JBL Reflect Flow Pro overview: Spectacular sport earbuds

MSRP $180.00

“Features galore and powerful sound make them perfect workout pals.”

Pros

  • Solid, safe match
  • Excellent noise-canceling
  • Choice of hands-free voice A.I.s
  • Completely waterproof
  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • Limited management choices
  • No quick-charge possibility

JBL isn’t at all times essentially the most constant firm relating to private audio. Sometimes, as with its Tour Pro+ earbuds and Tour One ANC headphones, it completely nails it. Other instances, it comes up quick, as I felt was the case with its flagship Club One cans. But currently, it’s been extra hits than misses, and that’s actually true of JBL’s newest lively way of life true wi-fi earbuds, the $180 JBL Reflect Flow Pro, a product that competes with the $200 Beats Fit Pro, the $180 Jabra Elite 7 Active, and JBL’s personal $150 Reflect Mini NC. Just how good are the Reflect Flow Pro? Let’s test em out.

Great match with out the Frankenstein

JBL Reflect Flow Pro.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Reflect Flow Pro are, in principle, the successors to the corporate’s Reflect Flow mannequin, a comfortable and waterproof set of sport earbuds that sadly had a couple of drawbacks. They have been big — protruding of your ears so much, giving what I consider as a Frankenstein’s monster look. Their bodily buttons have been a bit laborious to press, their sound high quality was uneven, and their transparency (ambient) mode was solely so-so.

But one take a look at the design of the Reflect Flow Pro and it’s clear that, regardless of their title, they’re really the Pro mannequin of the Reflect Mini NC, not the Reflect Flow. The Reflect Flow Pro are smaller and lighter, and so they tackle nearly each flaw we discovered on the unique Reflect Flow.

The Reflect Flow Pro include three sizes of silicone ear suggestions and 4 sizes of wingtips (“powerfins” in JBL’s vernacular) that vary from giant to barely-there, which implies extra individuals are more likely to discover a combo that matches. That stands in stark distinction to the Beats Fit Pro which have a single, completely put in set of wingtips.

JBL Reflect Flow Pro box contents.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

JBL says the match is safe sufficient that you might log on with the Reflect Flow Pro. I respectfully disagree. Yes, they match very securely, however no, I might not danger discovering out the laborious manner that they’re no match for a head-first wipeout. Still, so long as they keep put, they’ll don’t have any drawback dealing with all that water — with an IP68 score for mud and water resistance, they’re simply in regards to the hardest earbuds you should purchase.

The charging case will not be water- or dust-proof, nevertheless it’s nicely constructed and fairly rugged. The built-in lanyard loop is simply large enough that you would be able to feed the case by way of the loop, letting you connect it to a bag strap or perhaps a belt loop in your pants.

From zero to hero

The Reflect Flow Pro don’t simply enhance on the Reflect Flow’s design, they’re additionally chock-full of options. Wireless charging, put on sensors, a alternative of voice assistants, lively noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, customized controls, and EQ. It’s as if JBL is defying us to seek out one thing lacking and admittedly, it’s laborious to seek out any faults in any respect. And that’s earlier than we even get into issues like sound high quality, name high quality, and helpful extras (however don’t fear, we’ll talk about these too).

Hours of energy

JBL Reflect Flow Pro charging case.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

One of the issues that the unique JBL Reflect Flow obtained proper was their spectacular energy capability: 10 hours per cost and two full costs within the case’s battery. The Reflect Flow Pro double these numbers whenever you’ve obtained ANC and transparency turned off. But even whenever you use these options, you’ll nonetheless stand up to eight hours per cost. That’s higher than each the Beats Fit Pro and the Beats Powerbeats Pro.

The solely factor lacking here’s a fast-charge possibility. Normally I’d ding JBL for this omission, however when you’ll be able to provide individuals as much as 10 hours per cost, the necessity for quick charging is significantly diminished. Besides, the Reflect Flow Pro’s charging case helps Qi wi-fi charging, one thing that, to date, no Beats merchandise can do.

Sound that strikes you

Man wearing JBL Reflect Flow Pro.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Punchy and highly effective bass may be pleasant no matter what you select to do whereas listening to music, nevertheless it’s an enormous asset for folk who want exercise motivation. The Reflect Flow Pro received’t disappoint: They sound nice proper out of the field, with loads of low-end growth and decently clear mid and excessive frequencies. Throw on a observe like Billy Idol’s Rita Hayworth and the Reflect Flow Pro will ship a high-octane sonic assault that’s assured to get you transferring.

