JBL Reflect Flow Pro Review: Spectacular Sports Headphones

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JBL Reflect Flow Pro review: Spectacular sports headphones

MSRP $ 180.00

“Lots of features and powerful sound make them perfect training friends. ”

Advantages

  • Strong and secure fit

  • Excellent noise reduction

  • Choice of hands-free voice AI

  • Completely waterproof

  • Wireless charging

The inconvenients

  • Limited control options

  • No fast charge option

JBL isn’t always the most consistent company when it comes to personal audio. Sometimes, like with his Tour Pro + headphones and Tour One ANC headphones, he absolutely nails it. Other times it’s short, as I thought it was with its flagship Club One cans. But lately there have been more hits than failures, and that’s certainly true of JBL’s latest true active lifestyle wireless headphones, the $ 180 JBL Reflect Flow Pro, a product that rivals the Beats Fit Pro at $ 200, the $ 180 Jabra Elite 7 Active, and JBL’s own $ 150 Reflect Mini NC. How good are Reflect Flow Pro? Let’s check them out.

Great fit without the Frankenstein

JBL Reflect Flow Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital trends

The Reflect Flow Pro are, in theory, the successors of the Reflection of the flow model, a set of comfortable and waterproof sports headphones that unfortunately had a few drawbacks. They were huge – sticking out of your ears a lot, giving what I think is the look of a Frankenstein monster. Their physical buttons were a bit difficult to press, their sound quality was spotty, and their transparency (ambient) mode was only average.

But one look at the design of the Reflect Flow Pro and it’s clear that, despite the name, it’s actually the Pro model of the Reflect Mini NC, not the Reflect Flow. The Reflect Flow Pro are smaller and lighter, and they correct pretty much every flaw we found on the original Reflect Flow.

The Reflect Flow Pro comes with three sizes of silicone ear tips and four sizes of wing tips (“powerfins” in JBL’s vernacular) that range from big to barely there, which means over people are likely to find a combo that suits them. This is in stark contrast to the Beats Fit Pro which has a single set of wing tips permanently installed.

What's in the JBL Reflect Flow Pro box.
Simon Cohen / Digital trends

JBL says the fit is secure enough that you can ride the Reflect Flow Pro. I disagree with respect. Yes, they adapt very well, but no, I wouldn’t take the risk of finding out the hard way that they’re no match for a head-first wipe. Still, as long as they stay put, they’ll have no problem handling all that water – with an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, these are pretty much the toughest earbuds out there. that you can buy.

The charging case is not waterproof or dustproof, but it is well built and quite sturdy. The integrated lanyard loop is just large enough that you can thread the holster through the loop, allowing you to attach it to a bag strap or even a belt loop on your pants.

From zero to hero

The Reflect Flow Pro not only improves the design of the Reflect Flow, it is also packed with features. Wireless charging, wear sensors, choice of voice assistants, active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, custom controls and equalizer. It’s like JBL is challenging us to find something that’s missing and frankly, it’s hard to find even the slightest flaw. And that’s before we even get to things like sound quality, call quality, and handy extras (but don’t worry, we’ll discuss that, too).

Hours of power

JBL Reflect Flow Pro charging case.
Simon Cohen / Digital trends

One of the things the original JBL Reflect Flow achieved was its impressive power capacity – 10 hours per charge and two full charges in the case battery. The Reflect Flow Pro doubles these numbers when ANC and Transparency are turned off. But even when you use these features, you’ll still have up to eight hours per charge. It’s better than the Beats Fit Pro and the Beats Powerbeats Pro.

The only thing missing here is a fast charging option. Normally I would say JBL for this omission, but when you can give people up to 10 hours per charge, the need for fast charging is drastically reduced. Additionally, the Reflect Flow Pro’s charging case supports Qi wireless charging, which no Beats product can do so far.

The sound that moves you

Man wearing JBL Reflect Flow Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital trends

Powerful, punchy bass can be enjoyable no matter what you choose to do while listening to music, but it’s a huge plus for people who need motivation to work out. The Reflect Flow Pro won’t disappoint: they sound great right out of the box, with plenty of low-end boom and decently clear mid and high frequencies. Throw on a track like Billy Idol’s Rita hayworth and the Reflect Flow Pro will deliver a high octane sound assault that will keep you moving.

