JBL’s Reflect Flow Pro earbuds are an upgrade to the company’s running-focused Reflect Flow, offering key upgrades such as larger drivers for better-sounding audio, dedicated wingtips to keep the buds secure while exercising, adaptive noise cancellation technology to quiet the outside world, and improved IP68 dust and water resistance for an extra £30/$30.

However, at £159.99/$179.99, the JBL Reflect Flow Pro is solidly in premium wireless earbud territory, so the question is whether they offer enough to entice buyers away from established buds such as the AirPods or Samsung Galaxy Buds. Continue reading to find out.

JBL Reflect Flow Pro: Specs

  • IP68 Dust and Water Resistance
  • 4x Wing-tips
  • 3x ear tips
  • 6.8mm drivers
  • Frequency range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 16ohms
  • 14.4g (each bud)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Smart Assistant support
  • Touch controls
  • Adaptive Noise Cancellation
  • Ambient Aware
  • Customizable EQ via JBL Headphones app
  • 10-hour battery life, additional 20 hours via charging case

JBL Reflect Flow Pro: Design and Fit

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro is truly wireless earbuds that are fairly tiny and have a nice appearance and an even better fit.

The buds are spherical, with a JBL-branded touch-sensitive center button, and the metallic accents help raise the Reflect Flow Pro’s appearance above that of the standard Reflect Flow earbuds. The buds are light enough to be forgotten, and they don’t protrude too far from the ear, unlike some fitness-focused buds.

JBL has included a few extra accessories with the Reflect Flow Pro to ensure they stay snug in your ears throughout workouts, which is an important feature for a fitness-focused pair of buds.

To begin, you’ll receive three pairs of silicone ear tips in the box to ensure you locate the correct size to form a seal in your ears – this not only enhances overall audio quality but also improves the ANC capabilities of the buds and helps the buds stay secure in your ears. The JBL Headphones app even has a Check My Greatest Fit tool to ensure you have the best deal possible.

Of course, there are plenty of earbuds with silicone ear tips, so JBL went above and above by included four sets of ‘Powerfins’ in the box.

The silicon fins fit into the natural fold of your ears to keep the bud even more secure, which is especially useful during impact sports and fast-paced exercise, and they work as advertised once you find the right size for your ears – I’ve gone on several runs with the Reflect Flow Pro buds and haven’t felt the need to readjust the fit mid-run, as I usually do with my AirPods Pro.

One of the biggest advantages of the JBL Reflect Flow Pro earbuds is their IP68 water and dust resistance, which means they can withstand not only a very sweaty gym session, but also a run in a full-fledged thunderstorm, and you can take them to the beach without worries.

In fact, JBL recommends rinsing the earphones after a sweaty workout to keep them clean – something you won’t find from many wireless earbud makers. Given that the current AirPods 3 only have minimal water resistance, this is a fantastic feature to see from JBL’s buds.

When not in your ears, the earbuds are housed in a matte-finish carry case that includes a front-facing LED strip to display battery life – an innovative, if not necessarily more accurate, way to display battery life compared to regular LED lights – and a small wrist strap to keep the case secure.

The high-end wireless earbuds are also available in a variety of colors to match your personal taste, including Black, Pink, Navy Blue, and White.

Before you ask, the JBL Reflect Flow Pro earbuds do not reflect light.

JBL Reflect Flow Pro: Smart features and Battery life

While headphones were originally simply equipment for listening to music, this is no longer the case in 2021; headphones and wireless earbuds must now do more.

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro, on the other hand, has gone all-in on smarts, with built-in compatibility not only for Google Assistant but also for Amazon Alexa, letting you contact the popular virtual assistants with a wake word or a touch of the buds.

It works on iOS and Android, and you can still use Siri on iPhone, giving you hybrid virtual assistant access – ideal if, like me, you alternate between Siri and Alexa/Google Assistant for smart home control. Hopefully, Matter will be able to resolve this issue shortly…

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro buds provide touch controls on each earbud, as well as single-tap, double-tap, and tap-and-hold features, as well as distinct controls for each earbud. You’ll be able to conduct activities such as summoning your virtual assistant, switching between ANC and Smart Ambient Mode, controlling music playback, and answering calls by default, but you can customize them using the JBL Headphones app for iOS and Android.

