Review: JBL Reflect PRO Wireless Active Sport Earbuds
JBL’s Reflect Flow PRO waterproof true wireless Noise Cancelling active sport earbuds have arrived just in time for the 2021 Holiday season. They’re now available at the personal audio experts’ website (no supply chain issues here) at an MSRP of just $179.95. Read on for our World Exclusive look at of the best truly wireless earphones on the market for both athletes and non-athletes!
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO is loaded with the latest and greatest in person audio technology. Here are its key features courtesy of JBL:
● Adaptive Noise Cancelling with Smart Ambient
● JBL Signature Sound via 6.8mm dynamic drivers
● 6 microphones for perfect calls and zero noise
● IP68 water and dustproofing
● 30 hours of playtime with Qi-compatible wireless charging
● Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support
● Customizable all-access touch control
● Check My Best Fit feature
● Dual Connect + Sync
What’s in the Box?
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO comes in premium packaging that we suggest you keep as a good storage unit for the components that you are not using at any given point in time.
A full list of the package’s contents is below.
● 1 x JBL Reflect Flow PRO TWS headphones
● 1 x Type-C USB charging cable
● 1 x 3 sizes of ear tips
● 1 x 4 sizes of POWERFINS stabilizers
● 1 x Charging case
● 1 x Quick start guide
● 1 x Google Assistant set up guide
● 1 x Amazon Alexa set up guide
● 1 x Warranty / Warning
● 1 x Safety Sheet
The ear tips and POWERFINS are the parts of the Reflect Flow PRO system that you’ll want to try out on the sport apart from the earbuds and charging case.
The earphones arrive with the medium tip and POWERFINS on them. Smaller and larger versions of them can readily be popped onto the earbuds to accommodate your ear type and sound preference.
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO uses the latest in USB technology, USB-C, for charging its case. The bright orange USB-C cable that’s in the box is a great inclusion given that the tech is relatively new and we may not have a compatible one on hand.
The Reflect Flow PRO earbuds and case are fully charged and ready to use straight out of the box.
The designs of the JBL Reflect Flow PRO earbuds and case are evolutions of the brand’s much-vaunted REFLECT FLOW of two years ago.
The earbuds feature a less pronounced silhouette than their predecessor while maintaining the unmistakable JBL cylindrical look. They are detailed with a classy silver trim around their circumferences and matching JBL logos. The surfaces with the JBL branding are cleverly disguised soft touch multifunctional user interfaces that are used to control music, phone calls and supported AI assistants.
Rotate the JBL Reflect Flow PRO earbuds by 180 degrees and you’ll see a rounded, ergonomic design based on in-ear comfort. The POWERFINS stabilizer and ear tips on this side of the earphones are gentle pulls away from being removed and changed with the others provided.
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO charging case is a sturdy, metal-based affair that should survive its inevitable drops in the gym. Has a sleeve, streamlined design that makes it comfortable to hold in a clenched fist or slip in a small pocket. A brilliant value add from JBL is the case’s fluorescent carrying strap. It is easy to hold on to and makes it easy to find the charging case in the dark.
The Reflect Flow PRO charging case is the first that we’ve seen from JBL that is magnetized. There’s no angling the earbuds to fit in their charging slots and closing and reopening the case to check that they are being charged. Instead, the JBL Reflect Flow PRO case’s magnets pull the earbuds into the right spaces and flips its charging light on!
The charge level of the case is shown via a white horizontal LED light at its bottom instead of the cryptic single lights or series of lights on one of its outside surfaces.
We tried out the black and silver version of the JBL Reflect Flow PRO. This colorway works with just about any gym or training outfit. The earbuds are also available in clever white and silver and blue / metallic blue paint jobs.
Setting up the JBL Reflect Flow PRO
The setup process for the JBL Reflect Flow PRO is the simplest and best that we’ve seen from the many wireless earbuds that we’ve tried out. All you have to do is power them on within range of the phone that you want to connect them to. The connection screen below them pops up. Hit CONNECT and you’re in business to rock out during your training session. JBL has named this quick connect feature Dual Connect + Sync. We’re fans of it!!!
We highly recommend installing the well-thought out and intuitive accompanying JBL Headphones app in order to enjoy all that the Reflect Flow PRO has to offer. The app lets you customize the sound that you get from your earphones via its equalizer. It also has controls for using their Active Noise Cancelling, Ambient Sound Control, and Smart Audio and Video features among many others.
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO is a pull out of the charging case and use set of earbuds. There are no power buttons or syncing between the left and right units needed. They automatically power up and are ready to use on the left and right ears from the onset.
The in-ear fit of the JBL Reflect Flow PRO worked well for all of our team members’ ears out of the box. The earbuds come with the medium-sized versions of their stabilizers and ear tips. These held the Reflect Flow PRO in place with no discomfort or adjustment for workouts ranging from running to weightlifting to individual soccer training.
We tried out the other POWERFINS stabilizers and ear tips in search of the optimal sound. We opted to stick with the stabilizers that the earphones were packaged with but switched to the largest ear tips. We found that the bigger tips resulted in deeper bass levels in the music that we rocked using the JBL Reflect Flow PRO.
