JBL Live Flex are wireless BT headphones equipped with active noise reduction and some interesting solutions. How do they work in practice and are they worth buying? More on that in today’s review.
I borrowed the headphones from the manufacturer for this review. This is also another article in the series of searching for the perfect wireless headphones for me. Did JBL Live Flex meet my expectations? If you don’t like reading long articles, I will tell you right away that… NO. But in this case the “no” is a definite no and in the article I will write why the headphones turned me off so much.
JBL Live Flex – first impressions
In the world of headphones, where the market is crowded with a variety of brands and models, the JBL Live Flex stands out as an elegant offering from Harman International Industries. Aimed at active city dwellers who need reliable headphones for everyday use, these earbuds promise a combination of sound quality, comfort and style. But do they really deliver on these promises? Are they worth the price? In this review, I’ll take a closer look at their features, sound quality, and pros and cons.
JBL Live Flex are earbuds that not only look stylish, but also offer a number of functions for demanding users. The headphones look elegant, with a subtle JBL logo on the side of each earbud. Their minimalist design is both modern and functional, making them perfect for both everyday use and more formal occasions. They are not so eye-catching, but still quite elegant.
We buy the headphones in a special transport case. In this case, it is a solid, matte black box with a shiny JBL logo. This case doesn’t just serve as storage – it’s also a charging station that starts charging your headphones as soon as you put them away. Interestingly, the appropriate indentation in the housing means that they cannot be inserted upside down or the left and right earphones cannot be swapped. After opening and closing the case, the bars indicating the battery status light up in white for a moment. There are 7 notches, but only three can light up.
JBL Live Flex are available in several colors such as black, blue, silver and pink.
JBL Live Flex – advantages
One of the biggest advantages of these headphones is their battery life. They can operate for up to 8 hours on a single charge (shorter with the ANC option turned on), and a fully charged case extends this time by a total of another 32 hours. 15 minutes of charging allows you to listen to music for two hours.
They are also quite light – they weigh less than 10 grams and look simply good, although they may seem quite large. I like the chrome accents, which look great with the black color. It is also worth adding that they are water and dustproof (IP54).
And what does the situation look like during the talks? All the people I called said they could hear me just fine. No wonder, JBL Live Flex have as many as 6 voice-capturing microphones. However, I couldn’t hear the interlocutors so well.
JBL Live Flex – disadvantages
I have already tested some in-ear headphones with ANC and I can tell you that ANC does not exist in JBL Live Flex. There is no difference between active noise cancellation mode on and off. And on paper we have quite large possibilities here, supported by 4 microphones that capture ambient noise. Configuration using the JBL Connect application does not help here either. I also have reservations about the ergonomics themselves. The headphones are quite stiff and quite large. It is difficult to place them firmly in the auricle and they hold quite loosely (they do not have rubberized parts). When testing in sports – JBL Live Flex fell out quite often! In general, it is very difficult to adjust them, and therefore, apart from ANC, of course, the sound quality and bass suffer immediately. Pressing the headphones harder causes our ears to hurt after just a dozen or so minutes.
And here we come to the point. I gave the headphones to several different people and each of them had the same feeling. It’s hard to fold them. This also contributes to the listening experience. When using JBL Live Flex outdoors, we hear a lot of sounds from the surroundings. ANC has no effect, so we try to press the headphones right away to make them go a little deeper. This immediately causes discomfort, but it does not affect the sound, which is quite flat. However, pairing them with different phones and modifying the settings in the application simply did not help.