Motivation is among the most common barriers to establishing a regular workout routine, but JBL is trying to grease the gears with its simple and sturdy JBL Endurance Peak 2. This set of IPX7 earphones has a smart ear hook design and touch controls to minimize how often you have to interact with your phone. Now, you can focus all of your mental and physical energies on the exercises at hand. Let’s take these earbuds for a spin and see if they really are built to endure.
Who should get the JBL Endurance Peak 2?
- Athletes are JBL’s target audience with the Endurance Peak 2. While not for swimming, the earbuds can withstand submersion for up to 30 minutes. The stabilizing ear hooks work hard to keep the buds in place during all movement.
- Anyone can use these earbuds, though the case is a bit bulky to throw into a fanny pack or purse.
What’s it like to use JBL Endurance Peak 2?
Anyone familiar with JBL products will feel at ease with the Endurance Peak 2. Like the Endurance Peak before it, the second-generation earphones uses JBL’s PowerHook technology. The first time you separate the ear hook tails from the housings, the earbuds flip on and enter pairing mode. From then on, separating the PowerHooks automatically reconnects the earbuds to your smartphone.
Start here: What makes a good set of in-ears?
As any good pair of workout earphones, the JBL Endurance Peak 2 doesn’t require much interaction with your smartphone thanks to the comprehensive, yet immutable, touch controls. Those who exercise plenty outside, or who have hearing impairments, may opt for mono playback, which will limit control functionality a bit.
|Left bud||Right bud|
|One tap||- Next track|
- Answer/end call
|- Pause/resume playback
- Answer/end call
|Two taps||- Previous track||- Voice assistant access
- Ignore call
|Slide||N/A||- Up: increase volume
- Down: decrease volume
|Long press||- Mute/unmute mic||- Mute/unmute mic|
|Left or right bud|
|One tap||- Pause/resume playback
- Answer/end call
|Two taps||- Voice assistant access
- Ignore call
|Long press||- Mute/unmute mic|
JBL isn’t shy about reminding you and informing others that you are using a JBL headset: the company logo is embossed onto each earbud and the case. A seam bisects the case, and when you press the button the lid springs open to reveal the earphones. Two large inlets accommodate the buds, which must be placed with some precision for the lid to lock. While the case is still more compact than a pair of on-ear or over-ear headphones, it is larger than most true wireless cases, sharing similar dimensions to the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds case.
Is JBL Endurance Peak 2 good for working out?
Generally speaking, the JBL Endurance Peak 2 is a great workout buddy. The IPX7 rating will grant relief to even the most profusely sweaty people. Interestingly, even though these lack an official dust-resistance rating, JBL depicts a rock climber on the packaging. For the uninitiated, rock climbers frequently chalk up their hands. Even still, I patronized my local climbing gym many times with these earphones and they’re no worse for wear. That said, use them around dust, dirt, chalk, and sand at your own risk.
See: Best workout earbuds
Despite the chunky size relative to other workout earbuds, the JBL Endurance Peak 2 fits comfortably for hours at a time. This is wholly dependent on your ability to find the right ear tips, and since there’s no ear tip fit test available, that may take a handful of attempts.
Should you get the My JBL Headphones app?
The My JBL Headphones app doesn’t support the JBL Endurance Peak 2, so there’s no reason for you to download it. Hopefully JBL adds the Enraunce Peak 2 to the list of supported headsets as firmware updates and small features like find my earbuds or EQ presets would add a lot of value. You can read a full rundown of the headset models the app supports here.
Does the JBL Endurance Peak 2 stay connected?
The JBL Endurance Peak 2 boasts a reliable connection over Bluetooth 5.0, even through a few sets of drywall. Whether in the gym, surrounded by Bluetooth audio peripherals, or biking around my neighborhood, the earbuds faithfully stay connected to my smartphone.
Akin to most workout earbuds, these buds support both the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. If you have an iPhone, you can enjoy consistent lag-free, high-quality streaming from the Endurance Peak 2 but Android owners might have better luck forcing SBC. Still, most of us don’t place a great deal of importance on high-quality audio when exercising. Instead, we want loud music with an extra hint of bass.
How long does the battery last?
The JBL Endurance Peak 2 lasts 6 hours, 2 minutes on a single charge, a near perfect match with the official 6-hour playtime. The USB-C case provides an additional 4 charge cycles, totaling 30 hours of playtime before you need to plug it in. There’s no wireless charging or fast charging here—an odd omission given that fast charging is a sought-after feature in this market. It takes 2 hours to fully charge the earbuds, giving you just enough time to microwave some Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, sit back, and enjoy Pan’s Labyrinth.
True wireless earbuds aren’t built for the long haul
While the standalone battery life is above average for the technology, regularly used true wireless earbuds rarely last more than a couple of years. Their tiny battery cells degrade quickly, given the constant charge-deplete cycle they endure. Apple leads the charge in battery optimization, and can do so because of its safeguarded ecosystem. However, any die-hard environmentalist should really stay away from true wireless earbuds and instead invest in a pair of wired earbuds with replaceable cables.
