It takes so much to wonder an audio geek in 2022. However, I used to be actually stoked to be told in regards to the JBL Tune Flex; an inexpensive, water resistant, ANC-toting pair of earbuds that still boasts two other dressed in kinds – open or closed.
Upon receiving a collection to check out, I additionally word the translucent case showcasing the battery pack, connections and different wonderful innards. I had the black/gray pair to check out, however there is a gorgeously unfashionable crimson colour too.
As I mentioned when JBL’s reworking product was once launched, you’ve got by no means noticed earbuds like those and I applaud the ingenuity. Also, little main points akin to those can upload as much as nice worth.
To explain the proposition: in contrast to Oladance’s admirable absolutely open design which matches nowhere close to the recesses or folds of your ear, JBL’s answer comprises provided tricks to trade the buds from merely resting within the well-like a part of your outer ear or concha (in the way in which Apple’s EarPods or AirPods (2019) do), to longer pointers which input your ear canal to create a seal – incessantly crucial for the most productive wi-fi earbuds.
Back to the JBL Tune Flex (brief for ‘Flexibility’ owing to these two wearer choices) and there is a new sound atmosphere to toggle inside the app, relying on whether or not you are dressed in “Open Ear Tips” or “Sealing Ear Tips” – sure, JBL has thought to be the results and formed the audio revel in accordingly. Admirable!
You get 8 hours of playtime from the buds and 24 from the case with ANC off, or six from the buds, 18 with the case if it is on. The case has a smart lip to forestall it snapping close and also you in fact get a right kind plastic case for the quite a lot of pointers – extra on those later.
So a long way, issues glance nice…
And the place Nothing’s unreleased clear (Stick) earbuds stay shrouded in, er, atypical luggage, the JBL Tune Flex are to be had now, with a completely complete spec sheet – for sure a shoo-in for our highest noise-cancelling earbuds information, no? Well…
Analysis: open-ear is insecure, closed-ear a tad muffled
The JBL Tune Flex’s open-ear pointers come prefitted and will have to be got rid of ahead of switching to the closed, ear-canal sealing ones, despite the fact that the tiny open-ear pointers really feel virtually completely flush with the driving force housing (see above, at the left) – and word that there is a proper and mistaken solution to orient those.
Sadly, I will not acquire any more or less safety with the open-ear tip choice. I will have to word that I in finding Apple’s authentic AirPods’ are compatible rather terrible (to the purpose that I’ve regarded into particular ear tricks to compensate and degree up the sound) however nonetheless, I discovered this marginally worse. The buds merely sought after to burst from my ears once I driven them in to the dish-like recess ahead of my earhole right kind.
The are compatible right here isn’t dissimilar to the tip-free stem-design earbuds incorporated with the brand new Nokia 5710 XpressAudio, however once more, I discovered the JBL Tune Flex are compatible reasonably more difficult to deal with.
Any more or less legitimate dialogue in regards to the sound is subsequently unfair. I just can’t stay the open-ear dressed in taste in my ears for lengthy sufficient to calm down and benefit from the song. I feel the problem could be to do with how they are weighted – they simply really feel as though they are actively looking to paintings their approach out of my ears.
Switching to the closed-ear taste does supply a good are compatible and seal, the usage of the smallest of the 3 choices supplied in my case. Switching may be a breeze, and once more that plastic case, with little hooks to stay the entire pointers protected is a stylish contact – one I want extra corporations may bring to mind.
Sadly, I in finding the ANC (treated by means of two mics) lower than nice, even with excellent safety and a closed are compatible – or even on the absolute best degree (you’ll be able to choose between 1 and six) I listen the semi-constant aeroplanes flying in over my London flat. Although this isn’t a complete, star-rated overview, Ambient Aware and TalkThru additionally end up relatively useless all over my preliminary assessments.
Switching all ambient sounds controls off, Lady Gaga’s LoveGame lacks a modicum of stark element in the case of the uncooked, main edges of the backing monitor. Gaga’s insatiable vocal may be a bit of, nicely, muffled. Switching to Cambridge Audio’s Melomania 1 Plus, which will also be purchased for round the similar value because the JBLs, the vocal sounds extra 3-dimensional and with an additional ounce of element because the superstar scales thru her improbable and emotive vary.
Halsey’s Without Me sounds a bit of congested and muddied during the bass synths and drums at the JBLs, to the purpose that I’m shedding parts of the backing monitor (vocals, a top hat) I will have to have the ability to discern extra obviously. Switch to Cambridge Audio’s Melomania 1 Plus and the soundfield expands, revealing area across the quite a lot of tools.
Across the process my listening, I felt a bit of upset – and it does ache me to write down this piece.
On the only hand, JBL is providing a product that appears nice and is done to an excessively top same old. The battery lifestyles, flexibility of use and have set also are very good (and in some instances unprecedented) on the degree. On paper, I like the issues. It’s simply that for me the evidence of the pudding is within the consuming and as a sonic proposition those earbuds fall a bit of brief, alternatively I used to be attempted to put on them.
What have I discovered? In the similar approach that having your cake and consuming it’s not conceivable, having a collection of very good open-ear and closed-ear earbuds in a single field is just a little a lot to pray for. It might come off harsh, however I did check the JBLs towards a competing product on the identical value – and I discovered them in need of in the case of sound high quality, alternatively arduous I attempted.
The general design of the most productive noise-cancelling earbuds are the most important to their efficiency. It turns out that you just truly do wish to specialize.