitness
5.5
Office
4.8
Wireless Gaming
4.7
Wired Gaming
5.8
Phone Calls
These headphones were replaced by the JBL TUNE 230NC TWS True Wireless
Type Earbuds
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless are basic truly wireless headphones. They're decently well-made, exceptionally easy to carry around, and have a stable fit. Unfortunately, they have a short continuous battery life, block out almost no ambient noise, and have a fairly limited control scheme. Their earbud design is also prone to inconsistent audio delivery, and they don't have any sound customization features to compensate for their lack of low-end bass.

Our Verdict

5.8 Neutral Sound

The JBL Tune 225TWS are disappointing for neutral sound. While their mid and treble ranges are quite well balanced, yielding present, clear, and detailed vocals and lead instruments, their sound profile is lacking substantially in bass, so they're a poor fit for genres like EDM and hip-hop. Their audio delivery can vary drastically depending on their fit, seal, and positioning in your ear, and they don't have any sound customization features.

Pros
  • Well-balanced mid and treble ranges.
Cons
  • Inconsistent audio delivery.
  • No sound customization features.
5.6 Commute/Travel

The JBL Tune 225TWS are sub-par for commuting and travel. They do almost nothing to block out the rumble of bus or plane engines as well as the chatter of fellow commuters. Their continuous battery life is also somewhat short, so you may need to charge them during longer trips. However, they're exceptionally easy to carry around.

Pros
  • Exceptionally portable, fairly sturdy design.
Cons
  • Short continuous battery life.
  • Terrible noise isolation capability.
7.8 Sports/Fitness

The JBL Tune 225TWS are good for sports and fitness. They're lightweight and have a stable fit, so they should stay in place during moderate physical exercise. While they block out very little ambient noise, that may be a benefit if you're outdoors and want to stay aware of your surroundings. Unfortunately, they don't have any on-board volume controls, so you need to pull your phone out to make this kind of adjustment.

Pros
  • Exceptionally portable, fairly sturdy design.
  • Stable fit.
Cons
  • Limited control scheme.
5.5 Office

The JBL Tune 225TWS are poor for office use. They block out almost no ambient chatter from nearby coworkers and leak a fair amount of audio, which could annoy people nearby if you listen to content at high volumes. Since their continuous battery life is quite short, you may also need to put them back in their case to recharge.

Pros
  • Exceptionally portable, fairly sturdy design.
Cons
  • Short continuous battery life.
  • Terrible noise isolation capability.
4.8 Wireless Gaming

The JBL Tune 225TWS aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4 consoles. While they can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs, their latency is likely to be too high for gaming.

4.7 Wired Gaming

The JBL Tune 225TWS are Bluetooth-only headphones that don't support any wired connections.

5.8 Phone Calls

The JBL Tune 225TWS are an inadequate choice for making phone calls. Their integrated mic delivers decent recording quality, but it struggles to isolate speech from even moderate background noise. The buds themselves do an awful job of blocking out ambient noise, so you may have trouble hearing what's being said on a call if you're in a noisy setting.

Pros
  • Decent mic recording quality.
Cons
  • Terrible noise isolation capability.
  • Sub-par microphone noise handling capability.
  • 5.8 Neutral Sound
  • 5.6 Commute/Travel
  • 7.8 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.5 Office
  • 4.8 Wireless Gaming
  • 4.7 Wired Gaming
  • 5.8 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated Jan 20, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Jan 14, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The JBL Tune 225TWS have a conventional stalk design that's hard to tell apart from the older JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless. Unless you spring for one of the more eye-catching color variants, they're quite nondescript and aren't likely to stand out in most environments.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These headphones are fairly comfortable. They're lightweight and have a somewhat shallow fit. Using their controls doesn't force them any deeper into your ears, either. However, the plastic edge of the outside of the bud can cause some fatigue during longer listening sessions.

5.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
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 JBL Tune 225TWS have a sub-par control scheme. It's fairly easy to use but somewhat limited in terms of overall functionality, as there are no on-board volume controls. Tapping the multifunction button on either bud answers and ends phone calls, while holding either unit down for three seconds mutes and unmutes the microphone while you're on a call. A single tap of the left bud skips a track forward while a double-tap skips to the previous track. Tapping the right bud once plays and pauses media, and a double-tap turns on your phone's voice assistant. The buttons are quite clicky but don't offer any audio cues to let you know when you skip, rewind, or pause a track.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 °C
9.3
Design
Portability
L 1.4" (3.6 cm)
W 1.7" (4.3 cm)
H 0.9" (2.3 cm)
Volume 2.10 in³ (34.41 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

Like most truly wireless headphones, the JBL Tune 225 are exceptionally portable. They're very compact overall and have a small charging case that can be easily slipped into a pocket or a bag.