The touch feature works nicely, requiring little force to engage, and the snug fit of the buds ensures they stay securely in place while you tap away.

The JBL Headphones app also allows you to customize the sound coming from the buds, with preset options to choose from as well as the opportunity to create your own custom EQ – ideal for audiophiles looking to get the most out of the wireless earbuds.

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro includes Bluetooth 5 connectivity, with the company’s Dual Connect + Sync tech starting the sync process as soon as the case is opened, ensuring the buds are linked and ready to go by the time they’re in your ears.

The battery life of the JBL buds outperforms that of several competitors. The buds themselves will last approximately 10 hours on a single charge (or 8 hours if ANC is enabled), with the case storing an extra 20 hours of charge for a total of 30 hours. That should be more than enough for even the most strenuous exercises and sporting events, making them perfect long-distance runners’ buds.

The charging case takes about two hours to charge via the USB-C port on the back, but this isn’t a deal-breaker.

JBL Reflect Flow Pro: Audio Performance

Of all, a pair of wireless earbuds can have all the bells and whistles in the world, but if the audio quality is poor, the buds will not sell. That isn’t the case with the JBL Reflect Flow Pro buds, whose 6.8mm drivers give a delightfully rounded experience with unexpected clarity.

When listening to tracks like AWOLNATION’s Sail, the bass performance is snappy and deep, making it ideal for a pair of exercise-focused buds to keep you going during those tough moments. That’s not to say it’s overpowering; the balance is just right so as not to dominate the prominent mids or intricate highs, both of which stand out in their own right.

The experience is best described as balanced, but if the sound isn’t to your liking, you can always alter the output using the companion app on your smartphone – a useful feature that isn’t always included in wireless earbuds.

There’s also Adaptive Noise Cancellation, which adjusts the ANC according to the sounds in your environment, as detected by the six-mic array on the buds. As you might think, the ANC isn’t as comprehensive as a pair of over-ear headphones, but it certainly helps.

Enabling ANC with a tap of the left earbud immediately quiets the world around me, however, it performs a better job of canceling out high-pitched hums and hisses (like the sound of my fan) than it does of canceling out car horns outside. It’ll do for planes and long-distance travel, but don’t expect it to quieten a noisy Central London coffee shop.

The buds can also do the opposite, blocking out external sounds to make you more aware of your surroundings. It’s called Smart Ambient, and while it does filter in some sound, it’s not as prominent or detailed as, say, the AirPods Pro, and at mid-volume, it’s practically invisible, so there are undoubtedly better implementations of the technology if that’s high on your must-have list.

JBL Reflect Flow Pro Price

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro wireless earbuds cost £159.99/$179.95 and compete with some of the most popular wireless earbuds on the market, including the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and Apple’s new AirPods 3. They aren’t the cheapest wireless earbuds on the market, and there are cheaper ones with comparable audio quality, but you won’t find IP68 protection and such a well-designed companion software at the budget end of the market.

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro earphones can be purchased directly from JBL in the UK and US, with third-party shops anticipated to carry the wireless earbuds soon. Take a look at our list of the best true wireless earbuds to see how the Reflect Flow Pro stacks up against the competition, and we also have a list of the best budget wireless earbuds for those looking for something more economical.

Pros

  • A secure fit is perfect for runners
  • Balanced audio output
  • Built-in Smart Assistant support

Cons

  • Middling ANC & Ambient Aware performance
  • No wireless charging
  • Average microphone performance

Verdict

The JBL Reflect Flow Pro wireless earbuds are the ideal companion if you’re a runner or regularly participate in outdoor events, boasting not only fins to keep the buds snug in your ears but also IP68 water and dust resistance, surviving not only sweat but also a full-fledged storm without missing a beat.

For further intelligence, there’s now hands-free access to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

All of this is supported with a balanced audio experience with tremendous bass and detailed highs, which can be customized via the JBL Headphones app for iOS and Android. The ANC and Ambient Aware modes also work well, but there are better performers on the market at a comparable price.