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JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jul 31, 2023 at 10:09 am
Latest change: Writing modified Jul 31, 2023 at 10:09 am
JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless Picture
7.4
Neutral Sound
7.3
Commute/Travel
7.9
Sports/Fitness
6.9
Office
5.8
Wireless Gaming
5.6
Wired Gaming
6.9
Phone Calls

The JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless (also known as the JBL Wave Beam in some markets) are simple in-ears designed for on-the-go use. They're budget-friendly buds that offer a few extra features compared to similarly-priced models, especially since they give you access to a parametric EQ and presets for sound customization in the JBL Headphones app. Use their Ambient Aware mode when you want to stay aware of your surroundings, or activate TalkThru mode if you want to hold a conversation without removing your earbuds. However, these headphones lack some more premium features, such as a dedicated ANC feature.

Our Verdict

7.4 Neutral Sound

The JBL Vibe Beam are decent for neutral sound. Out-of-the-box, these headphones have a fairly balanced sound, producing a clear and accurate reproduction of voices and instruments in the mix. There's also a touch of extra brightness, which adds some sparkle to higher-pitched voices and cymbals, but it also sounds harsh. If you want a different sound, a parametric EQ and some preset modes are available in the JBL Headphones app, which is a nice touch. Of course, as in-ear headphones, they don't bring the same open and spacious soundstage as more audiophile-centric models.

Pros
  • Easy-to-use controls.
  • Parametric EQ and presets.
Cons
  • No multi-device pairing.
  • Bad passive soundstage performance.
7.3 Commute/Travel

The JBL Vibe Beam are decent for commute and travel. Their small, lightweight design makes them easy to bring along with you, especially since they fit most pockets. They last around eight hours on one charge, and you can always recharge them on the go using their case. Various settings like Ambient Aware and TalkThru give you some control over how much noise you hear from your surroundings, too. However, without a dedicated ANC feature, these headphones can't block out more bass-heavy sounds like bus and plane engines.

Pros
  • IP56 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Small and lightweight design.
Cons
  • Not comfortable for all ears.
  • No ANC.
7.9 Sports/Fitness

The JBL Vibe Beam are very good for sports and fitness. These small and lightweight in-ears are easy to bring to the gym, and their portable charging case helps protect them along the way. They're even rated IP56 for dust and water resistance, so you can use them for outdoor workouts in the park. That said, their unique shape isn't ideal for all ears, and they can fall out from more intense movements, so you'll want to be careful with them.

Pros
  • IP56 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Small and lightweight design.
  • Easy-to-use controls.
Cons
  • Can move around from more intense head movements.
  • Not comfortable for all ears.
6.9 Office

The JBL Vibe Beam are fair for office use. These headphones have a roughly eight-hour battery life that will get you through most work days, especially since they come with a case for easy on-the-go charging. They lack ANC, but they still passively block out most office chatter. Plus, you can control how much sound you hear through the headphones, with an Ambient Aware mode to let in some background noise, as well as a TalkThru mode to hear what your coworkers are saying without removing your buds.

Pros
  • Easy-to-use controls.
  • Very good microphone recording quality.
Cons
  • No ANC.
  • No multi-device pairing.
5.8 Wireless Gaming

The JBL Vibe Beam aren't designed for wireless gaming. You can connect them to your PC over Bluetooth, but their latency is fairly high in their default Audio mode. You'll want to switch to their Video mode in their companion app, which reduces latency.

5.6 Wired Gaming

You can't use these headphones with a wired connection.

6.9 Phone Calls

The JBL Vibe Beam are fair for phone calls. Their Voice Aware feature is designed to let you control how much of your own voice you hear during your calls, which is a nice touch. Plus, their integrated mic has a very good recording quality, so whoever's on the other end of the line can hear you clearly through the phone. That said, the mic struggles to separate your voice from background noises, so you'll want to take your calls from more quiet environments.