6.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.2" (5.6 cm)
W 2.0" (5.1 cm)
H 1.1" (2.8 cm)
Volume 4.90 in³ (80.30 cm³)

These earbuds have an alright case. While it's quite compact, it feels somewhat cheaply made, with a contrasting matte-finish exterior and glossy interior. There's an LED light under the lid that shows its remaining charge level, which is somewhat convenient, though you need to open the case to see it.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The JBL Tune 225TWS have satisfactory build quality. They're made entirely of plastic that feels reasonably sturdy and solid overall. However, the glossy finish used inside their case looks and feels cheap. The buds also don't have any sort of IP rating for dust or water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

7.5
Design
Stability

These earbuds have a stable fit. Even though they aren't fitted with stability fins or ear hooks, they do a good job of staying in place while you move your head, though repeated high-intensity shakes can cause them to fall out.

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

  • JBL Tune 225TWS headphones
  • Charging case
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Quick start guide

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-11.87 dB
Treble Amount
0.39 dB

The JBL Tune 225TWS have a bright sound profile that noticeably lacking in terms of bass. Their lack of low-end thump and rumble makes them a poor fit for genres like EDM or hip-hop. This could be a result of their shallow earbud fit, which is prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery depending on their fit, positioning, and seal. That said, their well-balanced mid and treble range results in clear, detailed, and well-articulated vocals and lead instruments, which is good for less bass-heavy content like audiobooks or podcasts. Unfortunately, they lack any sort of sound customization features.

5.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.01 dB

These in-ears have middling frequency response consistency. They lack any sort of size adjustment features, so achieving a consistent fit, seal, and position in your ear may be difficult, leading to variations in audio delivery.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
2.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
10.38 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
329.38 Hz
Low-Bass
-18.68 dB
Mid-Bass
-8.89 dB
High-Bass
-4.57 dB

The JBL Tune 225TWS's bass accuracy is awful. The entire frequency range is underemphasized, particularly the low and mid-bass ranges, so mixes are lacking heavily in terms of thump, body, and warmth. It's worth noting that their bass delivery can vary depending on the buds' fit, seal, and positioning in your ear.

8.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.73 dB
Low-Mid
-2.31 dB
Mid-Mid
0.11 dB
High-Mid
3.73 dB

The JBL Tune 225TWS have great mid accuracy. There's a dip in the low-mid range that slightly thins out vocals and lead instruments as well as a bump in the high-mid range that gives them a faintly harsh quality. However, the mid-mid range is very flat and even, yielding vocals and lead instruments that are present within the mix.

8.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.36 dB
Mid-Treble
1.66 dB
Low-Treble
1.59 dB
High-Treble
-8.8 dB

The JBL Tune 225TWS have impressive treble accuracy. Aside from some slight bumps in the low and mid-treble range that give a slightly harsh quality to vocals and lead instruments and make sibilants a little piercing, the range is quite flat overall. However, since the treble delivery is heavily dependent on the buds' fit, seal and positioning, your experience may vary.

7.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.76 dB
Dips
0.58 dB

The earbuds have good peaks and dips performance. A dip in the low-bass range lessens the thump and rumble of some mixes while the following bump in the mid-bass adds a bit of extra punch. Another peak in the high-mids gives vocals and lead instruments a somewhat harsh quality. A bump in the mid-treble range can make sibilants and cymbals somewhat piercing.

8.6
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.17
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.26
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.65

The stereo imaging performance is excellent. Their weighted group delay falls entirely beneath the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers are also well-matched in regards to amplitude, frequency, and phase response, so objects like voices and footsteps should be accurately placed within the stereo image. That said, these results are only valid for our test unit.

3.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
9.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.6

The JBL Tune 225TWS have a bad passive soundstage. In-ears and earbuds like this bypass any sort of interaction with the outer ear, which is essential in creating a natural, out-of-head soundstage. However, their shallow fit results in a more open listening experience than conventional 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 any virtual soundstage features.

