The JBL REFLECT FLOW truly wireless sports headphones made waves in 2019 with its stellar design, sound quality and a host of related features for athletes and music lovers. The audio equipment specialists brought all of their latest technology in personal sound to the table with the REFLECT FLOW. Read on for our World Exclusive up-close look at and review of them following a two-week trial!
Here are the main features of the REFLECT FLOW from the team at JBL:
- Truly wireless capabilities
- JBL Signature Sound
- 30-hours of combined playback
- IPX7 Waterproof
- Rugged 20-hour charging case
- TalkThru and Ambient Aware technologies
- Easily connect to Google Now and Siri
- Ergonomic fit and design
What’s in the Box?
The JBL REFLECT FLOW is exquisitely packaged in a high-end box that can be used to store the headphones when they’re not in use. Inside you’ll find the earpieces along with two pairs of ear tips and Freebit enhancers.
The medium sized versions of both are attached to the REFLECT FLOW out of the box. If you want to improve the fit or sound quality delivered by the headphones, then simply pop off the silicon attachments to the unit and replace them with the smaller or larger ones enclosed in the packaging.
The classy yet very modern charging case for the JBL REFLECT FLOW, a micro USB charging cable, and a quick star guide are also included in the package. The headphones are fully charged upon being unboxed while the charging case is at 50% charge.
The aesthetics of the JBL REFLECT FLOW stand out in the currently congested genre of truly wireless earphones. It is one of the few on the market today that makes prominent use lightweight metal for much of its outer casing. Take a look at the REFLECT FLOW when worn and that is most of what you’ll see. The cylindrical-shaped unit has multifunctional, circular buttons on their outsides with a cool JBL logo on them. They’ll fully functional and react to soft touches.
The other side of the JBL REFLECT FLOW carries a simple yet very effective design. There are its unassuming charging contacts, ear tips that go into your ear canal to feed your sound, and Freebit enhancers that slide into the canals of your ears to keep the earphones in place.
The charging case for the REFLECT FLOW is the sturdiest and best looking that we’ve seen. Like the earphones it includes metal and the JBL logo on its outside. It opens up to store the earphones and closes without a click. It stays shut thanks to magnets on its top and bottom (a rarity among truly wireless cases). It has a USB charging slot on its backside with white indicator lights.
The JBL REFLECT FLOW comes in several colorways ranging from black to light blue to our standout neon yellow. All look great but we do prefer the bling effect to our colorful version.
Setting up the JBL REFLECT FLOW
The most involved part of setting up the JBL REFLECT FLOW for use was taking the screenshots that show you the process of pairing them to an Android phone.
The process was simply a matter of pressing the left and right-side multifunction buttons to power both earphones on, scanning for them with our phones, and selecting them as a Bluetooth device for calls and music. The procedure was identical and as simple on an iPhone.
We’ve seen none of the dreaded truly wireless delays with the left and right sides of the REFLECT FLOW syncing from the time we started using the earphones. One Bluetooth pairing is completed you are real for making or taking calls, enjoying music or any other audio experience.
There’s never a need to pair the JBL REFLECT FLOW with your phone, boombox or other audio device after the initial go round. From then on you just power them on and get your audio flow on.
The JBL REFLECT FLOW provides a magnificent fit out of the box with its medium sized eartips and Freebit enhancers. Both slot into place without no effort to offer a snug comfortable fit. None of our testers felt any discomfort during hours of wear. The earphones were securely locked in to place and did not move at all when worn for running, weightlifting or individual soccer drills.
An even better fit with the JBL REFLECT FLOW may be enjoyed by trying out the small and large-sized silicon attachments that are included with the earphones. Our favorite combination was a large-sized eartips / medium-sized Freebit enhancers combination.
The REFLECT FLOW earphones are quite lightweight at are hardly felt by the wearer once in the ear. This makes them great for longer training sessions, commuting, open office environments or other everyday use. We even ran into a few instances where testers forgot that they had them on after working out.
The sound quality that the JBL REFLECT FLOW delivers ranks among the best that we’ve ever experiences from truly wireless earphones. It is on par with what you’ll get from much bulkier, costlier over the ear headphones.
We tried the REFLECT FLOW with a number of music apps including Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, iHeartRadio, YouTube Music and Pandora. We also played 320 kbps mp3 and mp4 files on our phone while wearing them. In every case superb crisp and clear sound was created and thoroughly enjoyed.