Subtlety will not be their energy — these aren’t the earbuds for locating misplaced particulars in your favourite jazz ensembles — however neither are they a blunt instrument. JBL’s Headphones app provides a really succesful EQ device that can reward some endurance and experimentation with plenty of tuning variations. My solely criticism is that the corporate didn’t embrace a couple of extra built-in presets — you solely get three: Bass, Jazz, and Vocal.

Quiet or conversational

JBL Reflect Flow Pro.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

I used to be already fairly impressed with the JBL Reflect Mini NC’s noise cancellation, however the Reflect Flow Pro are even higher. So good, in truth, that in evaluating them to the Beats Fit Pro (which have glorious ANC), I discovered nearly no distinction in any respect. Outside, site visitors sounds have been stored nicely at bay, letting me hear my podcasts clearly while not having to crank the quantity. Indoors, the toilet fan that sits seven toes from my desk — however which may sound prefer it’s subsequent to my head — was nearly totally neutralized.

Transparency mode can be actually good, with the flexibility to decide on between two variations: Ambient Aware (for normal environmental sounds) and TalkThru (for conversations). Both may be triggered shortly with a single or double-tap on the earbuds, making them very handy.

The phantasm of management

Controls are the one space the place JBL nonetheless has some work to do. The Reflect Flow Pro’s contact controls are glorious — they reply shortly and precisely to touches and a small tone confirms when a contact occurred, which is a crucial type of suggestions when a bodily click on isn’t accessible. The drawback is that JBL makes you select from 4 potential management “groups” and you’ll solely have two of them lively without delay.

For occasion, you’ll be able to decide from playback management, ambient sound/ANC/TalkThru, quantity management, or voice assistant. If you need playback and quantity management, you’ll be able to’t have ambient sound/ANC/TalkThru or voice assistant. If you need playback management, and voice assistant, you’ll be able to’t have ambient sound/ANC/TalkThru or quantity management.

If this was one thing inherent to true wi-fi earbuds, I wouldn’t complain, nevertheless it’s not: Jabra’s Elite collection of earbuds provide you with whole management over each gesture, with out forcing you to decide on between mutually unique choices.

I additionally want there was a option to flip off voice suggestions. Switching from ANC to ambient mode shortly is nice, nevertheless it’s rather less handy when your earbuds preserve saying “Ambient mode on” or “Noise canceling on.”

Speak and be heard

Call high quality is mostly superb on the Reflect Flow Pro. They can wrestle a bit in very noisy conditions, however few earbuds excel below these circumstances. More importantly, they take care of wind noise higher than most earbuds I’ve tried, and that’s useful provided that they’re going to be a good selection for runners and even cyclists. Under comparatively quiet circumstances, you’ll be heard completely.

But with these earbuds, you can too use your voice to summon a wide range of assistants — a uncommon characteristic that may be very helpful. iOS customers can use “Hey Siri” simply as you’d with Apple’s H1-based merchandise (AirPods, Beats Fit Pro, Powerbeats Pro, and so on.) plus there’s the choice to go along with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant as a substitute — each of which work with their respective hands-free wake-words.

Extras

If you’re the sort of one who misplaces objects consistently, the JBL Headphones app can power the Reflect Flow Pro to emit a loud beeping sound. Each earbud can beep independently, however the characteristic received’t work in the event that they’re docked within the charging case. There’s additionally no map to point out their final identified location, which another earbuds (AirPods, Jabra Elite, and so on.) provide.

The app may assist you determine if the ear tip measurement you’ve chosen is supplying you with an excellent seal from the surface world. If you’re not getting the sound high quality you anticipate — particularly if it’s unhealthy bass — that is the place to start out.

Our take

With excellent safety from the weather, nice sound and noise-canceling, and glorious battery life, the JBL Reflect Flow Pro are the right various to the Beats Powerbeats Pro and Fit Pro for folk who need a killer exercise companion.

Is there a greater various?

I feel the most effective various to the Reflect Flow Pro is JBL’s personal Reflect Mini NC. It’s cheaper, has a smaller charging case which makes it extra pocketable, and has nearly the entire similar options because the Pro. You received’t get the identical caliber of sound high quality, noise-canceling, or name high quality, however for some people, this will likely be a superbly acceptable tradeoff.

If you need a smaller earbud, the Beats Fit Pro will do properly, and if you would like a way more safe match, think about the Powerbeats Pro.

How lengthy will they final?

With an IP68 score and a really lengthy beginning battery life, it is best to get a few years of use out of the JBL Reflect Flow Pro. They’re solidly constructed as is their charging case. JBL backs them with a one-year guarantee.

Should you purchase them?

Yes. If you’re on the lookout for a strong set of exercise buds that may deal with something you throw at them — and are full of stable options and nice sound — the JBL Reflect Flow Pro are a wonderful alternative.

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