JBL Tune 120TWS review

A stylish pair of truly wireless headphones with a fun sound

With truly wireless headphones slowly becoming the norm, I finally decided to take the plunge and check out the JBL Tune 120TWS headphones. Below you’ll find my impressions after using them for a few weeks.

Design

Similar to many other truly wireless headphones on the market, the JBL Tune 120TWS are lightweight and compact in size, and include a carrying case for charging.

The buds and case come in two main colors, black and white, with a range of accent colors to choose from. For my review unit, JBL provided me with the black version with blue accents. This is one of my favorite color combinations, and it looks great on the headphones.

The color accent does more than just make the buds and branding stand out, it is also where the physical buttons reside on the headphones. These buttons allow you to play/pause, skip tracks, activate Google Assistant or Siri, and answer calls. Unfortunately, there is no way to control volume, which can be a little tedious if you need to frequently adjust the volume levels.

The case is a hard plastic shell which feels rather hefty due to the battery that it houses. The lid on the case flips open with ease, but remains held in place by a magnet once closed.

Speaking of magnets, your earbuds are also magnetic and that helps secure them for charging, as well as making it easier to insert them into the case properly.

My one complaint about the case would be that it using a micro USB charging port. It’s 2019, and we’re still waiting for everyone to get on the same page and switch over to USB-C. I find this quite frustrating because it requires me to keep around these annoying micro USB cables.

Comfort

The JBL Tune 120TWS include three different sized ear tips in the box, but to my disappointment, the smallest size is not small enough for my ears. To be fair, I have small ear canals and this has always made earbuds a challenge for me.

There were also no ear wings like you generally see with wired Bluetooth earbuds, meaning the Tune 120TWS would often fall out of my ears. For that reason, if you have smaller ears, you could find these a little frustrating to wear.

I also wouldn’t recommend them for working out because without ear wings to secure the fit, I’m afraid they would fall out from movement.

When I was able to get the buds to stay in, they were lightweight and comfortable until around a little over an hour where ear fatigue began to set in. This could be in part to me jamming them in trying to prevent them from falling out though.

Sound Quality

The JBL Tune 120TWS really surprised me with the sound quality. The marketing materials tout a “pure bass sound”, and without a doubt, they provide a satisfying full bass sound. If you’re a fan of bass, like myself, then you’ll be happy with the kick you get from these buds.

Just because JBL puts a focus on the bass, doesn’t mean that is all you will hear. The Tune 120TWS still provide a nice balance between the thumping bass and highs to provide plenty of detail when listening to your favorite songs. Overall, I was very satisfied with the sound, and they are fantastic for many genres, such as pop, rap, and electronic.

Bluetooth Connection

I must admit, I had my concerns about the connection quality of a truly wireless pair of headphones. However, that concern was completely unfounded. Not once did the JBL Tune 120TWS drop connection in my time with them over the past few weeks. Even when I got up to 50 feet away from my phone, the connection stayed steady.

Battery Life

The battery life on the JBL Tune 120TWS is rated for four hours on the buds themselves and there’s an additional 12 hours with the case, for a total of 16 hours. This means you’ll only be able to get four hours of uninterrupted music playback before you’ll have to charge the buds in the case.

Thankfully, I rarely ever listen to music for longer than a couple of hours without having to take a break. With that said, I never ran into an issue of the buds being dead when I reached for them. Plus, you’ll get an hours worth of playback time from just 15 minutes of charging.

For most people, this should be sufficient, but if you’re someone who requires longer than four hours of continuous playback, wireless buds may not be for you.

Final Thoughts

JBL has created a stylish and fun sounding pair of truly wireless headphones that won’t break the bank at $100. The range of colors allows you to get something to match your individual style, and the battery life should be able to satisfy most music fans out there.

The only downside I find with these don’t play nicely with smaller than average ear canals. Well, that and the price.

There are cheaper sets of truly wireless headphones out there; however, I’ve not used any of those and cannot vouch for their sound quality. The JBL Tune 120TWS appear to offer better battery life than most of the cheaper pairs.

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