Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.
We've recently released our Test Bench 1.7 update for Headphones! Read the Noise isolation R&D Article to learn more.

Prime Day Deal: The Sony WH-1000XM4 has dropped by $152 on Amazon.com. See all Headphones Prime Day deals.

JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.7
Reviewed Dec 20, 2023 at 12:46 pm
Latest change: Test bench update Jul 12, 2024 at 12:56 pm
JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless Picture
7.2
Neutral Sound
7.3
Commute/Travel
8.1
Sports/Fitness
6.8
Office
5.8
Wireless Gaming
5.7
Wired Gaming
6.4
Phone Calls

The JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless are budget-friendly buds. Like the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless, they have a customizable performance, thanks to their companion app. That said, they don't have any extra features like noise cancelling or multi-device pairing.

Our Verdict

7.2 Neutral Sound

The JBL Vibe Buds are decent for neutral sound. Out of the box, these buds have a slightly excited sound that adds extra thump, rumble, and boom to mixes. Vocals and instruments sound bright and clear in comparison. That said, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app has a 10-band graphic EQ and presets so you can fine-tune their sound to your liking. On the downside, the buds have a bad passive soundstage, so the audio doesn't sound very immersive.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available via companion app.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
7.3 Commute/Travel

The JBL Vibe Buds are good for commute and travel. These buds have a decently comfortable fit and last over eight hours continuously, with an additional three charges in their carrying case if needed. Unfortunately, they lack noise cancelling (ANC) and struggle to block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines. Luckily, they do a better job of reducing passenger chatter.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable and well-built.
  • Can reduce mid to treble range noise well.
Cons
  • Really struggles to block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines.
8.1 Sports/Fitness

The JBL Vibe Buds are great for sports and fitness, provided you aren't doing intense workouts. They have a decently comfortable fit and are certified IP54 for resistance against dust and water splashes. However, their in-ear fit can fall out if you move your head vigorously.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable and well-built.
  • IP54 rating for water resistance.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
6.8 Office

The JBL Vibe Buds are decent for office use. These decently comfortable buds have over eight hours of continuous playback time, and if that isn't enough to get you through your day, their carrying case holds an extra three charges. Although they don't have an ANC system, they can block out chatty coworkers well, as well as the high-pitched hum of AC units. Unfortunately, they don't support multi-device pairing though, so you can only stay connected to one device at a time.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable and well-built.
  • Can reduce mid to treble range noise well.
Cons
  • No multi-device pairing.
  • Bad passive soundstage.
5.8 Wireless Gaming

The JBL Vibe Buds are Bluetooth earbuds, and even though they have a 'Video Mode' in their companion app to help lower latency, audio lag is still high enough to cause slight lip sync mismatch.

5.7 Wired Gaming

The JBL Vibe Buds are truly wireless buds; you can't use them wired.

6.4 Phone Calls

The JBL Vibe Buds are fair for phone calls. These buds have an integrated mic, which can capture your voice well but lacks depth. On the downside, it struggles to separate speech from background noise, so your voice will be easily drowned out by background noise, which can be very frustrating if you're on an important call.

Pros
  • Mic has decent recording quality.
Cons
  • Mic has sub-par noise handling performance.
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 7.3 Commute/Travel
  • 8.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.8 Office
  • 5.8 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.7 Wired Gaming
  • 6.4 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jul 12, 2024: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.7, which updates our Noise Isolation test. We've also expanded the scope of this test to include Common Scenarios in addition to Voice Handling and Wind Handling.
  2. Updated Dec 20, 2023: Review published.
  3. Updated Dec 14, 2023: Early access published.
  4. Updated Dec 11, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  5. Updated Nov 28, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  6. Updated Nov 17, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The JBL Vibe Buds come in four color variants: 'Black', 'Beige', 'Mint', and 'White'. We tested the 'Black' model; you can see its label here.

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

Compared To Other Headphones

The JBL Vibe Buds are wallet-friendly buds. They have a very similar look and feel to the JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless, but like the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless, they also have companion app support, so you can fine-tune their performance. That said, they don't support multi-device pairing and lack ANC, though that's to be expected from their price point. 

Check out our recommendations for the best earbuds and in-ear headphones, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and the best budget and cheap wireless earbuds.

JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless

The JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless and the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless are similarly performing buds with different looks, so depending on your preferences, you may prefer either one. While both buds have a similar battery life and companion app support, the Vibe Beam have an ear stem design, and their carrying case has a lid. Conversely, the Vibe Buds have a pure earbud design, which is more comfortable and stable.

JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless

The JBL Vibe 1000TWS True Wireless and the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless are similar buds, but the Vibe Buds have a slight leg up. While both buds look and feel very similar, the Vibe Buds have a rating of IP45 for dust and water resistance, a longer continuous battery life, and companion app support, including a graphic EQ and presets.

Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless and the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless are similarly performing wireless buds with slight differences. While both buds are well-built and decently comfortable, the Sony support a virtual soundstage for a more immersive audio experience and have a longer continuous battery life. However, their carrying case holds fewer charges. Conversely, the JBL have a longer total battery life but have a shorter continuous one.

Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless

The JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless offer a slightly better performance than the Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless. While both buds are well-built, the JBL are more comfortable, have a better overall battery performance, and have a companion app, so you can adjust their sound to your liking. Conversely, the Skullcandy support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected to your PC and smartphone simultaneously.

Video

Test Results

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

The JBL Vibe Buds have a non-descript truly wireless design. They have the manufacturer's logo on the outer side of the bud but are otherwise not very eye-catching. They come in a few colors: 'Black', 'White', 'Mint', and 'Beige'.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These buds are decently comfortable. Like the JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless, they have a lightweight design that sits on your concha. Using their controls doesn't create additional pressure. However, the buds have a slightly deep fit, so removing them from your ear can create a plunger-like feeling when you remove them.

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

The controls are decent. They have a physical button on each bud, which are responsive and gives you a chime to let you know when you've registered a tap. There are also voice prompts for pairing as well as cycling between ambient Aware and TalkThru modes. Ambient Aware allows you to hear your surroundings without taking out your buds, while TalkThru lowers your audio and allows you to hear mid-range sound like conversations. Both features need to be added via the companion app, but you'll lose out on one of the preset commands on the left or right bud. In addition to these controls, there's a chime to let you know when you've reached max volume, although it can be hard to hear when you're already listening to music.

On the left bud:

  • Single press: Raises the volume.
  • Double presses: Lowers the volume.

On the right bud:

  • Single press: Plays and pauses audio.
  • Double presses: Skips the track forward.
  • Triple presses: Skips the track backward.

On either bud:

  • Double press: Answers and ends calls.
  • Press and hold: Mutes and unmutes the mic when on a call. Also activates voice assistant.

9.6
Design
Portability
L 1.2" (2.9 cm)
W 1.3" (3.3 cm)
H 0.6" (1.6 cm)
Volume 0.93 inยณ (15.31 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

Like most other truly wireless buds, they're very small, lightweight, and portable. You won't have trouble fitting them into most pockets or bags.

7.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 1.1" (2.8 cm)
W 2.7" (6.9 cm)
H 1.5" (3.7 cm)
Volume 4.36 inยณ (71.48 cmยณ)

The carrying case is mostly made of plastic, and like the JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless, it lacks a lid. That said, there's a magnet to hold the buds in place, and it's strong enough to keep them there if you're walking. However, they can fall out if you shake the case very vigorously. Overall, the case feels sturdy, and three lights indicate the charging status of the case and buds.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The JBL Vibe Buds' build quality is good. They're mostly made of plastic, which feels sturdy but not premium. They're also certified IP54 for resistance against dust and water exposure. The ear tips are made of thin silicone and come in three different sizes to help you get the best fit. However, it seems like they could rip over long-term use.

7.0
Design
Stability

These buds have a decently stable fit. While they'll stay in place while you're listening to audio at your desk or while you're walking to work, they can fall out of your ear during tough workouts. The buds also tend to slip out over time, particularly when you're talking or eating, and you may need to adjust their fit more often.

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

  • ย JBL Vibe Buds True Wirelessearbuds
  • Charging case
  • 3x ear tips
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
2.05 dB
Treble Amount
0.1 dB

These buds have a v-shaped sound profile that delivers extra bass and treble to make mixes seem rumbly and exciting. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you finetune their sound.

We've recently been having issues forming a consistent seal in our test rig's right ear. This results in a response from the right ear that doesn't closely match our left ear's response. However, this is unique to our test rig and not a result of the model's design. As a result, we don't expect you to encounter this issue.

9.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.18 dB

After you've taken the time to adjust their fit, positioning, and seal in your ear, you'll experience consistent audio delivery each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.9
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.99 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
4.9 dB
Mid-Bass
3.11 dB
High-Bass
1.12 dB

The bass accuracy is very good. The response is overemphasized across the range, meaning the buds deliver extra thump, rumble, and boom.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.76 dB
Low-Mid
0.01 dB
Mid-Mid
0.61 dB
High-Mid
2.6 dB

The mid accuracy is excellent. For the most part, the response in this range is quite flat, so in jazzy songs like Tank! by Seatbelts, brass instruments like trumpets sound full-bodied and present within the mix. A bump in the high-mid makes these vocals and instruments sound more intense and somewhat harsh.

8.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.16 dB
Low-Treble
1.19 dB
Mid-Treble
1.18 dB
High-Treble
-0.63 dB

These buds have excellent treble accuracy. The response is a little overemphasized here but still fairly flat and neutral. As a result, vocals and instruments sound detailed, while sibilants are bright without being piercing.

8.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
0.77 dB
Dips
0.86 dB

The peaks and dips performance is excellent. The response is pretty flat and neutral except for a couple of small deviations, which means that the headphones can control their sound profile well. There's a minor dip between the low to mid-mid, which slightly thins out vocals and instruments, nudging them to the back of the mix. There's also a dip in the low-treble, which hurts the detail of vocals and instruments, while an uneven mid-treble makes sibilants like S and T sounds alternate between piercing and dull.

