I’m a bit of a headphone snob so when JBL reached out to me and asked if I’d like to review the JBL LIVE 300TWS [true] wireless headphones I knew I had to give them a shot. JBL has been an iconic American audio equipment company since 1946 though has, in recent years, been on less people’s radar. Despite JBL’s reputation, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first tried the LIVE 300TWS earphones. Here’s my experience.

What’s in the box?

  • JBL LIVE 300TWS earphones
  • S, M, L sized ear tips
  • SS, S, M, L sized wingfin enhancers
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Charging case

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The JBL LIVE 300TWS earphones come with multiple ear tips and wingfins, though, in my experience I haven’t needed them. Right out of the box, the earphones fit well in my ears, which, if you’ve read other reviews I’ve written about truly wireless headphones, you would know isn’t always the case (especially for me). So that was definitely nice.

The charging case that is included is a bit bulky for my liking. I wish it was a bit smaller/slimmer and ideally not as plastic-y. If your pants have smaller pockets, it may not be an ideal charging case to carry around.

Sound quality, EQ, and more

When I first donned the earphones, connected them to my iPhone, and fired up some music (Angels & Airwaves, naturally), I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that impressed. They sounded very flat. It wasn’t until I downloaded the JBL Headphones app from the App Store and started adjusting the EQ that they really started to shine through.

Adjusting the EQ via the JBL Headphones app absolutely made a difference. There are a few different presets for the EQ, including Jazz, Vocal, and Bass — I honestly wish there were more, but maybe that can come with an app update. If none of those tickle your fancy you can customize the EQ to your own liking with the My EQ preset. That’s what I ended up doing.

I really enjoyed the bass and warmness of these earphones. They offer a a nice balanced sound.

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In addition to music, using the JBL LIVE 300TWS earphones for voice calls is also a great experience, voices come through crisp and clear. The built-in mic also works fairly well–it’s not perfect, but it does get the job done.

There are a few other really great features built-in to the LIVE 300TWS earphones — Gestures, TalkThru, and Ambient Aware.

Gestures are a nifty feature, they work just as you would expect, swipe to bring up Alexa or Google Assistant, swipe to enable TalkThru, swipe to increase or decrease the volume, double tap to change tracks, etc. I really love gestures as you can imagine, they make it easy to control what you’re listening to without having to touch your phone.

TalkThru allows you to chat with your friends without removing your headphones, simply use the swipe gesture on the earbuds to activate it. And it works, it works really well. I did have some trouble initially remembering which way to swipe on the earbud but after a while your muscle memory will kick in.

Ambient Aware allows you to go from absolute music immersion to also allowing you to focus on your surroundings — we’ve seen this before with other headphones too. It’s great if you’re in a city environment.

One last feature of note: Bluetooth 5. The LIVE 300TWS feature the latest and greatest in Bluetooth technology which means they have incredible range and connectivity. In my tests, these earphones connected to my devices super quick–nearly instantly actually (you know how you normally have to wait a few seconds for them to connect? Not with the JBL LIVE 300TWS) and I was able to walk away (e.g. out of office, down hallway to kitchen) from my devices without experiencing connectivity drops.

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Design, comfort, and battery life

As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a huge fan of the aesthetics for the JBL LIVE 300TWS charging case, nor do I love the plastic-y look and feel of the actual earphones, that being said, I found them to be comfortable in my ears for decent periods of time (30 minutes, 1 hour). However, after periods of prolonged usage I did feel some discomfort to my ears. I wouldn’t let that affect your purchasing decision though.

If you’re planning to use these for workouts — I would say that’s a great use case. In addition to everything I’ve already outlined, they’re also sweat proof.

In terms of battery life, JBL claims you can get 6 hours of playback on a single charge (compared to 4.5 hours and 5 hours for the AirPods and AirPods Pro, respectively). I’ve found that to be true. The charging case can provide an additional 14 hours of playback (AirPods/AirPods Pro charging case provides more than 24 hours). Throwing your JBL LIVE 300TWS earphones in the case for 10 minutes will give you about another hour of playback.

Pricing

The JBL LIVE 300TWS earphones retail for $150, though you can find them on Amazon for $120. When compared to other similar products such as AirPods ($159), AirPods Pro ($249), Master & Dynamic MW07 ($299) I’d say the LIVE 300TWS are a good deal.

The verdict

True wireless earphones are only getting better. They’re the future. The JBL LIVE 300TWS are worthy competitor in the space and definitely worth your consideration if you’re in the market.


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