Subtlety isn’t their strength – it’s not the headphones for finding lost detail in your favorite jazz ensembles – but neither are they a blunt instrument. JBL’s Headphones app offers a very powerful equalizer tool that will reward a little patience and experimentation with lots of tuning variations. My only criticism is that the company didn’t include a few more built-in presets – you only have three: Bass, Jazz, and Vocal.

Quiet or conversational

JBL Reflect Flow Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital trends

I was already quite impressed with the noise cancellation of the JBL Reflect Mini NC, but the Reflect Flow Pro is even better. So, in fact, when comparing them to the Beats Fit Pro (which has excellent ANC), I found almost no difference. Outside, traffic noises were well at a distance, allowing me to clearly hear my podcasts without needing to turn up the volume. Inside, the bathroom fan which is seven feet from my desk – but which may appear to be next to my head – was almost completely disabled.

Transparency mode is also pretty good, with the ability to choose between two versions: Ambient Aware (for general environmental sounds) and TalkThru (for conversations). Both can be triggered quickly by tapping the earbuds once or twice, making them very convenient.

The illusion of control

Controls are the only area where JBL still has work to do. The Reflect Flow Pro’s touch controls are excellent – they respond quickly and accurately to touches and a small tone confirms when a touch has occurred, which is a vital form of feedback when a physical click isn’t available. The problem is, JBL makes you choose from four possible control “groups” and you can only have two active at a time.

For example, you can choose from Playback Control, Ambient Sound / ANC / TalkThru, Volume Control, or Voice Assistant. If you want to control playback and volume, you can’t have ambient sound / ANC / TalkThru or voice assistant. If you want playback control and voice assistant, you can’t have ambient sound / ANC / TalkThru or volume control.

If this was something inherent in true wireless headphones, I wouldn’t complain, but it isn’t: Jabra’s Elite series of headphones give you full control over every gesture, without forcing you. to choose between mutually exclusive options.

I also wish there was a way to turn off voice comments. Quickly switching from ANC mode to ambient mode is great, but it’s a little less convenient when your headphones keep saying “ambient mode on” or “Noise canceling on”.

Speak and be heard

Call quality is generally very good on Reflect Flow Pro. They can struggle a bit in very noisy situations, but few headphones excel in these conditions. More importantly, they handle wind noise better than most headphones I’ve tried, and that’s helpful considering they’ll be a good choice for runners or even cyclists. In relatively calm conditions, you will be perfectly heard.

But with these headphones, you can also use your voice to summon a variety of assistants – a rare feature that comes in handy. IOS users can use “Hey Siri” just like you would with H1-based Apple products (AirPods, Beats Fit Pro, Powerbeats Pro, etc.). their respective hands-free wake-up words.

Supplements

If you are the type of person who constantly misplaces objects, the JBL Headphones app can force the Reflect Flow Pro to beep loudly. Each earphone can beep independently, but the function will not work if they are docked in the charging case. There’s also no map to show their last known location, which other headphones (AirPods, Jabra Elite, etc.) offer.

The app can also help you determine if your chosen mouthpiece size is protecting you from the outside world. If you’re not getting the sound quality you expect, especially bad bass, this is the place to start.

Our opinion

With excellent protection from the elements, exceptional sound and noise reduction, and excellent battery life, the JBL Reflect Flow Pro are the perfect alternative to the Beats Powerbeats Pro and Fit Pro for people looking for a working companion. exceptional workout.

Is there a better alternative?

I think the best alternative to Reflect Flow Pro is from JBL Reflection Mini NC. It’s cheaper, has a smaller charging case that makes it easier to store, and has virtually all of the same features as the Pro. You won’t get the same level of sound quality, noise reduction, or call quality, but for some people it will be a perfectly acceptable compromise.

If you want a smaller earpiece, the Beats Fit Pro will do well, and if you want a much more secure fit, consider the Powerbeats Pro.

How long will they last?

With an IP68 rating and very long battery life at start-up, you should enjoy many years of use from the JBL Reflect Flow Pro. They are solidly built, as is their charging case. JBL backs them up with a one-year warranty.

Should we buy them?

Yes. If you’re looking for a rugged set of workout headphones that can handle whatever you throw at them – and come with solid features and great sound – the JBL Reflect Flow Pro are a great choice.

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