7.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.61
Weighted Phase Mismatch
28.07
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.2
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.75

Imaging is a marker of a manufacturer's quality control and ergonomics. While we've tested many products from JBL, we have seen a few cases of driver mismatch, like with the JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless, which have high phase mismatch. It's worth noting that imaging varies across units, though. Our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay, which ensures tight bass and transparent treble. That said, the L/R drivers have mismatch throughout their phase response, which results in the shifting of sound objects like voices. From the low to mid-bass, and in the mid-mid, sounds are shifted to the right. This is noticeable with sounds like voices and instruments. However, the high-mid mismatch is much harder to hear, and it sounds like the audio drifts from the right to the left driver.

1.1
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
4.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.6

The JBL Vibe Buds' passive soundstage performance is bad, but that's expected from in-ear headphones. Since they bypass your outer ear, which must be activated by sound resonances to create a more out-of-head listening experience, your audio sounds like it's coming from inside your head and is closed-off.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
8.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.195
WHD @ 100
0.068

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. The entire response falls within good limits, so you'll have clean and pure audio reproduction, even at high volumes.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
v4.2.0
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.1
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones; our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
5.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation - Full Range
Noise Cancelling No
Overall Attenuation
-12.97 dB
Bass
-1.59 dB
Mid
-13.87 dB
Treble
-25.78 dB

The noise isolation performance is alright. They lack noise cancelling (ANC), so they struggle to block out the low rumble of bus engines. That said, they do a better job of reducing sounds like ambient chatter and the whirl of computer fans.

4.9
Isolation
Noise Isolation - Common Scenarios
Airplane Noise Attenuation
-11.33 dB
Airplane Noise Isolation Audio
Office Noise Attenuation
-11.68 dB
Office Noise Isolation Audio
Street Noise Attenuation
-12.12 dB
Street Noise Isolation Audio
Isolation
Noise Isolation - Voice Handling
Female Voice 1
Male Voice 1
Female Voice 2
Male Voice 2
Isolation
ANC Wind Handling
ANC Wind Noise
N/A
9.5
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
23.76 dB

The JBL Vibe Buds' leakage performance is excellent. The leakage is quite low, so even if you're blasting your music, others around you won't be bothered by it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
7.4
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
306.43 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.91 dB
HFE
7,240.77 Hz
Weighted THD
0.25
Gain
1.54 dB

The recording quality of the integrated mic is decent. Your voice is understandable but lacks depth.

5.6
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
8.68 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The integrated mic's noise handling performance mic is sub-par. The mic struggles to separate speech from background noise, so if you're taking a call from a noisy office, it can drown out your voice. Audio also seems to clip and screech, which is pretty annoying. The mic doesn't have a noise gate either, so super loud sounds can hurt the ears of whoever you're talking to.

Active Features
7.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
8.8 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
35.2 hrs
Charge Time
0.8 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The battery performance is very good. JBL advertises that the battery lasts eight hours continuously, and we measured just over that. Keep in mind that battery life varies depending on use, though. Luckily, if you need to replenish them, the carrying case supplies three additional charges, and you can even use one bud while the other charges.

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

These buds are compatible with the JBL Headphones app, and you can see a video of the app in action here. The app offers a variety of customization features, like a 10-band graphic EQ, EQ presets, and gesture control for the left and right buds. You can also access 'Audio Mode' for better audio quality and 'Video Mode', which helps improve latency performance, as well as see the battery life of each bud and activate controls like ambient sound control. Additionally, you can use the max volume limiter to keep the volume below 85 dB and extend the battery life, and an adjustable power saving feature.

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

These buds come with a USB-C to USB-A cable for charging up their carrying case. You can't use this for audio.

8.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
Quick Pair (Android)
Yes
Quick Pair (iOS)
No
Line Of Sight Range
334.65 ft (102.00 m)
Latency - SBC
165 ms
Latency - aptX
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (High Quality)
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
N/A
Latency - LDAC
N/A
Recorded Latency
Recorded Latency Codec SBC
AAC Support
Yes

These buds have great Bluetooth connectivity. While they don't support multi-device pairing, they have Google Quick Pair, so you can easily connect them with your Android devices. They also have two different modes that you can use to alter your audio experience: 'Audio Mode', which is supposed to improve audio quality, and 'Video Mode', which helps lower latency. Even with Video Mode on, though, these buds have high latency, so you'll notice lip sync issues. If you use the Audio Mode for streaming videos, you'll notice even higher lip sync issues, which can be disruptive. It's worth noting that some apps and devices compensate for latency differently.

0
Connectivity
Wireless Connection (Dongle)
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Latency - Dongle
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

These buds can only connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs. On the upside, you'll have full audio and mic compatibility.

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 buds come with a carrying case that holds three additional charges. There's a USB-C port so that you can recharge the case. It doesn't support wireless charging, though.