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JBL Reflect Flow Pro
August 17, 2021
20cm (charging cable)
61.5g (charging case)
The JBL Reflect Flow Pro is a set of true wireless earbuds designed for active people who want some good earbuds to work out in. With IP68 water and dust resistance, a selection of ear tip sizes, an accompanying app, and lots of customization options, this is a solid choice for anybody who jogs on rainy days. But so are a lot of other true wireless earbuds.
How does the Reflect Flow Pro match up to other earbuds?
Who should get the JBL Reflect Flow Pro?
- Active people who want to exercise with earbuds outside in any weather will enjoy the IP68 water and dust resistance from the Flow Pro.
- Commuters can find some solace in the Reflect Flow Pro’s isolation and active noise cancelling (ANC) to hush the train din.
- Anyone who wants earbuds that can take them throughout their day in different settings will enjoy the many features this headset offers.
What is the JBL Reflect Flow Pro like to use?
The JBL Reflect Flow Pro comes with four options for wing tips and ear tips, which is great since ear shape and size vary greatly among people. The smallest ear tips are still too big for my ears and because of that, the earbuds have a tendency to fall out. (Note: I have really small ears and a history of earbuds not fitting properly.) This is uncomfortable for me, especially after about an hour of wear. This probably won’t be the case for most people, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you find that most earbuds are too big for you.
If you have ears that are on the smaller side, you might have some discomfort even with the smallest ear tips.
The durability of these buds is also pretty impressive, with an IP68 water and dust-resistance rating. This means you can submerge in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. If you tend to sweat a lot while you work out, or if you want earbuds that can withstand the occasional fall in a puddle, this is a handy feature.
Start here: What makes a good set of in-ears?
How do you use the JBL Headphones app?
The JBL Headphones app allows you to control lots of features and customize your listening experience. It even helps you fit the ear tips to your ears to prevent sound leakage and maximize noise cancelling. The “Check my best fit” feature opens automatically on the app when you first connect the earbuds to your phone, and the app briefly plays music to detect any sound leakage if you’re wearing the earbuds loosely or the ear tips are the wrong size.
After that, you can toggle ANC on and off, or enable ambient aware mode, which amplifies ambient noise to keep you aware of your surroundings. You can also choose your listening mode. Audio mode provides the best listening experience, while video mode reduces audio-visual lag. There’s also a visual EQ module where you can adjust the frequency response of the Reflect Flow Pro.
How do you connect the JBL Reflect Flow Pro?
The JBL Reflect Flow Pro connects over Bluetooth 5.0, and it pairs like any other similar device. It’s straightforward, but there’s no fast pairing option here. All you have to do is:
- Open your Bluetooth settings on your device
- If applicable to your handset, enable device discovery mode
- Open the case with the earbuds inside
- Choose “JBL Reflect Flow Pro” when it comes up
The earbuds support the AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs. Different devices handle AAC encoding differently, with Apple devices handling them the best, and Android devices varying on how well they handle it. For consistent results on Android devices, you’re better off listening using SBC.
How long does the battery last on the JBL Reflect Flow Pro?
JBL claims these earbuds have a battery life of 10 hours with noise cancelling off, and 8 hours with noise cancelling on. As well, the company claims putting the buds in the case can provide another 20 hours of battery power before having to recharge the whole thing. In our testing, the earbuds lasted 9 hours, 8 minutes with noise cancelling on, surpassing JBL’s official specs.
How good is the noise cancelling on the JBL Reflect Flow Pro?
These earbuds notably have active noise cancelling, which won’t completely cancel the low thud of dropping your phone to the floor or the high-pitched clacks of your mechanical keyboard, but it does a fine job. When I use the Reflect Flow Pro to listen to music with ANC on, I can’t hear the loud garbage truck outside my window that usually bothers me. Under these same conditions, I can’t hear someone talking to me either. When the music is off, I can still hear most sounds, they’re just muffled.
The ANC makes a slight difference and quiets a narrow range of low-frequency sounds to half their usual loudness.
