If you’ve been using true wireless earbuds, the JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS will feel familiar but with a different twist. For one, these buds were created in collaboration with EDM icon Armin van Buuren, which gives you an idea of what type of soundscape you can expect.
The sound: customise with EQ settings!
First-time users of JBL headphones will be impressed by their JBL Pro Sound which is pretty immersive on its own. However, anyone who’s serious about their sound quality will love the customisable aspect of these earbuds, which you can get by downloading the JBL Headphones app (Android and iOS).
Once paired, you can truly customise the sound you want in two ways:
- tap the STAGE+ button which lets you choose EQ presets from some of the hottest DJs in the world, which change frequently (you can save them onto your EQ preferences)
- adjust to your personal EQ preferences
The bass register is really deep, so it’s great if you have a lot of EDM on your playlist (it’s called CLUB for a reason). You don’t have to crank up the volume to dangerous levels in order to get a deep distortion-free bass (if it’s your thing). Most songs that don’t emphasise on bass do get a boost of extra thunder thanks to the bass-forward drivers.
However, music of all genres also sound quite nice coming out of these earbuds. You can play around with the EQ setting to find your ideal preference, whether you’re listening to BTS, BLACKPINK or Britney.
Personalisation for these earbuds doesn’t stop at music; you can control the level of noise cancellation so you can adapt to any level of ambient noise when you’re out and about with 3 modes:
- Their built-in Adaptive Noise Cancellation (ANC) actively cancels out a lot of sound (it almost totally cancelled the sound of jets flying overhead!)
- Switch to Smart Ambient which lets you listen to your music while remaining safely connected to your surroundings – when there’s no music on, it sounds like a faint ocean wave
- Tap for the TalkThru function for when you need to have a quick chat with someone without having to take your earbuds off. You can also hear yourself talk pretty clearly so you don’t have to shout – there are 6 microphones built in, so your voice is pretty clear on voice calls too
Each earbud has a ‘button’ (which is the logo) that you tap/press to control something. In the default setting, you control the playback (play, skip, previous) with the right side, while the left earbud lets you control the noise cancellation: one tap for ANC/Smart Ambient, two taps for TalkThru. You can swap the sides with the JBL Headphones app.
Both earpieces can answer or end calls, and if you’re using the buds at home, they also interact with your Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa devices.
While you don’t need to download the JBL Headphones app to enjoy the earbuds, the app does provide various tools in addition to the EQ adjustment:
- It has an in-ear fit check to measure if your eartips have a good in-canal seal with a quick sonic test
- It lets you choose Smart Audio modes: Normal (to maintain a stable Bluetooth connection), Audio (the best sound quality for music), and Video (for syncing video and audio). Keep to Audio to maintain a good audio quality throughout
The JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS pairs very quickly to your device as soon as you flip open the case, so there’s no need to turn them on manually.
The charging case supports wireless Qi charging, so you don’t have to fiddle with wires (it also comes with a Type-C cable). The battery life on the earbuds is estimated to be roughly 6 hours (depending on your volume levels and whether you’re using ANC or not), with the charging case carrying an extra 18 hours. According to JBL, you get an hour’s playtime with 10 minutes charging in the case.
The shape of the buds is designed to nestle snugly into your ear, so it’ll fit most ears. It doesn’t feel like it’ll fall out after wearing them for a while because they literally fill most of the concha cavum (bowl in the ear) – this makes it ideal for those who want snug earbuds but don’t like additional stabilisers like ear fins or hooks.
So if you’re looking for a pair of headphones for your exercise sessions, they may be a good fit because they’re also waterproof (to a degree) so they won’t be affected by sweat or a bit of rain.
A solid performance
JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS earbuds offer a lot to like, including customisable EQ for serious music fans, decent battery life and water resistance for practicality, good on-ear and app-enabled controls, wireless charging, and support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. At S$299, they’re a very decent price for what you get.