JBL has taken a lot of time with its first True Wireless headphones. If you put the completely wireless JBL Free in your ear, you realize that the wait was worth it. The test.

No matter if music, podcast, a game or a call: If true wireless headphones like the JBL Free are connected to the smartphone, no cable disturbs the freedom of movement anymore. None for the smartphone and none between the two ear plugs.

Firm, comfortable fit in the ear

The JBL Free have no wings on the top edge, with which you can hook them in the ear. This gives me a secure feeling with other models such as the Zolo Liberty Plus. By contrast, the JBL Free are easy to hang out of the ear. That does not feel so safe at first, but still they sit securely and firmly without becoming uncomfortable. I did not fall out of the ears in the test during the race or strong vibrations.

A noice-canceling feature is missing the JBL Free, but they finish surprisingly well and keep so much ambient noise outside. For in-ear headphones, the sound is very full and round. The bass is surprisingly powerful, but the overall sound is very clear and precise. Compared to other True Wireless models, they are very loud, so I had to reorient myself with the volume bar on my smartphone.

For calls and voice assistants JBL builds a microphone in the Free. In a quiet environment, your conversation partners understand you well, but not necessarily perfect. Finally, the microphone sits in the ear and not in front of the mouth. In louder environments, such as a busy road or wind on the bike, it is difficult to unbelievable.

The Bluetooth connection was stable throughout the test. Both between the JBL Free and the smartphone as well as between the right and left ear studs.

Recharge in the transport box

In each of the JBL Free is a button to press. For example, on the right side, start or stop playback or answer a call. Double tap activates the Google Assistant or Siri on the connected smartphone. On the left you jump to the next song or double-tap back to the previous song. But you have to wear both buttons. However, I put my bike into my ear – which must be the right ear plug, since only the one connected to the smartphone and in turn connects with the left ear – and then has to do without the song selection.

The JBL Free are sweat resistant, but not waterproof. This means you could go jogging with them, but not swimming. Despite the tight fit described above, I still have concerns about using True Wireless Headphones because they do not stick to a cable if they slip out of your wet ear.

The battery of the JBL Free should be enough for up to four hours listening to music. So long I have headphones actually not in a row in the ear. If I put them in the supplied transport box, they are automatically loaded. Again and again – for up to 20 more hours. Really practical. It should be sufficient 15 minutes in the loading cover for one hour operation.

Conclusion

The JBL Free is now one of many true wireless headphones. They refrain from sporting or other additional functions and focus on playing sound. And they do not only make perfect, but also pleasant sounding. In addition, they sit comfortably, are easy to operate and load themselves during transport virtually on their own.

With a recommended retail price of 129 euros, they are cheaper than the AirPods or True Wireless models with additional functions of Samsung and Co. They are priced at the same level as the Zolo Liberty Plus , which I personally find more comfortable and therefore also slightly less expensive accept the sound.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS
FREQUENCY RESPONSE10-22 (Hz – Hz)
BLUETOOTHYes
FORM FACTORIn-ear
MASS99 g
COLOURBlack-and-white
STATUSSold out
PRICE AT LAUNCH129 €