Pros
  • Easy-to-use controls.
  • Very good microphone recording quality.
Cons
  • No ANC.
  • No multi-device pairing.
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 7.3 Commute/Travel
  • 7.9 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.9 Office
  • 5.8 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.9 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jul 31, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Jul 27, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Jul 21, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Jun 26, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Jun 14, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The JBL Vibe Beam are available in several different color variants: 'Beige', 'Mint', 'White', 'Blue', and 'Black'. We tested the Black variant, and you can see the label here. We expect the other variants to perform similarly. In some markets outside North America, these headphones are known as the JBL Wave Beam.

If you come across another version of these headphones, let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

These in-ears join the JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless are part of the manufacturer's more budget-friendly in-ear lineup. They're fairly simple headphones that lack some more premium features like ANC. However, they come with app support, a longer battery life, and ambient noise control features similar to those of the JBL Live Pro 2 TWS True Wireless.

See also our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds, the best budget wireless earbuds, and the best wireless earbuds for running.

JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless

The JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless and the JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless are both budget-friendly wireless in-ears from the same manufacturer. The Vibe 100TWS have a more comfortable and stable fit that's better suited to sports use. However, their battery life isn't as long-lasting as with the Vibe Beam. There's no app support, so you don't get access to the same parametric EQ and presets as with the Vibe Beam.

JBL Live Pro 2 TWS True Wireless

The JBL Live Pro 2 TWS True Wireless are more premium headphones than the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless. The Live Pro 2 have a more comfortable and more stable fit. Unlike the Vibe Beam, they come with an ANC feature, and they can block out more background noise. Plus, they support multi-device pairing, unlike the Vibe Beam.

TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless

The TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless and the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless are both budget-friendly in-ears with different strengths. The TOZO are more comfortable and more stable. Unlike the JBL, they have an ANC feature, and they can block out more background noise. However, the JBL have a companion app with more customization features, including a parametric EQ. Their microphone offers better performance for phone calls, too.

Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2023 (3rd generation)

The JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless are better than the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2023 (3rd generation). The JBL offer a more neutral, versatile sound profile, more robust sound customization options, and a longer continuous battery life. Their mic has a better performance. However, for most people, the Amazon buds are more comfortable. They also support multi-device pairing.

Wyze Buds Truly Wireless

The Wyze Buds Truly Wireless and the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless are both budget-friendly in-ears with lots of sound customization tools through their companion apps. The Wyze are more comfortable and stable in their fit, though. Meanwhile, the JBL have a better-performing microphone for phone calls. Their default sound is more neutral and less bass-heavy than the Wyze, too, but with all the sound customization features, it's easy to get a similar sound.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

The JBL Vibe Beam are simple in-ears with a similar look and feel to the JBL Live Pro 2 TWS True Wireless. They have an oval shape and a stem design that extends a little down your ear. You can find them in several different color variants, too.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

They're fairly comfortable. The lightweight design sits easily in your ears without causing a lot of fatigue. However, the oval shape isn't ideal for all ear shapes, and even with the different-sized tips, it can be difficult to get a comfortable seal. Plus, they can fall out of your ears over time or move around in your ears when you use the controls. You'll want to take your time to get the right fit for a comfortable listening experience.

7.5
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
Adjustable
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The controls are pretty simple and easy to use. There's audible feedback as you adjust all the settings, too. In the JBL Headphones app, you can choose between one of three different presets to remap onto either the right or the left earbud:

    Ambient Sound Control:

  • Tap once: Activates AmbientAware, which lets in some ambient noise around you to stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Tap twice: Activates TalkThru, a feature that lets in additional ambient noise so you can have a conversation with people around you.
  • Tap and hold: Activates Voice Assistant.
  • Volume Control:

  • Tap once: Increases the volume.
  • Tap twice: Lowers the volume.
  • Tap and hold: Activates Voice Assistant.
  • Playback Control:

  • Tap once: Plays and pauses audio.
  • Tap twice: Skips to the next track.
  • Tap three times: Skips to the previous track.
  • Tap and hold: Activates Voice Assistant.

