The JBL Reflect Flow PRO are the new wireless headphones for athletes from the veteran manufacturer, capable of adapting to our ear and covering noises.
In the last year I have tried many wireless headphones, more than the average consumer will ever experience, and they all had the same thing in common: a proper fit, but not perfect. Even in the best cases of headphones that have been adapted to my ears, such as the Jabra Elite 75t , I cannot get them to stay in place if I start to move (as rare as that is for me).
Now comes JBL, with a very attractive solution for those who want to continue enjoying their music, no matter what exercises they are doing.
They don’t move for anything in the world
The JBL Reflect Flow PRO were announced alongside new products from JBL and Harman , including new party speakers and gaming headsets; But my advice is don’t ignore these headphones, especially if exercise and sports are part of your daily life.
These are the headphones that have fit my ears the best of all the ones I have tried this year; It has been impossible for me to make them fall , and although I do not doubt that with stronger sessions that is possible, they are much better in that sense than most. In addition, they are designed to withstand whatever is thrown at them, with IP68 resistance to water and dust , which is much appreciated when we are drenched with sweat.
The key is in what JBL calls Powerfin, a very cool name but which is nothing more than a silicone upper ‘fin’ that fits in our ear to offer additional support. A simple idea, but it works very well, taking advantage of the arch of our ear to keep the headset in place. JBL includes four different pairs of fins , to adapt to each type of ear, although in my case, the default option has been ideal.
We also have three different options for the pads , which have a slightly harder finish than usual; Although it may come as a surprise the first time you put the headphones on, I think that touch helps secure the pad to your ear, and provides adequate isolation from external noise.
Once you put them on, wearing the JBL Reflect Flow PRO comes naturally, and you can rock hard from side to side, they won’t fall off.
Sturdy and large box
The first indicator that these headphones are not normal we see in the charging case, which is gigantic; Compared to other JBL headphones , it’s a bit over the top. The huge JBL letters don’t help disguise that size difference, and I’d say it can be difficult to carry in your pocket, especially with some sweatpants.
At least, the box includes an alternative way of transport, an integrated strap to carry it on the wrist, backpack or belt, very resistant and sturdy, although it cannot be removed; JBL has ensured this by inserting a plastic trim that holds the strap in place.
The same qualifiers of resistance can be applied to the case itself, which has a somewhat rougher touch than usual, compared to other cases that are shiny and have been polished. I wouldn’t say it’s a ‘rugged’ touch, but it’s the lower notch than that. The hinge also feels sturdy and feels nice when opening and closing, although its durability can only be cramped after months of use.
A front white light indicates the charge level, and on the back we have the USB-C charging connection, with fast charging that gets an hour of playback just by connecting it for 10 minutes. In addition, the case has Qi-compatible wireless charging, so we can use it in most of the chargers on the market.
Good noise cancellation
JBL has integrated its active noise cancellation technologies in these Reflect Flow PROs, and the result is as good as with the rest of the models, aided by the use of a microphone specifically for the suppression of wind and external noise in each earbud.
JBL’s algorithms are capable of masking most repetitive noises , like those in a gym or simply a fan running full blast this summer. They find it a bit more difficult to cover up unexpected noises, like those of a busy street, but they offer more than adequate insulation so that we do not have to think about those things.
And if we want, with just one touch we can listen to the outside world again, thanks to the Ambient Aware functionality, which reproduces external sounds through the headphones. More striking is TalkThru, which allows us to talk to another person without having to remove the headphones. The use of smart technologies is completed with compatibility with Google Assistant and Alexa, which we can activate directly from the headphones.
Regarding the sound, the truth is that I did not expect much with only 6.8 mm drivers, small compared to other JBL models; The truth is that the treatment of the bass has surprised me, because of how powerful they are.
If you like to feel the impact of electronic music and bass while you exercise, these are your headphones; it’s like discovering a new dimension made up of blows to your skull. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more balanced sound, you will not find it here, although you can at least use the app to vary it to your liking with the integrated equalizer.
Although the sound clarity is good, such power in the bass can affect the rest of the frequencies, and this has been my experience; I have noticed as if part of the songs were ‘lost’ between the power of the ‘blows’. Now this is great on electronic music, and especially on those songs that help motivate you to work or exercise.
Good option for athletes
The JBl Reflect Flow PRO are at the top of the headphone options for sports or exercise, even if they are not without problems. I wasn’t expecting the sound treatment, having listened to other JBL headphones; although it is not a quality problem far from it.
I suspect JBL wanted to create a more energizing sound that motivates us and allows us to completely isolate ourselves from the outside world; And if that was the mission, I can say that they have fulfilled it. The icing on the cake is active noise cancellation, which works very well.
They have also achieved headphones that feel resistant and capable of withstanding what we throw at it ; the charging case is especially eye-catching in that regard, even though they’ve had to make it so big in return.
In short, we are looking at good headphones for athletes, or simply people who like to exercise with music. The JBL Reflect Flow PRO will be available for 179.99 euros throughout the month of September on the JBL website .