The Reflect Flow PRO earbuds are very lightweight earbuds at just 0.5 oz for each one. This added to their comfort level particularly during long, music-powered workouts. We wore the earphones for up to two and a half hours at a time with no discomfort or a snug fit the whole time. This was usually while sweating.
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO pipes in high quality audio that is comparable to that delivered by over the ear headphones that cost twice as much. This isn’t surprising given JBL’s expertise in the world of audio.
The sound that the earbuds provide is better than that of the JBL REFLECT FLOW thanks to an upgrade from 5.8 mm to 6.8 mm drivers. While the earbud’s predecessor was all about that bass the JBL Reflect Flow PRO mixes in ever crisper mid and high frequencies that will have you immersed into your favorite jams in new ways. The result is the best sound that we’ve ever heard from truly wireless earphones.
We tried out the JBL Reflect Flow PRO using music apps such as iHeartRadio, Stingray, Spotify and YouTube Music. We also threw in several 320 kbps mp3 and mp4 files for offline listening. There wasn’t a miss in sound quality along the way.
We mentioned changing to the largest ear tips when discussing the JBL Reflect Flow PRO’s fit. We recommend doing so if you’re into EDM or any music genre that is best served with thumping bass. The larger tips lock the sound in so that you really get into higher BPM tunes during those body-changing beast mode workouts.
The big Signature Sound provided by the JBL Reflect Flow PRO gets loud without any distortion or loss of clarity. Cranking its volume up to 100% will have you jamming out but may not be best for your long-term hearing health. We suggest not going above 80% of the maximum volume of the earbuds. The only other wireless earphones that we know of that gives you the volume level of the JBL Reflect Flow PRO is the brand’s REFLECT FLOW.
Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) is a key feature of the JBL Reflect Flow PRO. It works as well as any other ANC that we’ve used and helps provide the best music quality when using the earbuds. The ANC is particularly useful when the gym is busy as it makes weightlifting noises (from plate, dumbbells and people), piped in gym music, and the often-annoying fitness class music fully imperceptible.
Ambient Sound Control is the JBL Reflect Flow PRO feature that you can use if you want to remain aware of your surroundings while using the earphones. It includes updated carryovers front he JBL REFLECT FLOW – Ambient Aware and Talk Thru. The former lets you hear noises from around you such as the sound of moving vehicles close by when you’re running. The latter lowers the volume on your music so that you can hold a conversation without removing the earbuds or stopping your music.
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO has an incredible six microphones that take advantage of new tech such as beamforming and wind suppression. JBL’s intent of the upgrades is to preserve the HD Voice that the REFLECT FLOW is known for while reducing voice quality fluctuations and background noise. They delivered based on our experience with the Reflect Flow PRO!
Voice calls came across with HD sound whether we made them from indoors or outdoors via 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi. Our team members on the receiving end of the calls said that they did not hear any of the noises that we introduced in the background including light music, passing by vehicles, the din of a crowded gym or wind.
Google Assistant and Alexa had no problems understanding via the JBL Reflect Flow PRO is any of the noisy environments that used the earbuds in.
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO’s charging case battery takes roughly two hours to charge from 0% to 100% via the accompanying USB-C charger or via the now supported Qi charging. The result is a case that carries an impressive 20 hours of earbud charge.
The earbuds will provide 10 hours of music on a full charge with ANC turned off. This drops to 8 hours once ANC is put on. Both are towards the upper limit of battery life for the latest generation of truly wireless earbuds.
The JBL Headphones app shows the charge percentage of the case and both earbuds as long as they’re connected to the phone that the app is installed on. The earphones will begin giving you spoken warnings when the charge on either the left or right side falls below 10%. Be prepared to charge them at this point.
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO has an incredible indoor connectivity range of well over 100 feet thanks to its use of Bluetooth 5. This distance covered almost the entire length of our local LA Fitness with a wide range of metal weightlifting equipment between our earbuds and where we left our test phones (a Samsung S21 for Android and iPhone 13 Pro Max for iOS). We started to notice audio drops upon moving a little further away. No reconnection with our phones was needed as we moved back to range so the experience was pretty seamless. There was no change in range whether our phones were streaming music on cellular or Wi-Fi.
JBL’s Reflect Flow PRO is designated as an IP68 device. This is a classification shared with the latest Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel. This means that it has “Protection from contact with harmful dust” and is “Protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter” for at least 30 minutes based on testing conducted by the International Electrotechnical Commission.
We never immersed our Reflect Flow PRO earbuds in water or subjected it to a dust storm but we did get sweat quite a bit in them, got them wet in a drizzle, and dropped them a few times indoors. No performance issues were encountered after all of this during daily use over the past month. We think that these earphones are well-engineered, well-constructed, and built to survive anything that a wearer with an athletic lifestyle does while wearing them.
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO is our new favorite wireless headphones (in and over the ear) set. The product offers everything that you would want from a pair of truly wireless personal earbuds with a host of value adds that are readily accessible via the intuitive JBL Headphones app. The Reflect Flow PRO boasts the latest in personal audio tech, is sturdy, has great battery life, and streams supreme sound. Its MSRP of $179.95 is slightly less than those of similar products from the likes of Beats and Bose and does go down with JBL sales at their website.