Regardless of which of the three controls you set, when you get a phone call, you can double-tap to answer or hang up and tap and hold to reject a call or mute and unmute the microphone during the call.

That said, the issues with the buds' fit is relevant when adjusting the controls. Putting them into your ears can accidentally activate different commands. Tapping the controls can also move the buds in your ears, so you'll have to readjust them, which is annoying.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.3" (3.3 cm)
W 1.0" (2.6 cm)
H 0.9" (2.4 cm)
Volume 1.26 inยณ (20.59 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

These buds are very portable. Their small and lightweight in-ear design is great for listening while out and about. They easily fit into your pockets, and you can even use the carrying case to protect them while on the go.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 1.9" (4.8 cm)
W 2.5" (6.4 cm)
H 0.9" (2.4 cm)
Volume 4.50 inยณ (73.70 cmยณ)

The case is good. Its small design is ideal for listening to music on the go since it can slide into your bag or your pockets. The middle lights also turn on to let you know its battery and charging status, which is a nice touch.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The JBL Vibe Beam have a good build quality. The buds and the charging case are made of matte plastic. These materials are on par with similarly-priced headphones, and while they don't feel the most premium, they're still pretty solid and sturdy. Plus, the buds are rated IP54 for dust and water resistance, and the case is rated IPX2, which is handy if you plan to use the headphones outside or at the gym.

6.5
Design
Stability

The JBL Vibe Beam are fairly stable in your ears. When properly fitted using the included ear tips, they don't fall off during more casual listening sessions. That said, they slip out of your ears over time, which is annoying, and they aren't suitable for more intense runs, as they fall off when you shake your head intensely.

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

  • JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless earbuds
  • Manuals
  • 3x tip sizes
  • Charging case
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.3 dB
Treble Amount
0.46 dB

These headphones have a fairly balanced sound out-of-the-box. Voices and lead instruments are clear and accurate in the mix. The treble has a touch of extra brightness, which also sounds a bit harsh. The bass is present and clear, too, without overwhelming other instruments in the mix. You can customize these headphones using the parametric EQ and presets in their companion app if you want a different sound.

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

The frequency response consistency is great. Take the time to get the right fit, seal, and positioning on your head, and you'll experience consistent audio delivery each time. We don't expect users to encounter as much deviation in the bass range as shown in the graph. We had trouble fitting the buds onto our testing rig's ears, even with the different silicone tips, but this isn't an issue that we'd expect you to encounter in real life.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.15 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
14.56 Hz
Low-Bass
0.18 dB
Mid-Bass
1.41 dB
High-Bass
1.18 dB

The bass accuracy is fantastic. It's flat and even across the range, so the thump, rumble, and punch are adequately represented in the mix.

8.6
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.89 dB
Low-Mid
0.77 dB
Mid-Mid
0.32 dB
High-Mid
2.9 dB

The mid accuracy is excellent. The range is pretty neutral, too, so vocals and instrumentation in songs like Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles are clear in the mix. A slight bump in the high-mids extends into the low-treble, though, resulting in a harsh quality to the audio.

7.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.64 dB
Low-Treble
2.62 dB
Mid-Treble
3.93 dB
High-Treble
-2.14 dB

Treble accuracy is good for these headphones. The peak in the high-mid carries into the low-treble to mid-treble, resulting in a brighter overall mix. It also makes vocals and instruments sound harsh while sibilants like cymbals are piercing.

8.4
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.14 dB
Dips
0.57 dB

The JBL Vibe Beam have great peaks and dips performance. A small dip in the mid-mids nudges vocals and lead instruments toward the back of the mix. The peak in the mid-treble adds brightness to sibilants like cymbals. Overall, these headphones can control their sound profile well.