To get ANC an isolation performance as indicated by the chart above, you need to find the ear tips that fit best. Again, luckly JBL makes this easy through its mobile app. If you’re unable to get a good seal with the ear tips to your ear canals, background noise could leak in and degrade audio quality.
What’s the difference between ambient aware mode and TalkThru mode?
The JBL Reflect Flow Pro also has a feature called ambient aware, which amplifies environmental noise through the earbuds, so you can be aware of your surroundings. This feature is especially useful if you’re going on a run and want to hear cars around you. There is also a “TalkThru” feature that turns down the volume of your music so you can hear someone talking to you. It’s a nice workaround if you don’t want to remove the buds. These are all features you can find in the app, or by using gestures on the buds themselves.
How does the JBL Reflect Flow Pro sound?
The frequency response chart for the JBL Reflect Flow Pro earbuds (cyan) shows that the earbuds follow our house curve (pink) pretty closely in the mids and treble. Though, it has notably more bass emphasis and some variation in the higher treble range than our curve suggests.
See also: The best JBL headphones
However, most listeners will enjoy how the Reflect Flow Pro sounds because it isn’t a neutral, or “flat,” sound. Many of us prefer boosted bass for exercise and casual listening. Generally, the treble boost retains some treble detail that might otherwise be lost to the loud bass notes. This kind of sound makes for an enjoyable listening experience whether you’re at home or out and about.
Lows, mids, and highs
When listening to Supermassive Black Hole by Muse, sub-bass tones are noticeably emphasized but it’s still easy to hear vocals. What’s more, the guitar riffs, synth, and percussion all shine through despite the notable bass-boosting these buds provide. The prominence of sub-bass and bass is especially noticeable in a track like Get Into it (Yuh) by Doja Cat, where those tones are usually harder to hear on studio-inspired headsets. The sub-bass and bass emphasis in this track is extremely prominent without masking the rest of the instruments, with percussion and vocals still coming through prominently.
Related: How to read charts
How is the microphone on the JBL Reflect Flow Pro?
Unfortunately, the JBL Reflect Flow Pro has a big downside. The microphone on these earbuds is not good. JBL boasts “perfect calls” and “zero noise,” but that is not true in my experience. The audio from the microphone sounds very masked, and any background noise like wind, echo, or traffic sounds make it even worse. It’s bad enough that if someone were to call me using these earbuds, I would probably have to ask them to repeat themselves 20 times. Sibilance is especially distorted.
Take a listen to our samples below and let us know your thoughts.
JBL Reflect Flow Pro microphone demo (ideal):
JBL Reflect Flow Pro microphone demo (wind):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the JBL Reflect Flow Pro?
If you are an active person looking for true wireless earbuds with active noise cancelling and customizable features, the JBL Reflect Flow Pro is a solid choice. This has a pretty similar price point to other comparable earbuds on the market and with the customizability of the fit and the sound, you should definitely consider this as a fine pair of multifaceted earbuds that can tackle anything. However, if you plan to take a lot of phone calls, you’re better off getting a similarly priced pair of earbuds with a better microphone.
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What should you get instead of the JBL Reflect Flow Pro?
If you’re an active person looking for versatile earbuds, the Jabra Elite 75t earbuds are also IP55 sweat and dust resistant and also have active noise cancelling, all for a slightly lower price.
Another solid pair of in-ear buds with good isolation and noise cancelling, as well as IPX7 water-resistance is the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. It’s a good option so long as you don’t have any sensitivities to nickel or acrylate. Listeners who don’t mind downgrading IP ratings (IPX2) for better ANC may want the Galaxy Buds 2 instead.
If you’re in the Apple ecosystem and want something geared more towards that, the Airpods Pro is a good option, so long as you have a bit more money to spend. The AirPods Pro also has active noise cancelling, and it has an IPX4 rating. If you want even better ANC than Apple has to offer, voice access to Alexa, and a uniform experience across devices, we recommend the Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen).
Alternatively, you can save a bit of cash by getting the JBL Tune 230 TWS, a cheaper, albeit imperfect, pair of noise cancelling earbuds with a stemmed design.