The mid-sized eartip / Freebit enhancer combination was great for a good balance of bass, midrange and higher range sound. Switching to the large eartip really brings out the thump of bass heavy tracks and was our preference. It was ideal for all forms of the upper beats per minute music that we usually use to keep us motivated and in beast mode while training and working out.
The 5.8 mm driver of the JBL REFLECT FLOW makes it a much louder unit than other truly wireless earphones. JBL calls this offering their Signature Sound. Notching the REFLECT FLOW up to 60% of the maximum Bluetooth volume level on the Androids and iPhones that we tried the earphone out with was as loud as we needed. This volume level was 100% of that on every other truly wireless earphone that we’ve tried. You can raise the volume level to above 60% on the REFLECT FLOW and experience no sound distortion. We don’t recommend it to avoid hearing damage.
Ambient Aware and Talk Thru are brilliant value adds of the JBL REFLECT FLOW. They give you additional awareness when in busy environments where you’ve got to hear what is happening around you.
The features allow the user to immediately reduce the volume on the REFLECT FLOW to such a low level that any music playing becomes background noise. This is low enough to hold a conversation without removing the earphones and is done with one touch of the multifunctional button on the left side. Hence the name Talk Thru. Touching the button a second time takes the volume up a notch and loud enough to hear along with the sounds of fellow gym goers or vehicles around you (Ambient Aware). One more touch returns the FLOW’s volume level to 100% of where you have it before invoking Ambient Aware / Talk Thru functionality.
The first time we tried the microphones on the JBL REFLECT FLOW was unplanned but clearly highlighted their quality. One of our testers was working out and using the earphones to listen to music. He received a phone call which was easily accepted with a single, instinctual touch of the right multifunctional button. A clear as day conversation using HD Voice / VoLTE ensued. The same occurred on subsequent planned calls to both mobile and landline phones. There was never any call interruption or reports of breakup, static or cracking on the other end.
The JBL REFLECT FLOW boasts support for all of the current popular mobile operating system assistants such as Siri (iOS), Google Assistant and Bixby (Android) and Alexa (iOS and Android). You can use the unit’s right multifunction button to invoke them via two taps and issue your requests to them immediately. Given the high caliber of the JBL REFLECT FLOW’s microphone all of the voice assistants understood us as well as if we weren’t using earphones and, in some cases, even better than when holding the phone up to your mouth in or out of speakerphone mode.
JBL’s REFLECT FLOW has an astounding 10-hour battery life on a full charge. This is twice that of most of the other higher end true wireless earbuds on available today. Its LED lights will flash red when the battery is low. Fifteen minutes in its charging case will give the earphones a one-hour charge. A fully loaded charging case carries twenty hours worth of additional REFLECT FLOW charge.
The JBL REFLECT FLOW maintains its Bluetooth connectivity with Androids phones and iPhones for 40 feet before the audio from the earphones begins to break up.
We did our distance test in the weight room on an LA Fitness gym with a host of steel weightlifting equipment, bars and plates in between us and the phones that we were connected to at the time. Absolutely no loss of sound quality was heard until we moved over 40 feet away from the phones while wearing the REFLECT FLOW using either WiFi or LTE cellular service for streaming and calls. The same applies for downloaded music files saved to our test phones.
The JBL REFLECT FLOW carries IPX7 rating. This means that it can be submerged in up to one-meter deep water for thirty minutes without damage. Hence JBL labeling the earphones as being waterproof.
Although we never immersed the REFLECT FLOW earbuds in water our testers did sweat quite a bit while wearing them and exposed them to light rain while training with them outdoors. The earphones continued to perform as well as they did when they came out of the box after each bout of moisture exposure. The same can be said for them after a few drops on the floor. From what we can tell the JBL REFLECT FLOW is well-engineered, well-constructed, and can survive the rigors of the athletic lifestyle from swimming to functional training to weightlifting.
The JBL REFLECT FLOW is a fantastic set of earphones for a host of activities. Its fit is comfortable and customizable while its sound quality is superb. Throw in a host of value adds such as Ambient Aware, Talk Thru, a waterproof rating, 30 hours of battery charge and you’ve got one of the best pairs of truly wireless earphones around today. With an MSRP of $149.99 the REFLECT FLOW is quite reasonably priced and definitely worth every penny!