8.4
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.19
Weighted Phase Mismatch
3.05
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.73
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.45

The JBL Vibe Beam have a great imaging performance. Generally, JBL's products have well-matched drivers. Imaging can vary from unit to unit and is a marker of a manufacturer's quality control and ergonomics. In this case, their weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and transparent treble. However, the L/R drivers are slightly mismatched in amplitude, resulting in unwanted shifts in the stereo image and a noticeable difference between the left and right drivers. A peak in the phase response's low-treble range is audible for those with well-attuned ears, too, as you notice that audio skews towards the left.

1.1
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
4.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.0

Their passive soundstage is bad, which is normal for in-ear headphones. Their design means they bypass your outer ear, which needs to be activated to create a more open and spacious soundstage. Instead, their soundstage seems limited to inside your head, and it doesn't stretch beyond that.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
8.1
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.216
WHD @ 100
0.089

The JBL Vibe Beam have a great weighted harmonic distortion performance. Frequencies fall within good limits, even when you listen at louder volumes. It means your audio remains clear and clean.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.9.0
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid with these settings.

Isolation
5.9
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-16.5 dB
Noise Cancelling No
Bass
-2.05 dB
Mid
-17.85 dB
Treble
-31.21 dB

The JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless earbuds don't have an active noise cancelling (ANC) system. They passively block out some noises in the mid-to-treble ranges, though, like chatter from people sitting nearby or the hum of an AC unit. However, you still hear more bass-heavy background noise, like the rumble of passing traffic. You can also use their Ambient Aware feature to let in some background noise while you listen to audio or the TalkThru mode to let in a little more sound when you want to hold a conversation with someone.

9.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
26.41 dB

These headphones have a fantastic leakage performance. Since they don't leak much sound, you can listen to your favorite tunes without bothering those around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
7.8
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
281 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.46 dB
HFE
7,034.64 Hz
Weighted THD
0.12
Gain
33.1 dB

The integrated mic has a very good recording quality. The person on the other end of the line understands you, as your voice is clearly reproduced. However, your voice also lacks a bit of depth. If you want to control how much of your voice you hear while on the phone, you can always use the Voice Aware tool in the companion app.

6.5
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
9.14 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
6.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling performance is okay. It struggles to separate your voice from the ambient noise around you. Your voice is mostly clear, but background noise remains audible, which can be distracting. Louder noises, like a passing subway, can drown out your voice entirely.

Active Features
7.7
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
8.3 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
24.9 hrs
Charge Time
1.1 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The JBL Vibe Beam have a good battery performance. JBL advertises that they last for eight hours off a single charge, consistent with our findings. Their portable charging case offers three additional charges to help you power up on the go. They take little time to charge, too, which is handy for busy days out and about. Plus, the auto-off timer helps conserve energy by automatically shutting off the headphones when they aren't in use. You can turn this feature on in the companion app.

8.5
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 JBL Headphones app gives you access to many tools and customization features. Here, you can turn on the Ambient Aware feature, which lets in some ambient noise while you listen to music to keep you aware of your surroundings, or Talk Thru, which lets in all the noise around you without removing your headphones. The Voice Aware feature is handy for taking calls, as it lets you control how much of your voice you hear while you talk. The parametric EQ and presets let you adjust their sound to your liking. Plus, you can map their controls, turn voice prompts on and off, and turn on the power-saving mode. A video of the app is available here.

Connectivity
6.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
242.78 ft (74.00 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
398 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
288 ms
Android Latency
382 ms

These headphones have fair Bluetooth connectivity. Their app lets you choose between two modes: Audio Mode, for higher sound quality, and Video Mode, for lower audio latency. Our results represent their latency with Audio Mode, which is rather high. However, Video Mode latency is lower across PC and mobile and falls within a good range, so you can avoid lip-synching issues. Some devices compensate for latency differently, though.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

You can't use these headphones over a wired connection. They only have a USB-A to USB-C charging cable for the carrying case.

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

You can connect the headphones to your PC over Bluetooth for full microphone and audio compatibility. They can't connect to PCs in any other way, though.

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
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

These headphones come with a carrying case that supports three extra charges. The USB-C port lets you charge the case with the included cable.