7.2
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.241
WHD @ 100
0.418

The JBL Tune 225TWS have satisfactory weight harmonic distortion performance. There's some distortion across the mid-range at high listening volumes, but the rest of the frequency range falls within good limits. This results in mostly clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the JBL Tune 225. Our test results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
1.0
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-2.19 dB
Bass
0.16 dB
Mid
1.09 dB
Treble
-7.57 dB

The noise isolation performance is terrible. They block out almost no ambient noise across the entire frequency range, so you're likely to hear everything from the low rumble of bus and plane engines to the high-pitched hum of an AC unit, not to mention ambient chatter from people nearby.

6.8
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
40.5 dB

The JBL Tune 225TWS have an alright audio leakage performance. The bulk of the escaping audio occurs in the treble range, making it sound somewhat thin. People nearby may be able to hear what you're listening to if you play it at a high volume.

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

These earbuds have an integrated mic.

7.4
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
334.17 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.62 dB
HFE
6,001.45 Hz
Weighted THD
0.017
Gain
5.6 dB

The mic recording quality is decent. Recorded speech sounds natural, fairly clear, and mostly free of distortion, though also quite thin.

5.8
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
7.9 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The integrated mic's noise handling performance is sub-par. People on the other end of the line may have trouble understanding you, even if you call from an only moderately noisy environment.

Active Features
5.8
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
4.3 hrs
Additional Charges
4.0
Total Battery Life
21.5 hrs
Charge Time
1.1 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The JBL Tune 225 have a middling battery performance. They only provide just over four hours of continuous playback time, which falls short of the manufacturer-advertised claim of five hours. This is a noticeable increase over the JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless' two-hour-plus continuous battery life, but it still falls some way short of the over nine hours of continuous playback time offered by alternatives like the Boltune BT-BH024 Truly Wireless. The JBL's case supplies roughly four additional full charges, and you can use one bud while the other charges, though you lose access to some controls in doing so. It should be noted that battery life can vary according to usage, so your experience may differ in the real world.

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 225TWS don't have a companion app.

Connectivity
6.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
295.00 ft (89.92 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
325 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
223 ms
Android Latency
243 ms

The JBL Tune 225TWS have okay Bluetooth connectivity. They support Bluetooth 5.0 but not multi-device pairing, so you can't stream music off your phone while remaining connected to your computer. They also don't support seamless NFC pairing. Their latency is also quite high on PC and mobile iOS and Android devices, which could be disruptive if you plan on watching videos while wearing these earbuds. However, apps and devices compensate differently for latency, so your user experience may vary.

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

These 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 Tune 225 are truly wireless headphones and don't support any wired connections. They come with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging their case.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones aren't compatible with Xbox One consoles.

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 Tune 225TWS come with a charging case that supplies roughly four additional charges. It doesn't support wireless charging and can only be recharged via a USB-C cable.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The JBL Tune 225TWS come in four color schemes: 'Black', 'White', 'Blue', and 'Gold', but there are a wider range of color variants available if you configure them yourself by using the "Design your own" feature when ordering the headphones from JBL's website. We tested the 'Black' variant, and you can see its label here. That said, we expect the other color variants to perform similarly.

If someone comes across a different variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The JBL Tune 225TWS are basic truly wireless headphones. They're similar in design and overall performance to the older JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless, with longer continuous battery life. Unfortunately, they retain the 220TWS's terrible noise isolation capability, limited control scheme, and lack of sound customization features. If you're looking for alternatives, look at our list of recommendations of the best AirPods clones, the best true wireless earbuds, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $100.

JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless

The JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless are more versatile than the JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless. The 125TWS have a more comfortable fit, more consistent audio delivery, far superior noise isolation and audio leakage performance, and a longer continuous battery life. They also exhibit lower audio latency. Meanwhile, the 225TWS have a more stable fit and charge a little faster.

Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are better for mixed usage than the JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless. The AirPods are better-built, more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, and come with a case that supplies a longer total battery life. They also have lower audio latency on PCs and mobile devices. Conversely, the JBL have a more stable fit, a more comprehensive control scheme, superior mic recording quality, and longer continuous battery life.

JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless

The JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless are the next-generation version of the JBL TUNE 220TWS Truly Wireless and perform very similar overall, though the 225TWS have a longer continuous battery life. Both offer terrible noise isolation capability, though the 220TWS struggle much less to deliver audio consistently.

OnePlus Buds Z Truly Wireless

The OnePlus Buds Z Truly Wireless are better overall than the JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless. The OnePlus in-ears are more comfortable, better-built, block out more ambient noise, leak less audio, and exhibit lower audio latency. However, their controls only work when they're paired to a OnePlus device. The JBL have longer continuous battery life, though unlike the OnePlus buds, they aren't fitted with an auto-off timer.

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