As a compact all-rounder, JBL’s wireless Live 300TWS headphones impress with both their precise, powerful sound and their technical refinements. The successful integration of Google Assistant, as well as the TalkThru and Ambient Aware functions, represent useful added value, especially since the app offers extensive customisation options. The fit is comfortable and stable at the same time. However, the support of audio codecs is limited to standard format SBC.
- Defined basses with depth
- Comfortable seat with high stability
- Quick charge function
- USB-C connection
- App connection
- Successful integration of Google Assistant
- Ambient Aware and TalkThru function
- Wipe gestures are misinterpreted too often by the touch control
JBL’s wired Live 300TWS in-ears are powerful and punchy, support Bluetooth 5.0, and offer voice service integration and touch control for Android and iOS devices. The system can also be customised via app connection, while TalkThru and Ambient Aware technology provides functions for interaction with your environment or enhanced external perception.
These wireless headphones are equipped with ergonomically shaped wing attachments, which are supplied in four sizes and can be freely combined with three ear tip configurations, thus ensuring a high degree of individual adaptability. Although these in-ears, which fit in the ear with a twisting motion, require a little attention at first, their fit is very comfortable and extremely stable, so that even during sports there is a firm hold. Overall, the wearing comfort is very good, as the wing construction relieves the ear canal and at six grams per side, the earpieces are quite light. This means no complaints about pressure, even during prolonged use. The housing protrudes a little, making them unsuitable to wear if you have a hat on, but they otherwise embed well in the ear. This well-manufactured system has sweat and water-repellent properties which are very practical, providing protection against moisture caused by the weather and making cleaning easier.
At a slightly increased volume, the lithium-ion batteries of these headphones offer a runtime of almost five and a half hours. These in-ears can be fully recharged almost three times in the transport case, which serves as a charging station, so that the total service life is a good 20 hours. For spontaneous use, there is also a quick-charging function that provides battery capacity for around 50 minutes after a ten-minute power up. A full charging cycle of these headphones takes just under 90 minutes, and the same also applies to recharging the reserves of the transport case. Since this has a USB-C connection, a USB-C to USB-A charging cable is also included with the accessories.
Device control and voice service integration
Coupling these wireless headphones is done immediately when you open the case, they offered above-average ranges of up to twelve metres in combination with various iOS and Android devices. At the same time, the system is switched on and it is automatically put into pairing mode. Returning them to the charging case causes them to switch off. Alternatively, the right-hand headphone, which acts as master, can also be used individually in single mode. If a wireless connection exists, tapping on the right-hand headphone surface starts and stops playback, while double-tapping accepts and ends calls and skips to the next track. Jumping back requires tapping three times. Siri or Bixby can also be used by first touching the surface briefly and then touching it for longer. If you wish, you can also activate a volume control by swiping horizontally on the JBL Headphones App. On the left-hand side, the same gesture can be used to switch the Ambient Aware or TalkThru function on or off, provided this has been set up in the app beforehand. However, the swiping has to be done rather fast with a jerk, otherwise the gesture is interpreted as tapping, which in my opinion is certainly a shortcoming. Otherwise, the touch control reacts exactly and reliably, with speech intelligibility during phone calls is also being very good.
Another very successful and useful feature is the integration of Google Assistant. Voice control has to be configured via the app first, but then it is possible to communicate with Google Assistant at any time by touching the left headphone interface. In addition to requesting information, messages can be read aloud, and they can be answered using voice support without having to pick up your smartphone. According to JBL, Amazon’s Alexa is also supported.
TalkThru and Ambient Aware mode
Since these in-ears have rather strong isolation properties, the sounds of the outside world can be amplified by the integrated microphones if you so desire. While the TalkThru function provides a focus on communication by lowering the playback volume and enhancing voices, generally the Ambient Aware function slightly increases ambient noise to enhance your perception of your environment during sports or in urban areas. You have to accept a subtle background noise, but both modes serve their purpose with extremely high-quality sound.
The free JBL Headphones App offers extensive personalisation options such as sound adjustment via EQ. While it offers ready-made presets such as “Jazz”, “Vocals” or “Bass”, you can also make and save your own settings. It seems incomprehensible to me that you have to make a choice between whether to assign TalkThru or Ambient Aware technology to gesture control you cannot choose both. However, a good feature of these headphones is functions such as “ear recognition”, which automatically pauses playback when a headphone is removed, and this can be freely activated and deactivated via the app. Another advantage is that updates to firmware can be made.
The Live 300TWS headphones sound energetic, have a substantial output and score points with a strong bass response. Although there is no low bass, which would make for increased listening pleasure in bass-heavy productions, there is no humming and the low frequency response doesn’t seem overloaded. The rounded bass foundation has fullness, but is at the same time well defined and doesn’t dominate. This finds a counterpart in present highs that have a lot of stability and don’t fall off. Only at high levels does a tendency to exaggerate sibilants become noticeable, but there is no unpleasant harshness. Vocals are also pleasingly lively and clear, with the mids appearing a little more reserved overall. The fact that the support of high-quality audio codecs such as aptX or AAC has been omitted can be seen as worthy of criticism. However, there are no sound weaknesses and these headphones distinguish themselves as a modern all-rounder with up-to-date tuning for sports and everyday use.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance16 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)110 dB
- Weight without cable12g, incl. case: 66 g
- available in black, white and blue
- BT codecs: SBC
- BT version: 5.0
- BT profiles: A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.5, HFP 1.6