Being avid workout enthusiasts, Bluetooth headphones have always piqued our interest. While wired headphones probably give us that bit of better audio quality, wireless headphones are the ones that appeal to us the most as they don’t get caught up in gym equipment; and in the process, make us lose our focus. Having used a multitude of earphones from top brands, as well as relatively new entrants, we are still on the hunt for that perfect pair of headphones. solely for workouts.
In steps JBL with their latest line-up of Endurance series earphones that cater to different activities. Whether you are a swimmer, runner, a casual jogger or just a daily gym freak, JBL caters for all occasions with the Endurance series with Dive, Sprint, Run and Jump earphones respectively. For a review, we received the JBL Endurance Jump this time and figured that it is this the best workout earphone that you could have. Read on ahead to find out what appealed us.
Available in a variety of colours, the Endurance Jump is large with a unique design and screams for attention. This may be great for those who like to flaunt their headphones and we found absolutely no fault with that. The earphones are constructed entirely using rubber-encased plastic and they don’t look/feel cheap or tacky. In fact, they are well built and sport a durable exterior.
The microphone, charging port and touch controls are all housed within in the right earpiece itself, while the batteries are inside the left one. This is a great design choice especially for a pair of workout earphones as they do away with the in-line microphone that dangles loosely on one side causing an imbalance. While this would not be an issue for most, we find that the inline module usually distracting, especially during runs or while doing functional training.
With the Endurance Jump, JBL has added a thicker connecting cable that has a very snug and comfortable fit behind the neck. This makes the headphone feel like a single unit entirely. The Jump is especially beneficial during weight training as the cable behind the neck doesn’t get pressed on by the bar while doing weighted squats.
Pairing and using the phone is very simple. To pair the earphones, all you need to do is extend the PowerHook and touch and hold the right earpiece till it enters pairing mode. After this, complete the setup process on your smartphone. To play or pause music, a single tap on the right earpiece is required. To skip a track, simply double tap and to go to a previous track you need to triple tap. Lastly, to adjust the volume, simply slide your finger up or down on the right earpiece. Answering and rejecting calls is a single tap while rejecting a call is a double tap.
The earphones come with TwistLock and FlexSoft technologies that make them lightweight and ergonomic. With these two features, the earphones remain secure and stable without ever worrying about them even slipping out. Being in-canal (or in-ear) earphones, the Jump is designed in a way to ensure ambient noises do not seep in — the earbuds do a brilliant job of isolating ambient disturbances. The JBL Endurance Jump comes with PowerHook design and this is a great addition as it automatically turns the power On/Off while wearing or removing the earphones. This may not seem like much of a deal initially, but with this feature, you can be assured that the earphones stay Off even when they are thrown into your gym bag. The feature works with the use of powerful magnets that act as power sensors.
The Jump is IPX7 certified and can withstand water for up to a metre for around 30 minutes without getting damaged. This is a feature across the entire Endurance range and though it's pretty normal, it makes it ideal for sweaty conditions. As far as other features go, the earphones sport 10mm drivers that spew a frequency response between 20Hz to 20KHz — a standard for most earphones available in the market.
The JBL Endurance Jump quickly became our go-to earphones for all activities and not just during workouts. At first, these earphones felt a bit of a task to wear, but once you are used to them, the task is no longer an issue. The lightweight construction makes them very comfortable enough for use during long periods of time without experiencing any fatigue. If we do need to nit-pick, an issue we faced with the Jump was with the touch controls. While they worked well most of the time, we did experience them registering commands that weren’t desired. For example, at times while turning up the volume, the song would accidentally get paused. This could possibly be an issue with the touch sensitivity, which could be rectified by a firmware update.
However, we have to credit JBL for adding touch sensors and IP certifications to a wireless pair of headphones at this economical price.
The PowerHook feature is great and for the most part, it simply works. However, we did notice at times that when the earphones were thrown in a gym bag, that they tend to get undone and would randomly and automatically connect back to the smartphone. This was irritating as when not using the earphones, calls would be routed automatically to the JBL without knowing. We also faced a similar issue with the OnePlus Bullet Wireless earphones which have a magnetic switch on the earbuds and no power switch at all. However, JBL does bundle a silicone case with the product and one has to ensure that the earphones are packed back into it each time it is unused to avoid them connecting back to the smartphone.
The unique TwistLock design also ensures that the Jump doesn’t come out loose from the ears and even while doing strenuous functional, cardio and CrossFit workouts, the earphones don’t budge and remain snug in place. This additionally helps in achieving really good noise isolation and in the process ensuring that ambient noises get blocked-out. With that being said, we would advise not using these earphones while crossing streets — you know why.
The JBL Endurance Jump is an absolute pleasure to hear. These are not audiophile-level earphones, but (and this is a big but), the audio quality is pretty great for most users — so much so that this can be the ideal pair of earphones for the not so discerning ear.
The Jump produces a neutral balance with the bass offering the ideal amount of impact and extension without being overbearing or enhanced. The sub-bass has a warm presentation and the feeling that they’re not altered and in the process giving you the fullness in popular music genres. This representation is what we are looking for when working out without the audio booming into the ear. The mids are great as well and isn't overwhelmed by the bass or highs. Elaborating on the mids, we can state that they standout while being smooth with a lot of detail being audible. Highs are great as well — a lot of sparkle and they do not get ensnared behind the bass. At higher volumes, there is ever so slight distortion, but not enough to alter our verdict.
Battery life is rated at 8 hours and it supports fast charging too. So, if your battery is out, all you need to do is charge it for 10 minutes and you will get one hour of playback, enough for a regular workout session. While testing the product, we noticed that this was about accurate and it lasted for around 7.5 hours on a full charge with the volume levels at an average 70 per cent.
In India, the JBL Endurance Jump is priced at Rs 4,799 (available for a limited period of time at a discounted price of Rs 3,999). These are probably one of the best workout earphones we have come across in the market till date. But are these the best earphones of all? The short answer is 'no,' or not really. They aren’t audiophile-level earphones and they’re not even pretending to be one, but using them you can get an above average audio experience that is most definitely great for working out with the bass having the right amount of thump, the highs being taut and the mids offering a vast amount of clarity. The technology used here is great and this in itself makes them a worthy contender for a definite recommendation.
To sum it up, the JBL Endurance Jump is a perfect pair of earphones for daily commute to workouts as they provide great noise isolation that helps in concentration along with a tonal balance that betrays its cheap price tag. So if you are looking around for a decent pair of workout earphones that look cool while perform great, then the Jump is an obvious answer.