How does the JBL Endurance Peak 2 sound?
A 10mm dynamic driver pumps out a consumer-friendly frequency response from each earbud. The amplified bass notes sound a bit louder than the midrange, but it isn’t so exaggerated as to mask all musical detail around middle-C. Again, JBL doesn’t provide a way to alter the sound profile, but many smartphones have integrated EQ modules (well, except for iPhones, because Apple).
Bog standard isolation performance means the earbuds block out unpredictable, high-pitched noises like the clang of a clumsy roommate washing dishes or nearby laughter in a tiny train car, but these aren’t the earphones to use for intercontinental flights or cross-country Amtrak adventures. For those contexts, you’ll want to invest in a pair of noise cancelling true wireless earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM4, or make room in your luggage for something like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
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Lows, mids, and highs
Bass notes sound very good in Brett Eldredge’s Beat of the Music as the thump and thud of the kickdrum can be felt throughout the song’s entirety. Eldredge’s lower vocal register comes through nice and clear, thanks to the mild bump in the upper bass frequencies. However, during the song’s choruses, it’s hard to hear high-pitched sounds like cymbal hits, as many other louder, lower notes mask it.
The JBL Endurance Peak 2 amplifies bass notes just enough to add emphasis to kickdrums.
Ryann’s song JFK sounds very good through the JBL Endurance Peak 2 too. A chord progression of D-G-Bm-A on guitar rings clearly during the intro, though the finger slides up and down the fretboard are difficult to hear. High-pitched tones reverberate during the chorus at 1:59, when Ryann sings, “… and the magnets ’round my waist that pull to your door.” The first couple of tones come through clearly between the breaks of Ryann’s vocalizations, but become difficult to distinguish as she echos the phrase, “to your door.”
Can you use the JBL Endurance Peak 2 for phone calls?
Each JBL Endurance Peak 2 earbud houses its own microphone system, so you can take calls in mono and stereo mode. Sound quality is fine, but it won’t impress your friends on the other end of the call. Take a listen to the demo below and decide for yourself!
JBL Endurance Peak 2 microphone demo:
JBL Endurance Peak vs JBL Endurance Peak 2: What’s the difference?
The first-generation JBL Endurance Peak has a shorter standalone playtime of 4 hours, compared to the second-gen’s 6-hour playtime. The improved battery life may be attributed to the newer model’s Bluetooth 5.0 firmware, which is more efficient than the old Bluetooth 4.2. With the upgraded model, you get a more modern design and USB-C charging case, whereas the debut Endurance Peak includes a microUSB case.
If you like bass, the Endurance Peak 2 will pique your interest a bit more, as it has a slightly bassier sound than its predecessor. This is great for exercise, but isn’t quite as versatile as the Endurance Peak’s more accurate bass response. Neither headset comes with a companion app, so you’ll have to turn elsewhere for a custom EQ module.
Both earphones have an IPX7 rating and ear hook design, with JBL’s twist-to-lock ear hooks. Each pair of true wireless earbuds will serve any athlete well, so long as you fish them out from the pool within 30 minutes. Connection stability is much improved with the Endurance Peak 2 over the original Endurance Peak, which struggles to remain connected through physical barriers.
JBL discontinued the Endurance Peak when it released the Endurance Peak 2, but you can still find the old version renewed for as low as $49 USD. While this is a great deal, it’s worth considering other options beyond JBL’s offerings if you want to stay below a $50 budget.
Should you buy the JBL Endurance Peak 2?
The JBL Endurance Peak 2 is a solid contender among the bevy of workout earbuds available, and if you don’t care for software features, this is a smart buy. The PowerHook design is great and streamlines the reconnecting process while providing a reliable fit. Sure, the earbuds remain fairly clunky, but many athletes usually prioritize fit and stability over svelte designs and aesthetics.
That said, the JBL Endurance Peak 2 may not be your flavor of energy drink: the lack of fast charging is a poor omission and the microphone is unimpressive, to put it kindly. While the large charging case won’t take up too much real estate in a gym bag, it isn’t the most portable option for daily use. Concessions had to be made to keep the pricing below $100 USD, but some may turn their ears elsewhere for more versatile earbuds that also work for exercise.
What should you get instead?
The JBL Endurance Peak 2 is a great option for athletes and the physically inclined, but it’s not your only option. For $100 USD, you might want to consider the Anker Soundcore Spirit X2. This is an IP68-rated pair of true wireless workout earbuds that mimic JBL’s ear hook design. Then there’s the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC, which isn’t as water resistant, but has an official dust-resistant rating (IP66), which should give rock climbers a bit more peace of mind. The “ANC” in the name stands for active noise cancelling, so you get that with these earbuds too.
For anyone willing to bump their budget up a bit, the original Jaybird Vista is on promotion thanks to the release of the Jaybird Vista 2. The Vista is another set of IPX7 earbuds that offers a secure, stabilized fit. The extra cost affords you access to Jaybird’s famed mobile app where you can create a custom sound profile. The charging case is also much more compact than the Endurance Peak 2, and it comes with a short lanyard for attaching to lash straps on a bag.