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JBL Under Armour Headphones Wireless review

Richard Easton
1 Apr 2016
JBL Under Armour Headphones Wireless lead
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
150
inc VAT

The JBL Under Armour Headphones Wireless have a good fit but their durability let them down

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Specifications

Headphones subtype: In-ear neckband, Plug type: N/A, Weight: Not disclosed, Cable length: N/A

You’ve probably heard of Under Armour if you’ve ever visited a gym or support a certain North London football club, but this fitness apparel company is becoming an increasingly big name in the tech industry as well. Not only does it own several fitness platforms such as MapMyFitness, but it's also partnered up with HTC to create its very own Under Armour-branded fitness band. As a result, it came as little surprise to hear it's now joined forces with JBL to create its own set of wireless headphones.

JBL is known for its range of Yurbuds sports headphones, which use a ‘Twistlock’ method of securing them in your ears during strenuous physical activities. Unsurprisingly, this Twistlock mechanism has made its way over to the Under Armour Headphones Wireless as welll. 


JBL Under Armour Headphones Wireless earbuds close

Essentially, you have a conventional silicone tip which goes into your ear canal as normal, but the earbud's slightly more bulbous rear then catches on your outer ear after you twist the headphones to secure them in place. The system works well, and once the earbuds are inserted in your ears, you don’t feel like they’re going to slip out.

You also get two rubber enhancer seals that help increase the amount of friction so they don’t move around as much, but it would have been useful to have another size included if your ears happen to fall between the 'small' and 'large' seals provided in the box. Luckily, you can contact JBL through its website to request additional sizes for free, but it's still a bit of an extra hassle.  


JBL Under Armour Headphones Wireless torn enhancer

However, you might need to do this even if the ones in the box are a good fit. While testing how you change the different-sized enhancers, I actually managed to tear the rubber on one of them accidentally, as the extenders stretched over each earbud became rather strained as I was removing it. As such, you'll need to be quite careful when switching sizes, as their durability was very disappointing. 

It’s a shame the enhancers aren’t longer-lasting, as the rest of the headphones are very robust. The black and red design is attractive, and they’re sweat-resistant so you don’t need to worry about damaging them during your workout. The neckband can be worn in front or behind your neck dependent on your exercise, and both feel comfortable and secure. A silicone zip case is included for transportation.


JBL Under Armour Headphones Wireless remote

When it comes to overall sound quality, these headphones are very good at getting you energised for a workout. There’s plenty of high-energy bass response, but crucially it doesn’t overpower the mids and treble, both of which still come in strong. Listening to a high-octane electronic running mix, it wasn’t difficult to get my heart racing. With around 8 hours of battery life, you’ll probably only need to charge them once a week, too, which is pretty good compared to other sports headphones I've tested.

The bass response is helped by the fact that the headphones have good sound isolation, which is worth keeping in mind if you intend to run with them, as they’ll seal you off from ambient sound. Unlike other running headphones, such as the Gibson Trainer Ti100, JBL hasn't included any extra features to automatically reduce the volume or let in more ambient noise, so you’ll need to be aware of your surroundings if you're road-running or jogging in a public space.

Aside from the disappointing durability of the enhancers’ rubber material, the other hurdle for the JBL Under Armour Headphones Wireless is its price. At £150, it’s more expensive than other sports headphones, and it's particularly miserly that you have to send off additional online requests to get more enhancer sizes. These should have just been included in the box.

The sound quality is very good for fitness headphones, but this still doesn’t quite justify the price. Nowadays, if you want headphones specifically for running, you can pick up the heart-rate sensing Jabra Sport Pulse for around the same price, or the Gibson Trainer Ti100, which has more runner-friendly features. If you want general fitness headphones, the slightly cheaper Plantronics BackBeat FIT are also a good choice. If these don't suit your needs, check out our regular updated Best Headphones for 2016 guide.

Hardware
Headphones subtypeIn-ear neckband
Headphones driverClosed
Active noise-cancellingNo
Power sourceNone
Headphones sensitivityNot disclosed
Frequency response10Hz-22kHz
Headphones impedenceNot disclosed
Plug typeN/A
Inline volumeYes
WeightNot disclosed
Cable lengthN/A
AccessoriesEnhancer tips, soft silicone case
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.jbl.com
Detailswww.jbl.com
Part codeUA Headphones Wireless

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